The Diocese of Isiala Ngwa South was inaugurated on Monday 19th March, 2007, with the Rt. Rev. Isaac Chijioke Nwaobia PhD, JP as the pioneering Bishop. The Diocese is the product of the amalgamation of former Archdeaconries of Owerrinta, Omoba, Amaobi together with a merger of Mgbedeala and Umuojima areas with the addition of St. Paul’s Church, Agbaragwu, which was previously under Osusu Archdeaconry, all of old Aba Diocese.
The Christian Gospel in this area first touched the ground of Amaokpu-Aga in the former Owerrinta District in the year 1900 through the economic activities of the Ubani Palm produce Traders at Amaokpu Waterside. Through their contacts with Amaokpu people, some Fishermen, Palm wine tappers and Palm produce Traders accepted the Christian religion. Subsequently, the good news spread to Owerrinta, Omoba,Umuvo, Ngwaobi II areas respectively in 1912. Getting to Mba, Umuocheala, Ngwaobi I in 1913,The wide acceptance of the benevolence of these traders with their persuasive gospel caught the interest of Mbutu-Ukwu and Umueleghele people (1914), Umuojima, Agbaragwu (1915) and Umuokoro, Mgbedeala, Mkpuka, Nneoyi Egbelu-Mbutu areas all in 1916.
However, this was consequent upon the big victory the missionaries cum traders recorded against the juju Worshiper’s which culminated in the historic Igbu-Ekwensu (killing of the devil) event of 1916.It must be noted that during this period, the gospel had an overwhelming influences and relevance on juju shrines and idols hence, the new converts readily had them burnt. Also in 1917, Ntighauzo caught the evangelical fire, Umuikaa in 1919 and Umuakuma in 1920. From these areas, the Good news gained firm grounds between the late 1980s and 90s in other areas constituting the present Diocese, notwithstanding the challenges posed by traditional worship into which the people had been so immersed before the advent of Christianity.
Specifically, St. Peter’s Church, Owerrinta, now the Cathedral Church had the gospel first proclaimed by Opobo Oil Traders, who set up their trade posts and their praying houses
untiring efforts at their different times to wage a ferocious war against worship and veneration accorded to traditional divinities such as Ala, Amadioha, Ahanjoku, and Opia Owerre. Though, these fights were temporarily won, their re-emergence coupled with the dominance of an illiterate populace has continued to impede the velocity of the evangelical machinery in this area.
Nonetheless, Owerrinta and all other constituting lands of this Diocese are notable for their subsistence farming. Blessed with a rich soil this agrarian communities has consistently distinguished themselves as excellent hence, the common saying here “if you cannot find “Akwukwuo- Nri” (vegetables) in Owerrinta, go to the moon”.
Undoubtedly, the mangrove environment provided by the Owerrinta River (a tributary of Imo River) must have been contributory to both the fertility of these lands and the presence of N.N S. Kamanu, and the Naval base located near the Cathedral.
However, this succinct history survey of Isiala Ngwa South Diocese would be a miscarriage of history if we fail to point out here that its creation is the result of the vision hatched and realized by the determined stance of the retired Archbishop and Primate of all Nigeria the Most Rev Peter Jasper Akinola (2000-2010), and the retired Archbishop of Niger-Delta Province & Bishop of Aba, the Most Rev. Dr. Ugochukwu Uwaoma Ezuoke (2003-2011).