It gives me great pleasure to bring you greetings on behalf of your brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the Lutheran Church of Nigeria, the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, the International Lutheran Council (ILC) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Our country today is so much a patched land, with people hungering and thirsting for justice, good governance, for food, for portable water, for good roads, for electricity, for peace and security. Millions of people are yearning for something different than the brokenness and suffering around us and the words of Psalm 1:3-6 come to us in a fresh urgency:

“He is like a tree planted by the streams of water, which yields its fruits in season and whose leaf does not wither, whatever he does prospers.

Not so the wicked!

They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”

When unjust systems seem to be flourishing all over our nation, and even churches and church bodies seem to rely on the advice of those who maintain the unjust systems, or feel comfortable when sitting with the powerful, it is refreshing that The Lutheran Church of Nigeria, in Council, echoes the Psalmist who understands God’s value for those who indicate that a different  reality is possible. We can dare to be different and be like the tree planted by the streams of water – bringing life where death reigns, and bringing justice, renewal and hope to replace the injustice, brokenness and despair.

We are grateful to God for the work we are doing together as members and partners of this church in the area of mission – witness, mercy and life together. This is indeed a sign of our commitment to being, for a hurting nation, our continent and the world God’s tree planted by streams of water. This is in consonance with our Vision and Mission.


To equip its ministers and laity through the word and sacraments in accordance with the confessions of Evangelical Lutheran Church for transformational and contextual holistic mission in words and deeds.


At some point in the history of The Lutheran Church of Nigeria, observed diminishing returns set into the doctrinal teachings and practices of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. There were recorded incidents of corruption. Institutions of the Church were affected. International partnerships were threatened as LC-MS and LWF lost confidence in The LCN and withdrew support to funding our annual budgets. Many of our congregations were reduced to spiritist houses with some of our ministers resorting to conducting fetish assignments for financial gains.

We deviated from our confessions on the basis of the Scripture and embraced Christianity that is based on things that are seen – things that are not eternal.

At that point, The LCN needed restructuring and redefinition.  We have restructured our Church. The Constitution brought in Episcopacy with its teething problems. That constitution was revised with the understanding of future slight adjustments to show for the Church’s dynamism. We thank God for the journey so far.

In the area of redefinition, we cannot forget where we came from. We were born out of the Augsburg Confessions. Though, like now there was an attitude towards the alteration of the Confessions by Philip Melanchthon, called ‘Variata’. Besides giving offense to the people, Luther too, is said to have remonstrated with Melanchthon for having altered the Confession. In his introduction to the Augsburg Confession (Konigsberg, 1577) Wigand reports: “I heard from Mr. George Rorarius that Dr. Luther said to Philip: Philip, Philip, you are not doing right in changing Augustanam Confessionem so often for it is not your book, but the church’s book.

In 1567 at Reuss – Schoenburg the variata was disqualifiedly condemned; as written:

We confess “the Old, true, unaltered Augsburg confession, which later was changed, mutilated, misinterpreted and falsified… by the Adiaphorists in many places both as regards the words and the substance which thus became a buskin, Bundschuh, pantoffle, and a polish boot, fitting legs equally well (suiting Lutherans as well as reformed) or clock and changeling, by means of which Adiaphorists, Sacramentarians, Antinomians, new teachers of works, and like hide, adorn, defend, and establish their errors and falsification under the cover and name of the Augsburg Confession, for the sole purpose of enjoying with us under its shadow, against rain and hail, the common peace of the Empire, and selling, furthering, and spreading their errors under the semblance of friends so much the more easily and safely. (Kolde, Einleitung, 30)

Luther’s Efforts at Restoring Catechetical Instruction

According to O. Albrecht, ‘Catechism means elementary instruction in Christianity, conceived, first as the act, then, as the materials for instructions; then, as the contents of a book, and finally as the book itself. “For Luther, when speaking of his own Catechism he meant instruction in, or preaching on, the traditional chief parts of Christian Doctrine in German Language.

Whenever Luther used the word catechism, he had in main beginners, children and unlearned people. In his “German Order of Worship, 1526, Luther writes, “Catechism is an instruction whereby heathens who desire to become Christians are taught and shown what they must believe, do, not do, and know in Christianity, hence the name catechumen  was given to pupils who were accepted for such instruction and who learned the Creed previous to their baptism.”

Whoever does not know the catechism cannot be numbered among the Christians. For if he does not  know these things, it is evident that God and Christ mean nothing to him, “Luther further writes Catechism are comprised in the three traditional parts: decalog (Ten Commandment) Creed (Apostles’ Creed) and Lord’s Prayer, and the supplement parts treating: Baptism, the Lord’s Supper and Confession (Office of the Keys and Confession).

Luther in the Large Catechism emphasizes the fact that the first three parts form the kernel of the catechism and regarded a correct knowledge of baptism and the Lord’s Supper not only as useful, but as necessary. To Him every Christian should learn to repeat word for word, the first three and most necessary parts. His intension or sole objective was to restore the ancient Apostolic Church. His catechetical endeavours were bent on bringing to light once more, purifying, explaining and restoring, the old Catechism of the fathers – one of them, St Cyril of Jerusalem.

Value Placed on Memorizing 

Luther did not put a low estimate on memorizing of the Catechism. In the Large Catechism, he says, “Therefore we must have the young learn the parts which belong to the Catechism or instruction for Children well, and fluently and diligently exercise themselves in them and keep them occupied with them. Hence, it is the duty of every father of a family to question and examine his children and servants at least once a week, and to ascertain what they know of it, or are learning and, if they do not know it, to keep them faithfully at it”

Everywhere, Luther was satisfied with nothing less than correct understanding. To him instruction was not mere mechanical memorization, but conscious, personal, enduring and applicable spiritual appropriation. He says, “… But the young people should be made to attend the preaching, especially during the time which is devoted to the Catechism that they may hear it explained, and may learn to understand what every part contains, so as to be able to recite it as they have heard it, and when asked, may give a correct answer, so that the preaching may not be without profit or fruit.”

Luther’s entire pastoral activity was essentially of a catechistical nature and naturally issued in his two catechisms which more than any other of his books, are the result of His labour in the congregation. You can now agree with me that we have strength as a church in Education – sound teaching of the Word of Life! 

Basically, the confession of the Evangelical Lutheran Church taught in Luther’s Catechism are listed into twenty-six Articles.

  1. On the human condition before the fall into sin (God)
  2. On the Human Condition after the fall of sin (Original Sin)
  3. On Redemption through Christ our Lord 
  4. On Justification by faith
  5. On the use and fruits of Justification (The Ministry)
  6. On the Manner by which the Human Creature receives Justification (New Obedience)
  7. On Love and Good Works
  8. On Confidence in the Forgiveness of Sins (The Church)
  9. On the Church and (what it is)
  10. On the Marks and Signs of the True God (Baptism)
  11. On the Authority and Power of the Church (The Lord’s Supper)
  12. On the Ministers of the Church (Confession)
  13. On the Supreme Pontiff and the Bishops (Repentance)
  14. On the Sacraments in General. (The use of the Sacraments)
  15. On Baptism (Church Ceremonies) (Order in the Church)
  16. On Confirmation (Civil Government) 
  17. On (the Sacrament) Penance – Free Will
  18. On (The Sacrament of) the Eucharist)
  19. On (The Sacrament of) Unction (Good Works)
  20. On (The Sacrament of)  Ordination
  21. On (The sacrament of) Matrimony (Marriage of Priest)
  22. On the Sacrifice of the Mass
  23. On the Memorial of the saint in the sacrifice of the Alter and on Intercession for  

 them required    in it, and also on invocation of the Saints.

  • On the Memorial of Those who have died in Christ (Mass)
  • On the Communion, to be Joined with sacrifice. (Confession)
  • On the Ceremonies and the use of the Sacraments. (Distinction of Meat)

“To equip its ministers and laity” implies building the capacity of both our pastors and lay leaders by the Means of Grace, primarily – the Word of God which is so simplified and typified in our Evangelical Confessions. It is only and only on this basis that we thrive in God’s mission as we talk the walk and walk the talk. Jesus commissioned the disciples saying,

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I will be with you always to the very end of the age.” (Matt. 28:19-20).”

Human capacity development for optimum Spiritual and responsible performance is our goal. 


The Lutheran Church of Nigeria through its various Boards and Committees started the year 2020 with such high hopes of monumental achievements only to be interrupted by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Boards and Committees were left with basically no opportunity to carry out their projections for this year. However, our gratitude goes to God for the spirit of commitment imbued in our Board and Committee members,


The Novel Corona Virus also known as COVID-19 came like a thief in the night to our global community starting from China and infecting lives, causing panic and confusion and death. The global economy has been shaken. Precautionary measures of regular washing of hands with soap and running water, social distancing and wearing face mask have gone a long way to check the transmission of the virus. We thank the government at all levels in our nation for their effort to encourage every individual to stay safe during this period of trial. On behalf of the Board of Directors and Trustees, I thank you very sincerely for conducting yourself in a manner worthy of commendation to Christ our Lord. You all complied with the requirement during and after the lockdown periods. No members of the Lutheran Church of Nigeria was reported dead of the COVID-19. However, we sympathize with you because we feel what you went through. You starved and suffered greatly within the period. Many of you lost your jobs. Some of you were not and are still not able to settle your bills.

We are eternally grateful to the various units of our church that showed love to members and friends by provision of palliatives. The COVID-19 is still throwing negative impact on people. Please continue to be your brother’s keeper! Don’t fail to extend a hand of support to those in need. Events and schedules of our national church have suffered unthinkable interruptions such as the Seminary Graduation Ceremony, the selection of Bishops, placement of ministers in the field, conventions, conferences, meetings, appointment of Vice President and scheduled travels. Saying further, our Assignment/Promotion/Appointment Committee’s function was equally affected. We have accepted every happening as the will of God for the good of the Church. Therefore, we encourage you to cheer up and see the future coming much better than what we have left behind. 


The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, our partner Church is not without challenges. Two of its universities were closed down before the outbreak of the COVID-19. Some entities which claimed to be stake-holders moved for litigation against the church.

As Nigeria relaxed of the Pandemic lockdown, information reached us that about twenty positions in the Presidency were cut down. That is, those in such positions lost their jobs because no budget could support their services any longer. Our Deaconess Grace Rao was affected! Our prayer is that God will preserve His Church – leaders and members from the schemes of the evil one and continue to fill the LC-MS President, Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison with the wisdom needed to lead His Church.


We started this year with a fantastic visit schedule of expatriates from the LC-MS to visit and teach at the Seminary. Only one of those guests came in February 28, and left on April 18, with a special evacuation escort to Lagos and evacuation flight out of Lagos to the United States.

The COVID-19 lockdown affected Rev. Dr. John Nordling. We thank the Office of Internal Mission which undertook to cover the logistic related to the evacuation of Prof. Nordling out of Nigeria to Ft. Wayne. Our guest reunited with his dear wife, Sarah on April 20. We do not expect any other international guest for the Seminary this year.


Batch one of the Training Programme was scheduled to join the Seminary Graduation Exercise for June, 2020. Consequent upon the suspension of that exercise till June 2021, we encourage members of that class to be patient and pray that the year 2021 would have no adverse event.

Batch Two had their first session of classes. Their second session was interrupted by the COVID-19 Pandemic. With the loss of position by the Director of Deaconess Programme, and the total cut in budget to this programme, we would need some time to reorganize ourselves and plan on how to continue sometime in the future. Perhaps, the benefiting Dioceses will be requested to support their participants by next session, August, 2021.


Although we were unable to hold the Evangelism Seminar this year, we are calling on all Dioceses through their Bishops to update the Evangelism and Mission Committee with their Diocesan Evangelism Database and also work towards the reaching of their set target of opening preaching stations.    


The Lutheran Mission in Jamaica which Rev. Obot and Abasifreke Ite joined in the Year 2005 has expanded to include, among other things the establishment of another congregation—Faith Lutheran Church in downtown Kingston, establishment of a Preaching Station at Bois Content, about 57 Kilometers away from Kingston. A Nursery School with pupils’ population of 41 has been adopted from the community. St Andrew Lutheran Church purchased a property that will house the Ministry Center and the congregation. The Lutheran Church—Missiouri Synod continues to fund the Jamaica Mission. With increasing needs and ministry challenges, support from the Lutheran Church of Nigeria is greatly anticipated and will be highly appreciated.  


With the COVID-19, Rev. Kierien Ayugah has not been able to travel out yet for his Ph.D Programme in Bible Translation. While grappling with the impact of COVID-19, the Lutheran Bible Translators approved a full scholarship for Ph.D in Bible Translation for Rev. Linus Otronyi. When normalcy returns in Europe, Rev Ayugha will take up his academic endeavours. We pray that this happens soon. At the moment, he is doing his studies online.

We thank God, the LC-MS, Peace Lutheran Church Sussex and the Faculty of CTSFW for supporting the training of our five Pastors through their overseas further theological education. They are all back, safely and successfully having been awarded Degree of Master of Sacred Theology (STM). 


The LCN Urban Land yearly Donation of N1,000 per communicant member is a standing policy of our church. The funds are meant for land purchase to build churches at new locations. We targeted for this year, Umuahia, Elelenwo in Port Harcourt, and Akpete in Ibadan Area. 

So far, the response for this year 2020 is not impressive. We are not satisfied with the excuse of COVID-19 affecting the collection process. We are far below our budget of N5,000,000 for this year on this revenue sub-head. As at today, our revenue on Urban Land is (N1,250,000) only. Congregations that did not collect their donation should endeavour to do so before the end of this year and remit same to the Central Administration.

For next year, every congregation will submit its Exercise Book again with names of paying members on or before June 25, 2021.


Three of our ministers have retired this year on reaching the compulsory retirement age of 65 years. They are:

Rt. Rev. Patrick Ibanga – Bishop of Eket Diocese

Rev. Samuel Edoho – The LCN, Osiok, Eket Diocese

Rev Young Ulochio – The LCN, Okat, Eket diocese

Rev. Otu Akan of the LCN, Obeakpu, Rivers Diocese was sent on compulsory retirement for very poor ministry performance. He has been repeatedly rejected in stations where he was assigned. To save our congregations, we sent him on compulsory retirement. He might be more useful in other life endeavor. We commit him to God for guidance.


We informed the Council in its 40th Session that one of our Pastors, Rev. Dr. Ime Okon George absconded his station and decided to send a letter to me after thought requesting for Study Leave without pay to enable him participate in an Academic Research Programme in USA. And, that he will return to work on September 1, 2020.

His movement was not known to his Bishop either. Therefore, we concluded that he absconded his station and duty.

Precisely on August 10, 2020 I received a mail from The LC-MS President of Texas District Rev. Michael Newman asking me to comment on a letter of Transfer of Membership and Service from The LCN to LC-MS on Rev. George by Rev. Samuel J. Udofia former President of The LCN and Rt. Rev. Matthew Okata, former Vice President of The LCN.

While waiting to understand what happened, the LCMS President, Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison called me to ask why a former President and Vice President should transfer membership and service of a serving Pastor without authority of the Archbishop/President. He asked to know what actions the Church took on the matter. 

The Board of Directors condemns the actions of Rev. Samuel Udofia and Rt. Rev. Matthew Okata in totality as impersonation. It is criminal—a serious embarrassment of The LCN again. 

Rev. Udofia is in court today against the LCN; the very Udofia who severally defrauded this Church.

Any minister is free to resign from the service of The LCN. In the same way, any member can withdraw his membership instead of causing problems for the Church. These criminal activities deserve discipline of all persons involved:

  • Rev. Ime Okon George – absconded, told lies in writing, and collected false documents
  • Rev. Samuel J. Udofia – transferred both membership and service of pastor to LC-MS
  • Rt. Rev. Matthew Emmanuel Okata – while on terminal leave transferred both membership and service of a pastor to LC-MS.

The Board of Directors had mandated the Disciplinary Committee to investigate and discipline any erring person. Such discipline is well intended to present us as a church before the International community and to call the attention of our Pastors who feel they are sacred cows to humble repentance.


The Lutheran Church of Nigeria Uyo District was restructured out of former Obot Idim District Twenty-six years ago with six Congregations. The District has grown in membership and capacity to further the missions of God. Presently, it consists of 8 Congregations and 2 Preaching Stations. Recently, The LCN, 37 Enwe St. proposed a restructure of the present Uyo District into two Districts of:

Uyo District

The LCN, Effiat Offot

The LCN, Holy Trinity Cathedral

The LCN, 5 Udo Udoma Ave.

The LCN Anua Offot

The LCN Nsukara Offot

The LCN, Ifiayong

The Afaha Offot Preaching Station

Total Baptized – 1070

Headquarters – Effiat 

Uyo Central District

The LCN 37 Enwe Street

The LCN Atan Offot

The Nduetong Preaching Station

Total Baptized – 1151

Headquarters – 37 Enwe

The LCN 37 Enwe Street established the present LCN Afaha Ube in Ibiaku Itam District as a house fellowship. It also founded LCN Ibaka, in Oron Circuit, Eket Diocese. It is committed to the Vision and Mission of the LCN-supporting outreach in missions and contributing judiciously to all Synodical and Diocesan programmes. It has the potential to grow and increase the number of its congregations through deliberate evangelism programmes. It will support the Central Administration better. The LCN Uyo Diocese has consented to the restructuring as proposed. The Board of Directors after a careful study of the potentials and desires to better support the Central Administration meet its objectives prays the Council’s approval of a District status to The LCN Uyo Central District, with effect from January 1, 2021.


Running into three years now, the Central Administration produces and airs the Devotional Daily in Inspiration 105.9 FM, Uyo and recently backed up at Passion 94.5 FM, Uyo.

Cross River South Diocese has resolved to adopt the programme and air it as produced in Cross River Broadcasting Corporation effective January 1, 2021. Since the programme is produced by The LCN, without the speaker’s names and location, we call on Dioceses outside. Akwa Ibom State to adopt this standard presentation which will announce The LCN daily to millions of listeners – what an effective evangelism tool!

Owerri Diocese

Abuja Diocese

Rivers Diocese

Western Diocese

LCN, Jos should seek to air this programme in PRBC, Jos.

It is time we started to aggressively involve ourselves in evangelism.


Mr. Randy Kirk of Milwaukee, Wisconsin is a friend indeed. I shared with him our struggles for effective presentation of programmes and online lecturers in the Seminary in clean images as pictures and videos.

We scheduled his visit to Nigeria in May, 2020. The outbreak of the COVID-19 disrupted that visit, but he went on discussing with my Information Technology Team to procure and send Technological Equipment worth N25,000,000. They include CCTV Cameras, Digital Recording Cameras with Tripods, Transmitting Switches, Mini Mac Apple computers, and Networking Cords and Theological books.

Some of the items are coming by sea while others had arrived by air. Randy had been helping in supporting our pastors throughout the lockdown period in their online studies from his home in Wisconsin – he sheltered, fed and assisted them in technological skills. The church might be kind enough to send a thank you note to Mr. Randy Kirk.


Professor Uwemedimo Atakpo is the Director General Valid Film and Advertising Academy, Obot Idim Ibesikpo. He offered to produce and air Lutheran Quarter Hour, a meditation programme he adopted from Inspiration FM for visual broadcast on Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Corporation Television (AKBCTV) every Sunday at 12:30pm. He promises to negotiate and have the programme on air much later in the day so that members might return from church and watch and give feedback. We thank Professor Atakpo for his concern toward the church’s evangelism outreach and ministry.

Professor Atakpo welcomes our young people to use the opportunity of Valid Film Academy in Christian Radio House to study and acquire Diploma in Film Production, Professional Dancing, Fashion Designing, Make Up Styling, Public Speaking and Lots more.

The LCN remains eternally grateful to Professor Atakpo and family and encourage our youths to venture into Film Production from A-Z and acquire other skills through this available and ready opportunity.


Within the last one year, the Central Administration through the Board of Directors did not relent in actualizing the Church’s mission. To God be the glory! By way of improving our infrastructure for Lutheran University requirements; 

  • The Seminary Rector’s office is renovated.
  • A block of building housing six offices for Faculty Staff, two standard classrooms, 
  • and washrooms is built.
  • Unlimited Internet Facility for Faculty Offices, Classrooms, Rector’s Offices, 

Lutheran High School, Synod Office and Luther Hall is installed.

  • The perimeter fencing around the Seminary Compound is completed.

Our seminary is turning out a better academic environment to the glory of God.


Permit me to say that though University Project work is in-progress, the Senate Building construction was put on hold to gather enough funds for the casting of the first floor mass concrete (Decking of 1st floor). The committee lost its chairman Elder Prof. Effiong J. Etuk in death, but the remaining members are determined to continue to push on the assignment and will resume work at the Senate Building on December 7, 2020


The Nigeria Team of Lutheran Bible Translators made of:

  1. Rev, Kierian Ekpang Ayugha
  2. Rev. Linus Otronyi
  3. Rev. Charles Tessaro
  4. Rev. Sixtus Obok 

The first three work with The LCN in the areas of Bible Translation and Scripture Engagement, overseeing various language projects in Cross River State and beyond. For instance:

  • Yala New Testament (including Psalms) has been typeset and sent to the Bible Society Press in South Korea. An advance copy has been sent back to the Bible Society of Nigeria Headquarters in Lagos for verification and approval.
  • Rev. Linus Otronyi is facilitating the uploading of Bokyi Bible into the Digital Bible Library through the Bible Society of Nigeria.
  • The Yala Old Testament translation projects is 54% completed.
  • Rev. Linus Otronyi has been certified a Bible Translation Consultant, qualified to check Scripture prior to publication across member agencies of the Language Programmes Coordination Forum in Nigeria.
  • There is only one Book remaining to be checked in the Ikwerre Old Testament Translation Project before the speakers are made to give their inputs – Jeremiah
  • Don’t forget that Rev. Sixtus Obok has been seconded to another Bible Translation Agency in Abuja as part of our outreach.


As one of the characteristics of your present leadership, accountability and transparency is the key to prudent and successful administration. Thomas Gamble and company has prepared the audited accounts and will present as financial statement for the Year Ended December 31, 2019 to this Council. We are thankful to our Auditors for their services.

THE LCN BUDGET – 2021 2021

The Finance Committee of our church has never disappointed us in proper guidance on financial matters. It has made a proposition for 2021 financial year. Conscious of the real impact of COVID-19 and EndSars# Protest, the budget aims at helping the church to bubble up! While thanking the Finance Committee, we welcome you to input in the proposal when presented.


In recognition of the support and effective representation of The LCN within and outside the Church, the Board of Directors has presented for your endorsement as Luther Ambassadors 2021 investiture:

  • Deaconess Dr. Inyang Asibong
  • Elder Effiong Essien

The investiture is proposed for Sunday, January 10, 2021


We are away of the desires of our members to gather together in Annual Convention for at least three days. But the report has it that we are recording some increase in the number of COVID-19 infected persons in Nigeria. Please, bear with us as we invite you for only one day of Synodical Special Thanksgiving Service on Sunday, January 10, 2020. We will observe all COVID-19 precautionary measures. All members are expected to attend with generous donation for the work of our Church in the Year 2021.


Both the Desk and Pocket Diaries have carefully listed the events of our Church. Therefore this presentation does not intend to represent those. We appeal to all our ministers and members to buy and our diaries daily and participate effectively in the activities of our Church.

The admission committee of Concordia Seminary, Fort Wayne has offered admission to Rev. David Imuk, Acting Rector of our Seminary to further his Theological Studies in Degree of STM. The programme will be so structured that his services in the Seminary are not seriously affected. However, I call for prayers of the Church for possible funding of his academic programme.


 I must say that as a church The LCN is coming out more purposefully and determined to expand in all areas of its expectation. This is because many of you have not rested on your oars. On behalf of my dear wife and family, the Board of Directors, the Trustees, the Ministers, and their wives, I say a very big thank you and pray for more of your cooperation in the coming year, 2021. The Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour, will continue to protect you from every evil and prosper you for the service of His kingdom.

In this new church year, I commend and commit you to Him for preservation till the day of Christ. 

Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year in advance!

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