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Women Missionary Union


We give thanks to God Almighty for such remarkable and workable relationship between the Nigerian Baptist Convention and the Baptist Women's Missionary Union of Nigeria. This is indeed an evidence that Baptist Women's Missionary Union of Nigeria and the Nigerian Baptist Convention are "Labourers together with God. Some of the facts available are facts from WMU historical draft prepared by former WMU Executive Secretary, Miss Mary Ellen Yancey (deceased) and from many WMU publications. In future when the full history of WMU is completed by Dr. Mrs. Aduke Akinola more facts would be shared.



At the sixth annual meeting of the newly named Nigerian Baptist Convention held at Okelerin Baptist Church , Ogbomoso representatives from Women's League also attended the Convention. Both male and female delegates felt the time was ripe for the women to form a central league. There was a consensus after a long discussion. And so the women left the church for their separate meeting under the shade of Isin Tree at the Baptist Day School compound. "The Baptist Women's Missionary League of Nigeria" was born.


At First Baptist Church , Lagos , motion was passed by the women that "League" in the name of their organization be replaced with " Union"


WMU Convention was held at Idikan Baptist Church . Ibadan but it was not held in conjunction with the General Convention (Nigerian Baptist Convention). Amount of offering collected at the WMU Convention was £28:16:4 (Twenty-eight pounds, sixteen shillings and four pence). The women decided to buy a bed for the new hospital at Ogbomoso. The name WMU was inscribed on it. It was the beginning of stewardship.

Women's Missionary Calendar included special activities. Three weeks of prayer were introduced:

August 26-September 1,1923 - Week of Prayer for home mission fields to be opened.

January 6-12, 1924 - Week of Prayer for mission fields in other lands.

April 14-20, 1924 - Week of Prayer for the convention.

These weeks of prayer became Agbebi Week of Prayer and Foreign Mission Week of Prayer.

WMU "Bible Women" were Mrs. Phebe Adebiyi, first Yoruba Interpreter for Miss Neal C. Young. Mrs. Rebecca Shentan, Mrs. Adegbile (later the term field-workers was used).


(1) WMU "Summer School" was started. It became a Leadership Training " School " for the women. Motion was passed that the ministers please announce to their churches that WMU would conduct a "Summer School" for women. That husbands please allow wives and pay their traveling expenses. The first school was held for three weeks but later reduced to two weeks and subjects included Bible study, health lessons, singing, WMU work in churches.

(2) The second Sunday in May to be observed as Mother's Day. The offering to assist the women in their WMU School .


(1) The Nigerian Baptist Convention unanimously adopted a motion by the women that WMU become an.auxiliary of the Convention for "greater usefulness and co-operation", "as soon as it was made clear that the message from the Women's Missionary Union was calculated to achieve the co-operation of the effects of both bodies, the proposals were gratefully and gladly accepted. The ladies withdrew".

In 1961, the Constitution of the Nigerian Baptist Convention was amended to include WMU auxiliary status. Auxiliary status means:

"It is recognized that the WMU shall have the right to draw up its own programme of activities, to set up its own organization for planning and administration, to direct the expenditure; of its income, and to name its own representatives on certain convention committees and boards as provided for in this constitution.

"The WMU shall co-operate with the Convention observing the Principles ofthe Convention and endeavouring to achieve the objectives of the Convention as defined in the Constitution."

"Being 'auxiliary to' gives to Women's Missionary Union the freedom to adopt its own articles which provide for the Union to nominate and elect its own ' officers and set up its committees rather that their being nominees and electees by the General Convention. The WMU assists the General Convention through its plans for promoting prayer, personal service, stewardship, Bible and mission study."

The Nigerian Baptist Convention and WMU have co-operated beautifully through the decades.

(2) £20 (Twenty Pounds) was given to Baptist Hospital , Ogbomoso and another F20 (Twenty Pounds) to wipe off the debt incurred by the Nigerian Baptist, the official organ of the Convention.


Each association was encouraged to have a Training School. This was the beginning of Adult Literacy Class.

Note: This has now become Association Leadership Conference.


Motion was passed to pay fees of deserving girls at the Girls' School, Idi­Aba. Later in 1930 the WMU Convention voted to support one girl from each association, a total of 15 girls.

This is the beginning of scholarship programme in the Nigerian Baptist Convention.


When a church building was erected, Dr. George Green said it cost £90 (ninety pounds) WMU gave £50 (Fifty Pounds) Lagos churches gave £15 (fifteen pounds), Nigerian Baptist Convention gave £10 (ten pounds) and Rev. Togun and Mr. Farinde gave money. The church was opened on July 10, 1932 with 62 on roll. Needs arose in Kabba and Akoko areas and WMU assisted the following until the churches became self-supporting:

Rev. D.T. Okediji - Mopa

Rev.Ogundiran - Gbede

Pastor Mofolasayo - Ekinrin


A special class was created at Idi-Aba Girls' School for older girls and young women who had no academic training. This class was later moved so Saki to become what was known as "Iyawo" school or Elam Memorial Iyawo School . It was so named in 1942 after Miss Elam 's death. She was the first principa of the special school.


(1) An unusual revival led by Prophet Babalola swept Ekiti land. Hundreds of people turned from their idols to Christ as Saviour. Rev. D.O. Togun (Baptist minister at Igede) baptized many converts. WMU realized the seriousness in Ekiti and approached Ijaiye Baptist Church in Abeokuta to allow her pastor the Rev. J.A. Adediran to help in Ekiti for three months. WMU assumed the re.sponsibility of Rev. Adediran's salary for those months.

WMU got permission to start mission work in Efon Alaye, a strategic town. Mr. and Mrs. Ajayi Farinde were sent as first home missionaries. Mr. Farinde taught and led Sunday services and prayer meetings while Mrs. Farinde gave medical aid. WMU paid their salaries.

(2) Child care and Home life became subjects in WMU School . In Ekpeye women were encouraged to save motherless babies of being killed. WMU continued to this cause. Mrs. Mary R. McCormic introduced Baby Shows. She wrote the Nigerian Mothers Handbook.

Baby shows were organized at convention and associationallevels. Weaning babies must have been immunized against deadly diseases especially small pox. Vaccination parties were held at the end.of each WMU School .


WMU Headquarters moved from Abeokuta to Ede


Education fund was set up to help Nigerian women who had proven themselves to further their education in foreign countries. The Adegbites were the first recipients but were assisted by Virginia WMU of Southern Baptist Convention, USA.


The first GA Camp was held at the barracks left behind by the army at Camp Young, Ede.


(1) the Convention informed Mr. Dahunsi later Rev. Dr. E.A. Dahunsi, that WMU would pay one-fourth of his exp~nses to study abroad for the ministry according to WMU policy then.

(2) WMU took a stand at the convention against the sale and use of tobacco and alcoholic drinks, pregnancy before marriage, and giving daughters to polygamists.


A chapel and dormitory were built at Camp Young, Ede. WMU gave money for the chapel and Southern Baptist Convention, USA and Virginia gave money for the dormitory.


WMU Camp was named Camp Young after Miss N.C. Young, who was WMU President for twenty-five years and Executive secretary for fourteen years. Lydia Circle (now Auxiliary) was organized.

Dr. and Mrs. J.T. Ayorinde were sponsored to Southern Rhodesia by WMU of Nigeria. It was a missionary journey to explore a foreign mission. This led to the organization of Home and Foreign Mission Board, Nigerian Baptist Convention. WMU set aside £350 for mission work in Africa.


(1) First Fundamental Committees met (Mission Study, Personal Service, Stewardship). WMU executive voted to send £25 (twenty-five pounds) to Southern Rhodesia for literature.

(2) The WMU supported Pastor and Mrs. L.A. Lawoyin in their work among the lbariba people in Batonu through the Home and foreign Mission Board.

(3) WMU recommended that boys too old for Sunbeam Band should be organized into RA.


Dining-recreation Hall was built at Camp Young. £900 (nine hundred pounds) was given for a missionary residence at Boriya and £500 (five hundred pounds) sent for work in Jordan area.


Baptist Women's Union of Africa was organized at Camp Young, Ede.


YWA was merged with WMS


A new WMU office building was built and dedicated at Ede. Fund was from USA.


(1) Two Weeks of prayer and no more three to be observed i.e. Home Mission Week of Prayer in April now in March and Foreign Mission Week of Prayer in December. WMU used to prepare the programmes.

(2) A WMU Committee which met in 1958 recommended that by 1960 the Seminary should start Women's Department and offer Bachelor's Degree in Religious education. Bible schools were urged to offer training to wives of pastors and other interested women. Half of Ruby anniversary offering was designated for visual aids for teaching WMU methods in Women's Division of the Seminary. The other half for women's work in Liberia.


WMU and Nigerian Baptist Convention joined hands for the first time in promoting Mission Weeks of Prayer in the convention.


WMU became a registered organization with the Federal Republic of Nigeria.


(1) WMU donated a Kombi bus to the Nigerian Baptist Convention Foreign Mission Field in Sierra Leone in August of that year.

(2) Nigerian Baptist Convention gave WMU the building at Queen Elizabeth II Road, Ibadan for use as Headquarters.


The WMU office moved from Ede to Ibadan. The dedication was in October. The Convention bought the property from Baptist Mission and kindly transferred it to WMU at WMU's request.


Alabama/Nigerian Partnership programme in missions. WMU accepted the responsibility of promoting prayer support and also set up a Women's Activities Committee. A WMU member, Mrs. G.M. Adelekan was the Prayer Chairman for this project.


WMU sponsored a Ghanaian Baptist woman for training in WMU work here in Nigeria.


(1) A modem dormitory was built at Camp Young, Ede by WMU named Mobola Ayorinde Hall. NBC gave N20,000.00 towards the project. It cost about NI30,000.00.

(2) A borehole was sunk to supply adequate water to Camp Young, Ede.

(3) Wet or dry grinding mill presented to Kersey Children's Home, Ogbomoso.


WMU scholarship student, Mr. D.O. Morakinyo (now Rev. Morakinyo) entered the Seminary at Ogbomoso for three years training.


(1) Missionary residence in Auchi, Afenmai Home Mission Field built by WMU sunbeam Band was dedicated and handed over to the Nigerian Baptist Convention in January.

(2) Foundation of a modern WMU office was laid in September. It cost WMU several millions of Naira. It was dedicated on Wednesday, January 15, 1997. We are grateful to Nigerian Baptist Convention for a gift of N20,000.00 and N40,000.00 during the construction years.

(3) WMU Executive Secretary was selected by NBC Executive Committee to appeal to the Convention in session to please donate generously to offset the loan ofN350,000.00 to build the General Secretary's residence. Baptist churches and delegates responded.


(1) WMU employed a lady Field Worker for 3 associations in Idoma Area of the Central Conference.


A missionary residence was built by WMU Girls' Auxiliary at Angiama, Southern Ijaw Home Mission Field. It was dedicated and handed over to NBC on December 1


(1) WMU publishes about 35 annual and periodical literature in English, Hausa, Yoruba. Publications in Igbo languages was started but stopped.

(2) WMU sends literature free of charge to home and foreign missions.

(3) WMU has sent representatives to educate and organize WMU and help at camps in African countries e.g. Sierra Leone, Togo, Cameroon, Liberia, Ghana, and Benin.

Other Notable Events:

For many years WMU Convention has sponsored home missionaries' wives to the annual WMU Conference (Leadership Training) held at Camp Young, Ede in August.

WMU has given financial assistance to the wives of Fulani Pastors in training and to the Nigerian Baptist Convention theological institutions.

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