THE APOSTOLIC CHURCH ESTABLISHED
Victoria is a small and beautiful town situated on the shores Atlantic ocean This town is legendary so far as Christian Cameroon is concerned for it is in Victoria that the famous B Missionary Alfred Saker settled Little wonder then that the chose to step his feet in Victoria, today called Limbe, thereby planting the first ever pentecostal church - The Apostolic Church Cameroon It all started with one man, Elder OI. Oyoyo, today of blessed memory A civil servant at the time, Elder Oyoyo was transfered from Nigeria to work in the Laboratory Department of Victoria General Hospital in 1949 When he arrived his new station h discovered to his greatest dismay, the inexistence of no Apostolic church. Immediately he began to pray together with his family asking God for a breakthrough One morning, he recounted heard a voice clearly saying to him "There are many sheeps outside the fold. Go out and bring them in" Oyoyo could not help but obey this voice which he knew was certainly from the Lord. How to start was his main problem coupled with the fact that he was not just a foreigner but had just come into town. Nevertheless, he took his typing machine, typed some scripture verses, cut them in form of tracts. He went to a bookshop and bought a big bell, got for himself a bag in which he put his typed tracts and armed himself with a nice shepherd staff. After this preparation, he resorted to fasting and prayer upon return from work in the day. One day, the Lord directed him to the then West African Plantation Victoria (W.A.P.V.), situated in Bota. (This plantation in Tiko was known as African Fruit Company. A.F.C.). Both merged later on to form the present Cameroon Development Corporation (C.D.C.). Bota therefore was the venue of the first ever held Open Air Service. 1. BIRTH OF THE CHURCH After a long tiring day's work at the hospital, Elder Oyoyo decided one fateful but God-appointed afternoon, to go round the Plantation Camp ringing his bell and calling on people to gather and listen to the good news of God. No sooner had he done this than a crowd gathered to hear what it was all about. Elder Oyoyo preached the word and at the end, made an alter call. The first man to step out in response to this call and without the slightest hesitation, was one Mr. Otto Kwo. This man stood in the open for quite a long time with no one willing to join him. Elder Oyoyo intervened declaring that that single individual was valuable in God's sight and He (God) was capable of making good use of just one person who comes to Him. This declaration appeared to have borne some good fruits as it provoked Mr. Otto's nephew, Martin Nengong to follow suit after his uncle. Seeing these two persons outside, Mr. Ewane, followed by Mr. Akpan and lastly Mr. Essien, stepped out in response to the call, one after the other. There are then, Elder Oyoyo led these five persons to giving their lives to the Lord through prayer and thus was the Church born. Elder Oyoyo did not relent his efforts but rather was bent on teaching the word to these converts. The young believers grew rapidly, stood firm in their new found faith, studied the doctrine of the Church and gladly welcome water baptism. Elder Oyoyo was then confronted with the problems of a person to administer baptism in obvious inavailability of a Pastor. As this worry persisted in his mind, little did he know that the Lord had in His divine plan, made provision for a solution. God sent a certain servant of His by name Pastor E.E. Etta to pay a maiden visit to his daughter working in Cameroon at that time How God brought Elder Oyoyo in contact with Pastor Etta remains not quite clear but the former did not waste any time to introduce the latter to the new converts. On the 6th of October, 1949, the first eight converts received water baptism. This baptismal service was the first of its kind in that region and eventually first in the history of The Apostolic work in Cameroon. With the converts baptised, there was now need for a place of wroship. The venue of such a place was the next issue to be addressed by Elder Oyoyo who by then was ignorant of the pioneering work he had just begun. It all started with one man, Elder OI. Oyoyo, today of blessed memory A civil servant at the time, Elder Oyoyo was transfered from Nigeria to work in the Laboratory Department of Victoria General Hospital in 1949 When he arrived his new station h discovered to his greatest dismay, the inexistence of no Apostolic church. Immediately he began to pray together with his family asking God for a breakthrough One morning, he recounted heard a voice clearly saying to him "There are many sheeps outside the fold. Go out and bring them in" In November 1950, a year after the Church started, the first Missionary by name D.H. Maggil, the Area Suprintendent for Nigeria at the time resident in Calabar, visited the Victoria small assembly. During this visit, he was led by the Lord to set aside two men for God's use in the Church. Bro. Otto Kwo was called to eldership while Martin Nengong received the call of a deacon. As a civil servant, Pioneer Church planter O.I. Oyoyo once more was requested to obey the decision of yet another departmental transfer that took him back to his country of origin, Nigeria. He had to leave the assembly in the hands of Elder Otto Kwo for continuation, growth and expansion of the work. Although he left Cameroon, O.I. Oyoyo in his spirit never did leave the work God had used him to begin. He would not take time off, relax back home and enjoy his leave but rather would rush to Cameroon during each leave period to preach the gospel. On his second leave trip, O.I. Oyoyo made acquaintances and created a lot of contacts. He had the vision to take the gospel out of Victoria already.
In August 1951, Missionary D.C. Hopkins visited the work whose report they had got in Nigeria. The assembly had grown in number in less than two years after its inception. Pastor Hopkins returned to Nigeria and presented his own report based on what he had seen. In March 1952, the National Council in Calabar sent the first ever resident Pastor to Cameroon in the person of Pastor O.E. Hogan, whose coming was timely. Hogan continued evangelism mainly around the C.D.C Plantation camps Revival broke out in a tremendous way. A new wind of Holy Spirit was blowing and many received the baptism of the Holy Ghost Miracles were also happening which were not a common sight at the time. A case in point is that of a child whose condition Doctors declared hopeless. When he was brought to Church, after prayers, he miraculously regained his life. This healing brought the child's father, Mr. E.E. Effiom and family to the Lord. He later became an Overseer in Victoria assembly. Hogan was called back to Nigeria and was replaced by Pastor Ene. During his term of office, the Church was previledged to witness the maiden visit of Apostle E.E. Okon and Prophet Henshaw from Calabar. Both men of God saw for themselves what the Lord had wrought in Cameroon. They visited the little Churches that had been opened. God equally used them to set aside some to eldership and others Deacons. The work also extended to the creeks. Apostolic Christians who left Nigeria for fishing in Cameroon settled there. They had their little come-together and as a result, Calabar sent a worker to Mboko one by name Nkuma. From Mboko, the work grew rapidly in the hands of Elder E. E. Effiong. Chief William Ndem took the Church to Cap Cameroon and this created more openings for the establishment of churches in the fishing ports. Pastor Ene was called back to Nigeria and replaced by Pastor A.D.E.Udoh. After Pastor Udoh, Pastor A. Ntungwen who took over laboured until a permanent chapel was erected in 1965. The first Cameroon National President of TACC. This chapel sits about 500 and is used up till date. Today, the number of Christians has outgrown the church. There are a number of assemblies created presently under Limbe District. A good number of Pastors have served after Pastor Ntungwen left Victoria. They are Pastors E.E. Ekpenyong, J.M. Kwo, A.B. Enohnyaket, A.J. Abia, H.E. Betang, J.E. Enow, J.Z. Ayafor, S.P. Ndeme and J.A. Eyongoben.
It was in 1960 that the first English Missionary in the person of Pastor E H. Williams was sent out from Calabar - Nigeria as the first Superintendent Missionary in Kumba- Cameroon Apart from building and supervising, his other responsibilities included teaching on Apostolic Principles and Practices, Management of Leadership Courses etc Pastors who laboured during that period of pioneering and establishment were A. O Hogan, Ene, B.U. Inyang, BU Umoh, N.J Ekpenyong, M E Omokwe, B O Ita, S.P Ekereke, A.D. Udoh, E.E Ekpenyong etc. Gradually they were withdrawn as suitable men were found in the ranks of our own Christians. In 1960, Pastor J.M. Kwo was the first Cameroonian to be called into full time ministry THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEE Cameroon Area Administrative Committee's inaugural meeting was held at Kumba, West Cameroon on the 2nd and 3rd of August, 1965 INTRODUCTION: A public meeting attended by Members and Officers of the Church together with almost all the Called out Staff, was held at Kumba Assembly on the evening of 2nd August, 1965. Pastor E E Okon, Superintendent of our Parent - Church Calabar Area ministered from Jude verse 3, on the words "Earnestly contend for the Faith" and followed with a detached announcement of the creation of Cameroon as a separate Area in the Apostolic Fellowship, encouraging and advising, as well as explaining all that was involved The following morning a meeting was convened of the new Area Administrative Committee, with Pastor Okon on chair, opening the meeting with a time of fellowship and worship before the Lord MEMBERS PRESENT: Pastor E. E Okon (Visitor and Chairman) Pastor EH Williams, J.S Ukubit, JM Kwo, JN Musua, A Ntungwen and E. E Ekpenyong (Prophet) MINUTES 1. Scope and Responsibility of the Committee (a) The Chairman quoted from Calabar Council Minutes as follows "That the Committee has full responsibility in spiritual and material matters" and explained that this included financial matters, seeking, preparing and calling men into the ministry spiritually developing the work by teaching ministry, and expanding it through campaigns etc. (b) He further exhorted that individual members of the Committee seek to forget their local connections, and when in committee, bear impartially the burden of the whole Area Particularly, they should avoid all tribal bias in any decision The responsibility and advice these headings were fully accepted by the meeting. Relationship with Calabar Council =) Rectification of Minutes: It was again explained, that in line with the Home-land Council decision, the Calabar Council had passed the following minutes to operate in the two-year probationery period of the Cameroon Area. "That on matters of major importance, no announcement of theirs (Cameroon Committee's decision) should be made to the Church until the minutes of their meeting have been That safeguard was rected by the Calabar Council gladly accepted by the meeting That we ask the Calabar Council, whenever possible to advise in advance of their desire or intention to withdraw any among the Calabar staff still in Cameroon, so that we can take theirs into account in our Annual Review 3. (8) Government Recognition Following the expansion and growth of The Apostolic Vision in Cameroon, it was absolutely necessary to seek for the Government's recognition and approval which was got on the 11th November, 1965 in the form of a Certificate of Incorporation issued in Buea West Cameroon. Later on, this recognition could not serve a national purpose since it was got from the Southern Cameroon Federation State (b) In accordance with a Government Decree that Churches be registered for recognition, a delegation made of Pastors A. B Enohnyaket and H. Sporri and others was sent to Yaounde on the 13th of June, 1968 On Friday 14th June, an application was forwarded to the President of the Federal Republic of Cameroon through the Minister of Territorial Administration. On the 10th of July 1968, a recognition was accorded the Church by Decree 4. Handing Over On the 4th of January 1966, Pastor E.H. Williams chaired a handing over Administrative Committee Meeting in Kumba In Febraury 1966, he left Cameroon for good. His highly appreciated ministry proved to be a definite blessing for the expanding work His responsibility was taken over by Pastor Otto Tanner, a Missionary of the Swiss Apostolic Churc From time, the Swiss Apostolic Church took full Missionary char of the work in Cameroon with the task of further expansion in the French Sector On the 18th of May 1966, Pastor Otto Tanner chaired his fir Administrative Committee Meeting in Kumba. It was in that meeting that A. Ntungwen and J.M. Kwo who had been ordained as Pastors during the past Easter Convention received the information of Calabar Council minutes of their ordination CHANGE OF AREA RELATIONSHIP The letter of the chairman of the Missionary Committee in Bradford dated 12th July 1967 was read and in every respect accepted The Missionary Committee reafirmed their conviction that after June 1967, the Calabar Council did not need any longer to supervise Cameroon Area. The need for this change of relationship surfaced re-unification and took effect at the plebiscite. To get an effective ministry and firm administration, Missionary partners needed to be bilingual Pastors E.H. William. Otto Tanner and E. E Okon played a key role in this change. We gladly welcome this together with the Missionary Board Council of the Apostolic Church in Switzerland, which was now taking a rather great responsibility for this work, taking up the task of supervision, presentation and rectification of the Administrative Council's minutes. In effect, the following Swiss Missionaries served in Cameroon - Otto Tanner and family, H. Sporri and family, G. Gentizon and family, Kurt Salvisberg and family, Jean Meyer and family, Hans Menzi and family, Daniel Kaiser and family and Samuel Kopp and family After much prayer and consideration, we decided that Assistant Pastor U.N. Ebitu and Assistant Pastor H.E. Betang should in the coming year, share with us the burden of this Council This conviction was also confirmed by prophetical ministry in Kumba on the 14 and 15 of November, 1967 In March 1970, Pastor AB Enohnyaket was admitted into the Cameroon Area Administrative Council
In January 1978, the Chairmanship of the National Council of the Church was handed over to Pastor Adolf Ntungwen a Cameroonian Apostle followed by Rev. A. M. Mokwe, Rev. J. M. KWO, Rev. Apostle H. E. Betang, Rev. Apostle Dr. P. E. Tambe, Rev. Apostle Dr. T. V. Ndi, Rev. Apostle E. J. Enoh .
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