HISTORY OF GLOBAL MISSIONS BOARD
Baptist missions in Nigeria had been on the road of development since the pioneering work of Thomas Jefferson Bowen in 1850.This has continued to grow from one era to another era by a succession of great leaders who drove the vision for decades.
Nigerian Baptist was born as a result of Baptist Missions’ work and the growth gave birth to a lot of developed and highly intellectual foreigners and nationals who helped to sustain the vision and mission of reaching the unreached with the gospel. The Global Missions Board therefore is the channel through which the Nigerian Baptist Convention conveys the message of salvation to the entire world.
In 1953, a group of messengers who were attending the 40th Annual Session of the Nigerian Baptist Convention in Jos, while journeying in a train passionately encountered people who were half naked physically and presumably spiritually. Their passionate appeal for the Convention to commence a mission outreach among them was promptly accepted and approved during the 40th annual Convention in Jos. In the same 1953, the Home and Foreign Mission Department was established and the first Mission Field was opened and commenced immediately among the Unreached People in Shendam area, near Jos, in present day Plateau State.
The Convention launched forward to open her first Foreign Mission field in Sierra Leone, an English Speaking West African nation in 1961. The Home and Foreign Mission Department was reorganized in 1999 following the decision of the Convention in session which was held in the same Jos in 1988, into the Global Missions Board with a further mandate to reach the entire world with the Gospel of light and love and with a quassi autonomy to take operational decisions on behalf of the Convention
From 1953, the mission arm of our Convention has had so great leaders that pioneered and steered the mission enterprise. They are: Rev. Dr. John E. Mills, the first secretary to head Home and Foreign Missions Board (1953); Rev. Paul O. Ebhomielen, the first Nigerian to become the Secretary of the Board (1964 -1977); Rev. Gorgol Robison (1977 – 1978) followed by Rev. Reuben E. Oku who served the Board for the period of ten years (1977 to April of 1989); Rev. Etim A. Udoh became the next secretary from May 1st 1989 till 2000; Rev. Dr. Israel Obieje (2000 – 2011), Rev. Steven Enyi (2011 to 2016), and presently, Rev. Dr Femi Adewumi (2016 to date).
Where does she operate?
HOME MISSION FIELDS – Currently, the GMB is actively working in many states in Nigeria. Operational bases for now are: Uyo in Akwa Ibom State; Umuahia in Abia State; Ganye in Adamawa State; Awka/Onitsha in Anambra State; Gboko for Igede/Tiv, etc. ministry in Benue State; Ikom in Cross Rivers State; Oleh, Isoko in Delta State; Igbokoda for Ilaje/Apoi ministry in Ondo State; Okigwe/Orlu in Imo State; Omok for Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni and Etche in Rivers State; Abakaliki and Afikpo in Ebonyi State, Kagara (Kamuku), Guffanti and Erena (Bassa) in Niger State; Magajia (Dukawa), and Kengakwoi(Kyengawa) in Kebbi State; Bali in Taraba State; Potiskum for Kanuri ministry in Yobe State; Billiri for Fulani ministry in Gombe State; Nasarawa in Nasarawa State; Okuta for Fulani ministry in Kwara State; Okerete for Diaspora people in Oyo State; and Oja Odan for Ohori ministry in Ogun State.
Home Mission Fields which have been granted autonomy include Shendam, Batonu, Afenmai, Abuja, Idoma, Funtua/Malumfashi, Arogbo Ijaw, Ogoja and Southern Ijaw. New Home Missions field that have been approved by the Board and the Convention leadership are: Gbaramatu/Escavos in Riverine areas of Delta/Bayelsa States; Sagbama in Bayelsa; and Oguta/Emekuku in Imo State. We are trusting God to commence activities on these fields as soon as practicable.
On INTERNATIONAL fronts: Global Missions Board maintains full and skeletal work in 13 International Mission Fields – Sierra Leone, Cote D’Ivoire, Niger Republic, Benin Republic, Mali, Burkina Faso; Chad, Mozambique, Tanzania, Togo, South Sudan, South Africa and United Kingdom.
In addition, the Board operates the Schools of Missions program, to raise indigenous leaders for our mission frontiers. We have Dry Season School of Mission that runs for 3 Months in a year (January – March) at Okebolanle via Ogbomoso, Oyo State; Minna, Niger State; Gidan Ahmadu, Katsina State, Guffanti in Niger State, and Gboko in Benue State. GMB Office in Ibadan is the only campus for Professional School of Missions for now.
GMB had operated this program in partnership with some of our Nigerian Baptist members, Churches and Theological Institutions in Pobe, Benin Republic (to train indigenous leaders and Pastors for Benin Republic and Togo) and in Makeni, Sierra Leone (to train indigenous leaders and Pastors for Sierra Leone and Liberia). We are in the process of revitalizing these Schools of Mission program in Benin Republic and Sierra Leone.
Frontier Mission and Evangelism activities of the Nigerian Baptist Convention will be 70 years in the year 2023 (from 1953 to 2023). We need your partnership to continue with and to improve on what our parents, leaders, Churches, Pastors, Deacons, Deaconesses, Laymen and women (Baptist Professionals) past and present have been used of God to start, nurture and support over the years.
To commemorate this 70th anniversary, we are trusting God to continue where they stopped by opening 7 new home mission fields in the core north of Nigeria, particularly in the states where GMB does not have missionaries (Sokoto, Borno, Jigawa, Kano, Zamfara, Bauchi and Katsina) and to extend NBC mission frontiers to at least 3 new International mission fields in Muslim dominated North African Countries (Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt).
We need your partnership to actualize these in the next three to four years. May God depend on us. Amen.