Nigerian Baptist Convention
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The Nigerian Baptist Convention is the second largest Baptist convention affiliating with the Baptist World Alliance, and the third largest in the world after the Southern Baptist Convention, USA, and National Baptist Convention, USA. Conservative estimates of the size of the Nigerian Baptist Convention claims three million baptized believers and a worshipping community of more than six million. Virtually most Nigerian Baptists belong to churches affiliated with the Nigerian Baptist Convention. (http://www.nigerianbaptist.org)
The main officers are currently Rev. Dr. Samson Olasupo Adeniyi Ayokunle, President (and chief executive officer), Rev. Dr. Olumide Kehinde, Chairman. The headquarters and administrative building of the Nigerian Baptist Convention is located in Ibadan but the convention also operates bookstores across the country. The Nigerian Baptist Convention has several conferences constituting subsidiary organizational structures.
The Nigerian Baptist Convention started in 1850 as a foreign missionary project of the Southern Baptist Convention of the United States of America. The Nigerian Baptist Convention was officially formed in 1914. The Nigerian Baptist Convention is now completely self-governing, self-propagating, and self-supporting. It has started other Baptist conventions in West Africa notably in Ghana (now the Baptist Convention of Ghana), and in Sierra Leone, now the (Baptist Convention of Sierra Leone).
Theological & Medical Institutions
The Nigerian Baptist Convention operates nine theological training centers for pastors, the largest being the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary in Ogbomoso, which grants undergraduate, masters’ and doctoral degrees. In the 1950s, a survey of African seminaries by Bishop Stephen Neill (for the Theological Education Fund) ranked the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary as one of the best seminaries in Africa. The Nigerian Baptist Convention also operates several hospitals and medical training institutions across the country. The Baptist Medical Centre in Ogbomoso remains one of the leading hospitals and is to be used as a university teaching hospital by the Bowen University in Iwo. The Nigerian Baptist Convention operates other top flight Baptist medical centres(with Schools of Nursing and Midwivery)located in Eku and Saki; and several other minor Baptist hospitals across Nigeria.
The Nigerian Baptist Convention has founded and operated thousands of primary and secondary schools most of which were taken during military dictatorships and operated as public institutions. The Nigerian Baptist Convention now operates Bowen University, named in honor of Rev. Thomas Jefferson Bowen, the first American Baptist missionary from the Southern Baptist Convention. Bowen University is located at Iwo in Osun State, and is housed in the old 1,300 acre (5 km²) campus of the Baptist College, a teacher-training institution on a beautiful hill just outside the city. Bowen University opened in 2002 as a residential institution with 500 students with a current enrollment of about 3,000 students, and a target capacity of at least 5,500 students. The idea of a Nigerian Baptist university was conceived in 1938, and endorsed in 1957 by the Nigerian Baptist Convention. Bowen University is “conceived as a centre of learning and research of distinction, combining academic excellence with love of humanity, borne out of a God-fearing attitude, in accordance with the Baptist tradition of ethical behavior, social responsibility and democratic ethos”.
Prominent and Famous Nigerian Baptists
- Chief Olusegun Mathew Okikiola Aremu Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria; alumnus of Baptist Boys' High School, Abeokuta, Nigeria's first Baptist secondary school
- Rev. Samuel Aikore Lawoyin, first African President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention.
- Rev. Dr. S. T. Ola Akande, former General Secretary (andchief executive officer) of the Nigerian Baptist Convention.
- Rev. Dr. S. Ola Fadeji, former General Secretary (and chief executive officer) of the Nigerian Baptist Convention. (now late).
- Rev. Prof. Yusufu Ameh Obaje, former chaplain of the Nigerian presidential chapel in Abuja, former President of theNigerian Baptist Theological Seminary in Ogbomoso
- Rev. Dr. Solomon Ademola Ishola, former General Secretary(and chief executive officer) of the Nigerian Baptist Convention.
- Rev. Dr. Paul Omieka Ebhomielen, first indigenous Missions Secretary; pioneer of Baptist work in the Ishan area of Edo state, delegate to the 1974 International Congress on World Evangelization, Lausanne, Switzerland, former Conference Secretary Bendel (now Edo/Delta) Conference.
- Rev. Prof. Osadolor Imasogie, first Nigerian president (now President Emeritus) of the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso; former Vice-President of the Baptist World Alliance
- Rev. Dr. James Tanimola Ayorinde, first Nigerian General Secretary (and chief executive officer) of the Nigerian Baptist Convention (1960's); national delegate to the 1974International Congress on World Evangelization, Lausanne, Switzerland
- Rev. Dr. Adelani Adeyinka Akande, former 1st Vice-Presidentof the Nigerian Baptist Convention; and former Head of Department (Missions and Evangelism) of the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso. (Who slept in the Lord on July 12, 2012 at the age of 58)
- Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Akinyemi Adelaiye, former Executive Secretary of Nigerian Baptist Convention Men and Boys Department, former Moderator Ibadan Baptist Association, former chairman "OPERATION I FOUND IT" evangelism project of CAN in Oyo State. 20-year veteran Minister in charge of Salem Baptist Church Yemetu Ibadan. ( Now late - Slept in Christ April 15, 2011, at 82 years old)
- Rev. Dr. Solomon Adeniyi Babalola, former Nigerianmissionary to Ghana (1952–1955); national delegate to the 1974 International Congress on World Evangelization,Lausanne, Switzerland; 17-year veteran pastor of one of Nigeria's top Baptist Churches, the Oke-Ado Baptist Church,Ibadan; the former Director of Academic Affairs of the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary in Ogbomoso
- Rev. Dr. Emmanuel A Awotunde, Conference President, Lagos East Baptist Conference, Former Chairman, Lagos State Baptist Conference.
- Rev. Dr. Jacob. O Oladoja, first pastor Ibara Baptist church, Abeokuta, later pastor of baptist churches of somolu and oshodi in Lagos, First baptist church modakeke-ife and retired in 2006 at First Baptist church, Idikan, ibadan a period spanning 43years. He was also former chairman of Nigerian baptist pastors fellowship, chairman oyo west conference, chairman ibadan north west C.A.N and Modarator ibadan central baptist association.
- Evangelist Job Adegboyega Alabi, first Nigerian Baptist Evangelist; former Pastor of First Baptist Church[Jebba], set-man of Covenant of Peace Evangelistic Association[Ogbomoso]; bible teacher greatly influenced by Billy Graham; and Initiator/proclaimer of the move of the Holy Spirit throughout Baptist Churches in Nigeria and beyond.
- Deacon Gamaliel Oforitsenere Onosode OFR, former Presidential Adviser on Budget Affairs and Director of Budget, Nigeria; Member of the inaugural Provisional Governing Council of Bowen University, Iwo. He is currently Chairman of the Global Missions Board of the Nigerian Baptist Convention; Chairman of the Governing Council of The Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso. He was also the founder of Good News Baptist Church which started in the Sitting Room of his residence in Surulere, Lagos and has grown to a large church and a force to reckon with in the Nigerian Baptist Convention in terms of missions and evangelism.
- Dr. Onaolapo Soleye, former Minister of Finance, and former Minister of Industries, Nigeria
- Rev. Dr. Mojola Agbebi, founding member of Ebenezer Baptist Church, Lagos who changed his name from David Brown Vincent during the wave of African Nationalism in the late 1880s. He was also a founding member of the Native Baptist Church (First Baptist Church), Lagos.
- Rev. J.B.P. Lafinhan ,former Principal Olivet Baptist High School, Oyo, Nigeria
- Deacon A. M laosebikan ,Former Principal Baptist College Iwo, Nigeria
- Chief.S.O Omitade ( MON) ,Founding Principal Iwo Baptist High School, Iwo Nigeria and the former chairman Oyo State Executive Council and Commissioner for Works and Housing
- Dr. V.O Fatunla (MBBS) London,(FRCS) England, JP,alumnus of Baptist Boys' High School, Abeokuta; Former Director of Medical Services Nigeria Baptist Convention.
- Professor T.A Okedara ,The first Vice Chancellor Bowen University Iwo, Osun state Nigeria.
- Dn. Victor Olu. Durodola, FCA,JP, Chartered Accountant and former Treasurer of the Nigerian Baptist Convention for almost 25 years - the youngest(at age 28) to occupy the position. Also served as Treasurer and Financial Adviser of All Africa Baptist Fellowship, General Council member of Baptist World Alliance and foundation Council member of Bowen University. Rev Tijani Timothy, Former chairman Religious affairs, Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso, Nigeria. MEDICAL MISSIONARIES With the handing over of medical missionary work by trailblazers like Dr. George Green, Dr Martha Gilliland, Howard McCamey DDS and others, the mantle fell on: Dr Olaleye Aremu, First Nigerian Medical Secretary of Nigerian Baptist Convention, appointed in 1969. He was dental surgeon at the Baptist Dental Centre Oke Bola, Ibadan Dr Jedidiah Agbowu,of Baptist hospital Eku became the medical secretary after Olaleye Aremu in 1977, Core indigenous medical Missionaries include Dr Victor Olubi Fatunla (mentioned above), First indigenous medical Superintendent Baptist Hospital Shaki, Dr Victor Olubi Fatunla pioneered the expansion of Baptist Hospital Saki to a full Fledged Hospital, he also established the Baptist Nursing and Midwifery School Shaki, Nursery, Primary & Secondary School for Baptist Hospital Saki, Doctor Victor Olubi Fatunla worked tirelessly to also establish Clinics in the Oke-Ogun Sub-region of Oyo State, he is a Core Missionary Doctor who was also the Director of Medical Services for Nigeria Baptist Convention, other committed Missionaries are; Mr Ola Akande, hospital secretary of Baptist Hospital Ogbomoso and Dr Peter Olusola Elemile, First indigenous medical Superintendent, Baptist Medical centre, Ogbomoso. Eku Baptist Hospital ounding member of the Native Baptist Church (First Baptist Church), Lagos.