Dr. George Green and Lydia Green
Best friends and newlyweds, George and Lydia walked across the threshold of their first mission house, dripping.
Almost exactly two months prior, the couple had set out from Norfolk, Virginia, to where they now stood, soaked, in Ogbomosho, Nigeria. George and Lydia Green were met by fellow missionaries and a tornado.
“Good omen … It means the stranger will stay in our midst a long time,” remarked the Greens’ new neighbors.
And stay they did. For 37 years, George and Lydia served among the Nigerian people in a myriad of ways.
Opening up their home as a hospital, the Greens turned the shade tree in their yard into a waiting room. Under the tree every day, a local Christian would read God’s Word. Inside, patients were treated free of charge. George stated, “Medical work is an auxiliary to evangelism.”
As the treasurer and supervisor of the Foreign Mission Board in West Africa, George also traveled extensively. Wherever he went as a supervisor, meeting with the pastor was his initial task. Then they went to the leader to ask for his blessing to do ministry. After obtaining the leader’s permission, George and the pastor addressed the physical and spiritual health of the region. In places with no pastor, George baptized, discussed questions of church membership and did communion with the congregation.
At the end of their ministry in Nigeria, George was awarded the honorary title of Baba Onisegun, or “chief . . . of the medicine men.”
Dr. George and Lydia Green Missionaries in NigeriaIMB Photo
Dr. George Green, with wife Lydia and their child in the backseat, drives a 1920 Model T, the first Baptist mission vehicle in Nigeria.IMB Photo
Dr. George and Lydia Green in their house in Nigeria.IMB Photo
Dr. George GreenIMB Photo
Green FamilyIMB Photo
Lydia Williams GreenIMB Photo
Self-portrait of Dr. George Green in Nigeria.IMB Photo