Ancedram as an umbrella body for all Evangelical Drama Ministers do promote, regulate, train and articulate Christian Drama Evangelists both locally (Nigeria) and internationally.
OUR HISTORY: HOW IT ALL BEGAN
The Mount Zion Faith Ministries International, a leading and foremost drama ministry in Nigeria released handbills for her 3rd Annual National Drama Ministries Leaders’ Conference tagged “Way of the Champions”. Expectations were high that God would meet needs and touch lives at the conference. The preceding year, the conference tagged “Thou Art My Battleaxe” had witnessed diverse manifestations and rebirth of ministries. All hands were on deck to make the 1996 edition a success and the coasts were clear for what was to become another milestone in drama ministry. However, there was a strange inclusion in the handbill which popped many eyes, raised countless questions, and generated controversies! The handbill reflected that part of the agenda of the two-day programme would be the launching of a national association of drama ministers with the nomenclature: Association of Nigerian Christian Drama and Film Artistes (ANCDFA). That proposed launch of ANCDFA did not only raised dust; there were speculations from various quarters as to the true and genuine motive of the convener of the conference, Evangelist Mike Bamiloye.
This was largely due to the fact that several ‘National’ associations of drama ministers had existed before then. These included: Evangelical Film and Dramatist Association of Nigeria (EFDAN), Gospel Dramatists Association of Nigeria (GODAN), National Association of Christian Drama Artistes (NACDA). These associations (including Kwara State Association of Drama Ministers) had been in existence before the proposed ANCDFA, thus, the heightened expectations from such quarters.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 1996
Drama ministers began gathering at the venue of the National Drama Leaders Conference – The International Gospel Centre, Ojoo, Ibadan. The array of attendance at the conference was enough to confirm that the launch of ANCDFA was indeed the high point of the two-day conference. There were representatives from all the pre-existing groups. Although no one spoke openly about the proposed ANCDFA, there were side discussions, commending or condemning the call for the new body, ANCDFA.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7, 1996
The D-day! The official launch of ANCDFA. It was fixed for 2:00 pm. Due to other activities, however, the launch could not start until around 4:15 pm. The convener of the conference and President of the Mount Zion Faith Ministries, Mike Bamiloye, mounted the rostrum and spoke on the vision for the new association. He called for comments, suggestions and opinions from the floor. And at that moment, the muted bubble burst! Representatives of some of the pre-existing bodies rose and spoke critically of the newly proposed ANCDFA. Their major grouse was that they were not carried along.
Some actually hurled their vituperations right there in the open! Much dust was raised! For another two hours, more angry comments, counter-opinions, and commendations poured in. The atmosphere was indeed becoming charged! It was apparent that the launch of ANCDFA was slipping off and gradually turning into a field of invectives! Having failed to reach a conclusion, the parties involved withdrew from the open talks and discussion on ANCDFA naturally was swept under the carpet. A few concerned drama leaders met and agreed that there was need for a closed-door meeting between all the representatives of the pre-existing bodies and the convener of ANCDFA to iron out some issues. The meeting lasted for about an hour with all parties speaking out and suggesting the way forward.
The general consensus was that any national association that would be accepted by all must be all-encompassing with inputs from all the stakeholders. The meeting was peaceful and a direct opposite of the hullabaloo that greeted the proposed launch of ANCDFA two hours earlier. The meeting ended with the following resolutions:
- All existing bodies should disband immediately.
- A new body named “ALL NIGERIA CONFERENCE OF EVANGELICAL DRAMA MINISTERS” (ANCEDRAM) should replace the pre-existing ones.
- The convener of ANCDFA should suspend all plans for its formation and inauguration.
- The new body, ANCEDRAM, should embrace all stakeholders, especially in its leadership cadre.
A constitution-drafting committee to be headed by Kolade Segun-Okeowo was set up immediately and charged with the responsibilities of drawing a constitution for ANCEDRAM and preparing the association for the immediate inauguration. Yes, at the Ibadan Conference, a new body which is to be the umbrella body for all drama ministers in Nigeria was birthed and was christened “All Nigeria Conference of Evangelical Drama Ministers” (ANCEDRAM).
There and then it was agreed that a National Congress which was to be a biennial event should be held for the new association. So, three months later, the first agreed Biennial National Congress of ANCEDRAM was held between Friday 21st–Sunday 23rd March 1997 at the same venue. It was at this epoch-making congress that ANCEDRAM was officially inaugurated.
The Colobus monkey has jumped down, it must instantly pick a race. Hey presto, state representatives present at the congress were abundantly encouraged to without delay establish a chapter of ANCEDRAM in their states.