The Founding of Unity Movement in Nigeria

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The Founding of Unity Movement In Nigeria


by
Snr Rev. O. E. Udancy (Snr)

Contents

The Founding of Unity Movement in Nigeria by Olugu Ezutah Udoncy
The Founding of Unity Movement in Nigeria by Olugu Ezutah Udoncy
  • Front Matter
    1. Dedication — 5
    2. Forward — 6
    3. Acknowledgement — 7
  • A Brief Account of the Founding of Unity Movement in Nigeria
    1. Introduction — 8
    2. The Founding Fathers — 8
    3. Formative Period and Initial Difficulties — 9
    4. Some of Unity Teachings — 12
    5. Period of Expansion — 13
    6. Organisational Set up and Progress — 15
    7. Unity Intellectual School — 17
    8. Voluntary Agencies and Mr. Amos I. Okoli — 19
    9. Visits From America — 20
    10. Ordination and Licensing of Teachers — 21
    11. The Nigerian Civil War — 22

Copyright

THE FOUNDING OF UNITY MOVEMENT IN NIGERIA

All right reserved. No part of the booklet or publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means without permission of copyright owner.

Dedication

This pamphlet is
DEDICATED TO
REVERENED AWA NJOKU AND MR. AMOS IBEZIM OKOLI
IN
MEMORY OF THEIR ENLIGHTENMENT.

Foreword

It is with pleasure that I agree to write the foreward to this Booklet by Senior Reverend O. E. Udoncy (Snr.) Co-ordinator of Unity Churches in and around Ohafia.

Rev Udoncy (Snr.) is a Unity Minister with a difference in that he has a sense of mission and direction in Unity Metaphysical studies. He is endowed with foresight, brave and courage of his convictions that cause him sick unflinchingly to the tenets of Unity. Before the Nigerian Civil War his leadership inspired many to the Unity way of life in Cross River State with a solid base at Uyo. Unity is reflected in his business enterprise - UDONCY BOOKSHOPS - which he has run with an admirable degree of success.

This pamphlet exposes the untiring efforts of the Founding Fathers to lay a solid foundation of UNITY shunning the lures of materialism. Students of Unity know more about the Fillmores and little or nothing about its pioneers in Nigeria, but this booklets brings to the focus some account of the life and work of these two men of honour. It is full of valuable historical information which earnest students will find interesting. Even the International Headquarters, Lee's Summit Missouri, U.S.A. will find it a dependable chronicle of Unity that will enrich its library.

I commend this publication to the reader and con- gratulate the author for this contribution to Unity.

K. O. KALU
HARMONY PALACE,
42 ASAGA ROAD,
EBEM OHAFIA.

Acknowledgement

In preparing this brief account of the Founding of Unity Movement in Nigeria my indebtedness goes to Mr. A. I. Okoli, Co-founder of Unity Movement in Nigeria. He adequately equiped me with invaluable informations on the subject matter. To Mr. Kalu Kogo who kindly read through the manuscript and offered useful suggestions. My profound gratitude also goes to Dr. A. N. Agbai who in no small measure helped in arranging the subject matter in sequence.

SNR. REV. O. E. UDONCY (SNR.)

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1. Introduction

The concept of Unity as the name implies is that of oneness of man with his Creator. The aim of Unity Movement is to bring the realization of this oneness of the individual with God, the infinite, omnipotent Being, through the teaching of the doctrine of Jesus Christ in everyday life.

"The purpose of Unity is not to found a New Church or Sect, but to help men and women of every church and also those who have no church affiliation to use the eternal Truth of God. The Unity teachings explain the action of mind, the connecting link between God and man. They explain how the mind affects the body, producing discord or harmony, sickness or health. How it brings man into understanding of divine law."

The Movement in Nigeria is not an independent body. It is an affiliate of the Unity School of Christianity, Lee's Summit Missiouri, United States of America. As far back as 1929, the Movement started in Nigeria in a very humble way at Item in Umunnato, Bende local Government Area, lmo State of Nigeria. It was there that two school teachers, messrs A Njoku (Senior) a product of Hope Waddle Training Institution, Calabar and A. I. Okoli, a product of Methodist College, Uzuakoli gained access to Unity Books and publications.

2. The Founding Fathers

At the Methodist Central School, Item, Mr Awa Njoku (Senior) was the Headmaster, while Mr Amos Ibeziem Okoli was his Assistant. Both of them read and studied Unity periodicals and steadfastly practiced the Unity principles. Some of the principles explain the action of mind and how it affects the body, producing discord or harmony, sickness of health and it brings man into understanding of divine law. As they studied and practised regularly through prayers and meditation, they became inspired and attained high spiritual development. The ether around them became charged with the dynamic power of God, health and harmony radiated to all who came in contact with them. That was the beginning of their health ministry which attracted many faces spreading from the school children to the fellows in the villages who needed healing. Like the day of Pentecost, people were amazed with wonders, but unlike them many were antagonistic to the faith, new teaching and practices of these two men.

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3. The Formative Period and the Initial Difficulties

The working power of God did not stop with healing of the sick. It also affected the work of the school, bringing all the teachers harmoniously together. Academic standard of the school was high. The grade of the school following inspection reports was (B plus plus or A minus), the highest grade ever awarded to any school or institution at that time.

(a) Record Of Events: Confrontation With Methodist Mission.

One day during the healing ministry, attention was drawn to a daughter of one of the members of the school staff. She was critically ill, with acute dysentry. The father was not in, so the mother invited the Ministers for healing. They went and after invoking the healing power of God, the girl got well immediately. When the father returned he had a mixed feeling, on the one hand, he was happy because his daughter was well again. On the other hand, he was aggrieved because the Ministers had been popularised.

So the following day, he went to the office of the Manager in charge of Ovim Circuit of the Methodist mission. He lodged a complaint with the Manager that the Headmaster of Item Central School and his Assistant were using Amercan magical arts in healing diseases. The two Masters were invited to the office for questioning. Thy went. After a long drawn and heated arguments with the manager, tbey were given option of choice of either: (i) Abandon Unity Practice; Or (ii) Abandon service and continue with the Uniiy way of life. They chose the later.

The manager ordered the Mr. Okoli's case was with immediate effect, while that of Mr. Njoku was to take effect a month later. In his remarks, the Manager said:

"Leave our service and let your God pay you."

— a Manager and Religious Minister indeed; a Minister who does not realise that all his renumerations including his stipend come from God. Mr Okoii having the interest and progress of his pupils at heart, sensing the fast approaching period for final promotion examination and noticing how impossible it was then to get another teaching to take charge of his class, requested to be allowed to remain in the school to render free service until the arrival ot another teacher. The manager with all pleasure approved the request,

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When the result of the meeting with the Manager was released, many people from far and near streamed into the school premises. They asked many questions — surrounding the case. After they had received satisfactory answers, they automatically became converted, and they determined to follow all the teachings and principles of Unity.

Day in, day out, many sick people came to receive spiritual healing. As many as were healed, were asked to go to their different churches and offer their thanksgiving to God, and those who had no church affiliation were advised to affiliate to any church of their choice.

After the expiration of one month on 30th October, 1932, Messrs A. Njoku (Senior) aid A. I. Okoli left the school compound for Amaokwe Item and were quartered at Mr. Akpala Agwu's compound. There they held their morning and evening meditation at 4:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. respectively. On Sundays, they attended church services. On Sunday, surprisingly a circular letter from the Reverend Minister Incharge of Ovim was read banning Messrs A. Njoku (Senior) and A. I. Okoli and all Unity enthusiasts from attending all Methodist Church functions. The Sen or catchist who was friendly with the Ministers, on his own part sent a personal note to them to desist from coming to his house.

From that day the two Ministers conceived the idea of opening a Unity Centre for teaching, preaching, healing, counselling and organisation.

In less than three months, a long row of new building to accomodate the two masters and their families was erected on a piece of land at Ojinta donated by Chief Ojukwu Okota to the organisation. Then they moved from Mr. Akpala Agwu's compound to the new site. A few months later a large Assembly Hall was also erected. This formed the nucleus of the headquarters of the organisation — UNITY — in Nigeria.

(b) Confrontation With Denominational Churches:

During Sunday and open Air Services, Meditation periods, Ceremonies and other activities, songs and musical instruments were used to arouse the the interest of the people. The traditional musical instruments often used are wooden drums, pot drums, metal gongs, wooden cymbals and rattles. Dancing to tone often accompanies the music to portary divine ecstacy in action. After singing and dancing, affirmative

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prayers are used and Truth demonstration follows; after which questions are invited. In those early days some denominational churches felt that the use of traditional musical instruments in the worship of God was introducing paganism into Christianity. They believed that dancing was a curse, and that affirmative prayers used were sacrilegious. The expositions made during Truth demonstration were a slap on their face. For they cut across their most cherished and sacred doctrines. So they vowed by all means to fight the young babe (UNITY) to a finish. But to achieve their objective was absolutely impossible. It was like kicking against a stone.

(c) Law Enforcement Agents:

In the townships the use of musical instruments for meditations at 9:00 p.m. and 4:00 a. m. respectively attracted the attention of the police. To them it amounted to noise making at odd times, and so constituted an offence. So from time to time, they pounced upon the students and their leaders to demand for permits. Sometimes the worshippers were bundled into vans and taken to the police charge office for vigorous questionings. Sometimes they were detaintd for several hours before they were released. It took the founders many months of public lectures and representations to all the authorities concerned, to make the general public understand the Unity Way of Worship and so put a stop to any interference in all Unity Religious Worships.

ASSISTANT DISTRICT OFFICER, AROCHUKWU:

At a certain period the founders and some students planned a tour of the then Arochukwu Division. When the Assistant District Officer (A.D.O.) of Arochukwu heard of the proposed tour, to curb the activities of the young Movement, he sent a letter to the founders warning the dangers of setting their feet to the soil of Arochukwu.

In reply, he was unequivocally told that the tour would irresistibly go ahead as planned. His mind was refreshed with the statement, "All they that take the sword shall perish with sword" (Matthew 26:52).

On the scheduled date, the team set off. On reaching Arochukwu, they marched through the District Office with their musical instruments chanting.

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English:

"Onward go, Onward go, Onward go;
Let the Unity Movement Onward go,
We are marching unto God, who has given us this joy,
Let the Unity Movement Onward go."

Ibos:

"Ga n'iru, Ga n'iru, Ga n'iru;
Kwe ka Nzuko Unity Ga n'iru
Ayi Na Alakuru Chukwu Bu Onye Nyere Ayi
Onu Nkea,
Kwe Ka Nzuko Unity Ga n'iru."

When the Assistant District Officer peeped through the window and discovered that they were Unity members and as he saw his workers gazing at them, he exclaimed: "Leave those fanatics alone. They are suffering from spiritual pride."

They continued their marching and touched all the village squires, singing, and demonstrating the Truth. They also visited the Presbyterian Manse to pay a courtesy call on the Minister there. But he refused to give them a warm reception. They then left manse and were quartered at Agbagwu Arochukwu. They remained there for somedays and then left Arochukwu.

4. Some of the Unity Teachings:

A. DEATH: Death is the result of sin. It is a missing of the mark. You do not need to go to God by death for God is not God of the dead but of the living. You need to enjoy Him while alive. If death were a sure way of going to God, Jesus Christ would not have ressurected Lazarus when he died. Jesus Christ said, "I came that you might have life and have it abundantly."

B. MARRIAGE: There is nothing wrong in being a celibate or a monogamist or a polyganist. What matters most is the ability to conserve the vital energy. A celibate who functions excitingly in the region of the abdomen is as equally glitters a monoganist or a polyganist who functions in the same way. Jesus said, "He that looketh at a woman to lust after her commits adultry. Conversely she that looketh at a man to lust after him commits adultry." "A woman or a man" is significant. The real marriage is divine unification of infinite wisdom (Man) and Divine Love (Women) for higher ideal and aspirations.

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C. TRINITY: Man is an offspring of the living God. He has every legitimate right to probe into all the mysteries of God's creations and to discover them. This will enable him to identify himself with the life, the love, the wisdom, the power, the purity, the beauty, the perfection, and the eternity of God. So there is no harm (evil) in asking questions about the Trinity. There is nothing extra-ordinarily mysterious about it. It simply means any of the following groups.

  1. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit Or
  2. Spirit, Soul, and Body Or.
  3. Super-Conscious Mind, Subconscious Mind and Conscious Mind Or
  4. Mind, Ideal and Manifestations

D. HEAVEN: Sky end Heaven are not synonymous. Sky has a geographical location. Heaven has not. It is a state of the mind. It is a consciousness of peace and harmony. To be in "HEAVEN" is to enjoy the state of consciousness of peace and harmony wnch manifests itself on the body and affairs of the individual concerned. On physical plane, heaven is noticed as a strong vital energetic body free from all pains and all in-harmonies. A person really in heaven expresses the opulence of God in all his life and affairs.

E. HELL: Like Heaven, hell is a state of mind. A person is in hell when he is in a confused state of mind, when his mind is charged with fear, worry, hatred, anxiety, and jealousy. Further more, it is charged with avares, anger, vindictiveness, unforgiveness and restlessness. He is in hell when he does not enjoy health and wholeness of mind and body. He is in hell when he is poverty stricken. He is in hell when he experiences pangs of sorrow, pains and death. Death is his final hell and hell is fire.

5. Period of Expansion:

As the Unity teachings rapidly spread to the different parts of the country, and as many people desired for more and more enlightenment and eager to get themselves involved in the teachings and practices of Unity, there was a challenging need to open up many centres and study classes.

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In meeting the needs, the goings were not all that easy. There was the question of mobility. The roads were far from being motorable. There was no regular transport system and luggages were carried on heads. In riverine areas only canoes were used.

The second question was that of place of assembling together. In some cases temporary shades were erected. Private dwelling places were hired and converted into assembly halls.

The third question was getting somebody to "act" as a leader or a teacher. In this case the little enlightened people who could read and understand the Unity publications like Daily Word were selected to teach in rotations. Such teachers were from time to time visited and supervised by the founders. For systematic and effective training, Spiritual Course Training was introduced. During this course, all teachers, leaders and co-workers met together for coaching.

The fourth question was that of selecting songs and choruses that would be in conformity with the teaching and practice of Unity. Unity believes in the power of the spoken word. It realises that every word of condemnation uttered silently or audibly adds to the sinner's burden. That everybody is held accountable for his or her spoken word. Constructive words create constructive atmosphere in mind, body and affairs. So the Movement was fully committed to selecting holy songs and choruses whose wordings would not chase people away from the presence of God. To achieve this objective in one occasion, a Salvation Army Captain was approached. He was given a sum of money and requested to buy with it a Salvation Army Song Books for the use of the Movement. He went away with the money and never came back again. As a result, the problem of suitable choruses was taken to God in prayer, and the following songs were revealed:

ENGLISH:

"I believe I am the House of God,
I believe I am His music box;
I believe I must praise God,
Every moment in all the way."

IBO:

"Ekwerewom Na m Bu Ulo Chuku,
Ekwerewom Na m Bu Igbe Abu Ya;
Ekwerewom Na m Geto Chuku,
N'Oge Nile N'uzo Nile.

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From that time onward, songs suitable for Unity worships and devotions poured out profusely through the leaders and members.

STUDY CLASSES AND CENTRES

Study Classes and Centre Were Established At The Following Places:

  1. Item
  2. Ugwueke
  3. Alayi
  4. Amaeze Ugwueke
  5. Uzuakoli
  6. Umuahia
  7. Abiriba
  8. Owutu Edda
  9. Amaekpu Ohafia
  10. Elu Ohafia
  11. Ebem Ohafia
  12. Asaga Ohafia
  13. Okagwe Ohafia
  14. Okon Ohafia
  15. Akanu Ohafia
  16. Ndi Uduma Awoke
  17. Ikorofiong
  18. Calabar
  19. Oron
  20. Ikot Ekpene
  21. Aba
  22. Ohanku
  23. Obuobia
  24. Azumiii
  25. Okoro Ete
  26. Ekei
  27. Arongwa
  28. Umuna and Kpogbiri Ikpo
  29. Port Harcourt
  30. Okon Esien
  31. Biakpan
  32. Ukwu Akwu Ututu
  33. Atan Abam
  34. Idima Abam
  35. Ozu Abam
  36. Okpo Ihechiowa
  37. Achara Ihechiowa
  38. Ndi Okpo Ihechiowa
  39. Agbagwu Arcchukwu
  40. ltu
  41. Kumba (Cameroun)
  42. Uburu
  43. Enugu
  44. Ujarri
  45. Ndi Owu
  46. Pha Amufu
  47. Sapele
  48. Lafia

6. Organisational Set Up and Progress:

INFORMAL MEETINGS: Delegates of Unity Students from Calabar led by Mr. Oji Onwuka Oji arrived Item in March 1933. In their discussions with ihe home students during informal meeting, it was agreed that a meeting of delegates from different centres or study classes be held at Calabar in October of the same year. In October, 1933 a Protem Chairman and a Secretary were appointed. In that meeting it was decided that a General meeting should be held twice every year — April and October respectively.

VENUE FOR:

(i) April meeting — Being at Item
(ii) October — Being at Calabar

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The 1934 April General Meeting was mainly devoted to reading through the minutes of the previous meetings and alerting the students of the election of officers in the forth- coming meeting and open air demonstration.

The October, 1934 Unity General Meeting formed the nucleus of the Nigerian Unity Movement. It look far reaching decisions. In it the following officers were elected.

(i) President — Mr. A. Njoku (Snr)
(ii) First Vice President — Mr. O. O. Oji
(iii) Second Vice President — Mr. J. E. Onwuka
(iv) General Secretary and Treasurer — Mr. A. I. Okoli

Board of Governors: The four elected officers formed the Board of Governors.

Board Of Trustees:

(i) Messrs A. Njoku (Senior)
(ii) J. E. Onwuka
(iii) A. I. Okoli

formed the members of the Board of Trustees of the Movement.

Representative Comminee: These comprised all leaders, Co-workers and Representative Delegates from different recognised centres and study classes.

General Conference: The Board of Governors, The Board of Trustees, The Reprenstadve Committee, Delegates from different Centres and Study Classes form the general conference members

THE CONSTITUTION: Owing to the interference from the Law Inforcement Agents and the General Public in our devotional activities and open air demonstrations. It was necessary to draw up a constitution. As a result, a constitution drafting committee was formed. They set off to work, and completed their assignment in a record time.

The draft was first of all sent to Unity Field Department, Lee's Summit Missouri, United States of America (U. S. A.) for perusal and comments.

This was their comments after going through:

"This is a first class resume of the subject UNITY. There was no imbortant corrections. The Author should be complemented."

The copy of the draft was submitted to the Government of Nigeria. The government having been satisfied with the contents approved the constitution.

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7. Unity Intellectual School:

PROGRESS

The victimisation of the children of the Unity adherents in School owned and managed by the denominational voluntary agencies necessitated the founding of a Unity Intellectual School.

To achieve the objective, the founders went all out to look for lands to be acquired. Fortunately at Amaokwe Item-Ndi Ogbu Ewu Community donated to the Movement — "A JUJU FOREST OF IMPENTRABLE CHARACTBR." The movement set to work, cleared the forest and failed down all the trees. After drying, it was set to fire and the stumps up-rooted. When the land was about to be levelled and marked out, a vile propoganda emanting from a Judas, reached the ears of those who donated the land. They were told that if they allowed the Intellectual School to be established there, that the place would be a fertile hide out for Ohafia head hunters. As a result the doners took back the land and handed it over to the Roman Catholic Mission.

It is said, when one channel is closed another is opened. As soon as Amaeke Item Communuy heard the story, they came to rescue of the Movement, offered a large part of their land called "Ozara Amaeke." They did not stop there. They erected two large residential buildings for the founders. They also accorded the founders full right and priveleges to harvest with the community their communal oil palm groves. The Movement erected a large eight class room buildings.

An application for permission to open up a Unity Intellectual School was sumbitted to the Ministry of Education. The permission was granted. Because of the grade of Teacbers as contained in the forms submitted, te Ministry authorised that the School should run straight from Infant One to Standdard Six. So on 12th January, 1941 the Unity Intellectual School, Item came into being.

To compensate Amaeke Item Community for their benevolence, all their children were given free tuition in the school. As the school was gradually but steadily growing, those opposed to its existence, fully engaged themselves to sabotage every effort made to get the School have a strong hold. They so intensified their activities that succeeded in getting together some disgruntled Amaeke people and by co-opting two influential Unity Students of Amaeke origin petitioned

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the District Officer and accused the School Management of entering their land unceremoniously. When the District Officer came to Amaeke Item, he summoned the people and the Proprietors of the School to investigate the charge. The Proprietors tendered the Agreement made with the people about the land. Among the signatories were names of the Unity Students who denied any knowledge of the land affairs. When the two students were put to question, they said they signed the agreement under duress. After all other investigations, the case was dismissed. From that date, the management decided to transfer the school elsewhere.

TRANSFER OF THE UNITY INTELLECTUAL SCHOOL TO UZUAKOLI:

Following the decision of the management to transfer the School elsewhere a land was acquired at Uzuakoli as a donation from Chief Ekeleme's family of Amamba Uzuakoli. After erecting a mighty Eighc Class Room Building, on December 1944, the school was transfered from Item to Uzuakoli.

On January 1945, the school started functioning. The same privilege given to Amaeke Item indigenes was also extended to the scaool children from Chief Ekleme's family.

The new station presentend a general atmosphere of hope and progress. The site of the school was unique, situating along Uzuakoli/Arochukwu Road. Being very close to Uzuakoli Railway Station, the question of easy means of transport was no problem. Its nearness to the Methodist Bookshop and the Daily Market where the famous Agbagwu Market was held made the availability of different kinds of goods, inclduding books and stationeries easy.

As it was also a stone throw to the Post Office, postal transaction was a jolly ride. Coming to the school itself, the enrollment was promising. The walls of the class-rooms were colourful, they contained graded instructional materials and diagrams which gave high impressions to visitors. Staffing was adequate and the standard of teaching was high.

CLOSING DOWN OF THE SCHOOL:

As the fame of the school was gaining ground, some better placed Managers of other voluntary agencies were troubled, so they sent out secret circular letters to their agents urging them to see that the school was closed down at all cost.

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Many diabolical devices were fruitlessly employed to achieve their aim. At long last one propoganda worked like a magic. On January 1951, a week to the time of reopening of Schools after December vacation, news spread like wild fire throughout the length and breadth of Uzuakoli that the Ministry of Education had closed down the Unity Intellectual School, Uzuakoli. Surprisingly more than ninety-nine percent of the pupils of the school flooded the office of the founders to ask for their transfer certificates. When questioned why they wanted the certificates, they said because the School had been closed down. And when it was not possible to convince them that it was false propoganda, transfer certificates were issued to them.

When the school actually reopened, the remaining few turned up but later on left the school finally. With the folding up of the Unity Intellectual School, Uzuakoli, the Movement with it's Headquarters was cleverly elbowed out of the large area of the land donated to her and was restricted to a small portion of it With the establishment of the Uzuakoli Methodist College II. at the veiy heart of the land, it was later discovered that the said land was a crown one.

8. Why Mr A. I. Okoli Took Up Teaching Appointment With Some Voluntary Agencies

In 1951, Mr A. I. Okoli realising that it was a waste of manpower to teach in an Elementary School of less than ten pupils in population, took up teaching appointment with the African Gospel Mission (A. G. M.) with the Headquarters at Okigwe. He was posted to the African Gospel Mission Group School at Amandugba Orlu Division, Owerri Division. There he taught for one year. Owing to the poor condition of service in 1952, he switched over to the Methodist Mission. He worked harmoniously with the mission until his final retirement in 1970.

His taking up teaching appointement with the voluntary agencies did not prevent him from supporting the Unity Movement morally, financially and physically. He many a time attended Unity General Conference, Spiritual Course Training and Open Air Demonstrations. His being in the service was not motivated by the desire to work against the progress of the agencies, rather he rendered honest and conscientious services. This dispelled the pre-conceived motions that Unity or a Unity member was against any voluntary agency. And rather it engendered mutual trust and confidence among the two parties. It liberated other teachers in voluntary agencies from the fear of being victimized by their masters should

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they venture to read Unity tracts and publications.

9. Visits To Nigeria By Our Unity American Friends:

Prior to the formation of Unity Ministers' Association (U. M. A.) all requests from Unity Movement Nigeria to Unity School of Christianity, Lee's Summit Missouri to send personal representatives to this country had always been turned down. They maintained that it was not the policy of the Unity organisation to go to Overseas countries to make proselytes. That their tracts, booklets, periodicals and pamphlets had far reaching effects in the business.

After the formation of the Unity Ministers' Association (U.M.A.) the members made it a point of duty to travel extensively to different parts of the world for expansion work. Subsequently in 1960, Reverend Robert P. Sikking visited Nigeria. In 1962 Reverend J. Sig Paulson visited also. In 1964, Reverend Hopper and Robinson followed suit.

After the Nigerian civil war, Reverend B. C. Coffee paid a visit to Nigeria in 1970. With the visit of Reverend J. Sig Paulson, an arrangement was concuded that Messrs A. Njoku (Senior) and S. U. Oti should visit the Unity Headquarters, Lee's Summit Missouri, United States of America (U.S.A.)

Hence in June 1964 they took off for America. They were ordined Ministers. On their return there was re-organisation in the Unity Movement Nigeria.

RE-ORGANISATION

Following the re-organisation which was carried out to a completion by Rev. S. U. Oti now Rev. Dr. Oti who was then the President of the Unity Movement Nigeria. The following rituals and ceremonies were institutionalised.

  1. (i) Licensing of Teachers, (ii) Ordination of Ministers
  2. SPIRITUAL BAPTISM: (i) Adults (ii) Children and (iii) Infant Christaining.
  3. Communion Service
  4. Marriage Ceremony
  5. Good Friday Service
  6. Dedication Service
  7. Easter Flower Service
  8. Memorial and Funeral Service
  9. New Year's Eve Watch Night Service

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  1. Christmas Candle Lighting Service.
  2. Service For Receiving Members into Spiritual Fellowship.
  3. Installation of Board Members
  4. Renewal of Marriage Vows, and

For the conduct of the above ceremonies, careful study of the Manual of Special Unity Services is emphasised.

Following the reorganisation of the Movement, ceremonies and rituals were formed. Therefore it was necessary to have Licensed Teachers and Ordained Ministers to carry on the work of the Movement.

LEGALITY OF LICENSING A TEACHER AND ORDINATION OF A MINISTER:

QUALIFICATIONS: Before a student is licensed as a teacher, he must have fulfilled the following conditions.

1.
(i) He must have studied and practised Truth as presented by Unity School of Christianity for at least ten years
(ii) He must have attended Spiritual Course training at least for five years or he must have passed through Overseas Unity Correspondence Course,
(iii) He must have a good reputable character, added to influencial acts spirit of love and generosity,
(iv) He must have been a co-worker with a well known Unity Leader in the Unity Movement of Nigeria and whose recommendations is of great importance,
(v) He must have acquainted himself or herself with prayer and meditations.

2.
(i) Before a Minister is ordained, he must have been licensed a teacher and taught for at least five years,
(ii) He must have a well organised study class,
(iii) He must have taught and practised Unity Way of life for at least ten years or more,
(iv) He must have an idea of organisation and management.
(v) He must have studied Lessons In Truth and How I Used Truth by H. Emilly Cady and other Unity publications in general,
(vi) He must have been well acquainted with prayer and meditations and in conclusion, be must look up to God for his or her every need.

In view of their compliance to the above conditions; these were the students qualified for licensing as Teachers and leaders qualified for Ordination as Ministers.

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10. The Licensing Of Teachers And Ordination Of Ministers:

A. The first students licensed as Teachers on 31st October, 1971 were:

  1. Mrs. C. E. Mbonu
  2. Mr. N. A. Okoafor
  3. Mrs. C. N. Okoafor
  4. Mr. O. Egbuta
  5. Mr. F. I. Agwu
  6. Mr. A. A. Ikpenyi
  7. Mr. D. D. Uka
  8. Mr. E. E. O. Egbuta
  9. Mr. A. B. Idika
  10. Mr. S. O. Elekwa
  11. Mr. Emmanuel Okorafor
  12. Mr. U. Anya
  13. Mr. I. Kalu
  14. Mr. Sunday Fleanya

B. The first set of Ministers Ordained on 31st Oct 1971 were:

  1. Reverend J. U. Eke
  2. Reverend J. O. F. Fbuta
  3. Reverend A. N. Ogwo
  4. Reverend Omeaku Okwun
  5. Reverend Jack Fkpu
  6. Reverend J. B.Kalu
  7. Reverend R. K. Nnanna
  8. Reverend C. O.Okereke
  9. Reverend PeterOsu
  10. Reverend O. E. Udoncy (Snr.)

11. Nigeria Civil War:

The Nigeria civil war contributed its quota in trying to disorganize the affairs of the Movement. For during that time the buildings at the headquarters Uzuakoli were razed to the ground, and also the President of the Unity Movement, Reverend A. Njoku (Senior) towards the end of the war disappeared. Up till now nobody could locate or give good account of his where-about. All these led to the transfer of the headquarters from Uzuakoli to Umuahia temporarily.

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