Church History

The Nigerian experience of 1916 was similar to the United Kingdom situation of the same year. It was an experience of the surge of the Holy Spirit, as recorded by one of the patriarchs of the church, Pastor S. G. Adegboyega. He narrated his experience of the month of March in the year 1916; when he attended revival meeting, conducted at the St. Paul ‘s Anglican Church, Breadfruit Street , Lagos , under the distinguished chairmanship of late Bishop James Johnson; and a similar one was simultaneously held at Anglican Church Aroloya Street, Lagos in Nigeria conducted by Late Bishop Oluwole. These two revival services had same subject focused on The Baptism of the Holy Spirit for believers and efficacy of Prayer by believers through faith in the name of Jesus Christ.

He was privileged to have attended that revival conducted by Bishop Johnson where these subjects were so stressed by him. He continued to lay emphasis on the necessity of receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and subsequently many good things derivable from the Spirit. At the end of the revival meeting many ministers present at the revival service had received the power of the Holy Spirit. These revival services, no doubt made a mark in the life of Pastor Adegboyega. And that rekindled his interest for fellowship with other children of God.

He was privileged to have attended that revival conducted by Bishop Johnson where these subjects were so stressed by him. He continued to lay emphasis on the necessity of receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and subsequently many good things derivable from the Spirit. At the end of the revival meeting many ministers present at the revival service had received the power of the Holy Spirit. These revival services, no doubt made a mark in the life of Pastor Adegboyega. And that rekindled his interest for fellowship with other children of God.

 

The Diamond Society – 1918

About two years after, there was a group of people who gathered themselves together as a Praying Band called “Precious Stone” or Diamond Stone” in the year 1918. This group had its centre at Ijebu-­Ode under the late Pastor J. B. Shadare and Eshinshinade. The society became more prominent in the year 1918 when there was influenza epidemic. A lady by name Miss Sophia A Odunlami (Mrs. Ajayi) who was raised up then was mightily used by the Lord at that time to perform many wonderful works of healing of those affected by the epidemic without the use of medicine whatsoever. The Lord through her also performed many other miracles.

It was shocking to many to hear that they could only live under the efficacy of prayer without the use of any other means. Many of the people that were opposed to this confession of faith referred to it as fanaticism. There was much persecution in the church then. Notwithstanding, the truth began to spread here and there. There was no correspondence used, yet the Truth was expanding through medium of personal information and dissemination of news.

 

The Faith Tabernacle 1920

In the years 1920 and 1921, through the indefatigable effort of Late Pastor D. 0. Odubanjo, the then able missionary correspondent, members of the Diamond Society referred to above who were then worshipping at Upper King Street, Lagos Nigeria came into contact through correspondence with Pastor A. Clarke, leader of Faith Tabernacle Congregation in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA at that time.

Since that time a magazine titled “Sword of the Spirit”, the official organ published by the Faith Tabernacle Congregation in USA , was regularly sent to Nigeria . Copies were freely distributed to members within the fold and outsiders.

The resultant effect of reading, studying and meditating on these literatures, which became the second Bible, was a vindication and confirmation of the belief and stand on the Vision of Divine Healing which had hitherto been accepted and embraced as Divine Revelation given by God since 1918.

After comparing the teaching of the Faith Tabernacle Congregation USA with the Word of God in the Bible, the Diamond Society unanimously decided to affiliate with Faith Tabernacle Congregation in the USA in 1923. Since then all members of Diamond Society in Nigeria became members of Faith Tabernacle Congregation. Late Pastor D. 0. Odubanjo became the presiding pastor of Faith Tabernacle Congregation in Nigeria .

 

The Nationwide Revivals

Between I 929 -1930, a mighty, long-expected sweeping Revival broke out in Nigeria . The Lord raised up two Evangelists who simultaneously conducted evangelical out-reaches in different parts of Nigeria . The two prominent servants of God used to perform many works of miracles and healing were Late Evangelist J. A Babalola and Late Evangelist D. 0. Orekoya.
Late Evangelist D. 0. Orekoya, an Elder in the Faith Tabernacle Congregation at Ebute Metta was raised up by the Lord in the year 1929- 1930.

Late Evangelist J.0. Babalola was however a member of the Anglican Communion before he was called by the Lord to work for Him. In 1929 Late Babalola approached the Faith Tabernacle Congregation and was Baptized and given Right Hand of Fellowship. The Lord raised him up to perform many works of healing and deliverance which drew thousands to the Lord.

With the advent of the Apostolic Church in Nigeria , Late Evangelist J. 0. Babalola travelled to the Eastern part of Nigeria vis a vis Calabar. He arrived Creek Town , Calabar in 1933 simultaneously with an Evangelist from Great Britain , Evangelist I. J. Vaughan. The resultant effect of their ministry was the conversion of Late Pastor E. 0. Ene and several others to The Apostolic Church

 

Establishment of The Apostolic Church Nigeria 1931

With the upsurge of the revival services of 1929, there was an increase in the level of persecution that arose against the Faith Tabernacle Congregation.
It became increasingly necessary therefore to get affiliated to a Pentecostal Fellowship abroad. However, the Philadelphia Headquarters of Faith Tabernacle Congregation refused the request of the Church in Nigeria to come to their aid.

The leadership of the Church therefore agreed to look to God in faith and prayer to send deliverance from any quarters according to his will.

Amidst these uncertainties, Pastor D. O. Odubanjo, the leader of the Faith Tabernacle Congregation in Nigeria , was given a magazine called “Riches of Grace” which is the official organ of the Church containing the fundamental doctrinal beliefs of The Apostolic Church.

The leadership of the Church under the distinguished chairmanship of Pastor Odubanjo studied the magazine and discovered the universality of the vision as there were lots of similarities in the principles and practices of The Apostolic Church and the Faith Tabernacle Congregation in Nigeria as recorded by S. G Adegboyega. He said “We discovered that their doctrines were similar to our own received from Faith Tabernacle Congregation in America. We also discovered that there were doctrines embraced and taught by the Apostolic Church of Great Britain which we found to be scripturally sound but were not taught and practised by the Faith Tabernacle Congregation of America”.

Letters were written to The Apostolic Church in Great Britain inviting them to Nigeria.

The Story as it had never been told

When Joseph Ayo Babalola was raised up for a revival by the Lord, he was a junior minister under late Pastor J. A. Babatope, at llesha in the Faith Tabernacle congregation.
The full blown Revival made pews in most Conventional Churches in the south west of Nigeria almost empty as many of their members trooped to the Revival and subsequently became members of Faith Tabernacle. There was an uproar and persecution by the churches. This affected most of the churches in the country then. This later led to recurrent sympathy visits of encouragement to llesha and prayer fervently made by the brethren from Lagos and lbadan under the leadership of Late Pastor D. 0. Odubanjo who was based in Lagos .

 

Organization and administration

The Apostolic Church Nigeria is administered as a single entity by the National Council and it is headed by a President. The current President is Apostle E.S Igwe, the chairman of Igboland territory who succeeded Pastor G.O. Olutola in February 2017. Pastor G.O Olutola who succeeded Pastor Eyo Okon in 2011 retired at the age of 80 and handed over the mantle of leadership to Apostle E.S Igwe.

The church is categorized into sections called fields with a view of bonding members in a spiritual and healthy fellowship. The fields include:

Lagos and Western/Northern Areas Territory (LAWNA)

The Igboland Territory,
The Northern Area Field,
The Maritime Territory,
The Uyo Field,
The Ikot Ekpene Field.
The Eket Field
The Ikot Abasi Field
The Oron Field
The Federal Capital Territory Field (FCT Field)

Lagos and Western/Northern Areas (LAWNA)

Lagos and Western/Northern Areas (LAWNA) is a child of a unification process. Historically, in order to unite and centralize the activities of the Church, the Parent Areas (Lagos, Ilesa, Zaria and Kabba) agreed and formed a platform then known as The Apostolic Church, Federal and Western, Northern Areas Council (FAWNAC) which was later changed to The Apostolic Church, Lagos and Western/Northern Areas (LAWNA) Territory in compliance with the spoken word of the Lord through prophetical ministry in 1969. LAWNA Territory which was a unification of those four Areas in 1970 has today grown into 79 Areas across the country; and seven missionary fields overseas. The Territory covers 27 states out of the 36 states of The Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Glorious Vision University

In 2011, the church founded Glorious Vision University, a tertiary institution located in Ogwa, Edo State, Nigeria and named after LAWNA’s first territorial chairman Samuel Adegboyega.

National Convention

The National Convention is a biannual gathering of all The Apostolic Church members at the National Temple, Alapere, Ketu, Lagos State, Nigeria.

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