Life and Work of Agori Iwe

Urhobo Historical Society
Sam U. Erivwo, Ph.D.
Originally Published in 1998 
Reproduced in URHOBO WAADO by kind permission of Professor Sam U. Erivwo


This work is dedicated to all soldiers of Christ, who are determined to fight the good fight of faith in the face of stiff opposition from enemies of the faith.


I am indebted to all who encouraged me to produce the biography of Bishop Agori Iwe: his immediate family, especially Dr. C.O. Agori Iwe, who made the father’s files and documents available and basically financed the publication; Dr. Michael Adogbo, who supplied information, especially about Agori’s early life, Miss Akpos Efekemo, Joy Ometa, and Mrs. Stella Otubu Ozuem, who typed the manuscript, Canon M.E. Dadi who linked us with Prof. Agbadudu of the University of Benin, and to Prof. Agbadudud himself, who encouraged us and saw to it, that the type setting was done, and corrected several times.

I am also grateful for the encouragement given to us by Prof. Fred I. A. Omu at various stages of the production of the Biography.

I am specially grateful to Mama, Agori’s widow, who granted me interview on the life of her husband, and to all others too numerous to mention for their co-operation in the final production of this work.

I am grateful to my wife, Comfort, and my children, for their encouragement and understanding.

Venerable Prof. Samuel U. Erivwo

Born 10th April, 1938, Samuel Erivwo was educated at the C.M.S. School Ughelli; J.W.G.S., Emevor; Government College, Ughelli; and at the University of Ibadan, where he obtained B.A. (Hons) in Religious Studies in 1967. After his first degree, he was ordained a deacon in 1968, and priested in 1969 by the Rt. Rev.  Agori Iwe. He taught at the A.G.G.S. Ughelli, and later proceeded for higher degree, obtaining his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Religious Studies with specialisation in Church History in 1972. He lectured at the University of Ibadan, Jos campus; the Polytechnic Ibadan; University of Ilorin, Ilorin, and at the Bendel (now Edo) State University Ekpoma, where as professor, he was Head of Department from 1982 to 1989. He was preferred an Archdeacon in 1986.

While at the Polytechnic Ibadan, he was opportuned to go to the United States of America in 1978 for study leave which he spent at the Union Theological Seminary, New York. Also, while at the Bendel State University, he spent a sabbatical leave at the Ondo State University, Ado Ekiti.

He has travelled far and wide, attending international conferences, in Frankfurt, Germany; Lancaster England; Winnipeg, Canada; Brecia and Rome in Italy; Costa Rica and so on. He is a Faculty member of Happai Institute, Singapore.

Professor Samuel Erivwo retired voluntarily form the University in 1989 to be in full-time ministry of the church. He was appointed superintendent of St. James’ District and Vicar of St. James Church Warri in 1989. In 1993 he was appointed Archdeacon of Warri Archdeconry where he served until June, 1995, when he was transferred to Sapele as Archdeacon of Sapele Archdeconry and Vicar of St. Luke’s Anglican Church, Sapele.

He is the author of A History of Christianity in Nigeria: the Urhobo, the Isoko, the Itsekiri and Traditional Religion and Christianity in Nigeria: The Urhobo People. He edited Warri Diocese Crisis, and God, Man and Judgment, and has contributed more than 15 chapters to books and  30 articles in learned journals. Samuel Erivwo is happily married and has five children.

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