The study on the effect of denominational practices on church growth seeks to determine whether denominational practices have a significant impact on church growth; it also seeks to identify the various denominations in Nigeria and their impact on churches; and it seeks to determine whether denominational practices contribute to church growth. The study relied on primary data and a sample size of 60 respondents; the study concluded that denominational practices have a significant impact on church growth. To analyze the hypothesis, the study used spearman correlation. As a result, the study concluded that denominational practices have a significant impact on church growth, and appropriate recommendations were made to aid in decision making and for future research.



1.1   Background of the Study

Christianity first appeared in Nigeria in the 16th century, when the Portuguese brought Latin Christianity to Benin and Warri. Looking at Christianity from its inception to the present day, many stages of development have occurred, resulting in the planting and growth of churches.

The period of denominationalism and missionary activities began in 1840, when missionary bodies established in Europe and America in the 18th century6 converted Nigerians to Christianity and established permanent mission stations among the people. The period was immediately following the abolition of the slave trade, which sparked a renewed religious enthusiasm among Europeans and Americans. “The freed slaves in places like Sierra Leone and Abeokuta,” with the help of missionary organizations,

encouraged missionary enterprises. During this period of denominationalism, many churches from the British Isles and America sent missionaries to Nigeria’s coast and interior. The Anglicans, through the Church Missionary Society (CMS), were the first, but their Niger Expedition in 1841 failed. However, the first successful penetration of Christian mission into the interior of Nigeria was made in 1842, when the Wesleyan Methodists sent Rev. Thomas Birch Freeman and an assistant William de craft and his wife from the Gold Coast (Ghana) to Badagry and Henry Townsend to Abeokuta on the invitation of the freed slaves who had settled there.

On the Cross River in the country’s southernmost corner The Presbyterians sent Rev. Hope Masterton Wadded, accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Edgerl A. Chishalm and E. Miller, to establish the Church of Scotland Mission in the old slave-trading town of Calabar in April 1846. Their efforts were rewarded when the Presbytery of Biafra was established in 1858. In 1850, the American Baptist Mission began operations in Nigeria. The Pioneer Missionary, Rev. Thomas J. Bowen, established stations in Ijaiye and Ogbomoso. The Society of the African Missions introduced Roman Catholicism in 1862. Ex-slaves were organized, and stations were set up in Lagos and Abeokuta. There was a Catholic church in Yorubaland when the Italian priest, Father Broghero, visited Lagos in 1863. The Holy Ghose Fathers began

In 1885, Father Joseph Lutz of Onitsha began working among the Igbo of Eastern Nigeria. Samuel A. Bill established the Qua Iboe Mission in the Qua Iboe River area in 1887, but the Qua Iboe church was not established as an independent evangelical and interdenominational body until 1891.

Mission work in Northern Nigeria began in 1893 with Rolland Bingham, Walter Gowans, and Thomas Kent. In 1904, the Sudan United Mission (SUM) joined the Sudan Interior Mission (SIM) in mission work in the North, focusing on Adamawa, Benue, and Bornu.

1.2   Statement of the Problem

It should be noted that missionary activities during this time were denominational and limited to the southern part of the country. The missionaries who came were well-trained and well-prepared, though many were swept away by the weather. The language barrier was reduced to a bare minimum through the use of interpreters and missionaries learning the language; trained Nigerian ministers began to emerge; churches, and later schools and hospitals, were built. More importantly, the converts were baptized as an indelible mark of the new faith they had accepted and the old ways they had abandoned.

1.3   Objectives of the Study

The study sought to determine the impact of denominational practices on church growth. The study specifically sought to;

Determine whether or not denominational practices have a significant impact on church growth.
Determine the various denominations in Nigeria and their impact on churches.

Determine whether denominational practices promote church growth.

1.4   Research Questions

Denominational practices have no effect on church growth.
Denominational practices have an effect on church growth.

1.6   Significance of the Study\

This study will be extremely useful to other researchers who want to learn more about this topic, and it can also be used by non-researchers to expand on their work.

1.7   Scope/Limitations of the Study

This research looks at the impact of denominational practices on church growth.

Limitations of study

Financial constraint- Inadequate funding tends to impede the researcher’s efficiency in locating relevant materials, literature, or information, as well as in the data collection process (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will conduct this study alongside other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.

1.8   Definition of Terms

Religious denominations are subgroups within religions that share a common name, tradition, and identity. The term refers to a variety of Christian denominations (for example, Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and the many varieties of Protestantism).

Church Growth: A movement within evangelical Christianity that seeks to develop methods for church growth based on business marketing strategies.


T. Adamolekun, “Church Proliferation and its Impact on National Development in Nigeria,” in J.O. Akinbi, Towards a Better Nigeria. Ben Quality Printers, Ibadan, 1999, p.45

Benin and the Europeans, A.F.C. Ryder, 1845-1897. Longmans, London, 1969, pp. 24-25

A.F.C. Ryder, “The Benin Missions,” Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria, vol. 2, no. 2, December 1961, p. 231.

“Missionary Activities in the Kingdom of Warri to the Early Nineteenth Century,” A.F.C. Ryder, Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria, Vol. II, No. 1, December 1960, p.3. Also see Jacob Eghareuba. A Short History of Benin, University Press, Ibadan, 1968, pp. 42-50.

The History of the Catholic Church in Nigeria, edited by A.O. Makozi and G.J.A. Ojo. Macmillan Nigeria, Lagos, 1982, p.7.

Ade Ajayi, J.F.


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