1.1 Background of the Study
Rewriting the history of Bishop John Eshiet Ettefia can be tedious since it involves the writing of the history of a great man whose immense contributions led to the establishment and growth of Mount Zion Light House and Full Gospel Church. If there was ever a man in Ikot Akpaden in present day Mkpat Enin Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State whose life and career was an adventure of diverse pursuit and whose personal and public life remained even in old age colourful, rich and inspiring, it was that of Bishop John Eshiet Ettefia. According to John Calvin; “When I consider that I am not in my own power, I offer my heart a slain victim for a sacrifice to the lord…. I yield my soul chained and bound unto obedience to God1. Bishop John Eshiet Ettefia was a great man of God with natural dexterity of commanding influence an attracting attention, wherever he happened to be. His Lordship Bishop John Eshiet Ettefia is a household name and a highly revered figure in the prophetic circle and among the Zion churches in Ibibio land. In the sharpness of his intelligence and conception of Mount Zion Light House Full Gospel Church in Calabar 1944 “Which signified the beginning of indigenous Ibibio initiative at establishing their independent churches in the area.”2 Bishop Ettefia stood out glaringly among his contemporaries, a man whose image often portrayed him larger than life. His Lordship Bishop John Eshiet Ettefia was born into the family of Ettefia Ekim Iquaibom of Ikot Akpaden Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. Bishop Ettefia attended Duke Town Presbyterian School and obtained his first school leaving certificate in 1903. He was a British trained nurse under the colonial administration and was stationed at the General Hospital (Former St. Margaret Hospital) Calabar in Cross River State3.
He embarked on his spiritual journey through his early contact with the Faith Tabernacle Congregation, an American Pentecostal Movement then active in the African soil in the 1920s and embraced teachings on faith upon the application of faith on the scriptures, he further embraced divine healing as a biblical doctrine which every believers ought to accept and practice. His Lordship Bishop John Eshiet Ettefia was a pioneer member of The Apostolic Church. He witnessed and was part of those who were converted to The Apostolic Church at inception in the 1933-1934 revival.4 and later joined hands with the five members which are today called the five pillars of Mount Zion Light House Full Gospel Church. These members consisted of John Eshiet Ettefia, Jonah Bassey Ettefia, John Ubok Udom, John Obot Assiak and Robert Prince Akpabia led by John Udok Udom he was actively involved in establishment and growth of Mount Zion Light House Full Gospel Church until his demise in 1987.
1.2 Statement of the Problem Bishop John Eshiet Ettefia served and gave his all to the establishment of Mount Zion Light House Full Gospel Church. The growth and management of the church was solely rested on the shoulder of His Lordship Bishop John Eshiet Ettefia since the other four founding members demised. This research is to fill the inadequacy of detailed research work on his Lordship Bishop John Eshiet Ettefia and Mount Zion Light House Full Gospel Church. Additionally, this work is to create an awareness of the old structure of Mount Zion Light House Full Gospel Church.