English evangelist, Pastor Sydney Granville Elton (April 16, 1907 – January 14, 1987), with his wife, Hannah Catherine Elizabeth (February 25, 1894 – March 25, 1983), and daughter, Ruth, in traditional Yoruba aso-oke, Iléṣà, Western Nigeria, c.1937.
S.G Elton was the missionary who prophesied that the Nigerian government would pay its university students to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ across Nigeria. General Yakubu Gowon would fulfill that prophecy with the establishment of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in 1973.
After arriving in Nigeria from England on March 11, 1937, S.G Elton spent about 50 years doing missionary work in Nigeria where he and his wife both lived and died. Hannah (who arrived in Nigeria on July 29, 1937) died on March 25, 1983, while Sydney died four years later on January 14, 1987. They were both buried in their Iléṣà home.
Before his death, Elton had always said, “If I die, dig a hole… Bury me. Tomorrow, continue the work.” He then instructed his daughter to take his place and carry on with the missionary work.
Thus, their only daughter, Ruth, who never got married, denounced her British citizenship, became Nigerian, acquired the Nigerian passport, and continued the missionary work among the indigenous people (Igbira, Igala, Yoruba) of Kogi State and its environs.
Sister Ruth Elton, who celebrated her 87th birthday on September 7, 2021, can speak the English, Ebira, Pidgin English, and Yoruba languages fluently. She can also passably speak the Bassa language.