Elder Uchendu Udo was born in 1944 in Akanu Ohafia in Abia State, Nigeria. His father’s name is Nna Udo Uchendu, and his mother’s Nne Ozi Uchendu. He married Ezi Uchendu Udo. They had three children and seven grandchildren.
Uchendu had little education, but enough to enable him to read the Igbo Bible and sing Igbo hymns. He was converted to Christianity when the Church of Scotland missionaries arrived in Ohafia in 1911. He was very active in working with the missionaries who ordained him an elder of the church in 1923.
Uchendu was one of the first set of church elders who served the church selflessly in Akanu Ohafia and the five surrounding villages. He visited all the surrounding villages on foot to preach the gospel. He led a group of believers to clear the “evil forest” where the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria (formerly Church of Scotland Mission) in Akanu Ohafia, stands today. He converted many of his townspeople to the Lord and fought against ritual murder, the killing of twins, and human sacrifice.
The Church which Elder Uchendu helped to establish is growing from strength to strength because of the good foundation he laid. The Akanu Ohafia community still regards the Presbyterian Church as “Church Nna Uchendu,” that is, the Church founded by Elder Uchendu.
Emele Mba Uka
1) Oral interviews with Elder Uka Emele, a senior elder of the church and retired school teacher and with Mrs. Ezi Uchendu, wife of the late Elder Uchendu.
2) Information drawn from the local church records of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, Akanu Ohafia.
This article, received in 2001, was researched and written by Rev. Dr. Emele Mba Uka, a Project Luke Fellow, Professor of Theology in the Department of Religion and Philosophy at the Federal University of Calabar, Nigeria (UNICAL).