Monthly Archives: April 2009
Before then, there was the 1918-28 Faith Tabernacle era characterized by the formation of praying groups’ such as the Precious or Diamond Society found in small pockets all over
Soon, tension rose between the group and the Anglican Church over such practices as divine healings, opposition to infant baptism, reliance on dreams and visions, abstention from dancing, drumming, debt-owing, drinking of alcohol, gambling and mixing with non-Christians. Mr Joseph Sadare was compelled to give up his post in the Synod and others were forced to resign their jobs and to withdraw their children from the
But in less than a decade, branches of the group had been established in
Fortunately, the Great Revival of 1930 with Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola as its medium, emerged in July 1930 at Oke Ooye, Ilesa. Those who assisted him during the Revival included D. O. Odubanjo, Oba I. B. Akinyele and J. A. Babatope as well as Babalola’s followers such as J. A. Medayese, A. O. Omotoso, John Oye, J. B. Orogun, and Philip Mabigbade among others. Prophet Daniel Orekoya later on came to the scene.
The Great Revival did not only embrace all the beliefs accepted by the Faith Tabernacle group, but also went further by embracing the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the spiritual manifestation of seeing visions, prophesying, speaking in tongues and dreaming. Consequently, upon this, people with diverse diseases were healed in thousands and, in turn, they spontaneously rejected their “juju” and other medicines. Massive revivals hitherto unknown in
From the side of the
During the decades 1940-1960, the CAC was subjected to a series of strain and stresses. Stiff opposition came from the detractors of the Church including some of the orthodox churches, most government officers, some Obas and high chiefs and even evil forces. There were also problems of internal administration, inadequate training, recruitment of unqualified Church personnel and weak finances.
However, the following factors later tilted the pendulum in favor of the Church; political power had then passed to the Africans who were free to embrace the Gospel; the church had produced literate children; prominent men and women who had directly or indirectly benefitted from church then gave it their support; the oil boom of the 1960s provided money for better church personnel throughout Nigeria. The golden era of the Church presumed to have ended in 1959 when Pastor D. O. Odubanjo and Apostle Ayodele Babalola slept in THE LORD.
The history of the church witnessed remarkable developments such as the establishments of a Bible Training College, Ede (1952) (the Bible Training College moved to Erio Ekiti in 1954, to Efon Alaaye in 1958 and to Akure in 1969), Pastoral Training College at Ibadan (1946), School of Prophets and Evangelists at Ilesa (1949), defunct Teachers’ College at Efon Alaaye (1955), Faith Home at Ede (1959). Grammar Schools at Ibadan, Efon Alaaye and Iperu (all in 1960), Ilesa (1962), Akure (1964) and Odo-Owa (1970), Press and Publications department (1966-67), Sunday School Department (1977), Theological Seminary at Ile-Ife (1979) by merging the Bible Training College and Pastoral Training College, and the formation of Societies, Associations and Fellowship groups. All these organs soon helped the Church to firmly establish religious practices and liturgy peculiar to it.
The teaching of the Church had grown out of many sources, namely the Bible, the remarkable soul-searching sermons of the founding fathers; borrowing from Europeans and American literatures especially tracts and magazines; the lessons produced by the various tensions within the Group over the prophylactic use of medicine and other issues of administration. Besides the belief of C.A.C. members in prophecy, visions, divines healing and holy living, the focal points of all tenets and practices of the Church is prayer. In addition, when accompanied with fasting, it could accomplish the impossible. The C.A.C. has strong belief in the efficacy of prayer and that no divine healing could be achieved without FAITH and TRUST in Jesus Christ. These two religious virtues are the bedrock of the Church’s spiritual power.
As a Pentecostal denomination, the Church, by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, is administered by the orders of Apostle, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and teachers. Ultimate power rest with the Authority of the Church; but it involves elders/deacons, women leaders and leaders of recognized organizations as found appropriate in the process of administration (Eph. 4:11-13).
In sum, for a little over six decades of its existence, the C.A.C. has grown from groups of persecuted and inconsequential Christians to a church denomination that today claims some five million adherents residing in different parts of the world. The Church possesses its uniqueness and identify in liturgy hinged on praying and singing of hymns, anthems and choruses. It had an impelling message of worshiping in a truly African-American pattern for all Nations of the world. The most distinctive feature of the Church attractive to people of different faiths, in the tenacious belief in, and practice of, divine and Christian healing. No wonder people flock to the C.A.C. seeking solutions to their social, financial, religious, existential, and psychological problems. This emphasizes the fact that Jesus Christ still heals and His is trustworthy to provide for all needs as He is the same yesterday, today, and forever!
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Founder of Christ Apostolic Church (Aladura)
The story of Apostle Joseph Ayodele Babalola, his life and work can be thus classified. His unprecedented Oke-Oye Revival gave birth to what is now known as the Christ Apostolic Church (C.A.C.), a Nigerian indigenous church.
Joseph Ayodele Babalola was born on April 25, 1904 to David Rotimi and Madam Marta Talabi who belonged to the Anglican Church. The family lived at Odo-Owa in Ilofa, a small town about ninety kilometres from
On January 18, 1914, young Babalola was taken by his brother M. 0. Rotimi, a Sunday school teacher in the C.M.S. church at Ilofa, to Osogbo. Babalola started school at Ilofa and got as far as standard five at All Saints’ School Osogbo. However, he quit school when he decided to learn a trade and became a motor mechanic apprentice. Again, he did not continue long in this vocation before joining the Public Works Department (PWD). He was among the road workers who constructed the road from Igbara-Oke to Ilesa, working as a steam roller driver.
Babalola’s Call to Ministry
Just like the Old Testament prophets, Babalola was called by God into the prophetic office to stand before men. His was a specific and personal call.
Babalola‘s strange experience started on the night of September 25th, 1928 when he suddenly became restless and could not sleep. This went on for a week and he had no inkling of the cause of such a strange experience. The climax came one day when he was, as usual, working on the Ilesa-Igbara-Oke road. Suddenly the steam roller’s engine stopped to his utter amazement. There was no visible mechanical problem, and Joseph became confused and perplexed. He was in this state of confusion when a great voice "like the sound of many waters" called him three times. The voice was loud and clear and it told him that he would die if he refused to heed the divine call to go into the world and preach. Babalola did not want to listen to this voice and he responded like many of the Biblical prophets, who, when they were called out by Yahweh as prophets, did not normally yield to the first call. Men like Moses and Jeremiah submitted to God only when it became inevitable. So, Babalola gave in only after he had received the assurance of divine guidance.
To go on the mission, he had to resign his appointment with the Public Works Department. Mr. Fergusson, the head of his unit, tried to dissuade him from resigning but the young man was bent on going on the Lord’s mission.
The same voice came to Joseph a second time asking him to fast for seven days. He obeyed and at the end of the period he saw a great figure of a man who, according to Pastor Alokan, resembled Jesus. The man in a dazzling robe spoke at length about the mission he was to embark upon. The man also told him of the persecutions he would face and at the same time assured him of God’s protection and victory. A hand prayer bell was given to Babalola as a symbol. He was told that the sound of the bell would always drive away evil spirits. He was also given a bottle of "life-giving water" to heal all manners of sickness. Consequently, wherever and whenever he prayed into the water for therapeutic purposes, effective healing was procured for those who drank the water. Thus, Babalola became a prophet and a man with extraordinary powers. Enabled by the power of the Holy Spirit he could spend several weeks in prayer. Elder Abraham Owoyemi of Odo-Owa, said that the prophet regularly saw angels who delivered divine messages to him. An angel appeared in one of his prayers and forbade him to wear caps.
The Life of Prophet Babajide
Prophet David Olu Babajide, the 2nd General Evangelist of Christ Apostolic Church, was born in 1907 at Okemesi-Ekiti in Ekiti State. Before his call, Prophet Babajide was a schoolteacher of enormous experience. For several years, he resisted the Lord’s call to full time service in the gospel ministry. Since 1929, the Lord had been urging him but the lure of the teaching profession kept him away. Nevertheless, he gave himself to voluntary service in the Lord’s vineyard.
In 1937, at Ikire-Ile, he finally surrendered and resigned his teaching appointment. That year the Lord manifested Himself powerfully in David Babajide’s life and he was led to Pastor J. S. B. Odusona at Ibadan from whom he had his ministerial training. Pastor Odusona taught him how to listen patiently to the voice of the Lord before taking a step of faith. The following year, 1938, Prophet D. O. Babajide got married and the marriage received God’s blessings evidenced with six children – four males and two females.
Prophet Babajide, nicknamed “the Singing-bird of Jesus,” is widely known for his sweet voice and rich repertoire of gospel choruses and songs. He is an accomplished composer, an accordionist and an evangelist of no mean repute.
He was ordained a Pastor in Christ Apostolic Church in 1949, appointed General Evangelist in 1959 after the demise of Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola, a position he held for 32 years before he retired in 1991 as a Trustee of the church. Though he was forced into retirement because of the so called revolution led by one, Pastor EHL Olusheye but he lives to see what will become of the administration that causes a great crisis in the church for almost twenty years now
Like the Biblical patriarchs, Prophet D. O. Babajide had his own share of trials. His wife, Mrs. Dorcas Adebambe Babajide, rested in the Lord in 1982 while he, too, suffered from a serious illness which for many months kept him out of circulation.
Prophet Babajide used of the Lord to plant many churches and is leading many churches into understanding the mystery behind the gifts of the Spirit. He does not lead to control the churches he planted but let go the assemblies to Christ Apostolic Church without laying claims to any one of them. This remains the mandate he had with the authority of the church. The Light of the World Society – a society of energetic praying and preaching youth in the Christ Apostolic Church – was his brainchild. This society remains vibrant of until today. He established the School of Evangelists and Prophets at Ilesha where many ministers occupying responsible positions in CAC today received their training.
Prophet D. O. Babajide is a renowned author and many of his books have been sources of blessings to many people.