In 1859, the C.M.S. Grammar School, Lagos, was established by Rev. T.B. Macaulay.This school which was a response to the strong demand by the educated Africans for the provision of higher education for their children was the first Secondary Grammar School in Nigeria.
The success of this school stimulated the desire of the African members of the Methodist communion for a similar institution. This desire was first expressed in 1868. In 1870, it was brought to the attention of the resident Minister, but nothing came out of this.
On January 13, 1874, a public meeting was summoned to ascertain the wishes of members of the Church on this issue. This meeting was held at Olowogbowo Methodist Church under the direction of Rev. John Milum, the Superintendent of the Circuit. The leading members of the mission present at that meeting were Rev. N. Jones, Messrs. J.11. Thomas, J.S. Leigh, W.P. Richards, T. F. Cole I.A. Byass and C.J. George.
The meeting decided unanimously in favour of having a high school and pledged itself to raise the sum of £500 towards the erection of a new building that would befit the school, since the mission house was too dilapidated to serve as a school building. It was also decided that another meeting be reconvened within two weeks to discuss the memorial which LB. Thomas was requested to prepare.
The adjourned meeting resumed on the 22nd. The memorial was warmly received and was signed by twenty-five leading members of the Wesleyan Methodist Society Porter, LB. Thomas, E.T. Davies, T.F. Cole, J. Richards, John Metzar, Thomas Joe, T.G. Hoare, J.S. Leigh, W. Euba, H.C. Sawyer, R.A. Alder, J.B. Bucknor, C.J. George, W.P. Richards, LW. Cole, John L. Baptist, LB. Carrol, J.J. Williams, LT. Ashley, C.W. Cole, I.A. Byass, E.T. Ludlow, S.S. Davies and C.W. Pratt. These men pledged themselves to raise the £500 needed for the project. The memorial was then submitted to Rev. John Milum for submission to the District meeting and the Missionary Committee in England, as he was on his way back to England after a spell of three years on the West Coast.
The memorial made abundantly clear the reasons behind the demand for the school. It stated, with some exaggeration, that lack of a secondary school by the Wesleyan Mission made many converts to methodism turn to the Anglican Church, because many of them had to go to the C.M.S. Grammar School for their secondary education and in the process were influenced to become churchmen. Secondly, that such an institution was needed for the training of African agents for the mission.
The school was therefore to serve a two-fold object; a training institution for African agents and a Grammar School, although the emphasis was on the latter as the number of students to be admitted for training as agents was limited to eight.
The memorial was submitted to the District meeting, which recommended it to the Missionary Committee. The Committee gave it its blessing. Following this, a meeting was held on the 4th of April, 1875 under the chairmanship of Rev. John Milurn to receive subscriptions and to take positive steps to achieve the objective. A Building Committee was set up and Messrs. J.L. Baptist and J.J. Williams were mandated to prepare a plan for the building. This was done and construction work started in earnest. The building was completed in June 1877 and was described as being "beautifully furnished with educational appliances of the most modem description".
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