The history of Emmanuel Church Italupe, Iwade Ijebu – Ode is inextricably and uniquely intertwined with the history of the introduction of Christianity in Ijebuland . The preamble to the ijebu Diocesan Constitution attests to this in the affirmation that it was in Iwade, Ijebu-Ode that “the seed of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ was first sown”. However, the exact location in Iwade, is ltalupe and this is not in dispute.
This church site has been a beehive of Christian activities since 1982 when Christianity was formally launched and introduced into Ijebuland. It was here the gospel of Christ was first preached openly without any fear of molestation or hindrance. Italupe Church ground was as well the site of the first primary school in Ijebuland, namely St. Saviour’s School, Italupe Ijebu-Ode.
The designation “Italupe” by which the location has been known for over a century was a post-war appellation ascribed to it by Christians arising from the daily – tolling of a bell to summon people to worship at the site. “Italupe” is a contraction of “ita Oluwa pe “ meaning” the place where God calls people to His worship”. The famous bell which by its daily tolling over the years earned the early Christians the cognomen Omo Alagoo ajilu gboun gboun ni Italupe”
Early in the year 1898, the congregation of St. Saviour’s Church , Italupe moved to a new site at italowajoda, and became St. Saviour’s Church italowajoda, Ijasi Ijebu-Ode.
The unity of the members was undisrupted and relationship was harmonious. However by 1915 cracks had started to appear in the relationship among members. Those of them from Isale Iwade began to feel disaffected but were resolved not to rock the boat.
The sour relationship persisted until 1939 when matters reached a peak and the Isale iwade members withdrew totally from the church to re-settle as a church at Italupe. It must be said that a group of Isale Iwade members had earlier returned to Italupe and did worship there on December 25, 1938. This was the first batch of returnees.
In July 1940 Revd S.O. Odutola (later Bishop) was posted to St. Saviour Church Ijasi Ijebu-ode as Vicar. He also supervised the church at Italupe. The first meeting of Italupe
Church Committee was held on 27th July 1940 under the Chairmanship of Revd S.O. Odutola. The issue of building a church on Italupe premises was topmost in the hearts of the members.
In January 1942, Revd Odutola had Revd J.A. Sokefun serve as curate. Rev. Sokefun served as curate until March 1943 when he was priested and was made the substantive vicar of the church. He worked very hard until his transfer in 1946.
By January 1951, Rev. J,A. Bako arrived Italupe as the new resident vicar long looked
forward to. On July 7, 1951 the foundation stone of the church building was laid jointly by His Grace, the Most Reverend Leslie Gordon Vining the first Archbishop of West Africa and His Royal Majesty, Oba Daniel Adesanya, Gbelegbuwa 11, the Awujale of Ijebuland
The building project was completed in a record time of six and a half years, and was dedicated on 28th December, 1957 by the Rt. Rev. A.W. Howells, the Diocesan Bishop of Lagos and named “Emmanuel”. It was initially designated, “Italupe Anglican Church”.
The church was granted Parish status in April 1959. In 1960 a number of churches were assigned for her to oversee under a Sub-District arrangement. They included St
Michael’s Church Epe, Christ Church lsiwo, St. Paul’s Church, Igboye and later St. Peter’s Church Tomoba, St Andrew’s Church Odoasonyin and St. John’s Church Idomila.