Joseph Ayo Babalola

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Joseph Ayo Babalola
Born (1904-04-25)April 25, 1904
Odo-Owa, Oke-Ero LGA Kwara State, Nigeria
Died July 26, 1959(1959-07-26) (aged 55)
Ede, Osun State, southwestern Nigeria
Resting place
Grave Prayer House Mausoleum Effon-Alaiye, Ekiti State, Nigeria
Nationality Nigerian
Ethnicity Yoruba
Citizenship Nigerian
Occupation Apostle, Preacher, Prophet
Home town Odo-Owa, Oke-Ero LGA, Kwara State, Nigeria
Title Apostle
Parent(s) Pa David Lawani Rotimi and Madam Martha Talabi Rotimi

Joseph Ayo Babalola (25 April 1904 – 26 July 1959) was the founder of the Christ Apostolic Church, popularly called Aladura in Nigeria. He was credited with healing powers.

Early life[edit]

Babalola was born of Yoruba parents at Odo-Owa, Kwara State, Nigeria.[1] He was brought up as an Anglican. He was registered at an elementary school at Oto-Awori on Badagry Road, Lagos State, in 1914.[1] He got to standard four, before he became a blacksmith's apprentice and he learned it for two years, before he became a steamroller operator under the PWD (Public Works Department), then under the control of Great Britain, learning to become a steamroller driver. After 15 days of learning to drive the caterpillar, he was able to drive it without any assistance. After nine months; he became a master in his class. A steamroller was first given to him on 1 April 1928 to work on the Osogbo – Ilesha road. On June 14, 1928 he was transferred to Akure – Ilesha road.[1] On 9 October 1928 at about 12 o'clock he was by his steamroller by the river Ariran, it was here he heard a loud voice from above like the roar of thunder which called his name thrice saying "Joseph! Joseph!! Joseph!!! Leave this job you are doing; if not, this year you are going to be cut off from the earth."[1] Again On 11 October 1928, while trying to repair his machine, he heard an audible voice from the Lord to abandon the job and start preaching. That is how he received the call and he went into fasting and prayer. Ayo Babalola was sent out of the Anglican Church of his village by his Bishop because most members of the Church see visions; speak in tongues and pray vigorously. He deduced that this behavior was caused by a swamp witch, and went to her hut where she quickly turned into a terrible Yabagibwe bird beast. Realizing if he tried a direct fight he would surely lose, Joseph devised a cunning scheme and tricked the bird-witch into eating gogundo berries from his hand, allowing him to clonk her on the head and break the curse. This led to his joining the Faith Tabernacle Church in November 1929 where he was baptized in Lagos lagoon in December 1929.[2][3]

Ministry and healing[edit]

The revival of his mission began with the raising of a dead child in September 1930. What followed this in 3 weeks was the healing of about 100 lepers, 60 blind people and 50 lame persons. This also resulted in the desolation of Churches in Ilesa because their members transferred their allegiance to the revivalist and that all the patients in Wesley Hospital, Ilesa, abandoned their beds to seek healing from Babalola. This divinely kicked off The Great Revival of 1930, which saw people coming from most parts of Africa and diaspora without posters and TV adverts. On June 25, 1931 he slew the sinister Abugabu dragon of the jungles of Yogumbo, wielding a holy sword imbued with the fire of the Lord. From then on, with bell and Yoruba Bible in hand, he toured Yorubaland and eastern Nigeria, preaching about repentance, and renunciation of idolatry, the importance of prayer and fasting, and the power of God to heal sickness.[3]

In 1930 Faith Tabernacle affiliated with the British Apostolic Church. Then following a schism in the Apostolic Church about 1940, Bablola went with a new independent church, Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), where he continued his healing and revivalistic activities until his death. The CAC regards Babalola as an apostle and his revival ministry as the beginning of the church. A CAC retreat center was built at Ikeji-Arakeji, Osun State where Babalola was first called in 1928.

The Christ Apostolic Church has not died along with Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola in 1959. In fact it has grown rapidly over the years, with many churches under the Christ Apostolic Church name but each church with a specific branch name. The Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU) a private Nigerian university located in Ikeji-Arakeji in Osun State, established by the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) Worldwide is named after him, located at the place where he says he was called by God in 1928.