What has today metamorphosed as St. Paul's Parish, Agbada Nenwe started in 1934 when Okpome Agbada Nenwe Community donated land (evil forest) to the Catholic Church for missionary activities at Alakanku Okpome. Then in 1935 the place started activities notably with the establishment of a Church cum school named St. Paul's Church Agbada Nenwe by Rev. Fr. T. J. Mackin, a white missionary. Before becoming a parish, it was attached to three Parishes (Mmaku, Awgu and St. Peter's Nenwe).
St. Paul's, Agbada was the last Parish to be carved out from St. Peter's Parish Nenwe. She was proclaimed a Parish on 29th September, 2007 by His Lordship. Most Rev. John I. Okoye. Rev. Fr. Nnabueze Greg Omeje. A missionary from Nsukka Diocese is the pioneer and incumbent Parish Priest for almost six years of her existence. Fr. Greg came to Awgu Diocese on 20th December, 2007 and assumed pastoral duties immediately as a resident Priest in the mother Parish; and later, on 11th February 2008 housed in a parishioner's building. The vibrant, energetic, fore-sighted and intelligent young Priest swung into pastoral action with grass root building/evangelization and enough weathering of storm of the "Virgin Parish" in every aspect to assume a Parish structure.
On the 24th of December 2009, he packed into the uncompleted Parish House which e started on 25th November 2008 and completed on 25th November 2011. This was a rare achievement by the parish in three years despite all odds including constant rift caused by the host community, trickling of resources and small number of parishioners. The official inauguration of the Parish, blessing of the Parish House (the best in the Diocese) with installation of Blessed Sacrament in the Chapel there for public use, was conducted by Most Rev. John I. Okoye on 25th March, 2012. Today, St. Paul' Agbada Nenwe has attained an enviable growth in varied aspects: numerically, spiritually, structurally among others. By the grace of God, the Parish started Parish Church 21st June 2013, the fest of St. Aloysius Gonzaga in a miraculous manner through the instrumentality of her Parish Priest.
The Parish has three stations that serve also as Mass centres and seven zones. They are:
(1) St. Paul's Station, Okpome with three zones.
(2) St. Nicholas' Station, Emulemoke with three zones.
(3) All Saints' Zone/Station, Amagu.
As early as 1928, Chief Aja Ngwute (the warrant paramount Chief of Okpanku town) in his bid to attract Western Education to his Children and people, gathered some able bodied men whom he sent to Uturu, Okigwe through Ishiagu to seek permission from the Rev. Fr. In charge of Uturu parish to open a school/church in Okpanku .
A couple of months later the same year Roman Catholic Mission set up a school/church in a thatch house built by the people in Chiefs residence in Amabiriba-Okpanku. Rev. Fr. Treich, the fattier i/c of Uturu Parish who named the church St. Paul's Roman Catholic Mission Okpanku became the first priest to minister to the faithful which attracted over 50 coverts before the end of 1929.
The first teacher to St. Paul's School/Church was Mr. Gabriel Chukwu from Ndeaboh. While the first indigenous teacher to the school was Mr. Gabriel Uzoigwe from Amabiriba Okpanku. Some of the early Christians to receive first Holy Communion was Francis Chukwu Nwaonye, Jeremiah Obasi, John Onu, Thomas Chukwu, Simon Aja, Romanus Aja (Alias Ekwembu) Gabriel Uzoigwe, James Aja, Alfred Aja, Anthony Awo, Denis Uzoigwe, Bias Aja George Uzoigwe, Margrate Ezima, Theresa Ivoke, Paul Ivoke, Peter Aja, Joseph Okereke, Moses Chukwu Etc.
In 1936 the families of IBE NWA MAKWE and Egbe Ogu both from Amabiriba-Okpanku donated their parcels of land to build a school/church to accommodate the over growing population of both Christians and school children. An *I* mud house with grass was built in a site called OrjL The School/Church then moved to the new site the same year. The first teacher and Head master to head the school/church was Mr. Vincent Uche from Agbaja.
Some teachers that taught at Orji were Mr. Godwin Ochi, from Ogugu Felix Chinka, from Nenwe, Mr. felix Ike from Mgbowo. Enrolment in school started to decrease as parents started withdraw their children from school.
In 1946 the following soldiers who returned home from the Germany World War decided that Okpanku should embrace Education and they went with school children and teachers from Village to Village recruiting school aged children. They were Sgt Peter Aja, L/cpt Julius Okoro, L/cpl Aja Ivoke, PTE Mathew Onyeze Ude, Sgt Robert Aja etc . Their move attracted great number of school children to the school. The soldiers demanded a new central site to accommodate the school and church.
In 1947, a well known Christian and a community leader in person of Francis Chukwu Nwaonye and his brother donated their land at Eguta to the mission. A mud building was erected by the community including teachers quarter. The site accommodated a small, football field and school latrine. The school/church then moved from Orji to Eguta. The school came up with a new class of standard three while school at Orji ended in standard Two. Mr. Edmund Akpa from Mgbowo was posted to head the school.
Due to encroachment on the school land the Union called "like Assaa Of Okpanku Under The Leadership Of Okereke Chukwu Populary Known As Okereke Nwa Okpu And Chukwu Ogbonna (Known As) Chukwu Ogbu With The Area Councillor l/C Of Okpanku And Mpu Council Watd In Person Of Mr. Jeremiah Obasi Got The Present Site From The Families Of Simon Aja, Okoro Aja Etewe, Paul Ivoke, Dike And Few Land Donors From Amaogwudu To Serve As School/ Church And Oppsite The School/Church Premises To Build Hospital And Convent School.
Agreement was drawn between the community and the mission by Rev. Fr. Mac Green in charge of Awgu parish by them.
Okpanku to provide man power.
Okpanku to pay for class enrollment of pupils not up to 30 pupils in a class.
The Roman Catholic Mission
Staff and equip the school.
So clearing, Leveling of site started February,1953. Foundation stone laid by Rev. Fr. Mac Green on 12th may, 1953. On 22nd September,1959 the first Bishop to bless the building and visit Okpanku was Bishop Heery. Both the Christians and the Community receive c| the Bishop with traditional dances and gifts.ST. PAUL'S CHURCH UNDER THESE PARISHES
Uturu Parish Under Eke 1928; Then to mmaku
Maku parish to Awgu 1948.
Awgu parish 1948 ~1996
Rev. Fr. Treich.
Rev. Fr. Bandof.
Rev. Fr. T. J.Marken.
Rev. Fr. Gynian.
Rev. Fr. Cain.
Rev. Fr. Mac Green.
Rev. Fr. Akanigbo.
Rev. Fr. G. Okoye.
Rev. Fr. F. E.Okobo. 10. Rev. Fr. T Buckley.
1Rev. Fr. Luke Adike Laid Foundation stone of Fr's house.
1986, the Assemblies of God Church members claimed to have bought a parcel of Mission land from Mr. Damian Okoro. They made some clearings and leveling on the area with the intention of building a house there.
The Catholics destroyed their working materials and chased them out of the place. There were other several attempts which later proved abortive. They came up again with some Pentecostal Church members another plan. They used the Catholic Church hall for wedding with the pretext that the labour of the Church building was by the entire Community and not Catholics only, that they must make use of the hall. It was a very big battle and at last the Catholics won.
On 24th March 1991 (24-3-91), Barrister Uzoigwe a member of the Assemblies of God Church holding a worship with his members and was interrupted by Rev. Fr. Adike, that was on Sunday. He was strongly warned by the Rev. Father. The president of Okpanku Improvement Union in person of Barrister Uzoigwe declared in their general meeting of December, 1991 that St. Paul's Catholic Mission land and School buildings should be converted to Community Secondary School. The move was approved by all members and the Community.
The Catholics petitioned to the Bishop at Enugu, the Parish Priest at Awgu, the D.P.O Awgu and the Traditional ruler of the Community. On the 28th day of July, 1992, Chief S.U Okereke and Hon. B. O Chukwu went to the Bishop on delegation. On the 5th day of August, 1992, Bishop Eneja with four (4) other Priests came to see the President of the town Union and members, the traditional ruler and his members, the Awgu Parish Rev. Fr. Luke Adike and Okpanku Catholic members. During the meeting, it was the traditional oiler and few of his Cabinet that were present, the Parish Priest and the Christians were all present Resolution: Bishop Eneja warned H.R.H and his Cabinet and the entire Community to stay clear from the Catholic's Land. And should not try to convert the School to Community Secondary College, that they should warn Barrister Uzoigwe, that enough is enough.
He also announced the approval of St. Paul's Okpanku as a Parish, so 5th of August ,1992 witnessed the creation of St. Paul's Parish.
On the 13th day of August, 1995, there was a foot ball match by Okpanku youths at St Paul's field. As Rev. Fr. Orji was celebrating Mass, the youth were ordered to stop the game but they refused, instead they started to throw stones and sands on top of the Church building thereby disturbing the Rev. Father at Mass.
The Rev. Father could not continue on celebration of Mass as he left in anger. The Church petitioned to -Traditional ruler, the D.P.O Awgu, the Chairman Awgu local Government the state C.I.D Enugu, the Parish Priest Awgu and Bishop M.U Eneja of Enugu Dioceses. The Christian Community sent Chief S.U Okereke, Hon. B.O Chukwu and Livinus Ivoke to distribute the letters and went to see the bishop in person.
On January 7th, 1996, Bishop M.U Eneja sent the following Priests to make peace; they were Rev. Fr. Elegalam, Rev. Fr. Luke Adike. The boys deeply involved in the disturbance were Emmanuel Chukwu, Anayo Aja, Sunday Okito, Hillary Chukwu, Emmanuel Ukpai and Ike Chukwu Okorie.
Present During the Settlement were:-
The Boys involved,
H.R.H and his Cabinet,
The Community leaders and
The Catholic Community.
After the Deliberation it was resolved.
There was an undertaking signed by the youths,
The Traditional ruler on behalf of the Community.
A letter of appology was also written to the Parish Priest.
St. Paul's Parish Resident Priests
Rev. Fr. Victor Ubaka 25-9-96 to 13-4-97
Rev. Fr. James Ani 16-4-97 to 31-1-98
Rev. Fr. Malacy Ezeonu 1-2-98 to 27-8-2000
Rev. Fr. Paul Offu 27-8-2000 to 16-6-2002.
Rev. Fr. M. C Onye Halu 24-6-2002to 14-9-2003
Rev. Fr. kingsley Awolonu 15-9-2003 to 1-10-2006
Rev. Fr. Basil Ezika 1-10-2006 to
Zones St. Paul's Parish Okpanku has seven zones to facilitate easy Evangelization. Namely:
St. Jude's Amabiriba
St. Josep's Amaogwudu
St. Cyril's Amagu
St. Theresa's Amaeze
St. Mary's Okpu
St. Peter's Ihuibe
St. Ambrose's Uhuezeoke
ST. PAUL'S PARISH HAS TWO STATIONS: NAMELY
St. Patrick's Zone comprising
St. Jude's Amabiriba, St. Mary's Okpu
St. Peter's Ihuibe
St. Amabrose's Uhuezeoke
St. Francis's Zone comprising
St. Joseph's Amaogwudu
St. Cyril's Amaagu
St. Theresa's Amaze
SOME OF THE EARLY CHRISTIANS
They were the people who received the sacrament of Baptism, and Confirmation first. Mr. and Mrs. Emmanuel Chukwu from Amagu was the first to receive the sacrament of Matrimony.
Rev. Fr. (Dr) Cletus Okorie was ordained a priest on 23rd December, 1989(23-12-89)
Rev. Fr. Aja Emmanuel Chukwunonso was ordained a priest on 6th July, 2013.
ST. PUAUL'S CHURCH BUILDING.
26-1-2002 - Pegging started
5-2-2002 - Digging for pillar construction.
12-3-2002 - mounting of Pillars started.
Building Engr. was Mr. Charles Ngwoke. 13-3-2002
Rev. Fr. Paul offu with Chief Sylvester Okereke went to St. John's Owelli and received the church building plan Chief Okereke went to Enugu and photocopied the plan and sent it back.
St. Paul's Church Building Fund was 1st Launched on 27-12-2005. After the Launching the contract work with Engr. Charles Ngwoke was terminated. The contract now went to ALROVAC Const. Coy Ltd with Engr. Ifeanyi Okeke from Nsuka as Chief Engr.
ST. MARY'S HOSPITAL.
In January, 2000, Rev. Fr. (Dr) Cletus Okorie built 2 Doctors residential building in readiness of building the Hospital when death took him in 2001. On 14th February, 2007, the Bishop of Awgu Diocese J.I Okeye sent Rev. Fr. Patrick Ndubuisi and co, Priests with Engr. Ben Okonkwo to look at the buildings erected by late Fr. Okorie and report back to the Diocese for necessary action. Christian members present were Chief S. U Okereke, Chief G. U Ezima, Mathias Elechi, Anthony Arum, Job Onu and Ignatius Ngene the Catechist.
OME OF THE ASSEMBLIES OF GOD MEMBERS WHO WEDDED IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH HALL BETWEEN 1990 TO 1992 WERE
Barrister Godwin Uzoigwe
2. Livinus Izu Nwa Orji
Some Parish Priests posted to St. Paul's Parish since after 2002 paid little or no attention about the Church building. Some used the materials for the building to construct other things in the Parish house. Great joy and smile rounded the Christians' faces when Rev. Fr. Basil Ezika was posted to the Parish on 1-10-2006. From December, 2006, Rev. Fr. Basil launched a serious campaign for the Church building, through Bazaar sales, mini launching, Appeal fund from branches of Okpanku Catholics living in different parts of Nigeria, and to the Bishop of Awgu Diocese. All organization existing in Okpanku were not left out this he continued until St. Paul's Catholic Church became a reality
Courtesy of Chief Sylvester U. Okereke (Moon)
"The project, St. Georges Parish Ndeaboh, started as a thin out – station for the Holy Ghost Missionaries based in Eke". Rev. Fr. Vincent Davy of the Holy Ghost fathers came to Ndeaboh from St. Paul's Parish Eke in the Udi Division in 1920. Warmly received and enabled by the Warrant Chief and Paramount Chief of Ndeaboh Community, Chief Kamalu Oshi and his cabinet, he set out for the work of propagating the Christian faith in the community; and before long the church building was complete, which served also as a classroom. The missionary success recorded by the energetic pioneer priest was sustained and steadily valorized by several priests who came after him even when the administration changed from Eke to Uturu in 1926, with Fr. Freich manning the Awgu Area. The priests who were part of planting and watering of the gospel in Ndeaboh include Frs. B. T. Brosnahan, Edmond Burke , T. J. Marcken, Timothy Buckley, Stephen Njoku, Paul Chinawa; Bishops G. M. P. Okoye and M. U. Eneja.
It was the evangelical commitments of these great heroes of faith that transformed a station comprising of a handful Christian converts into a great community of faith and thus was granted a parish status I 1995. From the day of her creation as a parish to the present, many priest, have walked her history: included are Rev. Frs. Peter Osuchukwu (1995-97), Patrick Udeh (1997-99), Morgan Nnaji (1999), Christopher Chukwueze (2000-2002) Charles Chukwuani (2002-2004), Vincent Onyekelu (2004-2009), Clement-Mary Ilechukwu (2009-2013) and Eze Felix, the incumbent Parish priest.
The Parish, in the recent time is administratively grouped into 5 stations with a well organized parish Council to keep the parish well-piloted.
The current executive officers of the council include:
Rev. Fr. Felix Eze - Chairman
Chief Reuben Chukwu - Vice Chairman
Mr. Camillus Chukwuemeka - Financial Secretary
Chief Bernard Kama - Treasurer
Mr. Marcellus Ejim - Secretary
Included in the integral central administrative body are: Chief Christopher Mamkwe (CMO President), Ezinne Helen I. Eze (CWO President) and Mr. Williams AChieze (CYON President). Indeed, we are grateful to God that the church in Ndeaboh which started as flicking light has grown into a great, producing two priests, Rev. Fr. Dr. Albert Ikpenwa and Rev. Fr. Titus Udeh and a Rev. Sister – Caroline Chukwu, as evidence. The number Seminarians are also on the increase.
St. Peter's Church was established in 1919 through the instrumentality of Chief Onuorah Njoku of Amorji Nenwe, other Chiefs who co-operated with him were Olovoejim Nwafor (Uhueze), Alinta Alize (Emudo) Lazarus Ugwueke (Amorji) and Olovo Nweme (Agbada).
The care-taker baton of this church which was formally from Uturu in Abia State was moved to Eke in Udi L. G. A., later to Mmaku in Awgu Division and finally to St. Michael Parish Awgu in 1948. St. Michael's Parish Awgu administered this church from 1948-1988. St. Peter's Parish Nenwe was carved out of St. Michael's Awgu by His Lordship Most Rev. Anthony Okonkwo Gbuji with Rev. Fr. Benjamin Mbata as the premier Parish Priest.
He created four stations out of the four villages in Nenwe namely St. Theresa's Uhueze, St. Mary's Emudo, St. Michael's Amorji and St. Paul's Agabda. He also created zone in each station. He also established viable organs of the church – the CMO, CWO, CYMO. CYWO cum Pious Societies. In 1993, Fr. Benjamin Mbata was the key player in the laying of foundation stone of the present St. Peter's Church building.
1995, Fr. Augustine Eme took over from Fr. Benjamin Mbata, other Priests that have steered the wheel of this Parish are Frs. Emma Nnajiofor, Anthony Nnaji, Charles Chukwuani, Matthias Udeonu, Titus Ude, Emmanuel Anugwo, Ikenna Ejinaka and Kennedy Ude who is the incumbent Parish Priest.
Parish Council Executives of St. Peter's Nenwe
Rev. Fr. Kennedy Ude : Chairman
Orji Charles O. : Vice Chairman
Okoronkwo Eugen : Secretary
Mbamalu Felix : Finance Chairman
Mba Gabriel O. : Finance Secretary
Chief F. K. Mbachukwu : Chairman Parish CMO
Eze Agnes : Chairman Parish CWO
Kama Dominic : Chairman Works
Joseph Chuwku : Zonal Leader St. Vincent
Eugen Okoronkwo : Zonal Leader Immaculate Conception
Aniobi Agnes : Zonal Leader St. Joseph
Egwu Clement : Zonal Leader St. Benedict
Ezinne Alinta Theresa : Zonal Leader St. Ambrose
Ogbonna Veronica : Zonal Leader St. Theresa
Mbamalu Felix : Zonal Leader St. Jude
Uche Etiwelu : Zonal Leader Holy Family
Okoro Emmanuel : Central Catechist
Oduocha Cosmas : St. Mary Catechist
Simon Peter : St. Anthony Catechist
Ezinne Amorji Regina : St. Timothy Catechist
Mrs. Beatrice Ndubuisi : Chairperson St. Mary Station
Mr. Dennis Nwobodo : Chairman St Anthony Station
Mr. Orji Charles O. : Chairman St Timothy Station
As the Catholic Missionaries arrived Onitsha on Saturday December 5th, 1885 and continued to reach out to the interiors of Igbo land through Aguleri, Eke, Uturu, Okigwe, Mmaku and Awgu, they got down to Oduma Community in the year 1920; in fulfillment of Jesus command to his apostles "… and you will be my witness in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8).
Accordingly, the Rev. Fr. Gauian established the first Church/School, St. Anthony's between Ameke and Amagu villages in 1925 through one Chief Onyegbune a native of Umunochi of the present Abia State.
Oduma as a very large community with thick population had additional stations created as the number of converts continued to increase; they include: St. Nicholas Ohofia, St. Theresa' Obeagu, St. Francis Ukete, St. Dominic's Odumachara and Christ the King Agugwu Ohofia.
On September 25, 1990 the foundation of the St. Anthony's parish building was laid by the then Rev. Fr. Luke Adike, and as it pleased His Lordship, Bishop Michael U. Eneja, the Church rose to the statues of a parish on September 25, 1993 with Rev. Fr. Theophilus Nwodo as the pioneer Parish Priest. He was succeeded by Rev. Fr. Damian Ekete on September 20, 1996 who served a year and four months and was succeeded by Rev. Fr. Joseph Ogbonna who arrived the Parish on 6th February 1998. After him came Fr. Kalvin Achu in August 2000, and was succeeded by Fr. Victor Anigbo in July 2001 (his first missionary journey). He witnessed the creation and inauguration of new St. Nicholas Parish Ohafia Oduma by Bishop M. U. Eneja of Enugu Diocese on 16th August 2002. Fr. AnthoLinus Aneke took over from him on September 2004 and then Fr. Oswald Ikeude on October 2005.
He witnessed the inauguration of St. Lawrence' Mmafu out station by Most Rev. John I Okoye, the Bishop Awgu diocese on May 20, 2006. On November 2006, Fr. Victor Anigbo arrived the Parish on his second missionary journey. Hew created additional out station, St. Mary's Ezinesi on 17th December 2006. Still on this year, another parish, St. Dominic's Odumachara comprising Ukete St. Francis as an out station was created out St. Anthony's parish by His Lordship, Bishop John I. Okoye on 18thNovember 2006.
Fr. Victor Anigbo was succeeded by Fr Leander Nonso Eze on 27th June 2011. Rev. Fr. Leander Eze is still our parish priest till date.
The people of Awgu geographical circumscription were a deeply religious people; who before the advent of Christianity in Igboland had a common religious heritage of a belief in One, Unseen, Omnipotent God. This Almighty God was referred to as Ali Awgu (the Awgu earth goddess).Continue reading >
Rev. Fr. Lawrence Eze
P.O. Box 256, Awgu. Enugu State Nigeria.
MOBILE:07055073793, 08091459755, 08063275076