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THE PLANTING OF CHRISTIANITY BY THE SUDAN INTERIOR MISSION

By the end of this unit, you should be able to:
• identify the role that Titcombe played in the planting of Christianity in Yagba land
• describe the development of Christianity in Yagba land.

3.1 The Coming of Sudan Interior Mision to Nigeria

The Sudan Interior Mission Missionaries came to Nigeria in 1893 to plant Christianity. The first batch of the Sudan Interior Mission that came to the country were Walter Gowans, Thomas kent and Roland Bingham. However, Gowans and Kent died in that same year in Nigeria. 
As a result of their death, Bingham returned to Canada. 
In 1900, Bingham made a second trip to Nigeria. He became sick, as a result, he 
could not make converts to Christianity. So he went back to his country for treatment. On getting well, he made his third Missionary journey to Nigeria, accompanied by a medical doctor. He started his Mission work among the Nupe people in Patigi. In 1902, Bingham opened his first Mission station in Patigi. At the town, the missionary doctors treated 
people who were sick. For this reason, many adherents of Islam religion accepted Christianity. Many Mission stations were opened in various parts of Nupe land.

3.2 The Spread of the Gospel in Yagba Land 

Daniel Onisanaiye was captured as slave at Ogga in Kogi State and was taken to Abeokuta. At Abeokuta, he grew to adulthood and was able to redeem himself from slavery. He left Abeokuta for Lagos. There he took up painting as a profession. Daniel responded to the gospel, and began to attend Araromi Baptist Church, Obalende. Evangelist Dr. Agbebi was in charge of the Church. He taught his Church members to read and write in Yoruba and English languages. Onisanaiye participated in the reading and learning processes. He bought a Yoruba Bible, read it and taught others the Bible stories. Daniel married in Lagos and had a son. 
As he studied the Bible, he had a vision to go to Ogga his home town to share the Gospel with his own people. This is because as at that time, Missionaries had not reach Ogga to plant Christianity in the area. 
His wife and son tried to discourage him but he did not yield. Daniel left Lagos for Ogga to begin preaching the Good News to his people. At Ogga, he met his people who were fearful of evil power that troubled them daily. His people spent their time and money appeasing the devil at 
the whim of the witch doctor in the village. Daniel preached against such in the land. He taught them about the living God. He taught them that the only thing they needed in their lives was Jesus Christ who could save them from their fear and not the witch doctor. Daniel was the first 
Christian the people of Ogga ever had in their village. He read the Gospel from the Yoruba Bible to them daily and they listened to him. 
By this method, he was able to convert some of his people into Christianity. 
In 1901, the Sudan Interior Mission [now called The Evangelical Church of West Africa] sent four young men up the Niger 
River to Lokoja area in Kogi State to spread the Good News. In 1902, they established a Mission Station among the Nupe people in Patigi in Kwara State, Nigeria. Meanwhile Daniel and his people did engage in praying to God to send Missionaries to them in Ogga land.

3.3 The Arrival of Mr. Lang to Patigi 

In June 1905, Mr. E.P. Lang and other Missionaries trekked from Patigi spreading the Gospel towards Yagba land. As the Evangelists got to Ogga, they found a group of people listening to Daniel as he read and interpreted the Holy Bible to them under the tree. The Missionaries decided to stay with Daniel and the people. They joined the people in praying to God for the salvation of the Ogga people. Daniel told the visitors to send Missionaries to them establish Mission stations in Yagba land. In 1906, Mr. Lang and his group revisited the people. Many 
converts at Yagba land demanded for water baptism from Evangelist Lang. He baptized them and returned to Patigi. In 1906, the first Evangelist of the Evangelical Mission returned to Canada. Mr. Charles Waddel, who was one of the Evangelists who visited Nigeria appealed 
to the Christians in Hamilton Ontario to take the Gospel to Nigeria. 
Tommie Titcombe volunteered come Nigeria to continue the spread of the Gospel. On July, 1908, a commissioning service was held for Titcombe and others who volunteered to go to Nigeria. Titcombe arrived in Patigi to continue the spread of the Gospel there. He spent some times to preach the Gospel until God commanded him to move from the place to Yagba land to spread the Good News there. He left Patigi for Egbe in obedience to the voice of God. At Egbe, he established a Mission station. In 1954, the Sudan Interrior Mission and other Missions in Nigeria came together to form an indigenous body known as the Evangelical Churches of West Africa [E.C.W.A.] The Church has spread from Patigi to Egbe land. And from Egbe towards the Northern Nigeria where majority populations are Hausa. It has also spread to the East, West and Southern parts of Nigeria. The Church has established Schools, Colleges, Hospitals and a university in Nigeria.

SELF ASSESSMENT EXERCISE
Account for the role of Daniel Onisanaiye in the planting of Christianity in Yagba land.

4.0 CONCLUSION

In this unit, you have learnt that the spread of Christianity in Yagba land began with Mr. Daniel Onisanaiye who was an ex- slave converted to Christianity. However, as he gained his freedom, he returned to his people to share the Gospel with them. He also spread the Good News to other people beyond Yagba land. Also when the American Evangelists came to Yagba land, Mr. Daniel joined them to spread the Gospel in Yagba land and beyond the area.

5.0 SUMMARY

It is expected that from the study of this unit, you have learnt the following points:
• Daniel was the first indigene who spread the Gospel to his people in Yagba land.
• American Evangelists came to Patigi to plant Christianity.
• They extended the spread of the Gospel to Yagba land and other areas in Nigeria.
• Titcombe established schools and colleges in Yagba land and other areas. 
• Many Mission Stations were also planted by them in many parts of Nigeria.

6.0 TUTOR-MARKED ASSIGNMENT
1. Discuss the role of Titcombe in the planting of Christianity in Yagba land.
2. Account for the spread of the Good News in Yagba land.

7.0 REFERENCES/FURTHER READINGS

Tommie Titcombe Sopic Haye, (1977). Tread upon the lion, Canada:
Sudan Interior Mission.
Kato,A. (1985).”Kabba Archdeaconry” in the Kabba Archdeaconry 
Area Magazine, St. Andrew’s Church Ka a Unpublished.
A. J. Owolabi, (2005)The Growth of Anglican Church in “Akoko-Kabba 
District” bof Nigeria 1920-1996.A Thesis Submittedb in Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Award of the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Christian Studies, Department of Religions, University of Ilorin, Unpublished.

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