ST. STEPHEN’S CATHEDRAL CHURCH, IKARE AKOKO
The introduction of Christianity to Ikare did not take a single wave as in some other towns. It will be recalled that as far back as about 1870s, one Mr. Michael Badoro, an uncle to Oria at Okela quarters, Ikare Akoko. When he returned from Slavery may be from Sierra Leone or Abeokuta or Lagos, he preached the gospel to his people. The paganism illiteracy of the time was so awful that he died in the chains as people felt that he was insane for predicting several future events about our government, dresses, culture and education. Early in 1892, an Ijesha Christian rubber tapper made contact with Okela, Ikare through Ekiti and brought the gospel to the people.
In 1900AD, another wave of evangelism came through Mr. Emmanuel Olorunda of Okeruwa quarters in Ikare. By then the influence of the British Government have been felt all over the districts and this enable all the liberated people to return to the homes in Akoko. There were evangelical groups at Okorun, Ekan, Okela and Okeruwa, this groups functioned unitedly, but owing to great distances among the quartes of the town and also have their services in their different quarters of the town.
As from 1910, the St. Stephen’s Church, Ikare began to exercise the role of leadership among other churches in Akoko most especially when the government administrative headquarters for the whole Akoko was situated at Ikare. The St. Stephen’s Church, Ikare became Cathedral Church for the Diocese of Akoko at its inauguration on the 28th February, 1983. Many people have served as Church Workers first on the list is Mr. M.A. Aiyegbusi from Imeri who served the church from 1913 – 1916 and the present worker is Ven. J. O. IDOWU (DEAN) from Ajowa and Revd. Canon T. M. Ayoola Olaniyan as Cathedral Canon in Residence.
- PAUL’S ANGLICAN CHURCH, ARIGIDI
It was in 1906 that Mr. Michael Elebe introduced Christianity to Arigidi. The religion was then regarded with derision, and for the next six years, no one cared to join the Church and Mr. Elebe felt discouraged to the verged of returning to paganism. But in 1911, he summoned courage when the Lord opened the minds of some of his friends who joined him. He then brought some copies of A.B.D (first Yoruba Primer) and taught them how to read and write, these men were Messrs Ekotomowa, Peter Asipori, Daniel Adewumi. These people in 1916 left the church and formed Baptist Church denomination with Asurankan, Omoegun, Adesina and Lawani.
As from 1916, the Christianity began to spread with good footing in all the quarters of the town through the influence of some strong personalities who were Mr. Gabriel Akande at Ekiteji; Samuel Memudu at Ayase, Samuel Balogun at Ogo; Jacob Aguda and Abraham Pojoku at Imo; Jacob Awe at Ogua; Chief Awe Onita and Matthew Elebe at Ita; Mr. J.L. Oni and Chief Elego at Iyu.
The Church was elevated to Parish Status in 1952 and in 1963 it was made the mother church for Akoko West District Church and later to Archdeaconry seat for Akoko North Archdeaconry but when Erusu was UPDATEd as Archdeaconry seat for Akoko North Arhdeaconry, St. Paul’s Ang. Church, Argidi became the headquarter of Arigidi Archdeaconry with seven Churches under her. Mr. Aiyegbusi was the first Church Worker in 1916 and was replaced with Mr. J.L. Ahonmisi in 1919. Ven. and Mrs. S. O. Akinmogbe and Revd. and Mrs. S. O. Aladegbemi