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INTRODUCTION

The UMCA acronym means UNITED MISSIONARY CHURCH OF AFRICA. This Church was founded in the year 1905 in Nigeria after the arrival of the first missionary from the United States of America and Canada in the person of Rev. A W BANFIELD. This man of God came in the company of some other devoted children of God, came to Nigeria, through a movement called the MENNONITE whose leader is MENO SIMONS(THESE SET OF BELIEVERS LAY MUCH EMPHASIS ON THE PERSONAL FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST AND THE BAPTISM OF THE BELIEVER) THEIR FIRST CHURCH WAS CHRIST CHURCH, WHICH WAS LATER KNOWN AS UNITED MISSIONARY CHURCH AND NOW THE MISSIONARY CHURCH. They formed the UNITED MISSIONARY SOCIETY which later metamorphosed into UNITED MISSIONARY CHURCH OF AFRICA, in 1955 and was corporately registered in September 29th 1956, under the land perpetual ordinance cap. 107 of the federal republic of Nigeria, with registration number 427. The growth of the church was witnessed as God began to help the church in terms of Evangelism and mission. Converts were won to the kingdom of Christ and so the church grew numerically. The new members with the zeal for God also became instrumental to the work of soul winning and so they labored tremendously in the vineyard of Lord and Savior. Some of the areas of concentration of the church include rural evangelism and missions. Establishment of Primary and secondary

schools. Building of hospitals, and medical centers. Others include the building of Bible/Theological Colleges. Ultimately Churches were established too. The following names will be worth mentioning because of the roles they played at the embryo level on the church. Rev. Taylor D.O. (Who happens to be the first UMCA ordained Pastor), Senior Pastor Andrawus Nama, the late Rev Nathaniel Jiya and Senior Pastor Abel Kolawole(a pioneer missionary to the NUPE people). These men were so full of the zeal and passion for the work of the Lord. On the 5th day of January 1978 in Ilorin, the leadership baton was handed over to the Indigenous leaders of the Church that was after 23years of the church under the leadership of the missioners from America and so at the UMCATC CHAPEL, UMCA became an independent/indigenous church. Therefore, the church was given a new constitution which was to govern the new leadership of the church. Hence this work piece is CONSTRUCTIVELY going to look into the UMCA CONSTITUTION and efforts will be made to compare it with the constitution of the CHRIST APOSTOLIC GOSPEL CHURCH (CAGC). Knowing full well that I have read through the UMCA constitution, I will hereby pass my comments on my personal observations as observed by me in the constitution of the UMCA.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: Let us begin from the HISTORICAL BACKGROUND; I will want to believe that there were so WOMEN who played one important role or the other at the inception of the Church but it is noticeable that there role was never given a place in the history of the church, not even one of them was deem fit of mentioning in the historical background. Therefore the church will be doing a lot of justice and good to women folk by mentioning even if its just a womans name in the next review of the constitution. Still on the Historical background, I would like to point out the fact that the NAME OF THE GENERAL SECRETARY appeared before the NAME OF THE VICE PRESIDENT/TREASURER. This is not supposed to be so because in order of prominence the name of the VICE PRESIDENT should come first. The church must also note that in writing the post held by REV. JAMES TSWANYA HARMAN it should be VICEPRESIDENT/TREASURER not TREASURER/VICE PRESIDENT. CHAPTER ONE: Let UMCA note the typographical error on the outline.. OBJECT..it should be OBJECTIVES as the content in article 3 later confirm.note same mistake on article 3 headings. Furthermore, note the arrangements of the objectives in article 3, from OBJECTIVE ONE TO NINE. These objectives from my own observation are not well arranged in the other of importance and priority. For example I think OBJECTIVE 9 should come first, which states and I quote TO TAKE THE GOSPEL TO ALL UNREACHED PEOPLE IN AFRICA

AND THE WORLD. Going by the great commission of our Lord in the gospel, I think this objective should come first. OBJECTIVE 2 should remain in the second position as it is. I quote To provide places of worship and fellowship where God is praised, His word is proclaimed, people receive Christ as savior and Lord, believers are instructed, prayer is offered, discipline and love are exercised, and the ordinances are administered. OBJECTIVE 3 should remain in third priority as it is. I quote To obey the Great commission of our Lord so that through evangelism and missions, new believers may be gathered into the new churches. OBJECTIVE 1 is supposed to be on number 4, because all its contents are meant for believers.. I quote To advance Christian knowledge and practice through the establishment and operation of churches, schools and medical institutions and other services. OBJECTIVE 4 should move to number 5. .. I quote To foster spiritual unity and co-operation with Christian believers of other denominations. OBJECTIVE 8 should move to number 6 I quote To prepare people for heaven. It is worthy of note, the order of preeminence or importance set by me here is my personal beliefs. So I want to believe all other worldly material and perishable achievements or objectives of the church should come after the ones I clearly stated above, thus: OBJECTIVE 7 should remain as it is.. I quote To invest in such financial undertakings that can help in the propagation of the Gospel.

OBJECTIVE 5 should move to number 8. I quote To own properties, real and personal OBJECTIVE 6 should come last in the settings of the objectives of the Church UMCA.. I quote To establish companies, to deal in the sale of religious and other educational books, stationeries and other items. ARTICLE 6 (b) INTERPRETATION OF THE LOGO: I would love to draw the attention of the church to the fact that, having painstakingly interpreted all the other parts of the logo, the SLOGAN of the church ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE BAPTISM was given no attention at all. Probably the church assumes that, every reader of the constitution will fathom this out of themselves. An interpretation of this logo will do the church a lot of good, in that, it help sensitize the great importance attached to this slogan by the church as a whole body. Other articles in chapter one is well stated; except at article number 8. TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP.. On the (b) part. My question here is why would the church decide to terminate the membership of its member and on what kind of ground?.. Because our Lord Jesus said he would by no means cast any man away. JOHN 6:37.

CHAPTER TWO: ARTICLE 10: States that the The line of authority is in ascending and descending order. IN THE ASCENDING ORDER, ALL THE VARIOUS LEVELS HAVE TO BE PASSED THROUGH BEFORE AN INSTRUCTION OR OTHERWISE IS GIVEN. My question here and observation is that what will happen in case of any emergencies? and what is the provision of the Church for such cases of emergencies where a decision is needed to be taken and going through all the protocols stated in constitution will amount to jeopardy? Therefore a clearly documented provision should be made available in the next review of the constitution of the UMCA. CHAPTER THREE: ARTICLE 14: QUORUM: What happens to the decision to be ratified when the people on seat do not represent half of the districts? Man is bound to have emergencies and other restraining factors in life. The UMCA should endeavor to make a contingency arrangement for such cases knowing full well that the attending delegates will be coming from different geo-political locations of the country.with that behind the mind of the leaders provisions should be made for such arrangements, in the next edition of the constitution.

CHAPTER EIGHT: ARTICLE 50: ORGANIZATION OF A CHURCH DISTRICT; In section (2) the arrangements of the organization in the district are not in the right sequence. That is from my own perspective.. It ought to be something like this: 1- Church District Conference 2- District Executive Committee 3- District Ministerial Council 4- District Pastoral Council 5- Finance and General purposes Committee; 6- District Missions Committee; 7- District Christian Education Committee; 8- District Nominating Committee; 9- District Council of Deacons and Deaconesses; 10- District Mens Fellowship; 11- District Womens Fellowship and 12- District Youth Fellowship. Please note that there is no provision for the CHILDREN in the constitution. Therefore efforts should be made for a committee on their behalf in the next review of the constitution. Though the Church might want to claim that there is Oral Provision made for them either by appointing an Ad-hoc committee for them or through the Children Education Department, yet I would be of the opinion that there should be a constitutional Backup. They are the future of the church. Furthermore under the CHILD RIGHT ACT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, EVERY

CHILD HAS THE RIGHT TO BE DULLY RECOGNISED AND GIVEN DUE RESPECT. RETIREMENT AND PENSION SCHEME: I would like to, at this junction, state clearly that, having read through the entire UMCA constitution and was very proud of the makeup of the other chapters of the constitution; I want to give kudos to the church for a well articulated job done in putting down the constitution. However, I would like to point out the fact that there was no stipulated or documented condition for the retirement of any ordained minister in the church, which is either BY YEAR OF SERVICE or BY AGE ATTAINED. Secondly, there is no PENTION SCHEME arrangement for the ministers. Having worked wholeheartedly, meticulously, judiciously for the growth of the church, then I want to believe that it is the duty of the church to make some provisions for their comfort in their old age.

COMPARISM BETWEEN UMCA AND CAGC CONSTITUTIONS


Having been acquainted with the duo constitution I will hereby want to write out some comparism between the two constitutions. 1- In UMCA the heads of the church are the PRESIDENT and the VICE-PRESIDENT, while in CAGC the head of the Church is the GENERAL OVERSEER and the ASSISTANT-GENERAL OVERSEER. 2- The logo of UMCA consists of a circle bearing the name of the church, a cross, a Bible. Those of CAGC consist of a shield bearing

the name of the church, a cross, a jingle bell, a bible, a picture of a shepherd. 3- The slogan of UMCA is ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE BAPTISM. That of CAGC is ONE LOVE, ONE FOLD, ONE SHEPHERD. 4- In UMCA, the apex body is the UMCA GENERAL CONFERENCE while in CAGC; the apex body is CHURCH EXECUTIVE COUNCIL. 5- In UMCA an ordained minister can be referred to as a Pastor but it cant be so in CAGC, they are referred to as EVANGELISTS. 6- In UMCA there is no constitutional backing for the CHILDREN, the CAGC clearly stipulate the responsibilities of the Church over the CHILDREN it her constitution. 7- UMCA has a THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE, while CAGC has got none. 8- In UMCA constitution attention is not given to arranging bodies or posts in their order of importance, however this is not so with CAGC constitution, for great importance is attached to hierarchy. 9- The headquarters of UMCA is located in KWARA STATE in ILORIN; while that of CAGC is located in OYO STATE, IBADAN to be precise. 10Area Church Council in UMCA is called ZONES in CAGC, while Local Church in UMCA are called parish in CAGC. Furthermore the CHURCH DISTRICT is called PROVINCIAL COUNCIL in CAGC. 11BIRTH and DEATH, have constitutional backups in the CAGC constitution, while that of UMCA has no documented page for this two Ordinance. 12In the history of UMCA they have a pedigree of the white missionary while CAGC has an indigenous pedigree rooted in the renowned CHRIST APOSTOLIC CHURCH (CAC).

13The title of REVEREND is not a part of CAGC constitution, hence nobody goes by the title in the entirety of the church. In UMCA the title is a revered one. So many comparism abound in the constitution of the two churches, because as their names differs so also the constitution, however there are still some major similarities within the two fold, in terms of the fundamental beliefs of every true Christian.

CONCLUSION
The institution of UMCA has come to stay and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. GOD has blessed his church UMCA with dedicated men and women. He also gave them a citadel of learning, THE UMCA THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE out of which the writer of this work is been blessed and loaded currently. Finally, I would like to state here that all observations made here are my own personal observation and are made constructively not bearing any grudge or aspersion in mind against the Intellects of the UMCA. GOD BLESS UMCA.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED MISSIONARY CHURCH OF AFRICA. -UMCA 2006. CHRIST APOSTOLIC GOSPEL CHURCH CONSTITUTION. -CAGC 2002.

UMCA THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE


ILORIN

(An Affiliate of University of Ibadan) P. o. Box 171, Ilorin, Kwara State.

An Assignment on:

THE CONSTRUCTIVE CRITISISM OF THE UMCA CONSTITUTION; AND THE COMPARISM WITH THE CAGC CONSTITUTION.

By: BOB SHALOM TAIWO Matric no: UMCATC/12/3023 Course Title: UMCA CONSTITUTION & MANUAL Course code: RSS 113. Level: 100.

Submitted to; REV (DR) J. T. HARMAN

Date: 10TH December, 2012.