1930 Revival

Chapter 4


The 1930 Nigerian Faith Tabernacle Nationwide Pentecostal Revival and its Implications for African Pentecostalism



 Samson  A. Fatokun


For almost seven years, the indigenous movement ‘Precious Stone Society’ as a typical Aladura (praying) movement which affiliated to the American Faith Tabernacle had been reportedly labouring in prayer to God to visit them with the great outpouring of His Spirit like the one on the day of Pentecost in the Upper Room, a revival that would cut through the country[1]. The people were eager to see the events which they had read and studied in Acts of the Apostles in their series of Bible Study repeated in their own time. This long prayer soon received its answer with the raising of two great indigenous prophets and evangelists in persons of Joseph Ayodele Babalola and Daniel O. Orekoya.


The Role  of Joseph Ayo Babalola in the 1930 Pentecostal Revival within the  Nigeria Faith Tabernacle Congregation

Almost the same year of Nigerian Faith Tabernacle’s contact with Faith and Truth Temple, a great African prophet and evangelist was raised  by God to usher in an epoch in the history of  Faith Tabernacle (F.T.)  Church in Nigeria: an era of an outbreak of a nation-wide  revival and an unprecedented manifestation of the power of the Holy Spirit[2]. On African soil and by an African, without any tutelage by the pioneer Pentecostal theologian, Charles Parham, nor the globally celebrated pioneer American Pentecostal  evangelist, William Seymour[3], without any link with the historic American Azusa Street Revival or previous alliance with any American or European Pentecostal mission, God as the God of all races, in a proof of the Joelic prophecy of the end-time great outpouring of the Spirit of God upon all flesh, raised up  Joseph Ayodele Babalola, a native of Ilofa and a steam-roller driver by profession with the Public Works Department (P.W.D.)[4].  Ayo Babalola, as profoundly called,  was of Anglican background, his father at a time occupied  the prestigious position of Baba Egbe  (Patron) of the Anglican  Church in his hometown.


On 9 October 1928 (precisely by 12 noon),  Joseph Ayodele Babalola reportedly received a divine call[5] as a prophet and evangelist after series of spiritual experiences while working on road construction at Igbara – Oke, a place situated between Ilesha and Akure, in which he heard a very loud voice, described by Alokan as a deadening sound like that of a machine gun, calling his name thrice: Joseph!, Joseph!!, Joseph!!!, leave your present work, otherwise, you will die this year[6] (for details on the call of Ayo Babalola go to chapter 35.1 of this book).

He afterwards received some specific instructions for the ministry which included getting a bell to proclaim the Gospel. He was also entrusted with the message to cure all manners of sicknesses through prayer and omi–iye (water of life – that is, sanctified water), and to destroy all native medicines[7].

His series of unusual spiritual experience had so much effect on him that on his return to his hometown, he was reportedly mistaken for a lunatic. But the confirmation of his call as a prophetic-healing prophet came when small pox epidemic almost ravaged the town and he rose to save   the situation through the holding of prayer–meetings in the Anglican Church. The prayer sessions were reportedly accompanied by supernatural manifestations. He was, however, interrupted and driven out of the Anglican Church by the church authorities because of the apparent strangeness of his practices such as the use of water to heal and manifestations of some other spiritual gifts[8].


With his rejection in his hometown, he was reportedly directed by God in a vision to Nigerian  Faith Tabernacle Congregation[9]. On request, one of his kinsmen, Immanuel Ajibola,  a member of Nigerian Faith Tabernacle (F.T.) introduced him to Pastor I.B. Akinyele in Ibadan, who in turn directed him to the Presiding Pastor and the Missionary Correspondent of the church, Pastors Sadare and Odubanjo.  In December 1929, Ayo Babalola met the duo with whom he shared his call and mission.[10]  After the interview, with much conviction of his testimony,  he was warmly welcomed into the fold and subsequently taken to  Lagos Lagoon where he was administered baptism by immersion  by Pastor J.B. Sadare with the assistance of Pastor Odubanjo,[11] consequent upon which  he was duly recognized as a full member of Nigerian Faith Tabernacle Congregation.[12]

It is therefore pertinent to state at this juncture that the opinion of Adeware Alokan[13], Benjamin Steward[14] and some writers that it was the Nigerian Faith Tabernacle  that allied with Babalola’s church (the controversial African Apostolic Church[15]), and also that the 1930s revival which started at Oke-Ooye, Ilesa, was Babalola’s movement  lack strong historical evidence.

Similarly, the views of Adeware Alokan[16], J.D.Y. Peel[17], and some other writers, that Nigerian F.T. had broken ties with F.T. in U.S.A. as early as 1928 before the coming of Joseph Ayo Babalola is opposed to the eye – witness account of S.G. Adegboyega (a Pastor of F.T. as far back as 1926), J.A. Ademakinwa’s  book on the history of Christ Apostolic Church)[18] and several archival documents consulted  at the National Achieves, Ibadan. For example, in a letter written by the Assistant  District Officer, Ilesha, to the District Officer, Ile – Ife, dated 13th Aug. 1930, and another one dated 25th August

1930 by the Resident Colonial Officer, Oyo Province, to the Honourable Secretary, Southern Province (Enugu), Joseph Ayo Babalola is portrayed as “a member of Nigerian Faith Tabernacle, an institution connected with U.S.A.”[19] Moreover, he is reported in the second letter to have visited Ilesha “to preach out the Faith Tabernacle”.[20]

Also  T.N. Turnbull’s position that Babalola joined The Apostolic Church in 1932 on “receiving a divine revelation instructing him to call his movement ‘The Apostolic Church’, consequent upon which he contacted TAC’s  missionaries in Lagos” [21], is fallacious. This raises some pertinent questions in the light of historical facts such as: Why was Babalola re-baptised by Sadare and Odubanjo in 1929 if he had not signified his intention to join Nigerian Faith Tabernacle Church? What was Babalola’s business at Oke-Ooye, Ilesa, in July 1930 at the meeting of F.T.’s leaders if he had not joined the F.T. Church? If Babalola had not been at Oke-Ooye with F.T. in 1930, the popular 1930s Pentecostal revival in Nigeria would not have commenced from that place? It is a fact well attested to in history that if not for the aftermath persecution of the 1930 revival led by Babalola, there would not have been the need for the request for assistance from The Apostolic Church missionaries from Great Britain and the subsequent affiliation in 1931 of Nigerian Faith Tabernacle with The Apostolic Church of Great Britain (as will be seen in the subsequent chapters).


Figure 1: The Apostolic Church, Oke-Ooye, Ilesa (formerly Faith Tabernacle Church, Oke-Ooye): The cradle of the 1930 indigenous Pentecostal revival in Nigeria .


Ayo Babalola’s fame as a mighty prophetic figure spread in  July 1930 (exactly 12 years after the birth of Precious Stone Society – July 1918) during his visit to Ilesha.

This was occasioned by his outstanding miracle of raising a “dead” child to life. This feat consequently gave rise to the historic 1930 revival which changed  the course of Nigerian Faith Tabernacle and catapulted it into the limelight. This happened during a special meeting of Nigerian F.T. leaders at Oke-Ooye scheduled for 9-10 October 1930 basically to settle some doctrinal misunderstanding between the Ilesa F.T. headquarters and  the Oyan Branch of F.T. under J.A. Babatope’s jurisdiction[22].  Oludare,[23] writing on the founding fathers of Christ Apostolic Church, agrees with some  writers that Babalola was not one of the delegates but was only taken along from Ibadan by Pastor I.B. Akinyele for a briefing with the F.T. leaders on the rules and regulations to place before the converts from his evangelistic campaigns. In fact, he was reportedly  kept in a separate room while the meeting was going on, being attended to by Pastor J.A Medaiyese[24]. When the deceased child was brought around, Babalola reportedly  restored the child back to life after jingling his prayer bell over it  thrice in the name of Jesus Christ[25]. Being overwhelmed by

Figure: The house where Babalola lived during the 1930 Oke-Ooye Revival in Ilesa.


this miracle, the mother of the restored child went about the town spreading the news that  a wonder-working prophet had come to the town at Oke–Ooye. As a result of this, many  people were attracted to Oke-Ooye where  several mighty works of healing and deliverances were allegedly wrought through Prophet Babalola. As reported by Adegboyega, that the dumb spoke, the lame walked, the deaf heard, lunatics were delivered, lepers were cleansed, long standing years of pregnancies  were wonderfully delivered, and thousands of unbelievers, the Muslims and idol worshippers were converted, and so on.[26] As further confirmed by Olusheye:


The blind were made to see, the lame walked, the deaf heard and evil spirits came out crying. The magicians and those who possessed dangerous weapons of black power submitted them freely. Those who came with evil spirits and sorcery powers fell flat before God’s power… Hundreds of thousands repented of their sins and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour[27].


The news of the revival was so widespread that many people from other towns, cities and nations rushed out to Ilesha[28]. A situation report sent on demand by the Colonial  Assistant District  Officer, Ilesa, to the Colonial District Officer, Ile-Ife  on the 13th of August  1930 confirmed the above claim:


I have to report the arrival in Ilesha of a preacher who is attracting great attention and arousing considerable enthusiasm. His name is Joseph….He preaches out the Bible and claims to have the power of faith healing, and it is this which causes his great popularity…Very large crowd of people, not only from Ilesa but also from all the surrounding countries… Clerks as well as bushmen, Mohammedans and pagans as well as Christians throng the church building and compound, which are at his disposal, each night after dark[29]


Use of Consecrated Water as Faith Stimulant in the 1930s Revival.

One of the striking features of the 1930s revival was the use of consecrated water as faith stimulant based on Africans religious temperament. As earlier mentioned, one of the specific divine directives given to Ayo Babalola at his call was the use of sanctified water for healing activities. At Ilesa, there was a stream around   Oke-Ooye.  Through a claimed divine instruction, this stream was  sanctified by Babalola for healing miracles. Thereupon the stream for domestic use became exclusively used for healing and deliverance purposes as people with diverse problems, ranging from barrenness to mental illnesses struggled with one another to fill their bottles. Consequent upon the miracles, signs and wonders that attended to the use of this sanctified water, the stream was named after Ayo Babalola and was called  Omi Ayo

(water or stream of joy (the Ayo- the short form of Babalola’s personal name  means ‘joy’ in English). A research visit to this place reveals that up till the present time, people still resort to this stream, using it for both drinking and ritual bath[30]. This was the origin of the use of sanctified water in African Pentecostalism.

Owing to the large number of people that rushed out to Ilesa and competed to use the sanctified stream during the 1930 revival, the stream soon got dried up. In desperate need of water to fill their bottles with for prayer at the crusade grounds, people turned to the nearby abandoned muddy stream called ‘Ora’, full of thickets round about. The rush was so much that the excited people reportedly used their feet to destroy the wild and tall grasses[31].

There were reportedly open confession by witches and wizards after drinking the sanctified water originally intended for healing. Some women in the course of their confessions ‘held out for other to see men’s genital organs strangely possessed by them’[32]. At Ikare, some of the witches, wizards and other people with familiar spirits came to ‘surrender remnants of human flesh that they were yet to eat’.[33]  These possessed individuals were reportedly said to be falling down and rolling on the floor when arrested by the power of God, in a way similar to some passages in the gospel records where demoniacs fell down before Jesus, confessing. .

The Resident Colonial Officer, Oyo Province, in his memo to the Colonial Secretary, Southern Province, Enugu, confirmed Babalola’s  healing activities and deliverance through the use of sanctified water. In his report:


…  People bring water in bottle to him and he blesses it; this when drunk   is said to be very beneficial. I have interviewed persons who claimed that   they have been cured of  blindness, skin diseases and several other ailments, and they were all full of enthusiasm[34].


This revival witnessed a vivid and mighty demonstration of the power of God that it was exclaimed, “ God has visited Ilesa”. The Colonial Assistant District Officer, Ilesa, in his confidential report to the Colonial District Officer, Ile-Ife writes:

He has attracted a great deal of attention, and thousands of persons… continue to pour into Ilesa to see him. …Everyone to whom I have spoken on this subject, greatly impressed by the cures he is able to effect. They say that God has come to Ilesa[35].


Figure 2: Omi Ayo (Water of Joy) consecrated by Evangelist Ayo Babalola in 1930




The Three Main Centres of the Revival

While the 1930 revival spread to different places, especially in the South-western part of   Nigeria, the three most significant centres of the revival are Oke-Ooye Ilesa, Ibadan, and Efon Alaaye.    It was from these three centres that the revival spread to other cities, towns and villages in Nigeria and the neighbouring West African countries. For instance, Babalola went to Ghana in 1936. The great crowd at the revival did not only disrupt normal transport and food supplies, but embarrassed the then colonial government. This was because virtually all public transports were directed towards the venues of the revival. Revival centres also provided a good centre for those in food business where they made quick money by selling at exorbitant prices. There was for sometime a fall in food supplies in places outside the three great centres of revival. Motor drivers were reportedly busy day and night, transporting people to and fro the revival venues[36].








The Call of Evangelist Daniel O. Orekoya and the Oke-Bola, Ibadan Revival Centre (September 1930)  

A co–worker with Joseph Ayo Babalola during the 1930 Pentecostal revival in Nigeria was Daniel O. Orekoya (a one-eyed man, and formerly a tailor by profession). Unlike Babalola, Orekoya was before his call, an elder with Faith Tabernacle, Ebute–Metta, Lagos, and was attached (probably owing to his charismatic gifts) to the Faith Home (Maternity Centre  of F.T.) at Idi – Oro, Yaba area. He was reportedly a man of great faith and prayer. One day, to be precise, at around 9am in the morning of February 17, 1930, barely five months to the commencement of the great revival at Oke-Ooye, he allegedly received three angels during one of his quarterly prayers. The said heavenly visitors allegedly gave him some messages for the church. The alleged divine messages or instructions relayed to him included: divine condemnation of the use of gold trinkets of any description, eating of kola-nuts, snuffing of tobacco, and so on.

Daniel Orekoya was acknowledged as an evangelist raised by God through the convincing works of miracles and healing that attended his evangelistic campaigns. He visited Babalola at Ilessa during the Oke-Ooye revival. On his way back to Lagos, he had a stop over at Oke-Bola in Ibadan. There the people who had seen him featured at Oke-Ooye with Babalola besought him to spend some time with them to enjoy more of the blessings of an outpouring of God’s Spirit that they had witnessed through him at Ilesa. Consequent upon this, another great revival started in Ibadanland with Oke-Bola as the centre in a way similar to Oke-Ooye in Ilesa. The Ibadan Centre revival started on 6 September 1930[37].  An open field opposite the Seventh Day Adventist was used as revival venue.

This Ibadan Pentecostal revival became widely spread with the raising to life of a pregnant woman who had been dead for four days. The family of the dead woman could not afford to pay for the heavy rituals needed for the burial, this was why they opted for prayers[38].  This woman, named Alice Abeo was raised to life after four days and thereafter successfully delivered a baby girl – this implies that not only Abeo was restored to life by the power of God, the baby who must have died also had its life restored[39]. She lived afterwards for another 44 years (Madam Alice Abeo died finally in 1974)[40].

Records of miracles taken at the Ibadan centre of the 1930s revival revealed that, in the first week of the revival alone, about 341 people were cured. Between September 14 and October 3, 1930, the number had reportedly increased to 2, 538. The break down as record unveils is as follows: 202 protracted  pregnancy, 87 belly ache, 49 miscarriages, 41 witchcraft, 161 back ache, 24 blindness, 24 issues of blood/fibroids and other women related diseases, 11 barrenness, 15 hunchbacked, 22 acute coughs, 19 gonorrhea, 11 skin related diseases, and 22 dead raised[41]. Besides these, there were said to be numerous cases of people with mental problems perfectly delivered from the spirit of insanity, and a number of the deaf and dumb receiving back their hearing and speech power.    Orekoya also spread his missionary activities to other places like Abeokuta, Owo, Warri and Sapelle. Deplorably, Daniel Orekoya died the same year as a result of fire accident he had during his crusade in Warri (which, according to Adegboyega, he had earlier been warned by the Nigerian F.T. leaders not to go) [42].


Ayo Babalola and   Efon Alaaye Revival Centre (September–October 1930)


The first centre of revival in Ondo Province was Efon Alaaye, from where the revival spread to other places in Ekitiland and beyond. This happened barely two months after the commencement of the Oke-Ooye revival.  Babalola

entered Efon Alaaye on the 29 September 1930 around 5.30 a.m. [43]. He was given a rousing welcome with his fame at Oke-Ooye. One of the first converts of his revival was the king, His Royal Highness, Oba Agunsoye Aladejare who adopted the name Solomon. Apart from the raw miracles, the king was more significantly fascinated by Babalola’s mention of  Oruko Olorun Alaaye (In the name of the Living God) in his prayers, which coincides with the name of the place, Efon Alaaye. Consequently, the king gave the prophet a free hand to choose any land in  his domain to accommodate the crowd attending the revival. To his consternation, Babalola chose a thick and dreaded forest called Igbo Aiwo (the forbidden groove), which traditionally was believed to be the forest of demons and  for years had been  a no going zone to  the people of the town.

One of the outstanding miracles in the revival at Efon Alaaye was the clearing and burning of this grove without any repercussions[44]. Thus the former Igbo Aiwo became what is known till today as Oke Adura (Mountain of Prayer) Efon Alaaye.


Miracles Recorded at Some Other Places

Babalola’s ministry before and after 1930 extended to many places in Nigeria and the neighboring West Africa countries, as earlier mentioned. For instance, at a  place called Omu, a four year pregnancy was alleged to be  miraculously delivered after the in-take of a cup of sanctified water[45]. At a town called Ejide, the traditional ruler refused his entry. He thereupon made a prophetic pronouncement that, the  king would vacate his throne in the next three weeks. Exactly eighteen (18) days after, that king was dethroned by the British Government for an alleged offence[46].

He visited Araromi Iyagba, in the present Kogi State of Nigeria through invitation by a SIM catechist, K.P. Titus, who heard of his healing power through a Nigerian Newspaper[47]. The revival allegedly shook the whole town  and its environs, attracting both Muslims and idol worshippers, as well as members of Mainline churches. Having felt the power of God demonstrated in signs and wonders, the SIM members together with K.P. Titus, according to Alokan[48]  declared their stand for Nigerian Faith Tabernacle.  Some members of Nigerian F.T. at  Iyagba started manifesting Pentecostal gifts.

Before and after 1930, the revival was taken into different other places within Nigeria and some West African countries like Ghana and  Republic of Benin. In all these places, diverse miracles, signs and wonders were recorded, with massive conversion of souls to Christianity as well as re-dedication of lives by many nominal Christians.

In sum, characteristically, the great Pentecostal revival of 1930 was in all things an indigenous making. The Faith Tabernacle Congregation in the U.S.A had no contribution to it. In fact, as stressed by Olufowote, the Faith Tabernacle in the U.S.A. did not believe in the doctrine of Holy Spirit baptism with signs following. They denounced anybody who received the Holy Spirit and branded speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues and prophesying as being devilish and gibberish.[49] As attested to by the Resident Colonial Officer, Oyo Province: The Faith Tabernacle is of American origin but as far as I have been able to discover,  the direction of events here is the work of local men  …[50]


Implications of the 1930s N.F.T. Revival for African Pentecostalism

The great   1930 revival which started at Oke-Ooye, Ilesa allegedly shook Nigeria as a nation. The revival movement became the focal point and subject of discussion at all angles. During this period, a significant rising prophet in Nigerian Pentecostalism, Prophet Josiah O. Oshitelu (later Primate and Founder of the Church of the LORD (Aladura), as Babalola earlier did in 1928, equally made concise efforts to partner with Nigerian Faith Tabernacle at the time  of this great revival. He even paid a visit to Ijebu-Ode, the then National Headquarters of Nigerian F.T., to meet Pastor Sadare for consultation on possible cooperation, but was not absorbed due to some doctrinal differences[51].

Efforts were made to carry this revival to other places.   As stressed by Medaiyese, people came from all over Nigeria and other African countries and parts of Europe to the great revival. To mention but a few, people came from  Cameroun, Port Novo, Cotonou,  Dahomey, Sudan, Accra in Gold Coast   (now Ghana), Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Gambia and Spain[52]. Hospitals were reportedly deserted by patients for healing at crusade grounds. Members of the historic churches abandoned services for revival meetings. As stressed by Adegboyega: …drunkards, sexually immoral persons, sorcerers, witches and wizards, magicians and juju priests trooped out, surrendering their instruments, charms and idols to be burnt[53].

Many people enjoyed divine healing. According to Adegboyega, A number of hospitals became empty as patients left for divine healing at crusade grounds. The older churches almost became empty because members rushed out en masse to the scenes of the revival.

Each revival service was preceded by spiritual songs with heavy clapping of hands led by Babalola’s revival assistants. This was followed by the sermon- which in most cases was centred on salvation, holiness, and experiencing God’s Pentecostal touch in every aspect of life, especially in divine healing of bodily ailments.  After this were prayer, deliverance and healing sessions. Revival meetings were scheduled for evenings, while prayer meetings were observed in all revival grounds every morning.

The revival was characteristically evangelical as reflected above. The main emphasis was turning people’s hearts back to God, abandoning all previous evil works. In response to the prophet’s message of complete trust in God and absolute reliance on Him for any sort of divine touch, at each revival centre,   many traditional worshippers surrendered their idols and charms for burning. As reported by Alokan:

At each crusade centre, the hearers accepted the revival message, ransacked their homes and farms and spontaneously brought to the revival what the Lord forbids. Others brought to Joseph Babalola all their books of magic and ‘juju’ including the so called 6th and 7th Books of


Moses. Different types of orishas (that is, idols)… were brought to the revivalist for burning. So also were oruka ere (poisoned rings), igbadi (waist band charms), and the likes surrendered in their thousands.[54]


Figure 3: A pile of Juju (charms) surrendered for burning during the 1930 revival


A number of Muslims who were converted allegedly surrendered their tesubaa (chaplets) for which were reportedly used to tie together sticks that formed the fence round the revival rostrum[55].

In spite of the large attendance, the conduct of the revival was orderly. This was attested to by the observatory intelligence report of a Colonial Officer:

I have been to one of these, disguised as a native, so that I might know what actually happens. I found a crowd of  many hundreds of people, including a large contingent of the halt and lame and blind. The whole affair was orderly and the only part of the ritual in any way impressive was when everyone present stood up in a big half circle each holding his bottle (of water)  high above his head to be blessed by the “Prophet Joseph” who stood  in a raised dais under a powerful lamp and stretching out his hands made a weird incantations[56].


Significantly, the 1930s revival attracted even people of significance in the society. Commenting on the native’s responses to the revival, The Secretary, the Southern Provinces, in a memo addressed to The Resident, Oyo Province, writes: He (Babalola) … has a very large number of  followers…including most of the clerical staff of government  and Native Administrations and many of the Police. [57]

Another striking feature of the indigenous Pentecostal revival which has a serious implication for the contemporary Pentecostal churches in Nigeria was that, it was not in any way money/material centred or a money making venture. The central theme of the revival was salvation, healing/deliverance, and divine empowerment. In the words of the Assistant Colonial District Officer, Ilesa, .…He (Babalola) preaches out the Bible and claims to have the power of faith healing.[58] The revival was significantly void of the kind of financial extortions  under the guise of prosperity theology which today has plagued  a number of churches in  Africa. Similarly, it was not a   ‘fund-raising revival’ which Pentecostal crusade/revival programmes have degenerated into in some quarters in recent years in some Pentecostal churches in Africa. As attested by the Colonial Assistant District Officer, Ilesa’s report:


I could not discover on this occasion the smallest reason to think that Joseph is receiving any money for his trouble. I have asked from all manner of people and they invariably reject the possibility of his receiving money for his cures… He preaches from the Bible and says that he has a special mission from God to heal the sick without the aid of earthly medicines. He makes no collections and no charges, and is known to have refused monetary offerings when they have been offered[59].


In all, the 1930 revival which was housed by the Nigerian Faith Tabernacle laid the foundation for the development of Pentecostalism in Nigeria in a number of ways.  This new generation of indigenous ministers moved out with emphasis on charismatic power to provide solutions to all human problems with a holistic message of salvation, healing and deliverance from life varied ills through the mighty name of Jesus. Some of those who served as ministerial assistants to Evangelist Babalola on crusade grounds later became pioneers of   independent churches. The Assistant District Officer, Ilesha corroborating this development makes mention of “young preachers… going about the country…drawing attention”[60].

One of the aftermaths of the revival was the rise of great indigenous prophets and evangelists who took the fire of the revival to the places that the key actors in the 1930 revival could not get to.



It subsequently led to the beginning of proliferation of African independent Pentecostal churches in Nigeria and the neighouring West African countries, starting from the 1940s till date. A number of the independent church founders of the 1940s, 50s, 60s and even beyond often traced their roots to the 1930s revival. The great outpouring of the power of the Holy Spirit in Nigeria in the 1930s led to the witness of raw miracles, signs and wonders in an unprecedented manner, which in a greater dimension set the phase for a larger power demonstrating and experience dominating Christianity in Nigeria and Africa as a whole in contrast to the conception of Christianity by some as a mere intellectual religion.






















[1] For details see , S.A. Fatokun (2009), “The ‘Great  Move of God in An African  Community: A  Retrospect of the 1930s Indigenous Pentecostal Revival in Nigeria and Its Impact on Nigerian Pentecostalism” in Exchange (Journal of Missiological and Ecumenical Research, Leiden, The Netherlands),  Vol. 38, No.7, pp.34-57. . www.brill.nlwww.atla.com

[2] See I.D. Ayegboyin and S.A. Ishola (1997), African Indigenous Churches, Lagos:  Greater Heights Publication,  p. 72.

[3] S.A. Fatokun (2007), “The Founder of Global Pentecostalism: Parham or Seymour? A Historical Evaluation.” in Orita – Ibadan Journal of Religious Studies, Vol. 39, June & Dec.,  pp.30-39. http://www.oritajournal.org

[4] For details see S.A. Fatokun  (2011), ˝Babalola, Joseph Ayo”  in  George Thomas Kurian (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization (Volume I), Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd., pp. 181-183 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0107/abstract ;www.amazon.com/Encyclopedia-Christian-Civilization-set/dp/1405157623

[5] He reportedly heard a voice which called his name thrice, and ordered him to leave his work for the  vocation of preaching the gospel. And  that failure to comply would spell his death that year

[6] J.  Adeware Alokan (1991), The Christ Apostolic Church (C.A.C.), 1928-1988, Lagos: Ibukunolu Printers Nig. Ltd., p. 36

[7] J.D.Y. Peel (1968) , Aladura: A Religious Movement Among the Yoruba, London : O.U.P., p. 70

[8] Ibid

[9]  S.G. Adegboyega (1978), Short History of The Apostolic Church in  Nigeria, Ibadan: Rosprint Press,, p. 21.

[10] This exclusive interview reportedly lasted for about seven hours (6:30 p.m-1:00 a.m.)

[11] This is an indication that Sadare’s authority soon rivaled Odubanjo’s in F.T.

[12] Adegboyega (1978), Short History of The Apostolic Church in  Nigeria, p. 72

[13] J.  Adeware Alokan (1991), The Christ Apostolic Church (C.A.C.), 1928-1988, p.147.

[14]  Benjamin Steward (1983), Historical Background of Churches in Nigeria, Lagos: Interwale Press and Book Stores Ltd.

[15] African Apostolic Church, according to David Barrett (David Barrett (1982), “Table of Organized Churches and Denominations in Nigeria”  in D.B. Barret (ed.),  World Christian Encyclopedia,, Oxford: O.U.P., pp. 530ff)  is a church founded by one of the disciples of Ayo Babablola in 1947. This was  after the breaking away of Odubanjo, Akinyele and Babalola led faction group from The Apostolic Church to found Christ Apostolic Church.  In fact, research revealed that there was no any apostolic denominational church label in Nigerian Pentecostalism prior to the arrival of The Apostolic Church from Great Britain.

[16] Alokan (1991), The Christ Apostolic Church (C.A.C.), 1928-1988…

[17] Peel (1968) , Aladura: A Religious Movement Among the Yoruba, p. 69

[18] J.A. Ademakinwa (2012), History  of Christ Apostolic Church: The Faith of Our Fathers (a new edition),

[19] The Assistant  District Officer, Ilesha,  ‘Faith-Healing in Ilesha’- A confidential report sent  to the District Officer, Ife on  13 August 1930 in National Archives, File No. 662, Subject: The Faith-Healer Babalola and Faith Tabernacle, Class Mark: Oyo Prof. Specimen 2 & 3

[20] Ibid. Specimen 3

[21] T.N. Turnbull (1959), What God Hath Wrought ( A Short History of The Apostolic Church), Bradford: Puritan Press, p. 78

[22] Adegboyega (1978), Short History of The Apostolic Church in  Nigeria, p. 23; Alokan (1991), The Christ Apostolic Church (C.A.C.), 1928-1988, p. 49

[23] Oludare (1999) “The Trio of C.A.C Founding Fathers: Odubanjo, Akinyele and Babalola”, p. 26; see Alokan (1991), The Christ Apostolic Church (C.A.C.), 1928-1988, p. 49

[24] Ibid. – (Oludare, p.26 &(Alokan p. 49)

[25] See Adegboyega (1978), Short History of The Apostolic Church in  Nigeria, pp. 24-25

[26] Ibid. (Adegboyega), pp. 24-25

[27] E.H.L. Olusheye (1983), Saint Joseph Ayo Babalola: The African Foremost Religious Revolutionary Leader Ever Lived, 1904-1959, Akure: The Christian Overcomers Publishers, p.20

[28] Ayegboyin and S.A. Ishola (1997), African Indigenous Churches, p.74

[29] The Assistant  District Officer, Ilesha,  ‘Faith-Healing in Ilesha’- A confidential report sent  to the District Officer, Ife on  13 August 1930 in National Archives, File No. 662, Subject: The Faith-Healer Babalola and Faith Tabernacle, Class Mark: Oyo Prof. Specimen 2

[30] Research visit by the writer to Oke-Ooye Stream Ilesha and  The Apostolic Church Oke-Ooye Area Headquarters, the venue/starting point of the1930 historic revival.

[31] Alokan (1991), The Christ Apostolic Church (C.A.C.), 1928-1988.

[32] Ibid., p.67

[33]D.O. Olaoye, Itan Ibere Isin Igbagbo Ijo Aposteli ti Krisit ni Ilu Owo (The History of the Beginning of Christ Apostolic Church in Owoland), Lagos: Kemington Onabanjo Enterprises, 1974, pp.11&12.

[34] Situation Report from the Colonial Resident Officer, Oyo Province, to the Honourable Secretary, Southern Province (Enugu), dated 25th August 1930, National Archives, File No. 662, Specimen 5.

[35] The Assistant  District Officer, Ilesha,  ‘Faith-Healing in Ilesha’- A confidential report sent  to the District Officer, Ife on  13 August 1930 in National Archives,

[36] Alokan (1991), The Christ Apostolic Church (C.A.C.), 1928-1988

[37] Ibid. p. 50

[38] Olusheye (1983), Saint Joseph Ayo Babalola: The African Foremost Religious Revolutionary Leader Ever Lived…

[39] F.O. Adeniran (1980), “A Brief History of the Origin and Growth of C.A.C. in Ibadan (1930 – 1980)”,  B.A. Long Essay, Department  of Religious Studies, University of  Ibadan,.

[40]Alokan (1991), The Christ Apostolic Church (C.A.C.), 1928-1988

[41]J.A. Ademakinwa (1971),  Iwe Itan Ijo Aposteli Ti Kristi, (Lagos: C.A.C. Publicity Department, pp.  79 & 80

[42] Adegboyega (1978), Short History of The Apostolic Church in  Nigeria., p. 18

[43] Alokan (1991), The Christ Apostolic Church (C.A.C.), 1928-1988, p.50

[44] Ibid.

[45] Ibid.,  p. 45

[46] Ibid.,  p. 46

[47] J.A. Medaiyese  (1956) Itan Igbedide Woli Joseph Ayo Babalola (History of the Rise of Prophet Joseph Ayo Babalola , Ibadan: Oluseyi Press, p. 78; Alokan (1991), The Christ Apostolic Church (C.A.C.), 1928-1988, p.46

[48] Ibid. (Alokan), p. 46

[49] G.O. Odufowote (1984), “The Adoption of The Apostolic Church as a Denominational Name in Nigeria”,  B.A. Long Essay, Dept. of Religious Studies, University of  Ibadan,  p.3

[50] The Resident, Oyo Province, ‘Faith Tabernacle, Ilesha’- A Report addressed   to the Honourable, the Secretary, Southern Province, Enugu, dated  25 August 1930, Nation… National Archives, .p.9.

[51] Adegboyega (1978), Short History of The Apostolic Church in  Nigeria, p. 28

[52] Medaiyese  (1956) Itan Igbedide Woli Joseph Ayo Babalola (History of the Rise of Prophet Joseph Ayo Babalola), pp.25 & 26

[53] Adegboyega (1978), Short History of The Apostolic Church in  Nigeria.

[54] Alokan (1991), The Christ Apostolic Church (C.A.C.), 1928-1988, p.63

[55] C.A.C. Executive Committee (1968), Itan Ati Igbedide Ijo C.A.C. Ni Ilu  Ikare (History of the  Rise and Development of C.A.C. in Ikareland), Ikare: C.A.C. Executive Committee, , p.3

[56] The Assistant  District Officer, Ilesha,  ‘Faith-Healing in Ilesha’- A confidential report sent  to the District Officer, Ife on  13 August 1930 in National Archives..

The reference to ‘incantation’ in the above report is a reflection of a Colonial interpretation of a typical indigenous African Christian evangelist or prophet’s prayer at that time. For details see S.A. Fatokun (2006), “A Critique of Warfare Prayers in African Pentecostalism’ in Peace Studies and Practice (Journal of the Nigerian Society for Peace Studies and Practice), Vol. 1, No. 1. June, pp. 18-38

[57] The Secretary, Southern Provinces, Enugu, Nigeria, “Aladura Movement” – A Memo  addressed to The Resident, Oyo Province, on 3 August 1931, in National Achieves… .

[58]The Assistant  District Officer, Ilesha,  ‘Faith-Healing in Ilesha’- A confidential report sent  to the District Officer, Ife on  13 August 1930 in National Archives, File No. 662, Subject: The Faith-Healer Babalola and Faith Tabernacle, Class Mark: Oyo Prof. Specimen 2

[59] Ibid.

[60] Ibid., p. 9

Back to top