Sunday, March 7, 2021
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BISHOP AJAI CROWTHER: FRUSTRATED; HONOURED BY THE CHURCH God commenced His ‘’revolution’’ in Nigeria through His priests of Nigerian origin with Bishop Ajayi Crowther, the first black man all over the world to be bishop in the Church of God, Anglican Communion.  Ajayi Crowther was a great pioneer in many fields. The work of God was to later detonate in the 1920s, when the gospel exploded and raw miracles started happening by the finger of the Creator. The worth of the first black bishop is captured succinctly by an institution named after him in a citation at its commissioning: ‘The Bishop Ajayi Crowther University identifies itself in a very special way with the first black man all over the world to be bishop in the Church of God, Anglican Communion. Ajayi Crowther was a great pioneer in many fields. He was a keen evangelist and great man of God, who became a distinguished missionary. The most travelled missionary Africa ever known, Bishop Crowther, was the pioneer, architect and builder of formal education having opened the first school for girls in Onitsha in 1856, and later introduced primary and secondary school education wherever his Agency – The Church Missionary Society, established its presence”.  (University named after Bishop Ajayi-Crowther) As recorded by eminent historian, late Emeritus Prof. J.F. Ade-Ajayi, ‘’ While in Freetown, Crowther became interested in languages. In 1826 he was taken to England to attend Islington Parish School. He returned to Freetown in 1827 and attended the newly-opened Fourah Bay College, an Anglican missionary school, where his interest in language found him studying Latin and Greek and also Temne. After completing his studies, he began teaching at the school. He also married Asano Susan, a schoolmistress, who was also on the Portuguese slave ship that originally brought Crowther to Sierra Leone. In 1841, Crowther was selected to accompany the missionary J.F. Schön on an expedition along the Niger River. Together with Schön, he was expected to learn Hausa for use on the expedition. The goal of the expedition was to spread commerce, teach agricultural techniques, spread Christianity, and help end the slave trade. Following the expedition, Crowther was recalled to England, where he was trained as a minister and ordained by the bishop of London. He returned to Africa in 1843 and with Henry Townsend opened a mission in Abeokuta, in today’s Ogun State, Nigeria. In 1864, Ajayi Crowther who…

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