ECWA is the result of several missionaries that traveled to Africa from Canada and the United States in the late 1800’s. ECWA is currently the largest Protestant denomination in Nigeria with over 6,000 churches having an adult membership of 2.5 million and nearly 5 million in total attendance.
The Evangelical Church of West Africa was renamed “Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA)” because of its wide spread to beyond its scope. It was a result of ministry history and the wide spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ in Africa by several missionaries who came from several places in the Canada and the United States of American on what can be termed “evangelical suicide mission” which was coined by Oji Chukwudimma Chukwudike because it will be glaring to see that West Africa, at that time, was known to be heavily infested with malaria and there is almost a 100% possibility that a white man will not survive it as they even called the West African region “the white man’s grave.” These missionaries braved malaria and yellow fever to preach the gospel of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ under the auspices of the Sudan Interior Mission (SIM) and planted several churches as they preach along like Paul the Apostle and around mid 20th century these churches became independent to carry on the gospel. ECWA has the largest mission organization of any African church living up to its name Evangelical which by name Evangelical Mission Society (ESM) has sent out over 1,400 missionaries.
Throughout Nigeria, but especially in the central regions, ECWA churches are growing rapidly. Some churches have experienced as much as 400% growth in the last several years. Churches in the Northern (traditionally more Islamic) parts of the country are also growing. There are currently more than five thousand ECWA congregations with more than five million attendees and a church membership of over three million people. ECWA has over eighty District Church Councils called DCC’s and a number of Local Church Councils called LCC’s.
ECWA has three Theological Seminaries: ECWA Theological Seminary, Kagoro was established in 1931, ECWA Theological Seminary, Igbaja in 1941, and Jos ECWA Theological Seminary in 1980. There are also eight Bible colleges and fifteen theological training institutes. ECWA’s Medical Department coordinates a wide network which includes four hospitals, a Community Health Program with over 110 health clinics, a Central Pharmacy and the School of Nursing and Midwifery. It is also involved in radio, publications for outreach and discipleship, rural development, urban ministries, and cross-cultural missions. There are more than 1,600 missionaries from ECWA churches who serve in Nigeria and other countries with the Evangelical Missionary Society (EMS), the missionary arm of ECWA.
There has been a serious confrontation between evangelical Christians standing in opposition to the expansion of Sharia law in northern Nigeria by militant Muslims since 1999. The confrontation has radicalized and politicized the Christians. Violence has been escalating.