CMS Grammar School, Lagos

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CMS Grammar School, Lagos
CMS Grammar School shield.jpg
Nisi Dominus Frustra
Without God we labor in vain
St. Finbarr's College Road, Bariga
Lagos, Lagos State, Nigeria
Coordinates 6°32′04″N 3°23′19″E / 6.534583°N 3.388638°E / 6.534583; 3.388638Coordinates: 6°32′04″N 3°23′19″E / 6.534583°N 3.388638°E / 6.534583; 3.388638
School type Secondary
Established 6 June 1859 (1859-06-06)
Principal Ven Tunde Oduwole

The CMS Grammar School in the Bariga district of Lagos is the oldest secondary school in Nigeria, founded on 6 June 1859 by the Church Missionary Society. For decades it was the main source of African clergymen and administrators in the Lagos Colony.[1]


The first Anglican Missionaries arrived in Lagos from Sierra Leone in 1842, and established the Yoruba Mission. They founded the school in 1859 with the assistance of local merchants and traders. The CMS Grammar School in Freetown, founded in 1848, served as a model. The school began with six students, all boarders in a small, single story building called the 'Cotton House' at Broad Street. The first pupils were destined to be clergymen.[1] The curriculum included English, Logic, Greek, Arithmetic, Geometry, Geography, History, Bible Knowledge and Latin.[2] The first principal of the school was the scholar and theologian Thomas Babington Macaulay, who served until his death in 1879. He was the father of Herbert Macaulay.[3] When the British colony of Lagos was established in 1861, the colonial authorities obtained most of their African clerical and administrative staff from the school.[1]


  • Revd. Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1859–1879.
  • Ven. Henry Johnson, 1879 - 1881 (acting).
  • Revd. (Later Bishop) Isaac Oluwole, 1881–1893.
  • Mr. James Johnson, 1893-1894 (acting).
  • Revd. E.A. Godson, 1894-1895.
  • Revd. Joseph Suberu Fanimokun, 1896-1914.
  • Revd Canon E.J. Evans, 1915-1927.
  • Revd A. Hobson, 1927-1929.
  • Revd F. Watherton 1929–1932.
  • Revd (later Ven) J.O. Lucas, 1932-1935 (acting).
  • Revd. C.G. Thorne, 1935-1936.
  • Revd.(later Bishop) S.O. Odutola, 1936-1938. (acting)
  • Mr.(later Professor) Leonard John Lewis, 1938-1943.
  • Revd. (later Bishop) Seth.I. Kale, 1944–1950.
  • Revd. Canon (later Ven.) B.A. Adelaja, 1950–1970.
  • Mr. T Ojo, 1970-1972, (acting).
  • Chief I.A. Olowu 1972-1984.
  • Mr. B.A. Nigwo, 1984-1986.
  • Mr. J.B.A. Edema, 1986-1997.
  • Mr.T.O. Jemilugba – 1997–2001.
  • Revd (later Ven) J.O. Onayinka – 2001–2005.
  • Ven. Tunde Oduwole -2005- till date.


Some notable alumni:

Debayo Agebi, Member British Association of Civil Engineers. Engr. Victor Adetunji Haffner, Renowned Engineer, and first Nigerian to be a member of COREN. George Da Costa , First African Manager of CMS Bookshop, from 1877-1895. Mr Talabi Braithwaite, Doyen. Of Insurance Business in Nigeria. Otunba T.O.S Benson, Renowned Lawyer, Politician, and First Information Minister in Nigeria. Chief Folarin Coker, Baba Eto of Yorubaland and Lagos, Pioneer Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information Lagos. Chief Samuel Manuwa, pioneering Surgeon in Nigeria,Inspector General Of medical staff and former chief medical adviser to the Federal Government off Nigeria, and also the First Nigerian to pass FRCS. T.K.E Phillips, Renowned Musicologist, Father of Nigerian Church Music, The first Nigerian and African to study Music at Trinity College of Music England.



  1. ^ a b c "School History". Old Grammarians Society. Retrieved 2011-05-21. 
  2. ^ Ambassador Dapo Fafowora (4/06/2009). "150 years of the CMS Grammar School, Lagos". The Nation (Nigeria). Retrieved 2011-05-21.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ "Brief History of CMS Grammar School". CMS Grammar School. Retrieved 2011-05-21.