by Amos Kalu
Unity first came to Africa in the 1920s, via the new medium of radio which included broadcasts by Charles Fillmore. In 1926 the Kansas City Journal reported that WOQ, Unity’s radio voice in its early days, was being heard in Nigeria.
Unity’s growth in Africa was a home-grown phenomenon, a result of the commitment and enthusiasm of Truth seekers there. The tradition of informed sharing in Nigerian culture helped spread the word, not only through organized ministries but through spontaneous communication of Unity message through radio, tapes, and word-of-mouth.
Miracles and Radio
In the 1920’s Peter Nwankwo of Akanu Ohafia was known as Rock of Ages (Nna Rock) for practicing Unity principles. He did many wonderful things using these principles—healed the sick and rode his motorcycle on top of Calabar River to enter a ship he halted through the power of Unity prayer.
Whatever was the source of these miracles, radio message, Daily Word, or other Unity literature, I believe the Unity message has the power to perform miracles and heal wounded hearts through God, the source of all things.
Minister Awa Njoku gathered and healed people practicing Unity principles. He and Amos I. Okoli resigned from their teaching professions when they received books and pamphlets from Unity (“America Wonder,” it was called in those days because of wonderful manifestations that resulted from practical applications of Unity principles).
Because of Awa Njoku’s enthusiasm in Unity work, many people followed him, including: Amos I. Okoli, Eme Onwuka, J. U. Eke, Okpa Agwu, Samuel Uba Oti, J. B. Khalu, O. E. Udoncy, E. O. Ebuta, Omeaku Okwun and Amos N. Ogwo who founded the Unity Centre of Practical Christianity Aba. Many others followed. Hence, Nna Njoku, as he was known, became the founder of Unity Movement Nigeria.
Churches Spring Up
Amos Kalu, now the Grand Patron of Unity Church Nigeria, changed the name from Movement to Church in 1995 when he was the president of Unity Church because of many political Unity movements. Radio has been a strong tool in spreading the message worldwide. He used radio messages which he tagged the Unity Church Hour. This was the first Unity Church radio broadcast in Nigeria through a John Templeton (of the blessed memory) radio grant awarded in 1999 through the Association of Unity Churches International.
Through this period of Unity Church Hour radio broadcasting messages, many people joined Unity Church Nigeria. Even before then, so many things happened within our church: including establishment of Unity School of Religious Studies in Nigeria on November 11, 1987, now renamed National School. Also, the establishment of Silent Unity in Nigeria on August 27, 1997. Many Unity churches have been springing up, all through radio media and other sources. We thank God for our Association of Unity Churches International.
Reprinted from Unity Contact Magazine, October/November 2008