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Eastern West Africa Contact Information

Bishop Michael A. Frencher, Sr.

1919 Carlton Avenue
Greensboro, NC 27406

Phone: 336-312-8245

About the Eastern West Africa Episcopal District

On world level, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church is an autonomous branch of the original Methodist Episcopal Church started in the United States of America by John Wesley's initiative. The formal organization of the A.M.E. Zion Church was recognized in the year 1796 in New York City, although its history predates the U.S. itself and goes back to January 27, 1771.

A connectional church, the A.M.E. Zion (also known as The Freedom Church) historically so divinely motivates, so impregnably conscious of its religious and race obligations, composed of people so sacrificially devoted to the service of God and mankind, today stands eleven years in the shadows of a celebrated 210 plus year history (1996).

The church is connectional, not national. Hence in this Episcopal District, it is simply A.M.E. Zion Church in Nigeria. Not A.M.E. Zion "of" Nigeria. It is Methodist, and of the Episcopal form of administration, evangelical, and strongly participates in the continuing christian movements of freedom and liberation. In other words, the A.M.E. Zion Church, essentially, stands for the intellectual, spiritual, moral, economic and political liberation of oppressed people around the world. It is a founding (charter) member of the World Council of Churches as well as the World Methodist Council. It co-operates with all churches that affirm the Lordship of Jesus Christ, The Bible as the Word of God and rule of life, and two Sacraments of our Lord, etc.

With a total of over 2,500,000 members on most of the inhabited continents of the world, (1,500,00- in the U.S.), the denomination is demarcated into twelve (apostolic) Episcopal Districts equivalent to, but often larger than what they know as provinces in the Anglican or Roman Church traditions.

Each Episcopal district is headed by a Presiding Prelate of Bishop, indeed a Metropolitan, who in fact is (of the rank of what other denominations call Primate or) the Prelate, although in true Methodist tradition the title of Presiding Bishop or Presiding Prelate in the A.M.E.Zion Church is superlative. Presiding Prelate is equally official.

A.M.E. Zion bishops are elected for life by the General (Connectional) Church at its Quadrennial General Conference and assigned or re-assigned to districts for and after every fours years when in the wisdom of the General Conferences it is necessary to do so, according to the Book of Discipline. Like all other Methodist bodies the "Book of Discipline" contains the constitution doctrines and rituals of Zion.

The church in the District (province) of Nigeria is currently headed by Bishop Samuel Chuka Ekemam, Sr. Bishop Ekemam was elected in 1988. He has served three terms as president of the Board of Bishops of the Church since February, 1992. The President of the Board of Bishops becomes the titular and spiritual head of the Church and presides at official ceremonies like the consecration of new bishops of the Church. Bishop George W.C. Walker is Senior Bishop.

The A.M.E. Zion Church came to Nigeria in 1932 by way of Ghanaian Zionite merchants cum Missionaries arriving first in Oron and Ikot Osong both in what is now Akwa Ibom State. From there it spread to other parts of Nigeria like Calabar in Cross River State, Port Harcourt in Rivers, Aba in Abia State, Lagos, etc. with congregations and parishes in the Western, Northern parts of this large nation—all constituted into the present Eastern West Africa Episcopal District (province) with about 45 superintendences called Presiding Elder Districts, with a Presiding Elder as the dean of each but under the Presiding Bishop. Each Presiding Elder District consists of several parishes or pastorates. There are about 320 such pastorates throughout Nigeria.

The A.M.E. Zion Church is not the same either in theology, practice or origin with some other groups with the word "Zion" inserted in their name. It is Zion Methodism only if it is A.M.E. Zion, tracing its origin to John Wesley through Francis Asbury and James Varick, our Founding Bishop.

The co-ordination of the work of Zion Methodism (A.M.E. Zion) in Nigeria is done from our permanent administrative headquarters at 1 Zion Hill Plaza, Ugwu Orji, Okigwe Road, Owerri, P.O. Box 8000, Owerri, Imo State; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . The bishop maintains regional offices in Lagos and at Bishop's Mission House near the Hood-Speaks Theological Seminary and the A.M.E. Zion Secondary Commercial School, Ndon Ebom, Akwa Ibom. The other is located in Kano, Northern Nigeria.

The Women's work in the A.M.E. Zion Church is carried out under the auspices of the Woman's Home & Overseas Missionary Society. The Missionary Supervisor usually heads the department and co-ordinates the work throughout the Episcopal District. The bishop's wife, usually appointed by the Presiding Bishop of the Area, serves in that capacity. Our current Missionary Supervisor is Mrs. Stella Adannaya Ekemam. Our first Nigerian Missionary Supervisor, Lady Dr. Faustina Ekemam, died in March 2004. Dr. Faustina had served from 1988 to her death in 2004.

There are eleven Annual Conferences in this Episcopal District covering the whole of Nigeria. Each of the conferences has someone appoints to take charge of the women's work. Such person is known as the Missionary Field Worker who must first be trained in America for the work. She usually reports to the Bishop through the Missionary Supervisor.

For the Lay Activities Department, a Lay Council exists in each conference. The bishop appoints a Lay Council President who co-ordinates the work of Lay Council through the length and breadth of the conference.

For other departments like Evangelism, Youth Christian Education, Zion Evangelical Movement, the bishop usually appoints a director annually for each conference. Each Director, like the Missionary Field Worker and the Lay Council President, is expected to give a written annual report to the Bishop in Conference. And although one may be continued in office as long as he she is useful, loyal and effective, all appointments including those of the District Superintendents, must be made annually by the bishop to whom they are accountable.

Two of the Conferences have each a functioning Bishop's Administrative Assistant, viz: Cross River Nigeria Conference - Rev. Dr. U. U. Effiong and Rivers Nigeria Conference - Rev. Dr. Cheta Izogo, who assist in the co-ordination of the work in each Conference.


The church owns several nursery and primary schools throughout Nigeria. The A.M.E. Zion Church in Nigeria also maintains three post primary (secondary) schools and one post-secondary school. They are:-

  • Hood-Speaks Theological Seminary, Ndon Ebom, Uruan LGA., Akwa Ibom State.
  • The A.M.E. Zion Secondary Commercial School, Ndon Ebom.
  • The A.M.E. Zion Secondary School, Mbukpo Oduobo, Oron.
  • The A.M.E. Zion Secondary Commercial School, Ikot Obio Ekpong.

The aggressive educational and social as well as expansion program of this Episcopal District calls for support and encouragement. Hundreds of indigent students of Higher Institutions as well as un-employed youths look to the church for help, solace, and succor. Other outreach programs of health and feeding remain the church's business. So the church call for support and assistance from philanthropists, foundations as well as mission minded individuals and organizations to come to her aid. The A.M.E. Zion Church is Nigeria is serious about "Go ye". And the "Good News" of the Gospel is her business - good news to the poor, the blind, the sick, the imprisoned and the needy.