Showell, Ben Twanjo

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

BENJAMIN TWANJO SHOWELL: the son of a chief of the Bubi tribe living in the neighbourhood of San Carlos in Fernando Po. He entered into the household of the Rev. Thomas Showell when a very small boy and received part of his education in England. As the Government of his home Island would not permit the Mission to open a school, the work was carried to the Mainland of Nigeria, to Archibong Town and the surrounding villages in the creeks. He helped to establish these new stations and when a school was opened at Ibaka in James Town, he was the first teacher.

When the Oron Boys’ High School was established to give education and training on a higher level he was one of the first teachers. His calling however was not in the teaching profession but in the ministry. Everywhere he went he was eager to tell others of the love of God in Jesus Christ and of the salvation he had found in Him. He was recommended to the British Conference for acceptance into the ministry, and was ordained in Oyubia in 1915. He served with zeal and devotion and was loved and respected by the people. 

In 1948 he became a supernumerary and retired to live in Mbiaso. There he was of great help and would hardly miss an appointment or meeting. He saw great changes in Nigeria and in the Church. When he came to the country from the island of Fernando Po, it was not safe to travel far from the station. He lived to witness great developments of civilization and education. He saw the growth of the church from a single station to its present size and strength. He was the colleague of every missionary and worker who has ever been in the Eastern Nigeria District except the first three, and was one of the humblest of men. 

He was content to serve without caring for recognition or position. His heart was full of love to God for what Jesus Christ had come to mean to him in life and his great passion was to bring others to the saving grace he himself had found. His sympathy for the outcasts and the unfortunates in life was great, and they found in him a friend. He was charitable to the extent of self-denial; his modesty and lovable disposition endeared him to all, especially to the children, for whom he had a warm affection. 

His call to the higher service came on 23rd April 1958, in the forty-third year of his ministry.


1911 E Nigeria


Methodist Minutes 1958/205

W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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