Dike, Albert Job (1887–1992)

By Nnamdi Onyenweaku

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Nnamdi Onyenweaku

First Published: January 29, 2020

Albert Job Dike was the first native Nigerian to be elected secretary of the Publishing Department in the East Nigeria Mission.

Early Life, Conversion, and Ministry

Albert Job Dike was born in August 1887 to the Anglican family of Job Dike and Fanny Nwakire Dike. His hometown was Umuocham, now Osisioma, in the local government area of Abia state.1

He started the Anglican Missionary Primary School in 1915 and completed his primary standard six there. Later he passed the standard II examination that qualified him to be a primary school teacher. He further engaged in self-improvement through private studies, leading to his knowledge of accounting, shorthand, and typewriting. He studied at Washington Theological Seminary, Aba, Abia state, for six months in 1950. This seminary was owned by the Anglican Church. After his study at the seminary, he worked for some time at the office of the Anglican Church in Makurdi, the present capital of Benue State of Nigeria.2

How long he worked at the Anglican office in Makurdi is not known, but he resigned from there and became an accountant with United Africa Company (UAC) limited at Umuahia, the present capital city of Abia state. He had a successful career there.3

A turning point in his life happened when he met a Seventh-day Adventist literature evangelist, Robert Oluikpe, who sold some books to him. Reading the books, he became convicted and became a Seventh-day Adventist. He was baptized in 1930 and became a literature evangelist in 1931. In March 1932, he became the first national secretary (now called director) for the Publishing Department, following Pastor Coolk, a European who had returned to his own country. Pastor Dike got his missionary license in 1934 and was ordained in 1943.4

According to his service record in the archive of the East Nigeria Conference, he held the following positions in the East Nigeria Mission: Publishing Department secretary (1932-1933), secretary-treasurer (1934-1944), district leader (1944-1951), association president (1952), acting secretary (1955), secretary-treasurer (1956-1957), president (1958-1961), accountant (1962-1964), business manager at Seventh-day Adventist Hospital, Okpualan, and in Nigeria Teacher College, Ihie (1965-1969).5

Legacy

Albert Job Dike died October 19, 1992.6 He is remembered as the first national Publishing Department secretary, the first national secretary-treasurer, and the first national president of the East Nigeria Mission. He played a crucial role in curbing the teaching and practice of spiritism among some church members in 1938. The first quarter Sabbath School lesson for that year dealt with spiritual gifts and the coming down of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Apparently, some members got the lesson wrong and began to claim that they had been filled with the Holy Spirit and they began to speak in tongues. The leader of this group was Paul Ogogo. Dike visited all the churches that were affected by this movement, correcting the error.7

Pastor Dike laid the foundation of the Seventh-day Adventist church building in Umuocham. When he retired he pastored the church as a volunteer. He helped to produce the Advent Hymnal in the Igbo language.8

Sources

Babalola, David O. Sweet Memories of Our Pioneers. (Lagos: Emaphine Reprographics Ltd., 2001).

“Service Record of Albert Job Dike.” Archives of East Nigeria Conference.

Notes

  1. Ngozi Dike, daughter of Albert Job Dike, interview by author, Abayi Umocham, May 7, 2017.

  2. Ibid.

  3. Ibid.

  4. David O. Babalola, Sweet Memories of Our Pioneers (Lagos: Emaphine Reprographics Ltd., 2001), 95.

  5. “Service Record of Albert Job Dike,” Archives of East Nigeria Conference.

  6. Ngozi Dike, daughter of Albert Job Dike, interview by author, Abayi Umocham, May 7, 2017.

  7. Babalola, 95.

  8. Ngozi Dike, daughter of Albert Job Dike, interview by author, Abayi Umocham, May 7, 2017.

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Onyenweaku, Nnamdi. "Dike, Albert Job (1887–1992)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Accessed April 09, 2024. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=FB87.

Onyenweaku, Nnamdi. "Dike, Albert Job (1887–1992)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Date of access April 09, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=FB87.

Onyenweaku, Nnamdi (2020, January 29). Dike, Albert Job (1887–1992). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved April 09, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=FB87.