Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola Celebrates 116th Posthumous Birthday


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 special healing powers and the anointing of the Holyspirit.

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.


He was the first prophet God used to lead a great revival in Nigeria after the raising of a 10 years old boy in 1930.

He was the first General Evangelist of the Christ Apostolic Church, a church that metamorphosed from a prayer group popularly called Egbe Aladura in Nigeria.

The Aladura Movement nucleated at Ijebu-Ode in 1918. Babalola was endowed with healing powers.

Joseph Ayodele Babalola was born of Yoruba parents, David Rotimi and Madam Marta Talabi on April 25, 1904 who belonged to the Anglican Church. The family lived at Odo-Owa, a small town about ninety kilometres from Ilorin in Kwara State, Nigeria. His father was the Ba ba Ijo (“church father”) of the C.M.S. Church at Odo-Owa.On January 18, 1914, young Babalola was taken by his brother M. 0. Rotimi, a Sunday school teacher in the C.M.S. Church at Ilofa, who later took him to Osogbo.
Babalola started school at Ilofa and got as far as standard five at All Saints’ School, Osogbo. However, he quit school when he decided to learn a trade and became a motor mechanic apprentice. Again, he did not continue long in this vocation before joining the Public Works Department (PWD). He was among the road workers who constructed the road from Igbara-Oke to Ilesa, working as a steam roller driver.

Babalola’s was a specific and personal call. Babalola’s strange experience started on the night of September 25th, 1928 when he suddenly became restless and could not sleep. This went on for a week and he had no inkling of the causes of such a strange experience. The climax came one day when he was, as usual, working on the Ilesa-Igbara-Oke road. Suddenly the steam roller’s engine stopped to his utter amazement. There was no visible mechanical problem, and Joseph became confused and perplexed. He was in this state of confusion when a great voice “like the sound of many waters” called him three times. The voice was loud and clear and it told him that he would die if he refused to heed the divine call to go into the world and preach. Babalola did not want to listen to this voice and he responded like many of the Biblical prophets, who, when they were called out by Yahweh as prophets, did not normally yield to the first call. So, Babalola gave in only after he had received the assurance of divine guidance.
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To answer the call, he had to resign his appointment with the Public Works Department. Mr. Fergusson, the head of his unit, tried to dissuade him from resigning but the young man was bent on going on the Lord’s mission. The same voice came to Joseph a second time asking him to fast for seven days. The experience led him to a personal retreat in the home of Joseph Fapounda a Christian leader in Christ Missionary Society in Ipetu Ijesa in Ogun State Nigeria.

In a vision he had, Jesus appeared to him in a white robe along with a very tall man who revealed that it was this Jesus who asked me to speak with you. The man in a dazzling robe spoke at length about the mission he was to embark upon. The man also told him of the persecutions he would face and at the same time assured him of God’s protection and victory. A hand prayer bell was given to Babalola as a symbol. He was told that the sound of the bell would always drive away evil spirits. He was also given a bottle of “life- giving water” to heal all manners of sickness. Consequently, wherever and whenever he prayed into water for therapeutic purposes, effective healing was procured for those who drank the water. Thus, Babalola became a prophet and a man with extraordinary powers.




   

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