BIOGRAPHY OF THE CHURCH IN KOPA
Nmadu Kolo later known as Baba Daniel. N. Kolo granted an interview to Mr. Samuel Kolo who compiled this biography. Psalm 102:18 enjoyed us to write down what the Lord has done so that the generations to come will give praise to Him.
Kopa people originated from Nupe Benin. They have never being slaves to the Fulani invaders. They were farmers and hunters that used bow and arrows, nets and traps for animals. They were idol worshipers as seen in Acts 17:22-23.
When Kopa people left the mountain side (1925) Nmadu Kolo and two other people went to Doko for market. This three saw a white man (missionary) together with a pastor who was Bassa (a Nupe from Lokoja) preaching the gospel, this caught their attention. After the message they went to the market and invited the missionary to come to Kopa to preach the gospel and they agreed on a date. At that time Kopa was still at the hill side in 1925.
The missionary and his companion from Lokoja came to preach the gospel saying: “The word of God is very important for all both the young and elderly, women and children”. It came to pass that some elders started to read ADIDI that was the material they brought to teach them how to read Nupe. The village head then also joined them.
However, all the elders and village head that started this class of learning backslide. In Luke 9:62 Jesus said to His disciples "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God." Another set of people started which are:
Usman Saba Goga
Yandaliman Alikali Goga
This six people were able to learn to catechism. The third set was made up of thirteen people who were:
Yisa G. Yisa
Between 1925-1930 different pastors came from Doko to preach at Kopa, they were
Papa Paul Mamman Yisa Gbadafu
Papa Peter Gana Latiko
Rev. Cannon J. N. Angulu from Dwale
Rev. Cannon Thomas T. Mamman Pichiko
Papa Nathaniel Kolo
Ven. Nathaniel Kolo Gaba
Rev Daniel Yisa Busu
In 1936 the people of Kopa left the hill side to the present location. Nmadu Kolo was baptized in 1942 at Bida and his name changed to Baba Daniel .N. kolo, his first son was then baptized that day as an infant named Mr. Samuel .N. Kolo. God was adding to the church daily as in Acts 2:47.
The third set of people that learned Abidi were also baptized shortly after the baptisim of Baba Daniel .N. Kolo. They were baptized by Rev. T. D. Sheshi.
THE CHURCH IN KOPA
The church in Kopa was named St Mark’s Anglican church. Between 1936-1937, Sheaba Gana fought vehemently against the building of the first church in Kopa. He insisted that the one built in Katcha area was destroyed by the authorities. Baba Daniel stood his ground saying he wanted this one to be named among the ones destroyed by the authorities. To God be the glory till date no church has being destroyed by the authorities.
In 1943-1944 another church was built. The need to build another arose in 1954-1955 and it was built without any difficulty. However in 1990 when the forth church was to be built, there was a problem with the building the roof went off and some parts collapsed. They had to start all over again, it was a terrible experience. The foundation for a vicarage was also laid, many people donated money, food item, water and some also willingly helped with the building work.
1 Cor. 15:58, “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
Because of the challenges it took time and years to finish the fourth church building. The church was dedicated in 1990 by the first Bishop of Minna Diocese, The Rt. Rev James Aliyu Yisa.
PASTORS AND MISSIONARIES THAT LABORED IN KOPA
Miss G. Hall (White missionary)
Papa Josiah Alhassan Lanle
Papa John Yisa Gakpan
Papa Solomon Gana Essan
Papa Zacheaus Abu Kutigi
Papa David .N. Kolo Kuchi woro
Papa Daniel .N. Kolo Kopa
Papa Jeremiah .N. Kolo Boku
Rev. Joseph .Y. Jiya Danko massalachi
Rev. Nathaniel .Y. kolo
Papa Philip Gana Doko
Rev. Silas Yisa Bologi
Rev. Cannon Andrew .N. Tsado Gubata
Rev. Cannon Isaiah .T. Tsado (Rtd)
Rev. Josiah .Y. Kolo
All this labored, one planted watered but to God be the glory, He will reward everyone (1 Cor. 3:5-10).
Today the following are full time ministers in God’s vineyard in different places and all originated from Kopa.
Pastor Samuel Mamman
Rev. Reuben Kolo
Ven. David Gana
Rev. Andrew Kolo
Rt. Rev. Jonah .G. Kolo
We can confidently say the seed planted in Kopa is bearing fruit (John 15:8). The church of Kopa later became a district with Danko Massalachi and Boku church under it. In 2006 the church experienced a serious challenge which would have being a set back to the gospel but the Lord was merciful and delivered the church. The church had three different places for prayer. The first was the old church, the second the new church and the third, the house of prayer built at Gabafu.
KOPA AS A SETTLEMENT
Kopa in Nupe means “Bana eku yekan aci epa na” meaning where they gather and tied things together. No wonder the bible said in Matt. 18:18
"I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. What a good name with a good meaning. Kopa had three settlements
1. Tutuntiko between Jima and Dancitagi where their ancestors were first settled
2. The incessant trouble from Fulani invaders made them leave Tutuntiko to Patishin (Hill Side) around Doko.
3. Death of children and elders made them to leave the Hillside to the present location in 1935.
The lay leaders that were helping the pastors then were Baba Joshua .L. Kolo, Baba Paul .Y. Yisa. Baba Paul Yisa passed away in 1998. In 1982 when Ven. Nathaniel Kolo from Gaba became Archdeacon, the government employed Mr. Michael .G. Gana to be teach Christian Religion Knowledge in the primary school.
KOPA CHRISTMAS MEETING
During Christmas the church pastor calls for a meeting, this is because at this period majority of those residing faraway are around especially the civil servants.
1. The pastor appreciates all the members especially those who have not been around for a long time.
2. The report of the income and expenditure of the church from January-December of that year
3. The pastor also briefs the members the achievement of the church and the challenges.
4. The needs of the church are made known and it is open to discussion and also the way forward.
5. The pastor gives the members opportunity to deliberate and conclude on what they think should be done.