Founder of Pilgrim Baptist Mission in Nigeria honoured at home

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Olisemeke Nwadei, born in 1875 in Issele Uku Delta state, adopted by Rev. A. E Martin of Aberline in the State of Kansas USA.

Baptised as Samuel Wadei in 1910, ordained in 1918, became an associate pastor at Pilgrim Baptist Church in Chicago in 1919 before he finally returned back to Nigeria in 1921 to set up Pilgrims Baptist Mission in Nigeria which consists of church and primary schools outside Issele-Uke. The other towns where he founded schools–going from the earliest to the most recent ones–were Aba/Adonte, Issele-Mkpitimr, Agbor town, Ekpon, Oligie, Ogwashi-Uku, Umuede, Illah, Ute Alohen, Obir, Idumujie Ugboko, Obamkpa, Ubulu-Uku, Asaba, Aninwalo, Idumuogwokhae, Idumuogo, Boji Boji Agbor, Ake, Ottah Ozarre, Alisimie, Owa Alegwe, Owa Oyibu, Issele-Azagba, and Ewohimi.

Rev. S W Martins married Miss Leticia in 1924 at C.M.S Onicha Ilona Delta state.

Today 91 years after his return to establish the pilgrims baptism mission and 42 years after his death, he has finally been honoured in his home town with a major road name after him by

Hon Chuks Oseme, Chairman Aniocha North Local Govt, on the 12th June 2018, honoured Rev. SW Martin by naming the major road linking Benin- Asaba express road to Issele-Uku, to the pilgrim Baptist Church after the the man he called “the founder of modern Aniocha North.”

The council chairman said although he never met Rev SW Martin,his legacies we behold, are living testimonies to what Rev Martin lived & died for, are enough reasons for the living to show gratitude to this great son of ours.

“A prophet is not without honours, but in his own country” says the scriptures. This could well explain why those Issele-Uku son’s who served in govt,even in very high positions including that of the local govt ,when Aniocha north & south were one council administration, never remembered to honour their own…though we were the most beneficiary…until Hon Chuks Oseme came.

All over Delta state,u ll see Primary ,Secondary schs, Hospitals, Road s & churches built by Rev S W Martin’s.He sent young men to study on scholarship overseas…children of others ,that is…& he had no son of his own! At a time in our local govt history, Rev Martin’s Residence, was converted to Local govt ,HQ & the council chairman, then was Late hon Emeka Ohaegbunem, yet he never remembered to honour Martin. The Rev Martin House ,aught to be a place of history in our local govt, for future generations..for our children & outsiders to learn about this great son of ours. My consolation here is that,if Oseme who is neither an Issele-Uku son, never met Rev Martin,could honour him with the foremost road into the town, somebody, someday will ask to turn Martin hse into a place of history, Library, museum etc. Yes.. this will happen someday.

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