Re-Engineering Presbyterianism for Relevance in Contemporary Nigerian Society

Donatus I. Njoku


This paper is geared toward the study of missionary agenda and their implementation in Nigerian society by the Church of Scotland Mission (now the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria). The study showcased that the Presbyterian Church came to Nigeria under the auspices of the Church of Scotland Mission in April 10, 1846 at 10.00a.m. The study further showcased that missionary agenda include evangelization, education, socio-economic, industrial and human resources developments. Indeed, the clergy man, Hope Masterton Waddell arrived Calabar with printer, printing press in 1846. Historical research method was adopted. Impact assessment provided that Presbyterian Mission pioneered education, human resources development, empowered vulnerable groups and paved way for rural transformation. The Mission had problems of over concentration in Calabar, tribalism and ethnicity that frustrated and narrowed Christianization as well as development rate of the mission in Nigeria. The findings further showed that the church made greater impact in the past, than now. Projects of the Presbyterian Church functioned efficiently in the past and Itu leper colony was adopted by the Divinity students of New College Edinburgh as one of their ‘schemes for the year 1934’. The economic benefits engineered the first rural electrification in Nigeria at Itu leper colony in the same year at a cost of $120 (Macdonald, 1957:27). The failure of Presbyterian projects in contemporary society intoned that management committees of the projects suffered acute integrity deficiency syndrome (AIDS)  as they persistently presented annual deficit accounts with insistence for the church to offset. The economic powers that the projects could have boosted for contemporary development were lost as such the church lacks capital financial base. The researcher recommends that men and women of faith, integrity, intellectual genius, beneficiaries of the church’s scholarship, political class, business magnets, philanthropists and captains of industries both home and abroad should re-engineer the church and reposition her for greater relevance in a globalized society. The Presbyterian church can re-engineer herself with implementation of 1999 Ogoja General Assembly Decision on transfer of headquarters to Abuja, a similitude of the churches giant beginning and a repositioning in contemporary Nigerian society.

Key words: Missionary Agenda, Implementation, Challenges, Impact.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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