Presbyterian Church of Nigeria

Church family:Reformed churches
Based in:Nigeria
Present in:

About membership

Statistics of church membership, number of churches, congregations, pastors, etc. are those given by the churches and organizations, unless otherwise indicated. WCC member churches have various ways of defining their membership: state churches in which virtually every citizen is baptized and thus counted as a member, churches which include in their membership persons who are baptized but not actively participating, churches in which only adult baptized or communicant members are counted, etc. No attempt has been made to classify the membership figures in such categories, because agreed upon indicators to so do not exist.

Member of:
 WCC (1961) 
Associate member of:
Periodicals:The Presbyterian Today

Presbyterian witness in Nigeria began in 1846 through the initiative of freed slaves from Jamaica, Scottish missionaries and the kings of Calabar. The church initially operated as a presbytery of Biafra, with its constitution in 1858, then as a synod of Biafra with its constitution of 1921, and following that as the Presbyterian Church of Biafra with the constitution of 1945. In 1952 the name was changed to Presbyterian Church of Eastern Nigeria, and with Nigerian independence in 1960, it became the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria. It now runs a four-court system of session, presbytery, synod and general assembly. The parishes are comprised of one to nine congregations, depending on their size.

The Presbyterian Church of Nigeria is part of the world-wide tradition of Reformed churches, and so believes in the gospel of God's sovereign grace in Christ over all realms of life. The PCN has adopted the Westminster Confession of Faith and other confessions of the Reformed tradition as part of its doctrinal standards, subordinate only to the scriptures. The church is open to the ministry of women. The first woman minister was ordained in 1982. Today there are well over 50 women ministers serving the church.

The church is currently engaged in mission work to traditionally non-Presby-terian and non-Christian parts of the country and to Cotonou in the Republic of Benin and Lomé in Togo. This move into mission is coordinated by the national directorate of missions established in 1998. At present the PCN has 15 ordained ministers and eight un-ordained missionaries across Nigeria, apart from those outside the country. The PCN has churches in all the 36 state capitals of the country including Abuja, the federal capital territory. The present concerns of the church include the improved training and re-training of her ministers and members, the establishment of a Presbyterian university, and the movement of the church's headquarters to Abuja, the federal capital territory.

The partner churches of PCN are the Church of Scotland, the Presbyterian Church in Canada, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Protestant Church of the Netherlands. It is also in fraternal relations with other Presbyterian and Reformed churches in Africa.

Last updated:12/10/11