Welcome to LCCN
The Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria (LCCN) was founded in 1913 by Danish Branch of the Sudan United Mission (Now Mission Afrika). The LCCN Headquarters is located in Numan Adamawa State.
HOW IT STARTED
In 1902, precisely on November 13th, a meeting was convened by Dr. Karl Kumm and others in Sheffield, England to establish the Soudan Pioneer Mission (SPM). Dr. Kumm approached some churches in England to join, but churches approached could not accept him to participate in the Pioneer Mission expedition, their reasons were based on, lack of resources that mission work may need. Karl Kumm pushed on speaking to their consciences and reminding them that they were what they were because of the Bible and Christianity. They were persuaded and saw the need for a united effort to take civilization to the Black Africa as a result, on June 15th, 1904 the name of the mission was changed to Sudan United Mission (SUM).
The first missionaries under the SUM arrived Nigeria in 1904 September and settled at Wase in the present day Plateau State. They began work of mission by instructing the indigence in the use of tools in brick making and agriculture. They encouraged food production and decreased the habit of selling of children.
MISSION FROM DENMARK
On 22nd November, 1911 the Danish branch of the Sudan United Mission was established. Pastor Pedersen attended a world missionary conference in Edinburg (Scotland) in 1910 from June 14 -23; there he heard Dr. Kumm and Dr. Samuel S. Zwemer discussed the expansion of Islam in the Bilal-al-Sudan (the Land of the Blacks.) In 1911 discussion with the British branch of SUM Pastor Pedersen was convinced that Yola in the Sudan would be the Danish territory of Mission works.
To further actualise their involvement in the mission works, Pastor Pedersen and his Secretary Hans met with Dr. Karl Kumm during a conference on Mission works in the Sudan at Swanwick in 1912, they also met with leaders of British branch of the SUM. It was during the meeting that Yola Province was decided to be the Danish mission field. They also agreed that Danish branch will fully be independent in work of the mission and at home.
ARRIVAL IN NIGERIA
Dr. Niels Bronnum, his wife Magaret C. Young and their counterpart Miss Dogner Rose arrived Nigeria on 18th February, 1913. They were the first set of missionaries sent by the Sudan United Mission Danish branch. They proceeded with their trip up the Niger River by steam-boat. In June of 1913 while resting and studying Hausa at the British Mission Station in Rumasha near Lafiya in Nasarawa province, Mrs Margaret, Bronnum’s wife died of malaria shortly after giving birth to their first-born son, Holger.Miss Rose had to return the baby to Scotland to Margaret’s parents while Dr. Bronnum proceeded on alone. He arrived in Numan on the 29th September 1913, but was asked by the colonial District Officer to go to Yola and get permission from the British Administrator residing in Yola before he would be allowed to disembark in Numan. Bronnum went to Yola and secured the said permission and went back to Numan. He got down in Numan on Sunday morning 5th October, 1913. Upon reaching Numan he requested the permission to camp at the Bachama section of the Town, there after he purchased a plot of land on which he founded his mission work.
THE WORK AMONG THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLE
The first group of indigenous people were baptized on 30th January 1916. The same year the first church, known as St. John’s Church was built in Numan. Up till now devotions are still being conducted there at the LCCN headquarters.
In June 1921 the famous Boys Boarding School was established in Numan, it was later called Numan Training School in 1937. The purpose of the school was to train the indigenous people to read and write. The mission eventually expanded and in 1948, the first five indigenous pastors were ordained. By 1955, the church was known as the Lutheran Church of Christ in the Sudan (LCCS) and it became independent in 1956 with Pilgaard Pedersen as its first President assisted by Akila Todi. By 1975 the name was changed from Lutheran Church of Christ in Sudan to The Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria (LCCN) (in Hausa: Ekkilisiyan Kristi a Nijeriya Lutheran). The name Sudan was dropped in order not to confuse it with the country called the Republic of Sudan
THE FIRST INDIGENOUS BISHOP
In 1954, Pastor Akila Todi was chosen to govern alongside General Secretary Arne Pilgaard Pedersen. When the LCCN was fully established in 1956, the title of the head of the Church was President. The title was changed to Bishop in 1973 and with the establishment of diocesan bishops within the LCCN in 1995; the tittle was changed to Archbishop in 1997.
From 1956 to 1960 Rev Pilgaard Pedersenwas the General Secretary of the LCCN. From 1960 to 1987 Rev Akila Todi became the first indigenous President, when the title was changed to Bishop in 1973 he continued up to 1987 when Rt. Rev. David Windibiziri took over. In 1997 the title was changed again to Archbishop with the creation of the Dioceses Most Rev. David L. Windibiziri became the first archbishop till his retirement from service in 2002. From 2002 to the February 2017 Most Rev (Dr.) Nemuel A. Babba was the archbishop of the LCCN. Most Rev Musa Panti Filibus, PhD was elected the Archbishop of LCCN in November 2016 and took over on the 13th of March, 2017 to date.
GROWTH AND EXPANSION
The work of evangelism has always been the highest priority of the LCCN, and over the years a lot of missions and churches were established. The early list of these work that brought growth and expansion in the church are as follows:
1. Shelleng (Shellem) – 1918
2. Lamurde – 1921
3. Pella – 1922
4. Guyuk – 1924
5. Gangdole (Ganye) – 1929
6. Dilli – 1929
7. Dungma – 1930
8. Jimeta – 1937
9. Dogon Dutse – 1938
10. Njoboliyo – 1939
11. Gurumpawo – 1939
12. Ga’anda – 1941
13. Kwah – 1944
14. Tunga Ladan – 1945
15. Gengle – 1947
16. Pakka – 1948
17. Yola – 1953
18. Cholli Vere – 1954
19. Suwa – 1957
20. Koma Vomni – 1961
21. Tantille – 1966
22. Gurnati – 1967
23. Bauchi – 1967
24. Kiri – 1973
25. Abuja – 1985
26. Minna – 1988
27. Lagos – 1989
FORMATION OF DIOCESE
Considering expansion and growth in the church the Executive council of LCCN and the General Church Council decided in 1995 to establish Dioceses where the church leadership will be closer to the people at the grassroots. The first five dioceses of LCCN were established as follows:
Gongola Diocese with Headquarters in Kem
Kudu Diocese (Now Bonotem Diocese) with Headquarters in Ganye
ShallHolma Diocese with Headquarters in Gombi
Todi Diocese with Headquarters in Bali
Yola Diocese with Headquarters in Jimeta
Today LCCN has a population of over 2.5million members in over two thousand congregations, 367 Districts, 53 Divisions and Nine Dioceses. The Current Dioceses are as follows:
Over six hundred Pastors
over 2 million Membership
Most Rev Musa Panti Filibus PhD, The Archbishop is the Head of the Church and the Chairman of both the General Church Council and the Executive Council.
Mr Parisa N. Ishaku is the Administrative Secretary. The Administrative Sectary is the Chief Admin officer of the Church and he also serve the GCC and EC as Secretary.
Mr David S. Kano is the Treasurer of LCCN. He the Chief Accountant and one of the principal staff at the Headquarters.
LCCN Archbishop and President of the LWF Most Rev Musa Panti Filibus, PhD visited Pope Francis II in Rome