The Church In Nung Ekim
While in Nigeria in 1979, Brother E. B. Udofia and I traveled to the small village of Nung Ekim, in the Cross River State, where I addressed a church of about 150 souls. Their small bamboo and mud building was barely large enough to accommodate everyone, so many sat on the outside. After my lesson, one of the brethren was asked to stand and (through an interpreter) relate to me the story of how the church was planted in that village. I was completely fascinated and deeply moved by what I heard. Let me repeat the account for you.
In 1962 there was no church of Christ in Nung Ekim. However, there were several denominational bodies. Two young boys, members of a Holiness group, were reading the Bible one day and discovered Romans 16:16, "the churches of Christ salute you." After discussing the matter, they concluded that that was surely the proper name for the Lord's church. They decided, as children are wont to do, to "play church." They built a small shack with sticks and palm leaves by the side of the road, and erected a small sign on it - "The Church of Christ." They would sit in their little building, read the Bible and sing religious songs. One day a member of the Lord's church who lived in a nearby village, happened to come along this road and was much surprised to see this sign, not being aware of any "church of Christ" in that village. He saw the two boys and tried to question them. At first, they ran away. But he was finally able to talk with them and began to meet with them and teach them. Neither of these boys knew of the existence of the church of Christ in any area.
These boys' interest in studying the truth soon secured the interest of others in the area. Preachers and other brethren came into the village and began street preaching and other studies. This precipitated a debate with the Holiness people on the subject of "miraculous healing." Many learned the truth and were baptized. Among them were these two boys who wanted to be members of the church they first read about in the Bible. The young man who was telling me this story had been one of those boys.
Thus, the church was planted in Nung Ekim and flourishes there today. They meet across the road from the exact spot where those two boys built their stick church building!