St. John’s Anglican Church, Ogbagi Akoko

It was in 1897 that the Ologbagi, Owa Oloriki I and Ogbagi people sent a gift of Ivory to governor Carter in lagos in Lagos through some of their men, prominent among whom was one Mr. Akinrotiba of Molepe quarter, Ogbagi.  He learnt to read and became a convert to Christianity before he return to Ogbagi in 1898.  his father who was both a chief and heathen priest was greatly displeased to the the extent that Akinrotiba had to leave the home for Owo for a short time.  Christian grew gradually in 1901, the first church was built at Emuta quarter where Joseph Lawani was residing.  Later, some important personalities like Jabob Oloketuyi of Egako, James Adeyeye of Ujimoja and the persecution from the heathen elders and chiefs also became strong.  In the same year the first set of women joined the church.  Two of them Madam Isinkalu and Iya Eko, were strangers and the only native woman was Madam Mary Orimolade, wife of Mr. Daniel Akinrotiba and daughter  to Chuef Odu, Odanogun. Also in 1920 both Messrs. Daniel Akinrotiba and Joseph Lawani bought the first church bell at a cost three pound for the church.  The first baptism was about 1902 by a clergyman from Ekiti.  It included the following persons Abraham Rotimi, Emmanuel Olupinla, Daniel Akinrotiba, Micheal ehinola, James Adeyeye, Gabriel Ainrotiba, Mr. Daniel Akinrotiba who was the patron of the chrisian became exposed to terrible persecution as a result of his father’s death.  He then voluntarily fled from the town to ikare for three years.  During the years Messrs Joseph lawani and Gabriel Igbalajobi held the Christian for gallantly in the face of persecution, tortures and depreviations.  After spending another two years at his Odowo farm, Akinrotiba returned to Ogbagi in 1905.    in 1909, a false charge was laid against the Christians that they flogged some masquerades who had ambushed them on their way to Church.  For this and other accusations Messrs Daniel Akinrotiba and Gabriel Igbalajobi was arraigned before the Divisional Officer at Kabba who sentenced each of them to tem to ten years imprisonment.  But owing to various appeals made against the judgement, the term of imprisonment was finally reduced to three months by Lord Lugard hen Resident of the Royal Niger Company at Lokoja.  They were released immediately the appeal was heard, as they had spent three months in detention waiting for the result of the appeal.  They were well looked after by the Church at Lokoja, especially by Rev. J. J. Williams, Vicar of Holy Trinity Church, Lokoja.  As from then, Christianity began to enjoy freedom of propagation and rapid expansion as well as unity of action at Ogbagi, ikare, Irun and Arigidi.  Later, all the Christians in Akoko combined to have regular meetings to face the heathen persecutions.