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FounderJ.B. Sadare[1][2]
Ijebu Ode, Nigeria

Aladura is a classification of churches that abide by a Christian religious denomination or trend inspired by activities of progressive church elements, J.B Sadare, D.O. Odubanjo, I.O Sanya and others in 1918.[3] The denomination has over 3 million adherents worldwide.

The term "Aladura" means "praying people" in Yoruba.

Aladura churches emphasize the power of prayer. They believe in faith healing and various elements associated with Pentecostalism. Most of the founders were associated with Anglicanism, joined by some Methodists. The churches reject the power of traditional African religion as malign. They sometimes burn cult images as "idols" and oppose both polygamy and witchcraft. Unlike Kimbanguism, the churches tend to avoid politics and focus instead on the "holiness movement".[4]

The Aladura movement started at Ijebu-Ode, Nigeria in 1918. This movement later metamorphosed to Living Faith Church Worldwide (whose headquarters is the Faith Tabernacle) and to the Christ Apostolic Church. Today, many churches in Western Nigeria can be correctly called "Aladura".


They can be categorized into Pentecostals and Spiritualists.[1] The popular Aladura indigenous churches are:

Aladura Pentecostals[edit]

Christ Apostolic Church, popularly called CAC, is the precursor of Aladura Pentecostalism.

Aladura Spiritualists[edit]

The Aladura Spiritualists are also called "White Garment" churches.


Christ Apostolic Church[edit]

The first Aladura movement emerged from St. Saviour's Anglican Church, Ijebu-Ode, Nigeria in 1918. The Sexton, Ali, related a dream to four church elders, J.B. Sadare, E.O. Onabanjo, D.C. Oduga and E.O.W. Olukoya. They started vigorous prayer sessions. They initiated the "Prayer Band", popularly called "Egbe Aladura". After D.O. Odubanjo joined the movement in 1919, they became influenced by the doctrines of the Faith Tabernacle of Philadelphia. They rejected infant baptism and all forms of medicine, whether western or traditional. This led to a doctrinal conflict with the Anglican Church and they were forced out of the church. 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 Anglican School. The Aladura movement began as a renewal movement in search of true spirituality.[5]

A revival took place in 1918 during the influenza pandemic. The group filled with the Holy Ghost claim to have used prayer to save many lives affected by the epidemic. This consolidated the prayer group. The movement grew gradually and formed branches throughout Nigeria. The name of the group went through several changes, such as Prayer Band, Precious Stone, Diamond Society, and Faith Tabernacle, in that order, until 1930. A great revival started in July 1930 by the raising of a dead body by Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola at Oke-Oye in Ilesa. People traveled from neighboring cities and countries to receive healing at Ilesa. Several people were healed through the power of prayer amid evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The revival lasted about 60 days and is regarded as the greatest revival ever in Nigeria. Faith Tabernacle of Nigeria later invited the Apostolic Church of England in 1931 to form an Association that lasted until 1939.

The Revival group went through additional name changes until, 24 years after its formation, it settled on the name Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) in 1942. Today, CAC has spread worldwide and is the precursor of Aladura Pentecostal Churches in Nigeria. The Church established schools at all levels, including Joseph Ayo Babalola University.[6]

Several other churches of Christ Apostolic Church.


Eternal Sacred Order of Cherubim and Seraphim[edit]

Moses Orimolade Tunolase, who was later called Baba Aladura, or Praying Father, founded the Eternal Sacred Order of Cherubim and Seraphim in 1925, also as a prayer group within the Anglican Church. Captain Christiana Abiodun's adopted daughter fell into a trance and Moses Orimolade Tunolase, who was already an itinerant evangelist and teacher, was the only one who could awaken her. By 1925 they had left the Anglican church to become independent. Their most distinctive ministry was to openly identify and challenge witches on evangelistic journeys through the countryside. These long trips were typical of Cherubim and Seraphim (as they are most commonly called) evangelists and missionaries. Today the church is one of the most popular, most attractive and most influential of the Aladura churches worldwide.

The Church of the Lord (Aladura)[edit]

Josiah Ollunowo Ositelu founded the Church of the Lord (Aladura) on 27 July 1930 at Ile Lisa, Ogere-Remo, Ogun state.

Ositelu was born in 1902 to Dawodu Ositelu and Madam Rebecca Ejironike. His parents named him "Fakoya" at birth; however, Ositelu told his father he was "Oyelowo" and his baby brother should be called "Oyeleke". Eventually, Ositelu became School Master Catechist at Orile Imo – Ishan – Erukute, Asha, Erunbe (Oko Egba). Ositelu used only cold water all his life to bathe and drink, and never ate pork.

Ositelu also went on missionary journeys throughout Nigeria, Liberia, Ghana and Sierra Leone.

Celestial Church of Christ[edit]

The Celestial Church of Christ (usually known as Cele) was founded in 1947 by Samuel Oshoffa in Porto Novo, Benin.

Celica Church of Christ[edit]

Celica Church of Christ was established through the injunction of the Holy Spirit on November 15, 1992, at Ibadan, Oyo State and was announced via a press conference on that day. In extra research on the name of the church, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), London program on Africa stated that the word Celica has its origin in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek languages. From Latin, it means heavenly or Celestial. The name of the church translated spiritually is the Most Glorious Church of Christ from Heaven. The founder of the church is Emmanuel Adetunji Adeonigbagbe. Its international headquarters is located in Ibadan. The church has branches in Nigeria and a presence in the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States of America, Cote d'Ivoire and South Africa. The church can be distinguished by its chant of Hosanna and the mode of dressing, a white garment with a blue cross on the left-hand side. The church logo is an eye, a cross and a Bible. The church believes in the efficacy of prayers and guidance by the Holy Spirit in all its programs.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Olowe, Abi (2007). Great Revivals, Great Revivalist. Houston, Texas: Omega Publishers. p. 344. ISBN 978-0-9795299-0-0. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Melton, J. Gordon (2003). Encyclopedia of American Religions (Seventh edition). Farmington Hills, Michigan: The Gale Group, Inc. p. 517. ISBN 0-7876-6384-0. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Aladura". Litcaf. 2016-03-10. Retrieved 2017-06-04.
  4. ^ "Aladura Churches in Nigeria".
  5. ^ Abi Olowe; Great Revivals, Great Revivalist – Joseph Ayo Babalola, Omega Publishers, 2007
  6. ^ Abi Olowe, Babalola Miracle Center, Omega Publishers 2007
  7. ^ "The voice from Celica" $nVolume I edited by A. 'Sesan Ayodele, Adetunji Adeonigbagbe. Library of Congress Control Number: 00377810. Cataloguing Source: DLC, DLC. Library of Congress Call Number: MLCS 2005/ 03542 (B). Publication, Distribution, etc.