Silvanus Ifechukwu Anuligo

Photo courtesy of Emmanuel Orihentare Eregare.

Anuligo, Silvanus Ifechukwu (1934–2009)

By Emmanuel Orihentare Eregare

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Emmanuel Orihentare Eregare (M.A., Ph.D.) is the director for General Education Studies and the site director at Adventist University of Africa (AUA), where he also serves as an adjunct professor of church history. He served as a senior lecturer in the Department of History and a pastor at Babcock University, Nigeria. Eregare is married to Bolanle, and they have three children. He has published several books and articles. 

First Published: April 4, 2023

Silvanus Ifechukwu Anuligo was a pastor, church administrator, and a professor emeritus of Theology and Christian Ministry who hailed from Nnewi, Anambra State of Nigeria, which is under the present-day Eastern Nigeria Union Conference.

Early Life, Family, and Education

Anuligo was born in Northern Nigeria on May 21, 1934, into an Anglican family who came from Nnewi Kingdom of Anambra State, which is located in the Southeastern region of Nigeria.1 Because there is little recorded information about his early life, the primary and secondary schools he attended are not known. However, Anuligo spent some parts of his early life in Northern Nigeria where he was born.2

Anuligo started his professional career with the Nigerian Meteorological Service. He worked there for about 12 years in Lagos State. He rose to the position of Assistant Meteorological Superintendent.3 While working with the Nigerian Meteorological Service, he attended the evangelistic outreach conducted by Pastor C. D. Henri. Anuligo was converted during that evangelistic campaign into the fellowship of the Seventh-day Adventist Church by baptism, and he served as a local church treasurer for about seven years. Based on Anuligo’s conviction of the three angels’ messages, Anuligo decided to join the ministry to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.4

Anuligo married Felicia Obunma Chinwah Anuligo on January 26, 1964. Anuligo and Felicia were blessed with three children: Tonna Kachi Anuligo, Kenechi Emenike Anuligo, and Nneka Flora Anuligo. These children today are highly placed in their respective professions. Anuligo was very close to his children as they grew up. He used to encourage them to strive for excellence in all their endeavors in life. He used to tell his children: “Hit the nail on the head when it is still hot.”5

Anuligo desired to have a church built in his hometown, Nnewi. This caused him to establish the Nnewi Seventh-day Adventist Church Fund project in Los Angeles, California, when he was in the United States. This was a non-profit organization set up to raise funds to erect a church building in his hometown, Nnewi. The fundraising continued for many years, but he never gave up. However, neither he nor his wife Felicia would witness the completion of that church building. Felicia died in July 2003 and was buried on September 1, 2003. On September 6, 2006, Anuligo married another wife, Chidinma Favour Anuligo.6

In his quest to be equipped for the Gospel ministry, Anuligo obtained his first degree in Theology from Newbold College, Bracknell, England.7 He then went for his second and third degrees in the United States at Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan–his Master of Divinity (M.Div.) and Doctor of Divinity (D.Min) in 1975. He wrote his dissertation on “Promoting Church Support through Giving.” Upon his return to Nigeria in 1976, he pastored and taught at the Adventist Seminary of West Africa (ASWA) for about five years.8 Anuligo successfully established the Literature Evangelism program for students, which helped finance their education and equip them for the gospel ministry. Within this same time period, Anuligo placed serious emphasis on systematic giving in the church for its sustainability. This passion was born out of his experience as a local church treasurer for a number of years.9

In 1981, Professor Anuligo felt the need to be more useful to the church in the area of Health Ministries, so he pursued another degree, a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of Texas, Houston. On his return to Nigeria for the second time, Anuligo pastored churches in Onitsha District, Anambra State, until he was called into administration from 1986-198714. Dr. Anuligo was then called back to ASWA to pastor and teach. This time he served as a lecturer in Religion and Health as chairman of the Department of Religion/Theology and as the director of the Ellen G. White Research Center. Also, Anuligo served as the pioneer dean of the School of Education and Humanities from 1999 to 2001.10 He served as a teacher and pastor until his retirement in 2002. After his retirement, he doubled his efforts in erecting the church building in his hometown, traveling to the United States of America to further raise funds for the project.11

Ministry

As a minister, Anuligo pastored a few churches, but he worked more as a teacher and church administrator. He served as the executive secretary in the now-defunct East Nigerian Mission. Anuligo also served a pastor of the Adventist Seminary of West Africa (ASWA) for a number of years. Anuligo was a man whose love for the ministry was genuine, consistent, and credible. He was a student of the Bible as he was in the habit of reading his Bible through every year, and he encouraged his students to do likewise. Anuligo was a pastor who did not mind if he stood alone on issues. He was ready to listen to his students and would change his decision over an issue if his students were right. He saw the second coming of the Lord Jesus as imminent, and he cared very much about the salvation of not only himself, his family, but also of his students. He practiced what he taught without wavering.12

Anuligo was a vegan. He encouraged his students to follow the same way of eating. His testimonies were that it promotes longevity, reduces visits to the hospital, and enables people to serve God in better health. His example encouraged his students to accept vegetarianism and teach and practice it.13

Legacy

Anuligo was popularly known by his students as “the Apostle of Stewardship” because he had a fascinating approach in teaching his students about giving to support the church. He lived what he taught. He contributed immensely to the personal and spiritual lives of his students and members. He left a lasting legacy in mentorship, scholarship, and mission. He died in Nsukka, Enugu State, during his visit with his cousin, a medical doctor, for a check-up.

His greatest desire was to see the completion of the building of the church in Nnewi, but unfortunately it was still uncompleted when he died on February 12, 2009. He was buried on March 11, 2009, at his compound, located at Vinas Drive, Nnewi, Anambra State, Nigeria.14

Sources

Anuligo, Silvanus Ifechukwu. Mine of Treasure: Growing Rich God’s Way. Lagos: Ife, 1993.

Anuligo, Silvanus Ifechukwu. “Promoting Church Support through Giving.” Professional Dissertation D.Min. Accessed March 5, 2023. http://digitalcommons.andrews.edu/dmin/418.

Adesegun, Abiodun. “A Brief History of the School of Education and Humanities.” Accessed March 7, 2023. https://www.babcock.edu.ng/school/EAH.

Olukaipke, Matthias N. “East Nigerian Conference (1977-2012).” Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Accessed March 7, 2023. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=9H4F.

“Silvanus Ifechukwu Anuligo.” Funeral Service Brochure, March 11, 2009. In the author’s private collection.

Notes

  1. “Silvanus Ifechukwu Anuligo,” Funeral Service Brochure, March 11, 2009, 1.

  2. Ibid., 1-2.

  3. Silvanus Ifechukwu Anuligo, Mine of Treasure: Growing Rich God’s Way (Lagos: Ife, 1993), 1-139.

  4. Silvanus Ifechukwu Anuligo, “Promoting Church Support through Giving,” digitalcommons.andrews.com; “Silvanus Ifechukwu Anuligo,” Funeral Service Brochure, 8.

  5. “Silvanus Ifechukwu Anuligo,” Funeral Service Brochure, 2, 9-10.

  6. Ibid., 8-10.

  7. Ibid., 1-2.

  8. Silvanus Ifechukwu Anuligo, “Promoting Church Support through Giving,” Professional Dissertation D.Min., 418, accessed March 5, 2023. http://digitalcommons.andrews.edu/dmin/418; “Silvanus Ifechukwu Anuligo,” Funeral Service Brochure, 16.

  9. Ibid.

  10. Abiodun Adesegun, “A Brief History of the School of Education and Humanities,” accessed March 7, 2023, https://www.babcock.edu.ng/school/EAH; Matthias N. Olukaipke, “East Nigerian Conference (1977-2012),” Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists, accessed March 7, 2023. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=9H4F.

  11. Adesegun, “A Brief History of the School of Education and Humanities;” Silvanus Ifechukwu Anuligo,” Funeral Service Brochure, 1-2.

  12. Silvanus Ifechukwu Anuligo,” Funeral Service Brochure, 1-2.

  13. Ibid.

  14. Ibid.

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Eregare, Emmanuel Orihentare. "Anuligo, Silvanus Ifechukwu (1934–2009)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 04, 2023. Accessed April 08, 2024. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=6H1J.

Eregare, Emmanuel Orihentare. "Anuligo, Silvanus Ifechukwu (1934–2009)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 04, 2023. Date of access April 08, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=6H1J.

Eregare, Emmanuel Orihentare (2023, April 04). Anuligo, Silvanus Ifechukwu (1934–2009). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved April 08, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=6H1J.