Methodism in Nigeria
To be one of the largest and spiritually vibrant Churches in Nigeria
To consistently win more souls for Christ, develop spiritually fulfilled members and remain very active in serving humanity.
Methodist Church Nigeria is currently a Connexional Episcopal Church headed by a Prelate. The Conference Area is divided into 17 Archdioceses, 1 Council and 80 Dioceses, 635 Circuits, 93 Sections and 4260 Local churches mostly located in the rural areas. The membership size is about 2 million full members.
Methodist Church Nigeria developed from Wesleyan Methodist mission Outreach of Methodist Church in Britain in 1845 and Primitive Methodist Mission via Fernando Po. While the Wesleyan group entered the shores of Nigeria through Badagry in Lagos State, the Primitive group penetrated through James Town in the present day Mbo LGA of Akwa Ibom State. The merger of the two Methodist Mission Groups formed Methodist Church Nigeria.
was established in Nigeria with the arrival in 1842 of a Wesleyan
Methodist Church missionary. He had come in response to the request for
missionaries by the ex-slaves who returned to Nigeria from Sierra Leone.
From the mission stations established in Badagry and Abeokuta, the
Methodist church spread to various parts of the country west of the
River Niger and part of the north.
In 1893 missionaries of the Primitive
Methodist Church arrived from Fernando Po, an island off the southern
coast of Nigeria. From there the Methodist Church spread to other parts
of the country, east of the River Niger and also to parts of the north.
The church west of the River Niger and part of the north was known as
the Western Nigeria District and east of the Niger and another part of
the north as the Eastern Nigeria District. Both existed independently of
each other until 1962 when they constituted the Conference of Methodist
Church Nigeria. The conference is composed of seven districts.
church has continued to spread into new areas and has established a
department for outreach/evangelism and appointed a director of
evangelism. An episcopal system adopted in 1976 was not fully accepted
by all sections of the church until the two sides came together and
resolved to end the disagreement. A new constitution was ratified in
1990. The system is still episcopal but the points which caused
discontent were amended to be acceptable to both sides.
The Methodist Church Nigeria (MCN) has been at the forefront of
spiritual and social transformation, by spreading spiritual holiness and
investing in medical-health services and social-economic welfare of the
people. The church has established various institutions like the
leprosy centre, three mentally ill-destitute centres, and an orphanage
centre, for children orphaned by HIV/AIDS. These centres reach out to
the rejected and less privileged members of society. They also ensure
reintegration of those previously treated as outcast and subjected to
various societal abuses. In the area of health MCN has established the
Wesley Guild Hospital and several Methodist hospitals spread over the
country which provide good healthcare services in their environments. In
addition to all other services MCN has from the beginning placed a very
strong emphasis on the need for education.
Throughout the country, the Church has established numerous schools, from kindergarten through
primary to senior secondary schools and theological institutions which
have produced men and women who have contributed and are still
contributing very significantly to all spheres of human endeavour.
The prelate presides over the conference, the overall governing body of the church. This conference meets every two years to deliberate and take decisions on all issues affecting the life of the church. The conference area is divided into eight archdioceses. Each archdiocese is composed of not less than four dioceses over which an archbishop presides at the archdiocesan council meetings. The constitution of the church provides for lay participation in the leadership of the church from the local church through to conference level.