CMS Grammar School, Bariga which prides itself as Nigeria’s oldest and foremost Secondary School was founded on June 6, 1859, by the Rev. The of the Anglican Mission and Prides itself as the cradle of post-primary education and Western civilization in our country.
The school offers Day and full-Boarding services to Boys only and is well-known for its age-long heritage of raising crops of boys, who are spiritually deep, morally sound and academically endowed enough, to shape public opinion, influence standards and carve enviable niches for themselves in today’s fiercest economies.
Its founder and first principal was the Rev. Thomas Babington Macaulay. A Creole and descendant of freed African slaves, he was one of the first two educated African clergymen, the other being the Rev. (later Bishop) Samuel Ajai Crowther. He was sent by the CMS (Church Missionary Society) in 1954 from Freetown, Sierra Leone, to Lagos, where he eventually settled and had a brilliant career, first as a clergyman in Abeokuta, and later as the first principal of the school. The Rev. Macaulay was educated at Fourah Bay College, Freetown, founded by the CMS in 1827. As a young and precocious lad, he had been taken from Fourah Bay in 1848, and sent for training as an Anglican priest to the CMS Theological Training Institute in Islington, London.
The Rev. Macaulay was educated at Fourah Bay College, Freetown, founded by the CMS in 1827. As a young and precocious lad, he had been taken from Fourah Bay in 1848, and sent for training as an Anglican priest to the CMS Theological Training Institute in Islington, London.
Encouraged by his academic brilliance at Islington, the CMS sent him to the King’s College, University of London, from where he graduated in 1853, obtaining a B.A. in Arts from the university.He returned to Freetown in 1854, from where he was posted to the newly established CMS Training Institute in Abeokuta, of which he soon became the Principal. It was from there that CMS authorities appointed him in 1859 the first principal of the school.
He remained the principal of the school for nearly 20 years, until his death in 1878. It was he who shaped the early traditions and character of the school, developing it into a school famous throughout West Africa. A disciplinarian, he made it his priority to assist the boys in the development of their character and to prepare them for the church and public services.
The School started with only six pupils, all boarders and for decades after it was founded, it was the only secondary Grammar School that offered boys training as future leaders of Nigeria.
There are notable old boys of this school, who are doing well in their respective fields. As a student of the school, you are thought in line of the doctrines of the Anglican mission and in most recent time,most of the Anglican Clergy in Nigeria were products of the CMS Grammar School, as were the early administrators.
Though a Mission School, it did not discriminate in its admissions, with boys from different religious background being offered admission into the school through an entrance examination.In 1979, the Lagos State Government, pleading public interest, took over the school, As all other private secondary schools in Lagos, but the agitation for the return of the School to the Dioceses of Lagos and Lagos West (Anglican Communion) was led by some notable alumni.
The strong Christian background of the school is owed to its Principals who are now Archbishops,16 were clergymen, who got the students to imbibe the morals of the school.The Principals were Oluwole, Melville Jones, Odutola and Kale later became Anglican Bishops. 3 of them – Evans, Lucas and Adelaja were elevated Archdeacons.
The school and the students were connected with the church as the Principal, the Revd. Macaulay was one of the Priests assisting the white clergy at Christ Church. Students had early morning and evening worships, Sunday worship and most of them attended the local church at Bariga where Venerable Adelaja was the Vicar.
Some of its principals are late, but they are Anglican bishops.There are other notable old boys who are bishops and top Reverends running many of the dioceses of the Anglican Church today. The proprietors of the school are Lord Bishop, Diocese of Lagos,and dean emeritus,church of Nigeria Anglican communion, Most REVD Ephraim Adebola Ademowo, Revd Babatunde Joseph Adeyemi, Lord Bishop diocese of Badagry, Revd Akin Atere, Lord Bishop, Diocese of Awori, Revd James Olusola Odedeji, Lord Bishop diocese of Lagos west, Revd Colenso Akinpelu Johnson, Bishop of Lagos mainland. Other Bishops include Revd George Bako, OON, Lord Bishop of Lokoja, Revd TAJ Oluwole, MFR, Revd. B. Manuwa (the father of Sir Samuel Manuwa, Bishop S. O. Odutola,Bishop) Seth Irunsewe Kale Bishop Isaac Oluwole, Bishop Melville jones,Bishop SA Odutola, Bishop SC Phillips,Bishop Adelakun Howells and other top reverends such as Venerable J. O. Lucas,The Revd C. G. Thorne,Ven. Archdeacon Henry Johnson,James Johnson,The Revd E. A. Godson,The Revd Joseph Suberu Fanimokun,The Revd A. Hobson and many others.
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