“The history of missions is the history of answered prayer.” — Samuel Zwemer
“We can reach our world, if we will. The greatest lack today is not people or funds. The greatest need is prayer.” — Wesley Duewel. To be part of the praying team, CLICK HERE.
“You have one business on earth – to save souls.” ― John Wesley. “If a commission by an earthly king is considered an honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?” ― David Livingstone. To Go for Missions, CLICK HERE.
“The mission of the church is missions” — Oswald J. Smith. “All the money needed to send and support an army of self-sacrificing, joy-spreading ambassadors is already in the church.” — John Piper. To Give to Missions, CLICK HERE.
“Send me anywhere, only go with me. Lay any burden on me, only sustain me. Sever any tie, but the ties that bind me to your service and to your heart.” —
David Livingstone. “The true greatness of any church in not how many it seats but how many it sends!” — Unknown.
In 1850, Brother Bowen headed for Central Africa on a Missionary adventure; specifically to the town of Igboho. This is the faithful and humble beginning which has undoubtedly given rise to great achievements in what is today called, The Nigerian Baptist Convention; with over 10, 000 Churches, 437 Associations, 32 Conferences and about 6 million Nigerian Baptists. In the same vein, the obedient decision of the messengers at the fortieth session of the Nigerian Baptist Convention at Jos in 1953 resulted in what up till April 1998 was known as Home and Foreign Mission Department of the Nigerian Baptist Convention.
At the 85th Annual Session of the Nigerian Baptist Convention in the same Jos, in 1998, a decision was taken; to grant the Home and Foreign Missions Board autonomy and to give it a new name: Global Missions Board, the Mission agency of the Nigerian Baptist Convention. This decision has enabled and has resulted in the present growth of the Nigerian Baptist Convention mission work with 25 Home Mission fields and 13 International Mission fields, in Africa and beyond. There are about 35 frontier Missionary couples fully engaged and faithfully serving God to reach many for Him.
PROFILE OF EBONYI STATE MISSIONARIES
Service Profile: Rev’d and Rev’d Mrs Clement and Deborah Oyelakin are currently serving as the
Supervising Missionaries of the Nigerian Baptist Convention to Ebonyi State Home Mission
Field, Afikpo. The couple joined the service of the Global Missions Board in the year 2009 when
they served as Mission Pastor in Rivers State – Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Home Missions Field. They
served as NBCGMB Missionaries to the same Field between 2010-2013. Afterwards, they were
transferred to the GMB office in Ibadan where they served as Ministerial Officers from 2013-
2017. While in the office, the husband was later redeployed to Training, Research and Media
Department where he served as research and statistics officer.
Education: The Missionary graduated from Ilora Baptist Grammar School (1996); Osun State
Polytechnic, Iree (2001), and NBTS Ogbomoso (2009,2017). The wife also graduated from
NBTS Ogbomoso (2009,2017).
Current City: Afikpo, Ebonyi State
Home Town: Oluponna, Osun State. Nigeria
Marital Status: Married to Revd Mrs. Deborah Bosede Oyelakin (Nee Obe) in the year 2009
and the marriage is blessed with four children: Jesutofunmi Precious, Jesupemi Praise,
Jesunifemi Peace and Jesufunmi Peculiar-Witness
Anniversaries: Birthday –Nov 4; Marriage-June 13
The Land, the People: Ebonyi State has a population of about 3m people with total land area of
5,533km2 and 10 ethnic groups which include the Ezza, Ehugbo, Izzi, Edda, Mgbo,Ikwo and
Ohoazora, Yoruba,Igbo and Hausa. The people are of varied religious orientations with
Christianity having the lion share of 65%, Traditional Religions 20%, Non-adherents 10%, Islam
5%. Ebonyi State has a rich cultural heritage expressed in many colourful cultural dances, folklore
and artwork. The popular Nkwa Umuagbogho Dance Group of Afikpo has won several national
and international merit awards.
However, more than 25% of Ebonyi people and its environs are neck deep in traditional worship
and obnoxious cultural practices. There is a rite of passage for every male child from Afikpo for
examples. This entails initiation into the Ogo cult. It is shrouded in secrecy and mystery, as
women are not allowed into the workings of the cult. This confers adulthood to the male child.
There are diverse cultural festivities characterised by masquerade dances, taboos and forbidden
rules especially against women. Some aspects of culture are so barbaric that men participate in
nakedness while women are beaten mercilessly if mistakenly cross their path.
Ministry on the Field: Ebonyi State Home Missions Field is one of the missions field of the
Global Missions Board (GMB) of the Nigerian Baptist Convention (NBC) located in the south eastern region of Nigeria. The field was established in the year 1996 through the activities of
Operation Reach All (ORA). Its ministry base is currently at Afikpo, the headquarter of Afikpo
North LGA. Since the commencement of the Baptist work in Ebonyi State in the year 1996, a total of 14 Baptist Churches have been planted across communities and villages in the field, with most
churches among the Ezza people group (Abakaliki zone). Since the arrival of the current missionaries in 2017, concerted efforts have been made in the areas of Evangelism and WITNESSING, Discipleship Ministry, Church Planting and Strengthening of existing churches, Youths and Students Ministry, etc.
Challenges and Needs: Some of the challenges are; Islam penetration, Religious Syncretism,
Nominalism, Cultism, Alcoholism, Sexual immorality and Promiscuity, Limited Baptist presence
Some of the Needs are:
Global Mission Board (GMB) is given clear mandate to awaken Baptist Family members to their responsibility to spread the Gospel message in Nigeria and beyond. To direct the energy of the Convention in propagating the Gospel at home and abroad. To recommend ways and means of financing the mission enterprise of the Convention. To recruit suitable full-time, part-time and volunteers workers for mission work in cooperation with the Convention family. To make the Global Missions Board a clearing house for the mission enterprise at home and abroad.