When British Reverend, Henry Townsend came to Abeokuta via Agbadarigi (now Badagry) route from England in 1842, he was received by an Egba warrior, Chief Sodeke, there was nobody to interprete English Language to Yoruba language for the Egbas except a Teacher, Catechist and Evangelist, Andrew Desalu Wilhelm who had been educated by the British.
Andrew Desalu Wilhelm was an Egba man who was captured with many others as slaves by British Colonial masters. He was later freed but re-settled in Sierra Leone. Desalu was an evangelist and catechist who preached the Christianity gospel across the dusty streets of the Egba ancient city.
It was reported that he was born in 1820 but died in 1866. He was rally point for all freed slaves who came to Abeokuta as he built missionary quarter named as Wasinmi (Come and rest) in Ake, Abeokuta. They all lived in the quarter which gave the area the name till today, WA SIN MI…WASINMI!
Henry Townsend returned to England for Church ordination, Andrew Desalu Wilhelm stayed and served as a catechist and Evangelist till 1846 when Townsend came back.
Andrew Desalu erected a shed for Christian worship and church service at Ake, the foundation of the present Cathedral of church of Saint Peter, Ake was also laid by him in 1846, four years after he started the Gospel. The church was completed after his death, 52 years after the foundation had been laid, exactly on 6th of September, 1898.
Picture of the 18th century Bible
It is the first Church in Abeokuta, Ogun state, South west and Nigeria.