Church History
Nigeria: Church Chronology

Nigeria: Church Chronology

1946 • Uyo District, NigeriaO. J. Umordak wrote to Church headquarters requesting missionaries and Church literature.

1959 • Abak, NigeriaFollowing his request for literature and missionaries, Honesty John Ekong began receiving monthly shipments of Church magazines and pamphlets. As Church literature began circulating in Nigeria, numerous unofficial Latter-day Saint congregations developed.

July 1960 • NigeriaAt the request of President David O. McKay, Glen G. Fisher visited Nigeria and reported that the congregations he visited had a sincere desire for the Church to be established in their country.

October 22, 1961 • Ibesit, NigeriaOver a hundred Nigerians attended the first formal Church meeting in West Africa during a visit from LaMar S. Williams of the Church’s International Mission.

December 1962 • Nigeria Elder N. Eldon Tanner dedicated Nigeria for the preaching of the gospel.

January 11, 1963 • Salt Lake City, Utah Church leaders called LaMar S. Williams as president of a Nigerian mission, but difficulty obtaining visas prevented its establishment. In 1965 plans for the mission were discontinued.

September 29, 1964 • NigeriaDick Obot and others incorporated the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.” The trustees of the organization led nearly 1,000 congregations, with an estimated 15,000 members.

July 6, 1967–January 15, 1970 • Southeastern Nigeria The Nigerian Civil War disproportionately affected regions where unofficial Latter-day Saint congregations were located and decreased the number of people affiliated with those congregations.

June 14, 1975 • Aba, NigeriaIme Eduok, who had been baptized in the United States and then returned to Nigeria, met with leaders of unofficial Latter-day Saint congregations to form a coordinating committee for ministering efforts.

June 8, 1978 • Salt Lake CityPresident Spencer W. Kimball extended priesthood ordination to all worthy male members of the Church regardless of race, opening the way for the creation of Church units throughout Africa, including in Nigeria.

November 9, 1978 • NigeriaTwo senior missionary couples, Edwin and Janath Cannon and Rendell and Rachel Mabey, arrived to begin missionary work in Nigeria.

first baptisms in Nigeria

November 21, 1978 • Owerri, Nigeria

Anthony Obinna and 18 other Nigerians were the first to be baptized in the country. The Aboh Branch was organized with Anthony Obinna as president and his wife, Fidelia, as Relief Society president.

January 14, 1979 • Calabar, NigeriaIme Eduok was called as district president and became the first man in West Africa ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood.

March 1979 • Aboh, Nigeria During a visit to Nigeria, President James E. Faust, then serving in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, baptized five people and predicted that a temple would be built in Africa.

July 1, 1980 • Lagos, NigeriaThe Africa West Mission, serving both Nigeria and Ghana, was created.

August 5, 1982 • LagosThe Nigerian government officially recognized the Church.

June 1983 • Aboh Mbaise, NigeriaAt Nigeria’s first Church-constructed meetinghouse, Elder David B. Haight rededicated Nigeria for missionary work.

1984 • Salt Lake CitySelections from the Book of Mormon were published in Efik.

May 15, 1988 • AbaThe Aba Nigeria Stake, the first stake in West Africa, was organized with David W. Eka as president.

September 12, 1988 • NigeriaThe first seminary and institute classes in Nigeria were held. During the first term, classes were organized in 48 different locations.

November 1990 • AbaDavid W. Eka was called as a regional representative for the Aba Nigeria Region.

May 1992 • NigeriaThe Relief Society General Presidency chose Nigeria as a pilot location for the Gospel Literacy Effort to promote reading and writing skills among women. Following the successful pilot, the guidelines were distributed to leaders worldwide in December of that year.

November 8, 1996 • CalabarThe Church partnered with a local health organization to hold an AIDS awareness open house.

February 14–15, 1998 • Port Harcourt, NigeriaGordon B. Hinckley became the first President of the Church to visit Nigeria.

2000 • Salt Lake CityThe Book of Mormon was published in Igbo.

Aba Nigeria Temple

August 7, 2005 • Aba

Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the Aba Nigeria Temple.

2007 • Salt Lake CityThe Book of Mormon was published in Yoruba.

June 2009 • Aba After bullets struck the guardhouse on the temple grounds, the Aba Nigeria Temple was closed due to kidnappings and gunfire in the area.

2010 • AbaAlexander A. Odume was called as the first Nigerian president of the Aba Nigeria Temple. The temple soon returned to full operations.

June 24, 2016 • Ile-Ife, NigeriaThe 40th stake in Nigeria was organized in Ile-Ife.

June 10, 2018 • AbaThe Aba Nigeria Umuola Stake, the 50th stake in Nigeria, was organized.

July 1, 2018 • Ibadan, NigeriaThe continuing growth of the Church in Nigeria warranted the creation of a new mission headquartered in Ibadan as part of the merging and restructuring of several missions around the world.

October 7, 2018 • Salt Lake CityPresident Russell M. Nelson announced the construction of a temple in Lagos, Nigeria.