The Diocese of Abuja under the leadership of the Bishop of Abuja and primate of all Nigeria Primate Peter Jasper Akinola, DD acquired a land for Diocesan Women Vocational Centre – a pet project of our Mother in the Lord, Mrs. Susan Akinola. By November 2001, some Nigerians who neither feared God nor regarded Man hand encroached on this 2/1 and so significantly. The primate became wary that priest who served at St Bartholomew’s Anglican church 2/2 couldn’t care less that the vast land was being encroached on this prompted his instruction that the land be occupied. This was during one of his Episcopal visit to St Bartholomew during the tenure of Ven. Martin Sunday Bello (now late) as the vicar. This was how the idea of planting a Church now known as St Andrew’s Anglican Church 2’1 was conceived. It is worth mentioning that Ven. Martins Bello was fondly called “dry bone will rise again”. This was after his prophesy on St Bartholomew that the seemingly dying church will awake again. Shortly after his Prophecy, a new Diocese was created and Bishop Simon Bala was translated from the Diocese of Gusau to be her 1st Bishop. St Bartholomew became Cathedral. In all truth, the Church did awake and today is known as the Cathedral Church of St Bartholomew.
Ven. Bello at the prompting of the immediate past Primate of all Nigeria and Bishop of Abuja Diocese prayerfully chose 12 Families to go and start a Church in 2/1 land. He instructed that parishioners who resides at 2/1, Phase 3, phase 4, owner occupier and Berger Camp to join the 12 Families for new Church know then as 2’1 Church. It was during another round of Episcopal visit at the feast of St Andrews that the 2/1 Church was named, St Andrew’s Anglican Church 2/1.
St Andrew’s Anglican Church Kubwa was established on the 2nd day of December, 2001. The Church had her first worship under canopies erected under a tree in the middle of the Church compound as 2’1 Church. The church was planted by St Bartholomew Anglican Church Kubwa under the old Diocese of Abuja (now Cathedral church of St Bartholomew) under the leadership of late Rev. Canon Martins S. Bello, who was the supervising Priest.
The planting of the Church was preceded by a 2 day Crusade 30th November and 1st December 2001, with Evang. Prof. Duro Adeboye, Rev. Okey chukwujekwu and Godwin Nwokoye as the speakers. The theme of the crusade was: this same Jesus: something is about to happen. In the said crusade, it was prophesized that the Church will be a great church.
The church then began with the gathering of Families from the mother Church known as the twelve missioners under the leadership of Ordinand Samuel Akale (now Rev.) serving in the Abuja Diocese. These families are:
- Mr & Mrs Chikelo Nwune
- Mr & Mrs Godwin Iloba
- Mr & Mrs Samuel Akale
- Mrs & Mrs J. Bello
- Mr & Mrs Ajayi
- Mr & Mrs Obiagu
- Mr & Mrs Akpata
- Mr & Mrs Chiemelu
- Barr & Mrs Eze
- Engr. & Mrs. Vincent Ugwuanyi
- Engr. & Mrs Joseph Haruna
These are families residing at 2’1 and the surrounding areas but worshipped at the mother church. With the active participation of most of the new members who believe in the prophesy and their own commitment, the erection of the new first church building began under the direction and supervision of engr. Vincent Ugwuanyi and Mr. J. O. Bello. Not long, Ord. Akale was recalled to St Bartholomew while Bro Melford Ewurum led the Church until June, 2002 when the first Priest of the Church in person of Rev. Clement Loho was posted to take charge of the Church.
Shortly after the arrival of Rev. Loho, the Church commenced the building of the vicarage. The Vicarage was completed and made habitable for the Vicar in 2003. It was during the tenure of Rev. Loho that the first church building was completed. Plan to dedicate the church building was overtaken by a higher vision to build a bigger and more befitting place of worship. The Church had her first vestry meeting in February 2003 during the tenure of Rev. Loho. At the meeting, Bro Melford Ewurum, Godson Obah and Peter Ibewuike emerged the fist Pastor’s Warden, People’s Warden and verger of the Church respectively.
In December 2004, Ven. Samuel Aboi took over from Rev. Loho. He led the Church from December 2004 to December 2005. During this period, the missionary diocese of Kubwa was created precisely in 12 March 2005 and Rt. Rev. Simon Bala was translated as the first bishop of the diocese. On the Arrival of the Bishop from diocese of Gusau where he served before his translation, he held a church leaders meeting. He told the Church leaders that was first and foremost a Christian and has come to join his fellow Christians and has come to join his fellow Christians to evangelize Kubwa. He assured the Church leaders that he would not lord it over them as a bishop but rather solicited for cooperation of every member to surmount the enormous task before the baby Diocese. Consequently, a new Archdeaconry was created, known as Kubwa Archdeaconry and St Andrew’s Anglican Church as the Archdeaconry Headquarters.
Rev. Canon Dauda Habu (now Ven.) took over the leadership of the Church from Ven. Aboi in December 2005 with Canon Babatunde Oluwasuen and Rev Adamu Sabo as the Assisting Priests. In 2007, the vision for the new church building was conceived under the leadership of Rev. Canon Dauda Habu. He was actually pessimistic when the Architectural drawing was presented to him. He categorically stated that he wishes we start a project we can finish in two years considering the numerical strength of the Church at the time. Initially, he had complained to Rt. Rev. Bala about numeric strength of the Church viz-a-viz the Church project. He answered, do not discourage them, Mr Jonathan Madumere replied; Yes we Can, God on our side” He was unconsciously echoing the spirit of WE- CAN- that originated the establishment of Anglican Church meaning – ANGLO – CAN. At the period, a revival program was organized and anchored by Ven. Seyi from Abuja Diocese. In course of the program, he led the whole congregation to the proposed site and directed the congregations to lay their hands on the ground and prophesy for GODS’ provision for the project. On 4th November 2007 during adult harvest service, Rt. Rev. Timothy Yahaya equally prophesied that the Church will be a great Church. The adult harvest was tagged “harvest ever green”. The foundation laying ceremony was eventually laid on 15th of December 2007 by the Rt. Rev Simon Bala marking the beginning of the journey. The work continued to progress.
In January 2008 Ven. Emmanuel Adekola took over the leadership of the Church with Ven. B. Okafor and Rev. Canon Sambo as assisting priests. It was Adekola who moved the congregation to resume service on 31st August 2008 at the new church building by the basement under the directive of Rt. Rev. Simon Bala. It was not a comfortable place to worship at the time but the dedicated members persevered. The basement was always flooded whenever it rained. There were no widows, no tiles on the floor, and those who could not bear the inconvenience left but the church marched on. The conditions became a challenge and parishioners rose with one spirit and committed more of their resources and time towards ameliorating the condition. This was how within a short while, the windows, floors and other things were tackled and taken care of collectively to everyone’s admirations. At this point, the church experienced a considerable growth in membership both spiritually and numerically. The activities of the church were then reviewed and organized to function more effectively. Suffice it to say that the church had also witnessed the most unforgettable event in the death of the pioneer Bishop ( Rt. Rev. Simon Bala in October 2008). The Choir, the Guild and other arms grew in leaps and bounds. The church main Auditorium was equally raised to lintel level under Ven. Adekola and his team. It was during Adekolas’ tenure that Rt. Rev. Duke Akamisoko was translated bishop of Kubwa Diocese in February 2009.
In April 2009, Ven. Rex Moses Eze took over the leadership of the Church with Ven. Gabriel Adelekan and Rev. Emmanuel Eguaikhide as the assisting priests. His revolutionary and revival oriental ministry brought about tremendous growth in the Church, both numerically and spiritually. A revival Crusade organized by the Christ Brighter Star Society and anchored by Evangelist Frank Anunibe held in November 2009 equally brought a great spiritual awakening amongst the members of St Andrew’s Anglican Church. There was an attestable financial blessing which was evident in the way the Church Building Project progressed. At this time, the tenure of Jonathan Madumere as the building Committee Chairman hand ended and Mr. Odika succeeded him, under the leadership of Ven. Rex. Eze, the Church was roofed.
In September 2011, Ven. Gomina took over from Ven. Rex Eze as the vicar. He hand Rev. Dr. Ifeanyi Ononuju and Rev Solomon Esomu s his assistants. Their tenure was short as they were replaced within few months by Ven. Bitrus Habila. The ceiling was done during their tenure.
April 2011, Ven. Bitrus Habila took over and assisted by Rev. Babatunde Oyesina and Rev. Joseph Wambutda. The Revival fire ignited at the time of Ven. Rex has continued to burn even more ferociously in St Andrew’s Anglican Church. The coming of Ven. Bitrus Habila and his team has made every arm of the Church to be actively involved in every Church program.
It is noteworthy that between 2008 and 2011, the church has grown tremendously. In the words of some observers, it was as if the Church germinated overnight. All praise, thanksgiving to the God Almighty who has transformed a once canopy church in ten years to this modest temple on 30th Nov. 2011, the Church celebrates ten years of existence and dedicates the temple worship to the Lord.
TO GOD BE ALL THE GLORY
OUR PRIEST AND THEIR LAND MARKS
Rev. Clement Loho
Rev. Clement Loho was the first official priest sent to oversee St Andrew’s after a period of midwife by the Rev. Samuel Akale and Bro Ewurum now Reverend. Loho had to cope with schism associated with a new venture as necessary instrument meant for effective service were absent.
Ven. Samuel Aboi:
Succeeding Rev. Loho was the ebullient and energetic Aboi was known for his pragmatic approach to issues and the liturgy. He was famous for conducting the Holy Eucharist in queens English. The church began to grow during his tenure.
Ven. Dauda Habu:
On the heels of Ven. Aboi was Ven. Habu. He laid the foundation of today’s magnificent temple of worship. He was known for his 15 minutes sermon with his usual Hallelujah! The Church remains grateful to him.
Ven. Emmanuel Adekola:
Coming after Ven. Habu was Ven. Adekola. He was known as a man of discipline and time minder. Orderliness was his watch word. It was during his tenure that the Bible study became reinvigorated. He was the priest that transferred service from old Church building to the new site. He brought responsibility to baptismal Godfather and Godmothers to Godsons and daughters. His exit was greeted with mixed feelings. He was a preacher of the word, an apostle of 2 Timothy 2:2
Ven. Rex Moses Eze:
He succeeded Ven. Adekola from Nyanya Church. He was a charismatic’s and energetic minister of God. He is famous with usual exclamation “Oh my GOD” in the midst of his ministration. He brought life and vibrancy to worship in the church. Perhaps, his glorious moment was the roofing of the new Church. He was the first priest to move the church to worship in the main Auditorium. It was also during his tenure that the first major revival crusade sponsored by the Christ Brighter Star was organized. This gave birth to Healing & Deliverance Ministry. His transfer led to many parishioners relocating to cathedral with him.
Ven. Samuel Gomina:
He was nothing but integrity personified. He will not do anything with sentiments. He was more interested in building souls for the kingdoms than more physical structure. He had more names amongst the congregation than nay priest. Some know his as Baba hymn 559, other call him Jim Reeves. All these were because of his gentle and quite way of doing things. At the height of the project, he moved the Church up to pray and speaks to the Church. It was during his tenure that the ceiling commenced.
Ven. Bitrus Habila:
This young ever smiling man of GOD came to St Andrew’s with a team of fellow energetic, spirit filled young men. They have constantly remained steadfast in reawakening the spirit of optimism amongst the congregation. He also has been working doggedly with faith to ensure the completion and dedication of the temple.
REV. MARTINS BELLO
The history of the Church would not be complete without the mention of the man of sacrifice, an austere man of God whose only slogan was “Serve the LORD your GOD.” Late Ven. Martins .S Bello could easily be said to have planted St Andrew’s Church.
RT. REV. SIMON BALA
With deep gratitude we will always remember our gentle, loving and true father of the Diocese, Rt. Rev. Simon Bala. He was a true spiritual father of the Diocese. He believed in the dream of the diocese and stood by everyone ready to be involved in the task of building the diocese. The foundation of the Church was laid by him. He was the one who instructed that the worship be moved to the underground hall from his sick bed. He believed that it will ginger the parishioners towards being committed to the work of the Church. It really paid off. He was a passionate shepherd.
RT. REV. DUKE. T. AKAMISOKO
He is the probably the tallest person in the diocese. “Nothing is Impossible” is his slogan. His believe on the project accomplishment led to where we are today. The journey is ongoing.