More Information
ISBN: 9781839732096
Imprint: Langham Monographs
Format: Paperback
Dimensions (mm): 229 x 152 x 11
Publication Date: 31/07/2021
Pages: 210
Language: English

Women in Mission

SIM/ECWA Women in Nigeria 1923–2013


In Africa and around the world, the church has been established through the faithful effort of men and women working together for the sake of the gospel. However, failure to acknowledge women’s contributions in evangelism and ministry – or to integrate women’s stories into the history of the church – has led to treating women as secondary within the body of Christ.

Women in Mission explores the powerful legacy of women in SIM (formerly, Sudan Interior Mission) and the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), demonstrating that from the beginning women have been active and essential participants in the work of God in Nigeria. Dr. Lami Rikwe Ibrahim Bakari examines various theological and cultural frameworks for understanding the role of women in society before delving into the rich historical reality of women’s involvement in Nigerian church history. This study is a powerful reminder that God’s call to partner in the gospel is not limited by sex, and that it is precisely in recognizing women as primary and active participants in God’s mission – maximizing and not suppressing their giftings – that the kingdom of God is best served.

Author Bios

Lami Rikwe Ibrahim Bakari

LAMI RIKWE IBRAHIM BAKARI has a PhD in Intercultural Studies from Trinity International University, Deerfield, Illinois, USA, and a ThM in Practical Theology from International Theological Seminary, El Monte, California, USA, along with an MA in Biblical Studies from ECWA Theological Seminary, Jos, Nigeria. She is a founding leader of both Christian Women Development Network International and the Pricilla Group, and during her nearly forty years of ministry, she has founded two schools, worked as a hospital chaplain, and planted seven churches in partnership with her husband.


Dr. Ibrahim has shared an idea whose time has come for the Christian churches of Africa. This book is a must-read for all African Christian leaders, male and female.

Mel Loucks, PhD
Retired Professor Emeritus of Systematic and Historical Theology,International Theological Seminary, Los Angeles, California, USA

Dr. Ibrahim has added her voice on the unending debate on the role of women in Christian missions and church life. There is a need for men and women to be partners in missions and in all spheres of the life of the church. This book suggests concrete and creative ways to achieve such partnership. I highly recommend it to all leaders and members of ECWA, as well as other denominations in Nigeria and Africa.

Rev. Barje S. Maigadi, PhD
Former Deputy Provost, ECWA Theological Seminary, Jos (JETS), Nigeria

For many years African women theologians have lamented the silencing of women’s voices in African Christianity and theology, likening African theology to a bird with only one wing. In this well-written book, Dr. Lami Ibrahim seeks to remedy this deficiency by analyzing and developing the story of women contributors to the mission of God in SIM/ECWA.

David Tarus, PhD
Executive Director, Association for Christian Theological Education in Africa (ACTEA)

Dr. Ibrahim rightly calls on the church to recognize the contributions women are already making and to release them into further service for God’s kingdom. I heartily commend this work to your consideration and study.

Paul Todd, PhD
SIM Nigeria Deputy Director
Publishing Director, African Christian Textbooks (ACTS) Nigeria

Table of Contents

  1. Acknowledgments
  2. Abstract
  3. Chapter 1 Introduction
    1. A Definition of Mission
    2. Purpose Statement
    3. Thesis Statement
    4. Research Questions
    5. Significance of the Study
    6. Definition of Terms
    7. Delimitations
  4. Chapter 2 Literature Review
    1. Approaches and Theories Relative to Women’s Roles
      1. Three Waves of Western Feminism
      2. Womanist Theory
      3. Evangelical Feminist Theory
      4. Nego-Feminism
    2. Women in Evangelical Mission
      1. The Role of Evangelical Women in Mission: 1812–1940
    3. The Changing Perception of the Role of Women in Evangelicalism
      1. The Evangelical Theological Debate on Women’s Roles
    4. SIM/ECWA on Women’s Involvement in the Church
      1. Impact of Christianity on African Women
      2. African Women’s Historical and Political Contexts
      3. African Christian Women in Their Social Contexts
  5. Chapter 3 Research Methodology
    1. Selection Process
    2. Limitations
  6. Chapter 4 Not Without Women
    1. Margaret Gowans: The Background to SIM/ECWA Presence in Northern Nigeria
    2. “White Mothers” of ECWA from 1923–1943
    3. Effie Ethel Varley (Uhwo Nsara): Rigwe White Mother
      1. Itinerant Missions
      2. Educational Mission
      3. Pastoring and Church Ministry
      4. Medical Services
      5. Bible Translation
    4. Helen C. Griffin (Maijinya): The Care Giver, Agundun Momi
      1. Itinerant Missions
      2. Medical
      3. Educational Ministry
      4. Pastoring and Church Work
      5. Hospitality
      6. Field Transfer
  7. Chapter 5 A Mighty Army of Witnesses
    1. Girls of the Whites: Women and Leadership in SIM/ECWA Churches from 1943–1963
    2. Ranan Ensarah (Girls of the White) and the Regwe SIM Church
      1. Daho the Visionary Leader
      2. Dagida the Intuitive Leader
      3. Minke the Unstopable Evangelist
    3. Mace and the Conversion of Dodo Priests of Yeskwa
    4. Yammatan Turawa (Girls of the Whites) and the Kano, Katsina, and Sokoto SIM Churches
    5. ECWA Women in Church Ministry: Mama Abu (Rev.) Ishaku Bello and Mama Ruth Birma from 1963–198
    6. Ingenuity of ECWA Women: Mama Saratu Waya and Princess Phoebe Gye from 1983–2013
  8. Chapter 6 Roles and More Roles
    1. Itinerant Mission/Evangelism
    2. Open Air Preaching
    3. Mission Field – Wives of Missionaries and Ministers
    4. Giving and Support
    5. Songs/Singing
    6. At the Home Front
    7. In the Local Church
      1. Children’s Ministry
      2. Fellowship Group
    8. Theological Education
    9. Financing the Ministry of ECWA: The Contributions of Women
      1. Pastor’s Training/Welfare
      2. Support for New Churches
      3. Widows’ and Orphans’ Care
      4. Theological Education
      5. Missionary Children’s Education and Needs
      6. Economic Empowerment
    10. Building and Land Properties
  9. Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusion
    1. Recommendations and Conclusion
  10. Appendix 1 Research Protocols
    1. Sample In-Depth Interview Questions
    2. Oral History Interview
    3. Concluding Remarks
  11. Appendix 2 ECWA’s Organizational Structure
  12. Appendix 3 Description of Research Respondents or Subjects
  13. Bibliography

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