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Collection 296 Oral History Interviews with Stanley Okoro

 Collection
Identifier: CN-296
Oral history interview with Stanley Okoro in which he discusses his childhood in Nigeria, education participation as a soldier in the 1967-1970 Nigerian civil war, conversion to Christianity, theological training, youth ministry in Nigeria and Liberia, Christian cults in Nigeria, and the strengths and weaknesses of the Nigerian churches. The time period covered by the interviews is from 1951 to 1985.

Stanley Okoro was interviewed by Robert Shuster on February 25, 1985 at the Billy Graham Center Archives at Wheaton College

Dates

  • Created: 1951-1985 

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Extent

1.00 audio_tapes

86 minutes other_unmapped

Biographical or Historical Information

Stanley Okoro was born April 15, 1951 in the village of Okwe in the Ikwuano Local Government Area, the state of Imo, Nigeria. His parents came from different religious traditions, since his father was a non-Christian polygamist and his mother was a preacher in the Methodist church. She died when Okoro was two, as did his younger brother, and his father (who was a contractor, hunter and trader) died when the boy was eleven. After his parents deaths he was raised by various families members. He spent a year in the city of Lagos with an uncle when he was about twelve. Okoro graduated from primary school in the nearby village of Ndoro in 1965 and worked for family members in Okwe. He joined the army in 1968 and served through most of the Nigerian civil war. When his term was up in 1970, he returned to his village for a year and then went to Lagos and worked at construction jobs. He became a Christian on February 28, 1971 while attending an open air worship service sponsored by the Sudan Interior Mission (SIM). Shortly after that he felt the call to enter Christian work and he enrolled in the Bible and Missionary Training Center in Lagos. After one year the school closed and he went to work to work in a Christian bookstore run by SIM. The school opened again in 1973 and Okoro returned. He was one of the institutions first graduates in 1975.

He went to Liberia in 1976 where he worked with Youth for Christ and radio station ELWA. He trained counselors for high school students, wrote radio programs, taught Bible in the public schools, administered a Bible correspondence course and started a youth center. In 1977, after a few years of efforts to arrange for the funds, he was able to go to the United States to attend Washington Bible College in Lanham, Maryland. He graduated with a B.A. in Christian Education in 1979. He then attended Trinity Divinity School in Illinois for one semester but had to leave because of financial constraints. He returned to Nigeria in 1980 and, as with all college graduates, he had to put in one year of public service, which he spent teaching at a teachers training college. In November 1981 he became the executive director of YFC in Nigeria (the first full-time employee of YFC in that country), a position he held until 1984, when he resigned to go to the United States to attend Wheaton College Graduate School in Illinois. He traveled to the United States with his wife Iyabo. After graduation from Wheaton in 1986, Okoro went on to the graduate school of Northern Illinois University, from which he received his doctoral degree in education in 1991. Iyabo shortly thereafter received her doctorate in educational administration. The family (which included two sons, Stanley and Stephen) returned to Nigeria in 1992. They started a new organization called Christian Heritage Ministries, which was to be a holistic ministry serving Christian families through retreats, workshops and similar activities.

Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by Stanley Okoro in February 1985.

Acc. 85-25

May 9, 1992

Robert Shuster
Title
Collection 296 Oral History Interviews with Stanley Okoro
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Billy Graham Center Archives Repository

Contact:
501 College Avenue
Wheaton IL 60187 US
630-752-5910