Evangelical Church Winning All
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|Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA)|
|President||Rev. Dr. Stephen Panya Baba|
The Evangelical Church Winning All, previously known as the Evangelical Church of West Africa, is one of the largest Christian denominations in Nigeria, with about ten million members. ECWA is a partner church of the international Christian mission organisation, Serving In Mission (SIM), formerly Sudan Interior Mission. ECWA was founded in 1954 when the SIM-related churches (initially in Nigeria) came together to form an indigenous body. Since that time, mission stations, Bible Schools, academic schools, and medical programs have been transferred to ECWA leadership.
The Evangelical Church of West Africa was renamed "Evangelical Church Winning All" (ECWA) because of its wide spread to beyond its scope. It was a result of ministry history and the wide spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ in Africa by several missionaries, (Walter Gowans, Thomas Kent, and Rowland Bingham) who came from several places in the Canada and the United States of American in 1893 on what can be termed "evangelical suicide mission" which was coined by Oji Chukwudimma Chukwudike because it will be glaring to see that West Africa, at that time, was known to be heavily infested with malaria and there is almost a 100% possibility that a white man will not survive it as they even called the West African region "the white man's grave." These missionaries braved malaria and yellow fever to preach the gospel of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ under the auspices of the Sudan Interior Mission (SIM) and planted several churches as they preach along like Paul the Apostle and around mid-20th century these churches became independent to carry on the gospel. ECWA has the largest mission organization of any African church living up to its name Evangelical which by name Evangelical Mission Society (ESM) has sent out about 1,600 missionaries.
Throughout Nigeria, but especially in the central regions, ECWA churches are growing rapidly. Some churches have experienced as much as 400% growth in the last several years. Churches in the Northern (traditionally more Islamic) parts of the country are also growing. There are currently more than six thousand ECWA congregations with more than ten million members. ECWA has over ninety District Church Councils (DCC's) hundreds of Local Church Councils (LCC's), thousands of Local Churches (LCs) and hundreds of Prayer Houses (PHs).
Bingham University Karu was stated in 2005 as a way of meeting the soaring need for not only quality, secular education, but education that recognizes and integrates the moral and spiritual values on which the Christian faith is founded which fueled its establishment. ECWA started three Theological Seminaries: ECWA Theological Seminary, Igbaja that started as a School of Prophets in 1918,ECWA Theological Seminary, Kagoro was established in 1931, and Jos ECWA Theological Seminary in 1982. There are also eight Bible colleges and fifteen theological training institutes. ECWA's Medical Department coordinates a wide network which includes four hospitals, a Community Health Program with over 110 health clinics, a Central Pharmacy and the School of Nursing and Midwifery. It is also involved in radio, publications for outreach and discipleship, rural development, urban ministries, and cross-cultural missions. There are more than 1600 missionaries from ECWA churches who serve in Nigeria and other countries with the Evangelical Missionary Society (EMS), the missionary arm of ECWA.
There has been a serious confrontation between evangelical Christians standing in opposition to the expansion of Sharia law in northern Nigeria by militant Muslims since 1999.
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- Terence O. Ranger, ed., Evangelical Christianity and Democracy in Africa (Oxford University Press, 2008), pp 37-66