Anthony Obinna (1928-1995) and Fidelia Obinna (1930- ) were born in Owerri, Nigeria. They married in 1950. Anthony worked as a school teacher. Both were deeply religious, joining Christian churches while young (Anthony a Protestant church and Fidelia a Roman Catholic church). In 1965, Anthony experienced a vision of Jesus Christ, who showed him a large building. Six years later, he saw that building in a Reader’s Digest magazine.

readers digest article

It was the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Salt Lake Temple. Obinna contacted Church headquarters, but due to the Church’s restrictions on temple worship and priesthood ordination for those of African descent, Nigeria did not allow missionaries to enter the country. Obinna organized an informal congregation of worshipers, and in November 1978, five months after the restrictions were lifted, was the first Nigerian baptized a member. He was ordained a priest and became the first black man to serve as a branch president in the Church.

Anthony Obinna

An Interview with the Obinna Family