BRIEF HISTORY ABOUT ST. MARTINS CATHOLIC CHURCH, FHA-LUGBE, FCT , ABUJA.
St. Martin Catholic Church, Lugbe, F.C.T., is a Parish situated along the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport Road with a parishioner base of over 4,500 with the Very Rev. Fr. Solomon Uko, as the Parish Priest, and Rev. Fr. Nicholas Ekeman as the Vicar.
St. Martin Catholic Church was created by His Eminence John Cardinal Onaiyekan O.O.N., on the 22nd day of March, 2006. Prior to her creation by the Archbishop, St. Martin was an outstation of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Airport which, like most Outstations, experienced the challenge of a resident Priest to cater for the needs of the growing congregation in the area, as the influx of people from the metropolis based on the housing reform of the government drew more people to reside in Lugbe.
When the need and unceasing request to become a Parish was brought to the knowledge of the Archbishop, he quickly carved the Federal Housing Area, Tudun Wada, Sauka Kahuta area, Kapwa and the environs, and created the Parish known as St. Martin Catholic Church under the pastoral care of Rev. Fr. Thomas Ali Edogbanya, the then Parish Priest of St. Kelvin Jikwoyi, F.C.T., Abuja.
St. Martin Catholic Church, Lugbe was named after Rev. Fr. Martin Mbeledeogu (of blessed memory, who through his commitment and doggedness brought the Catholic Church to the Airport area stretching to Giri, Gwagwalada and environs.
Very Rev. Fr. Thomas Ali Edogbanya or Fr. Tom (as he was fondly called) came to the Parish on 22nd March, 2006 and in 9 years, transformed ‘an abandoned area’ into what is today admired by a litany of Bishops and Priests.
It is pertinent to state that the present Parish house and the main Church building rose like a miracle. Fr. Tom attributed to the holistic assistance and resilience of the Parishioners in the Parish, hence his slogan which is adopted as a parlance in the church ‘development by aggression’.
Like other growing parishes, St. Martin started in a refabricated structure and faced the usual weather challenges. This led Fr. Tom and his assistant Rev. Fr. Roland Nwakpuda renting an apartment for a very short time. After 3 months, the present parish house was completed; and on the 10th day of April, 2010, His Eminence John Cardinal Onaiyekan performed the ceremony of foundation stone laying ceremony of the church. In the month of November, 2013, the Church was moved from the temporary structure to the present edifice and has rapidly grown which prompted the Archbishop to make the parish the Lugbe deanery headquarters.
So far, the Parish has had the following Vicars in the persons of Rev. Fr. Roland Nwakpuda, Rev. Fr. Paul Tsejime, Rev. Fr. Peter Astewe, Rev. Fr. Babatunde Matthew Maleek, Rev. Fr. Leo Kor, Rev. Fr. JohnPaul Ezeagbanari, Rev. Fr. Nicholas Ekemann and a resident Priest who left the Parish in 2013 in the person of Rev. Fr. Mark Akubo. The parish also have a Pastoral Assistant in the person of Rev. Sis. Mary Martha Mbah (H.V.M.), and Mr. Moses Cozan who has been the Parish Catechist since the creation of the Parish.
The Parish has birthed the following Parishes:
St. Augustine’s Catholic Church Lugbe, F.C.T., Abuja.
St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Tudun Wada, Lugbe, F.C.T., Abuja.