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The aim of establishing the Methodist Theological Institute, Umuahia, was for the training of the manpower for the Church in Cadre of Catechists and Evangelists within the Primitive Methodist Society, Eastern Nigeria District. It was established with the name “METHODIST LAY TRAINING CENTRE (MLTC)”. The founding Director was a European, The Revd. Norman J. Green whom God used to establish the Centre in 1956. He served for some years before he was recommended to Trinity College Umuahia. After him came The Revd. J. Thompson who served briefly and was replaced by the Rev D. Roberts.

Some of the pioneer students include J. U. I. Okocha, E. B. Edunam, E. U. Abatai, Sunday Nwachukwu, S. Nwachukwu from Port Harcourt, S. N. Nwankpa, I. M. Abueh, J. N. Nkpara and Udoh from Akwa Ibom.

The Conference of 1965 that met at Uzuakoli posted The Rev. Chile O. Ogan as the first indigenous and African Head of the Centre. Between 1965 and 1968, the centre trained women in leadership and Home Management. Ministers’ wives and teachers wives were trained at this time. Sister Eileen Wragg was in charge of Women Training Section.

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