BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CHURCH IN KUCHI WORO
Resource persons: Mr. Samuel N. Jiya Papa Essan, Baba Isaiah Y. Legbo
Compiled by: Late Mr. Stephen. N. Yisa
Recompiled by: Mr. Nathaniel N. Umaru
Contributor: Rev. Canon Isaiah T. Tsado
This history is dedicated to all the early converts and all the sons and daughters of Kuchi woro.
HOW CHRISTIANITY CAME TO KUCHI WORO
The settlers of the original Kuchi pati most likely migrated from Benin and were not slaves to the Fulani. They usually refer to themselves till today as “EGI BINI or YAGI BINI” meaning the son or grandson of Benin. They were hunters and idol worshippers.
The people that settled or established Kuchi pati are Ndace Ndaduma, Zhitsu Gimba, Zhitsu Tsado and Zhitsu Gana. But they later settled at Kuchi yabata where the people are currently settled which is directly opposite Kuchi Dzuko (Church gbako).
The original settlers did not want to become slaves to the Fulanis and for the fear of war they settled on a hill and that is how the name “Kuchi pati” was derived or “Kuchi gberi” because they insisted on being Christians. When the Fulanis discovered that there was no way they could enslave the people, they became their friends during the reign of Etsu Moh’d Makama Nmadu Ndayako.
Oral interviews reveal, Kuchi pati shares boundaries with Danko patishin, a river near Bida, Eyagi, Madodo, Gbebo and Emigi Kuta, the signs are still there till date. The people lost possession of these lands because they were tricked by the Fulanis, in the sense that they requested for land to be given to their slaves to be used as farm lands to service them and feed their horses. This was how they lost possession of their land. These villages surrounding Kuchi pati had shrines where idols were worshipped and they were slaves to the Fulanis.
The original settlers of Kuchi worshipped idols before the coming of the missionaries. They had sixteen(16) idols that they worshipped. Kuchi pati was made up of five(5) different compounds and each had different idols, but there were common idols they worshipped together. These include Gunuba, Sokomba, Enyikpata, Nwasa I, Nwasa II, Lema, Lugizhi, Miniko, Esungi, Magezhi, Egbagi. Nanasha, Dzamata I, Dzamata II, Fumandi and Bakobazhi. The common idols worshipped are:
$1i. Enyikpata nwasa I
The idols worshipped in the various compounds were:
$11. Nwasa II
$12. Dzamata II
Emi Zhitsu kolo
$11. Nwasa I
Emi Zhitsu Gana
Kuchi pati can be compared to the people of Ephesus. “About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way. A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in no little business for the craftsmen. He called them together, along with the workmen in related trades, and said: "Men, you know we receive a good income from this business. And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says that man-made gods are no gods at all. There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited, and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty." Acts 19:23-28
THE COMING OF THE MISSIONARIES
In 1903 when the missionaries came to Bida, they were not welcomed but were resisted and the people refused to listen to the gospel. But since Kuchi was the closest to Bida before migrating to the hilltop. The Rev. O. N. Daintree, Pastor Bakie Bassa from Lokoja area and Pastor Lukmani Yagba Kabba visited Kuchi one Saturday evening while at Kuchi, they were taken to the house of the village head. Zhitsu Gana toga was the village head as of that time.
They explained their mission to the village head that they were at Kuchi to teach them Nupe language. Zhitsu Gana said he has heard their message and requested that they should come back later, this was in order for him to consult his people, because he believed that they did consultations before they came.
The missionaries came with books on their next visit to Kuchi pati and they met a lot of people who were ready to learn. Yandakogi and Ndagiman were brothers and also the first two who went to Bida to learn Nupe by the encouragement of Ndatinti during the dry season. Ndagiman was the first person that bought a Nupe Bible although he was not yet baptized.
Following this the missionaries started a teaching class at Kuchi every Saturday evening in the village heads house. God touched the “hearts” of five of those who were learning Nupe at that time.
“No man can come to me except the father which hath sent me draw him and I wil raise him up at the day”. (John 6:44; Matthew 22:14;Acts 2:27).
The following eight people were the early converts at Kuchi pati and were later baptized at Bida. They are:
$13. Samuel Y. Jiya
$14. David Dangana
$15. Daniel Gana
$16. Elijah Mamman
$17. Ndatswanya and
$18. Lydia F. Jiya
THE FIRST CHURCH BUILDING 1908-1909
The first church (place of worship was built between 1908-1909), was built with stones and was by the hillside. After Rev. O. N. Daintree; Rev. Meckinkles and Mr. Oliver both missionaries continued with evangelism and brought a pastor as a resident pastor to Kuchi he was Rev. Daniel Akanya. The Lord touched the “hearts” of seven people who were later baptized at Bida. They include:
$11. James Jiya
$12. Peter Yisa
$13. Isaiah Y. Legbo
$14. Joshua Sokomba
$15. Job Jiya
$16. Josiah Y. Mamman
$17. Joseph Aliyu
The missionaries and the pastor had four different types of textbooks that were used to teach the people Nupe language before they start preaching the gospel. The books were Abidi, katikism verse hundred and prima.
THE SECOND CHURCH BUILDING 1937-1940
The second church was built between the year 1937-1940 at Kuchi pati also using stones, the location was at the foot of the hill. Below are the names of the pastors who were posted to work at Kuchi pati:
$11. Pastor Samuel Gege Bassa Lokoja
$12. Pastor Josiah Imana Bassa Lokoja
$13. Pastor Daniel Akanya
$14. Pastor Paul Mamman Gbadafu
$15. Pastor Joseph Benu Dware
$16. Pastor Paul Usman Patitagi
$17. Pastor Solomon S. Gana
$18. Pastor Peter N. Nmadu Ebugi and
$19. Amos N. Zhiri Kataeregi
Below is the list of the second set of pastors posted to serve in Kuchi woro
$11. Pastor John Bawa Kodan
$12. Pastor Joshua Alhassan Lanle
$13. Pastor Stephen S. Gana Essan
$14. Pastor James D. Gana Gulu
$15. Pastor Joshua Saba Emindayisa
$16. Rev. Jeremiah N. Kolo Katamba bologi
$17. Rev. Emmanuel N. Tsado Doko
$18. Rev. Jonah Ibrahim Somazhiko
$19. Late Rev. Joshua Mayaki Essanzhi who died in active service at Kuchi woro
$110. Rev. Cannon Isaiah T. Tsado Gbadafu
$111. Rev. Joshua Saba Emindayisa
The third set of converts and the largest in number were
$11. Baba Solomon Jiya (Late)
$12. Baba Thomas Tsado
$13. Baba Michael Gana (Yandatifin) Late
$14. Baba Philip Legbo
$15. Baba Elijah Haruna
$16. Baba Samuel Umaru
$17. Baba John Gimba Gana (Late)
$18. Baba Daniel S. Haruna
$19. Baba Samuel Y. Gana (Late)
$110. Baba Matthew S. Gana (Late)
$111. Baba Abraham Saba (Late)
$112. Baba Jeremiah Nmadu (Late)
$113. Baba Enoch Umaru (Late)
$114. Baba Jacob Mamman (Late)
$115. Baba Peter Audu Jiya (Late)
$116. Baba Zachariah Umaru (Late)
$117. Baba John Kolo (Late)
With the introduction of western education, our parents were advised to send their children to formal school, this is because western education is useful to both male and female. Parents started sending their children to school, they took to the advice of the pastor and other missionaries who came to the community. Late Mr. Nathaniel Jiya and Late Mrs. Keturah Jiya were the first male and female children that were sent to the then St John’s Primary School in Bida, they are both of Emikoro Saba’s compound.
The distance was long and it was a thick forest through which the children had to walk to Bida (there were no villages along the way in those days, all the villages along the way now are late settlers). The people of Kuchi pati moved to their permanent site in the year 1967. The reason for their movement is to get closer to the government and to enjoy the basic amenities that the government will provide. On Sunday in 1965, during the church service a motion was raised by Late Pastor Samuel. N. Jiya (Papa Essan) on the need to move from the hillside to a lower ground the motion was accepted and the choice of the present site of Kuchi woro was chosen and accepted.
On the 22nd of January 1967 the people of Kuchi pati migrated to her present location known as Kuchi woro. Pastor Amos. K. Zhiri led the community from Kuchi pati to the present location, after a short while he was sent on a course to theological seminary in Wusasa Zaria.
THE THIRD CHURCH BUILDING 1967-1969
The third church in Kuchi was built at the new site between 1967-1969. Two of the first converts at Kuchi pati eventually became evangelists. They are Mr. Samuel. Y. Jiya who preached the gospel in communities around Bida and environs. He retired in 1966 and finally returned home to Kuchi and on the 25th of January 1994 he passed on to glory.
The second person Mr. David Dangana also became an evangelist. He preached the gospel for several years at Patigi and environs. He retired in his old age and returned home to Kuchi woro where he slept in the Lord and was buried.
Some of their children grew up to know the Lord, three out of them eventually became evangelists. Mr. David. N. Kolo started as agent and rose to the rank of a reverend, Mr. Emmanuel Legbo also became a pastor. He attended the theological college at Wusasa, Zaria and currently serves in Lokoja Diocese. Mr. Uriah N. Umaru who is a serving officer with the Nigerian Air Force also attended theological college at Bukuru, Jos and was ordained a deacon on the 31st of July 2004 by his lordship Bishop Jonah Kolo at the St. John’s Cathedral Bida and priested on the 30th of July 2006 at Markudi and in 1st January 2016, he was installed as Rev.Cannon by the Bishop of Doko Rt. Rev Uriah N. Kolo at St. Paul Anglican church Takogi.
“Here in is my father glorified, that you bear much fruit: so shall ye be my disciples” (John 15:8)
THE FORTH CHURCH 1994-2000
When late Pa. Samuel Jiya returned to Kuchi to settle, he advised members to build a new church, but members were very reluctant because they were short of resources, but when it was God’s time they started molding blocks; it was on the day that the foundation of the new church was laid that Mr. Samuel Jiya died. The new church which is estimated to cost over five million naira as at 2009 was built under the chairmanship of Dr. Jonathan Jiya and other members of the committee include: Late Mr. Stephen N. Yisa, Mr. Nathaniel N. Umaru, Mr. Eli Jiya, Mr. Barnabas Yisa and Mr. Ezekiel Haruna.
May God reward all those who contributed financially, materially and otherwise to the completion of the forth church and vicarage for the spread of the gospel in Jesus name. Amen
THE NEW VICARAGE 2005-2008
After the completion of the forth church at Kuchi woro the need for building a new vicarage became obvious. Dr. Jonathan Jiya and other members of the congregation especially civil servants agreed to build a new vicarage on the 25th of December 2004. Promises and pledges were made towards the project and on 8th June 2005. The Lord bishop of St. John’s cathedral Bida was invited to lay the foundation block which marked the beginning of the building at 10am. This was made possible through the co-operation of both civil servants, members of the congregation and the entire community. The completion of this structure made it the forth vicarage built since the inception of Christianity in the community, Rev. Can. Isaiah Tsado initiated the building of the structure.
The movement of the people from Kuchi pati to the present location made the dreams, aspirations and desires of the people become a reality with the provision of social amenities such as electricity, roads and the provision of portable water.
In 1971 a market was established, but unfortunately it didn’t last and the people believed then that a diabolic means was used to stop the market. In 1976 Universal Primary Education (UPE) established a school. In 1979 Rural Electricity Board (REB) was provided and eventually in 1988 the national grid (NEPA) was extended to the village.
Also in 1978-1981 a dispensary was built for the community and in the year 2001-2002 a primary health centre was built at Kuchi woro through the efforts of Dr. Jonathan. Y. Jiya. This model health care centre was commissioned on 22nd March, 2005. All these social amenities came as a result of the migration to a more accessible site by a major road this was during the reign of Zhitsu Mohammed Saba.
In conclusion, Apostle Paul says “it is the gospel of Christ that bringeth forth blessing in the entire world”
In 2006/2007 when the present Emir of Bida announced the creation of more village ward heads and district heads, the people of Kuchi woro though 99% christians agreed and applied to the entire council requesting for a ward head for the village and after fulfilling all the conditions his royal highness approved a village ward/district head. The ruling village head was popularly acclaimed by the people (Zhitsu moh’d Saba). HRH turbaned Zhitsu Moh’d Saba as the 1st ETSU NYANKPA as such he has double honors. And Samuel said to all the people.
“See ye him whom the Lord hath chosen, that there is none like him among the people. And all the people shouted and said God save the king” (1 Samuel 10:24)
PROGRESS OF THE CHURCH
Kuchi woro was under the provisional church district (parish) of Bida for several years. Also the church of Kuchi woro was under the provisional church district of Doko for several years. On the 17th June 2000, Kuchi woro became the provisional church district (parish) head quarters of Kuchi woro district and has three churches under her. They are;
$11. St John’s Anglican church Kuchi woro
$12. St Paul’s Anglican church Vunchi and
$13. St Paul’s Anglican Danko Emiworogi
All these churches were under the diocese of Bida Anglican communion led by Rt. Rev. Jonah. G. Kolo, the bishop of Bida diocese.
On the 27th of October 2007, at the second session of the third synod held at St Paul’s Anglican church Ntakogi, Doko, the Rt. Rev. Jonah. G. Kolo upgraded the district to the status of a district church council (DCC).
THE CHURCH BUS
Apart from the district bus which was jointly bought by the members of the three churches. Dcp Moses Saba Nmadu donated a bus to the church for evangelism.
While at Kuchi pati, the house of the late Zhitsu Tsado got burnt one Tuesday very early in the morning during the harmattan season. But no life was lost. To the glory of God members of the village community assisted and cooperated with the affected people by re-roofing the houses that were burnt in the same year.
On the 20th of February 1975 during the reign of Zhitsu Usman, some women went to fetch firewood at the hillside of Kuchi pati but unfortunately lost their lives in a fire accident due to heavy smoke that enveloped them. Their names are:
$11. Mrs. Rachael. Y. Legbo and
$12. Mrs. Rhoda Yisa
This write-up was before the dedication of the church and vicarage by Rt. Revd. Jonah G. Kolo. The events that took place after the dedication is not included in the biography.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY