by Zakariya Musa
President Joel S. Billi of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) has said EYN will remain one until Christ returns, and warns any attempt to divide the denomination. He said this in a message at EYN’s 95th Anniversary during Sunday service at Kulp Bible College Chapel on March 18. March 17 is the date of the anniversary and considered “Founder’s Day” by the Nigerian church.
Billi also called on the federal government of Nigeria to overhaul its security system and warned on the present political situation. “Most of Nigerian politicians have surrendered their national obligations to material benefits,” he added.
He reiterated that the EYN church has about 1, 000 ordained pastors, and 500 evangelists, and laity working under harsh situations. He further called on members to remain patriotic and shun violent conduct.
Excerpt of his message:
“Today marks the 95th year of EYN--Church of the Brethren in Nigeria...founded in 1923 through pioneer missionaries Rev. Dr. Stover Kulp and Dr. Albert D. Helser who left USA as a sacrifice to shine Christ’s light in this dark side of the world. They settled at Garkida where they had Sunday worship under a tamarind tree. Many of them suffered to the detriment of their lives in Nigeria in the course of changing the lives of many Nigerians through agriculture, education, health, roads, construction, and inescapably what most of us need today peaceful coexistence among communities. I am confident that their effort will not go unrewarded.
“The great work of our indigenous fathers cannot be overemphasized, most of them served in various positions with little or no pay, which led to where we are today, where material things tend to take the lead. The then rural-based denomination strove its way to urban areas in the 1980s, and now we have churches in almost half of the 36 states of Nigeria. It was initially founded in Borno and Adamawa States. We have churches in Cameroun, Togo, and Niger, seven directorates, seven church groups. I therefore call on Christians to persevere, whatever difficulty that comes our way. Rather, we should utilize the hard times for positive change.”
-- Zakariya Musa serves on the communications staff of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria).