Nigerian Christian honored for efforts to empower women
Akpanudo organized the Christian Women’s Forum, a monthly gospel meeting and lectureship, in 1971. The aim was “to counter the general belief that Church of Christ women were asked to remain perpetually silent,” said Akpanudo’s husband, Moses.
“Jessie started teaching them how to pray among the women folk, lead singing, read the Bible as well as teach other women about Christ and his kingdom,” Moses Akpanudo said. “Many of the women were illiterate. They were taught to memorize many Bible passages that helped them navigate through life at all seasons.”
The forum meets monthly at churches in Nigeria’s Akwa Ibom state. Women who attend come from three local government areas (or counties) in the state. Today there are about 60 Churches of Christ in those three counties.
The elders of the Church of Christ in Obong Ntak and minister Nkereke Idio presented Jessie Akpanudo with a plaque for her years of commitment.
“It was spiritually very rewarding to all of us as a family, as Jessie has been able to leave the mantle of leadership to younger women,” her husband said. “Whether she is present or not, the women’s forum usually goes on. Pray for this type of leadership among the men in our local churches.”