Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)
Nigeria's first link with the Church Missionary Society was through a slave boy Ajayi, who was baptized in 1852 and later became the first African bishop in Sub-Saharan Africa. The first CMS missionary entered Nigeria through Badagry in 1842. A stronger missionary team arrived in 1845. The work of evangelization progressed so well that the Yoruba Mission was founded in 1852. The Niger Mission started its work at Onitsha in 1857. By 1935, there were five dioceses in West Africa. Two of them were in Nigeria: the Diocese of Lagos (1919) and the Diocese on the Niger (1920). These two, together with the other three dioceses: Sierra Leone (1852), Accra (1909) and Gambia (1935) formed the Province of West Africa (1951).
By 1977 there were 21 dioceses in the province of West Africa, 16 of which were from Nigeria. In 1979 the province of Nigeria was inaugurated. Since then, the Church of Nigeria has had a rapid growth. In 2000, under the leadership of Archbishop Akinola, primate of the Church of Nigeria, a new vision for the church has evolved. The vision statement in summary is that: "The Church of Nigeria shall be Bible-based, spiritually dynamic, united; disciplined; self-sup-porting; committed to pragmatic evangelism, social welfare and a church that epitomizes the genuine love of Christ". The machinery for achieving the set goals and establishing a caring church has been put in place with committees and departments coordinating the achievement of set goals. The Church of Nigeria has since continued to grow in leaps and bounds.