Joseph Ayo Babalola

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Joseph Ayodele Babalola (born April 25, 1904 in Ilofa , † 1959 in Efon Alaaye ) was a Nigerian preacher and evangelist and founder of the Christ Apostolic Church .


Babalola was born on April 25, 1904 in a small town near Ilofa (Nigeria). His father was an active member of the Church Mission Society (CMS), the mission organization of the Anglican Church in Nigeria. He began training as a car mechanic and later worked in road construction. Babalola tells of a calling vision beginning on September 25, 1928, which culminated in a three-fold call from God to instruct him to go out into the world and preach. He then gave up his job and, with a bell, bottle of water, and Bible in hand, set out to preach and prophesy in public places. After initially being arrested as a troublemaker, he aroused increasing interest when his prophecies came true and people were cured of illnesses after his intercession. After Babalola, with the support of his father, had set up a prayer group within the CMS, which was heavily attended because of the miracles and healings that people talked about there, conflicts arose with the church leadership. The Anglican bishop in Ilofa eventually directed Babalola to leave the Church.

In 1930 Babalola Ilofa left and went at the invitation of Pastor Odubanjo, one of the leaders of the Pentecostal aligned Faith Tabernacle to Lagos . Warmly received here, it brought the Faith Tabernacle to great popularity within a very short time. The climax was a two-month revival , an evangelistic event that same year, during which thousands are said to be healed or converted to Christianity. In the run-up to this revival, Babalola was credited with raising the dead, which generated a corresponding public interest in this event. The revival created tension with the mission churches, who accused the Faith Tabernacle of untrustworthy practices that harmed churches and put sick people at risk. There were also conflicts with followers of traditional cults after Babalola burned down a "witch tree".

Rivalries within the leadership as well as dogmatic disputes over issues such as child baptism, polygamy, spiritual healing versus conventional medicine led to a split in the Faith Tabernacle in 1939 . The faction under Babalola founded its own organization, which from 1943 was named Christ Apostolic Church (CAC). The CAC, which recorded a significant increase in membership and financial resources, especially after Babalola's death, is now one of the most important charismatic churches in Nigeria and West Africa.

Various mission trips took Babalola across Nigeria and Ghana . His aggressive behavior towards traditional cults and Islam earned him expulsion and imprisonment several times. Towards the end of his life he sharply criticized the influence of Western civilization on Africa, which he condemned as materialistic and immoral. The CAC sees in him an apostle who is on the same level as the apostles Peter and Paul .

See also

List of prophets in Africa

Web links

Dictionary of African Christian Biography