Welcome to the Whyte House Family Spoken Nonfiction Books podcast: Black History Month edition episode #123. Today we are celebrating the life of Israel Ransome-Kuti from the book “100 Most Influential Black Christians in History” compiled and edited by the editors of BCNN1.
Church leader and educator
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
“What! Get to heaven on your own strength? Why, you might as well try to climb to the moon on a rope of sand!” (George Whitefield)
Eminent Nigerian churchman, educationist and administrator, he was the founding president of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Africa’s largest professional group.
He was born on 30 April 1891, to an Egba family in Abeokuta. His father was Reverend Canon J. J. Ransome-Kuti well known for his outstanding administrative competence as well as his talents as a singer, which earned him the nickname “the Singing Minister.” Israel Oludotun was born at the Anglican parish of Gbagura, Abeokuta, where his father was serving as a teacher/catechist. After attending the Suren Village School there he went to the Lagos Grammar School, but returned to his hometown to complete his secondary education at the newly opened Abeokuta Grammar School. He was the first pupil to be enrolled at the school in 1908.
In 1913 Ransome-Kuti matriculated at Fourah Bay College, Freetown and returned to his country in 1916 with a B.A. degree. He began work in Lagos, as a teacher at his former grammar school from 1916 until 1918 when he left Ije-Ode. For thirteen years he was principal of Ijebu-Ode Grammar School, which had been established in 1912 and provided the only secondary education for all of Ijebu province. One of Ransome-Kuti’s innovations at this pioneering institution was to form the first Boy Scout troupe there which became known in the province as the first Ijebu-Ode Troupe.
Ransome-Kuti’s great intellect and sensitivity towards people soon won him the admiration and respect of the Ijebus. He became their spokesman, pleading their cause with the British colonial residents in the province. His great achievement in Ijebu was to break down the myth that his own Yoruba group, the Egbas, could not work among the Ijebus. Through his example, and the utmost concern for all, he was able to draw the two groups together. His departure from Ijebu was marked with a widespread expression of loss. Of his successor at the Ijebu-Ode Grammar School, the people used to say: “This new Kuti is not as the old.”
On leaving Ijebu-Ode in 1932, Reverend Ransome-Kuti returned to Abeokuta where for the next 22 years he served as principal of the Abeokuta Grammar School. During that period he visited Britain in 1939 and again between 1943 and 1945; he spent the latter years as a member of the Elliott Commission reviewing higher education in West Africa.
During his posting at Ijebu-Ode Ransome-Kuti founded an association of local teachers known as the Association of Headmasters of Ijebu Schools. This was in May 1926 a year after a similar association had been formed in Lagos by another renowned Anglican clergyman, Reverend J. O. Lucas, who inaugurated the Lagos Union of Teachers in May 1925. These two bodies became the base from which the idea of national organization that could embrace teachers from all parts of Nigeria grew and culminated in the formation of the NUT on 8 July 1931. At its founding that year, in Lagos, Ransome-Kuti was elected its first national president. At successive elections he was re-elected and he held that post until his retirement in 1954 at the age of 63. A man of strong, forceful and charismatic personality, he guided the union in its early campaign for improved working conditions for teachers and against colonial education policy in general.
Thank you for joining us for this episode of Whyte House Family nonfiction books. You may purchase a copy of this book and any other Christian nonfiction books read on this podcast from Amazon.com.
Now, dear listener, please know that God—the divine Author of all things—wants to write a great story with your life as well. But first you must give Him the pen by trusting Him with the life He gave you and surrendering your heart to Jesus Christ as Savior. Here is how:
1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
May God bless you until next time.