In the year 1857, a white Missionary visited Ile-Ife to preach the Christian message. The Ooni and the Chiefs granted him audience, and a large crowd of Ife Chiefs and People gathered at the Palace to hear him , with the Ooni Himself present but not physically seen.

The white man stood up and, for over one hour,  preached the Christian gospel Message : The Message of the Almighty God who created Heaven and Earth,  and who gave  his laws to Mankind : Of Mankind sinning and falling from the glory of God;  of God loving Mankind so much that He gave His only begotten Son to save Mankind from their sins ; and of Jesus, the Son of God, who came to the world, gave His life, and offered Mankind the way to reconcile with God and be saved from perishing in their sins. The white Missionary then urged Ife people to give up the gods whom they and their ancestors had been worshipping, and to accept the “only true God” and his Son Jesus Christ,  so as to be able to escape from the consequences of their sins.  Before sitting down,  he said he would like to receive an answer from the Ife people.

The Ife Chiefs conferred briefly and asked the youngest Chief among them to respond.  The young Chief stood up and after paying due respect to the Ooni,  he said, “white man, in the name of our great King,  our Chiefs and all our people,  We thank you for coming to our ancient City. The stream is always clear at its source,  but as it flows away from its source, it passes through different kinds of countries,  and it thereby takes on different kinds of colours. All religion started from Ife,  but as it spread to distant countries, after distant countries,  it took on different versions. What you have come to preach to us today is one version that developed in your distant Country.  Nevertheless, you are welcome to our ancient Country.  On behalf of our King, Our Chiefs and Our people,  We thank you “.

(From the diary of the said missionary, David Hinderer).


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