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1.1 Background of the Study
The birth of Christ Apostolic Church could be likened to the mysterious bird called ‘phoenix’. This church came out of the ashes of the faith Tabernacle which was consumed by some internal crises. The peace meeting held at Ilesha, to settle the misunderstandings within the leaders of the Faith Tabernacle, seemed to be the farewell service for the Faith Tabernacle Movement and welcome service for the new church.1 Christ Apostolic Church is the first Aladura Pentecostal to exist in Nigeria. The Aladura Group later metamorphosed into the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) after the 1930 revival by Prophet Joseph Ayo Babalola first started in the year 1918 at Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State Nigeria.2 It has come into existence in the first half of the 20th century, in the then- British Empire. It was formally established in 1941 after a split from the Apostolic Church which the original Aladura organization (Faith Tabernacle) had invited to Nigeria. Its growth was led by Joseph Ayo Babalola, a road construction driver who became its founder.
Christ Apostolic Church has its headquarters in Lagos. In the 20th century, it had distant to other Aladura churches 3.In 1999, a dissident faction of the Christ Apostolic Church has a major presence among the Yoruba4. It does not have infant baptism. It is in favor of monogamy within the Christ Apostolic Church, healing is attempted5. Christ Apostolic Church was initially administered by the founding fathers that manifested exemplary lives of probity, love, industry, loyalty, and tenacity of purpose. The momentum held sway till the beginning of the 1960’s. Thereafter, alien religious practices began to infiltrate into the church through ministers who came from other denominations to join the church. The expansion of the church which was engendered by the influx of converts later gave rise to administrative complexities. Different kinds of people came in and joined both the clergy and laity. Soon, problems which one could trace to the strange elements that joined the crowd began to surface. This problem is associated with expansion. Consequently, certain pitfalls of the church, traceable to collective or individual lapses, began to occur, especially when the established constitutional provisions were ignored and certain influential individuals were negligently allowed to import and impose the dictates of their inordinate ambitions and aspirations.6
Joseph Ayodele Babalola was born on April 25, 1904 to David Rotimi and Madam Marta Talabi who belonged to the Anglican Church. The family lived at Odo-Owa in Ilofa, a small town about ninety kilometers from Ilorin in Kwara State, Nigeria. His father was the Baba Ijo ("church father") of the C.M.S. Church at Odo-Owa. Pastor Medayese writes in his book Itan Igbe dide Woli Ayo Babalola that Mysterious circumstances surrounded the birth of Babalola. On that day, it was believed that a strange and mighty object exploded and shook the clouds 7. 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. Men like Moses and Jeremiah submitted to God only when it became inevitable. So, Babalola gave in only after he had received the assurance of divine guidance. To go on the mission, 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. Joseph Ayo Babalola played a prominent role in the growth of Christ Apostolic Church in Nigeria and Worldwide. It has been argued elsewhere that he was not a foundation member of the church.8 however, his charisma and potentialities contributed immensely to the public knowledge rind of the church.
But After the death of Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola, the church has undergone many changes both positive and negative changes, on the negative part is the crises which has led to the split of the church. The present crises could be traced back to 1980 when two pastors, Oluseye and Oyebanji drew the attention of Christ Apostolic Church to the operation of a ministry in Christ Apostolic Church which was known as World Soul Evangelical Ministry (WOSEM) founded by Timothy Oluwole Obadare at Offa, Kwara state in 1974.The operation of WOSEM within the C.A.C has been controversial, with some leaders of the church accusing Obadare of sponsoring a parallel ministry within the C.A.C. WOSEM contributed immensely to the growth and popularity of the C.A.C through its exploits, but at the same time the organization allegedly engendered much confusion because of the ways in which it was administered by Pastor Timothy Oluwole Obadare. According to the incumbent President of the CAC, Pastor Akinosun, the operation of WOSEM created division because there came a point in time when it was something of a competitor to the church. He described the situation thus: By then God was using him (Obadare) to make exploits but those (churches) he was planting were not working for the CAC but for him. They paid their dues to WOSEM instead of the CAC. Even when he went for revivals, he would launch WOSEM there and all those converted would become loyal to WOSEM instead of CAC. CAC leaders started complaining about the activities of the WOSEM leader (Obadare) to the President of the church, Baba Joseph Bolade Orogun, who in turn gave Timothy Oluwole Obadare many warnings to desists but he ignored the last warning, he was suspended and some people who had sympathy with him were suspended along with him.9
Oluseye and Oyebanji claimed that the existence and the operation of World Soul Evangelical Ministry was a threat to the unity of Christ Apostolic Church. However, research has shown that Christ Apostolic Church is not the only church involved in crises and there are many other churches involved one way or the other. Despite hundreds of branches breaking away from the Christ Apostolic Church to form independent churches, the church remains unique, unshaken, growing in Strength, and filled to the brim all over the country.10
1.2 Purpose of the Study
The aim of this research is to appraise through critical and factual demonstrations the Pentecostal nature of Christ Apostolic church. It would specifically involve a critical examination of the causes of the crises, after a re-appraisal of her founding history, to show if any, the link of the crises to her historical past. This research will therefore focus on the Christ Apostolic church factions and leaders at the forefront of the crises, what resolutions attempts have been made, why they failed, and the aftermath of such failures, which had prolonged the crises till now. Also the research will also delve into the call of the founder of Christ Apostolic Church Apostle Ayo Babalola, the founder of World Soul Evangelical Ministry, Prophet Timothy Oluwole Obadare and what bought about the breaking out from the main Christ Apostolic Church, Also, the research would contribute to knowledge by having a suggested solutions to how the crises could be bought to an end by making use of Biblical cases to appeal to the spiritual leaders causing crises in the Church because the effects is negatively affecting the Church.
1.3 Research Methodology
Research methodology is sum total of all the activities that is performed from the beginning of this research to the end. Bearing in mind the nature of the research work, historical method was used in the sense that the methodology gave a brief explanation that deals with the history of Christ Apostolic Church. Also this work made use of two sources namely, primary and secondary, the primary source involves oral interview whereby the key people were interviewed such as pastors, elders, deacons, and also members of Christ Apostolic Church. The secondary source involves collection of information from related books, dictionaries, encyclopedia, internet, journals. These were done through the use of libraries, such as the University of Ilorin, United Missionary Church of Africa Theological College Library and Ekiti State University Library.
1.4 Scope and Limitations of the Study
The scope of this research is not focusing on every crisis that erupted in the local church of Christ Apostolic Church, but it is paying attention to very important crises that affected the organization and structure of Christ Apostolic Church as a whole (Nigeria). And the case study of Christ Apostolic Church in Ekiti State.
1.5 Literature Review
Violence, hatred, oppression, tussle for leadership power and divisions have characterized the indigenous Pentecostal churches in Nigeria particularly in the last two decades of the twentieth century. Historically, the schisms, rifts, divisions and secessions could be traced to doctrinal practices, leadership problems, different interpretations and manipulations of prophetic gifts and sundries. Today, some church pioneers have been alleged of fake prophecies and revelations. These attitudes have negative implications on church growth and on church membership. There have been cases of people who are victims of false prophecies and this has led to family problems and divisions in homes. Schism and secession has resulted in church members backsliding because of lack of trust amongst church leaders. In addition, it has led to the emergence of corrupt leaders whose aims and visions are to embezzle at the expense of the poor and less privileged in the society.
There are conflicting narrations about the history and development of the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC). Some historians like Peel, David Olayiwola and Akinyele Omoyajowo trace the emergence of the Christ Apostolic Church to the 1918 episodes of the Precious Stone Movement which surfaced in Ijebu-Ode, Nigeria. `The reason being that many leaders of the prayer group (Precious Stone Movement) and faith Tabernacle congregation were also the leading members of the Christ Apostolic Church in later years. There were also other writers like Elijah Olusheye, Abi Olowe and Ojo Matthews who linked the upsurge of the Church with the subsequent events that took place from 1930 upwards. This event has to do with the emergence of a prophetic minister named Joseph Ayodele Babalola. His ministry spread through the 30s and 40s.11 Joseph Ayo Babalola claimed to have received the call of God in July 1928 with prophetic and divine instructions on divine healing. In November 1928, he started an evangelical campaign in Yoruba land; but was rejected in his hometown (Odo-Owa) in the early April 1929 because of his prophetic revelation that a wild animal would come to the town and destroy the people within 45 days from the time of his preaching if they did not repent and turn to God.12 In June 1929, Babalola extended his ministry to non- Yoruba land of Nigeria. Also, he joined The Faith Tabernacle Movement when it was at the verge of collapsing as a result of internal crisis. By August 1929, Babalola and his followers met with the Faith Tabernacle in Nigeria for discussion with Daniel Ajibola as a linkman for the two groups. He resided in Ibadan, Nigeria. (In that meeting, Babalola gave a short account of his calling into the ministry and the main message of evangelism and preaching. The leaders of the Faith Tabernacle, who had gathered atOdubanjo’s house in Lagos accepted his message and God’s call joyfully. This marked the coming together of the two religious groups and in 1930, revivals began earnestly By February 1931, David Odubanjo, made another attempt to establish a relationship with a Pentecostal foreign mission named The British Apostolic Church, since his group had separated from the Nigerian Faith Tabernacle in1929. The white missionaries arrived in Nigeria (August 1931) to finalize agreement on how the ministry would take off. History confirmed that the ex-leaders of Faith Tabernacle including Joseph Babalola received these white missionaries with a welcome service.13 the outcome was the establishment of the Nigerian Apostolic Church with its headquarters in Britain. The relationship lasted for about eight years before divisions set in. The relationship between the Nigerians and the British Apostolic Church became strained as from 1939. The problematic issue was the question of divine healing. Some leading members of the Nigerian Apostolic Church raised eyebrows against the white missionaries who took medicine (quinine) as preventive cure against malaria which was rampant in Nigeria. The Apostolic Church in Nigeria believed that taking medicine was a breach of agreement on the doctrine of divine healing which had been the basis of their teachings right from inception. Therefore another separation occur, the separated group consists of the majority and they took the name Christ Apostolic Church with Isaac Akinyele as the president, Joseph Ayodele Babalola as the General Evangelist and David Odubanjo as the General Superintendent, in 1940.Christ Apostolic Church became officially registered with the government as number 147 in 1943. The Church became officially registered in 1943.14
The church believes strongly in Divine healing, holiness and reliance on God for Provisions rather than borrowing from the bank or finance houses. In 1990, a controversy occurred in the Christ Apostolic Church between some young and militant pastors and the church authority over doctrinal Practices (particularly on Divine inspiration and faith in God without borrowing money or incurring debt from bank) and the abuse of prophetic gifts. There were other complaints which have to do with the sudden emergence of charismatic and gifted ministers (special reference to Timothy Obadare) who were alleged to be running parallel administrations and ministries within the church. In the early 70s, Timothy Obadare, a gifted charismatic minister claimed to receive a divine instruction to organize a praying group within CAC and named it “Soul Winning Evangelical Group” (WOSEGRP). Soon, he extended the membership of the Group not only to members in CAC districts but also to non-CAC members across the country. He later transformed the group to a ministry called Soul Winning Evangelical Ministry (WOSEM), popularly known as Koseunti.
Pastor H.L Olusheye writes in his book the legacies of our church patriarchs that Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola said that the Lord told him that, He, the Lord has spread only one mat for all members of the Christ Apostolic Church to lie upon, that anyone who deserts the Church would fall and drop into the dust. From the above it can be realize that the founder did not want division to rock the church simply because such deserter would never have a clear conscience of love towards the true gospel and the Church he deserted. Also Pastor Olusheye continues by describing the causes of the crises as thus;
“This problem is associated with expansion. Consequently, certain pitfalls of the Church, traceable, to collective or individual lapses began to occur, especially when theestablished constitutional provisions were ignored and certain influential individuals were negligently allowed to import and impose the dictates of their inordinate ambitions and aspirations.15”
In the final analysis, Christ Apostolic both Clergy and laity, whether old or young must repent from their evil ways and appreciate the Church heritage, in order to escape God’s wrath of judgment. In particular they should direct their attention to Church unity, discipline and holy living, evangelism, Bible study, prayer and fasting.
Notes and References
1 Pastor Ezekiel O. Olajide, Past and Present Leaders and Officers (1943-2009) (Ibadan: Gideon Global Press, 2009), .1
2 Pastor Elijah H.L Olusheye, The Legacies of Our Church Patriarchs (Ibadan: Gideon Global Press, 2010), .53
3 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ Apostolic Church 10/20/2015
4 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ Apostolic Church 10/20/2015
5 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ Apostolic Church 10/20/2015
6 Pastor Elijah H.L. Olusheye, ..., . 66
7 J.A Alokan, Idasile ati Idagbasoke Ijo Aposteli ti Kristi ni Ilu Efon Alaaye
(Ibadan: Caston press, 1975,), .1
8 Oral Interview, Elder Sunday Olusesi, C.A.C Oke Isegun Erin Ijesa, 60years, 25th of September, 2015
9E.H.L Olusheye, Unity in Christ Apostolic Church, A Must (Ibadan; Daystar
publishers, 2005), .35
10Pastor Elijah H.L Olusheye,… . 60
11 Omoju Olu, Christ Apostolic Church at 70, Christ Apostolic Church Publications vol. 33.2
12 Olowe Abi ,Great Revivalist, Joseph Ayo Babalola, (Texas: Omega Publishers Houston:), .5
13 Alokan Olusegun, “Joseph Ayo Babalola and the Growth of Indigenous Pentecostalism in Nigeria,
14 Pastor Elijah H.L Olusheye, …, . 45
15 Pastor Elijah H.L Olusheye,… ,. 66
2.0 Historical Background of Christ Apostolic Church
2.1 Faith Tabernacle Church
The mission- oriented churches took firm in almost every part of Nigeria from the middle of 19th century. This success can be attributed to the efforts made by the pioneering church missionaries coupled with their intelligence in the making and unmaking Nigerians to become Christians. It is reasonable to say that the intimacy that existed between the colonial masters and these missionaries opened up the church to persistent interference by these colonialists; a case in point was the great pandemic that visited Ijebu-Ode in 1918. “The churches were closed by government decree.”1The decision of the government could not be given any thorough explanation except that the British government only wanted every institution in the society to be under their control. However, the closure of the churches in Ijebu-Ode gave birth to a new spiritual dimension to the church life in Ijebu-Ode in particular and to the Yoruba’s in general. At the instance of the closure of St. Savior’s church in Ijebu-Ode, its members started to hold prayer meetings in the home of J.B Sadare (the church warden) the pastor who was an egba man went back to his farm. The new dimension came when at Isonyin; a similar prayer meeting was going on. A school mistress, Sophie Odunlami, saw a vision that there was going to be rain “which would cure people of the sickness.”2 at the vision of Miss Odunlami came true as it rained and the attack of the disease was checked. As from this point, Odunlami left her teaching job and picked up preaching work, travelling in around Ijebu-Ode to preach the gospel. The way her ministry took off gave easy recognition and fame in the church circle and beyond. She didn’t remain single handedly in this ministry because “she joined Sadare at Ijebu-Ode to form a society for healing through Christ alone”3 this group continued to operate after the epidemic but was formally inaugurated in July 1920 as Egbe Okuta Iyebiye (Diamond Society). The adoption of this name was based on 1 Corinthians 3:12. This group can now be seen as taking on ‘church outlook’. It was becoming more than a ‘prayer group’ as it was fundamentally considered to be. The orientation of this new society was purely based on “faith healing”. Their programs seemed different from St. Savior’s Anglican Church programs in Ijebu-Ode.
The relationship between the Anglican mission and the diamond society became strained. The trouble became elaborate when “after some members” young children had died, it was revealed in a vision that infant baptism was wrong.”.4the Anglican Church did not take this kindly since it touched on their Church doctrine. Sadare who was, as at this time, a member of both the Diamond Society and the Anglican Church started witnessing face-to-face confrontation with those at the top bracket in the Anglican Church. The then Anglican Bishop of Lagos, Melville Jones, accused the society for their exclusive insistence on the use of faith alone for healing, so also their opposition on the baptism of infants and considered as wrong their reliance on dreams and visions for guidance. However, Bishop Jones did recognize and appreciate the high morality of this society.
The position of Sadare couldn’t have remained unchanged. He was to make a choice between these two options opened to him. “so Sadare left the C.M.S. and in December 1923, he and sixty other people were rebaptized,”5 the stability of the Diamond Society became the pure responsibilities of its members and as part of this responsibilities was the overseas contact which the society was able to make with a foreign group based in Philadelphia, U.S.A. the name of this group was “The Diamond Society of Faith Tabernacle.”The connection was made through an Ijebu-young man by the name David Ogunleye Odubanjo. Odubanjo was born to a Muslim family. He went to school at St. Andrew’s College, Oyo. It was this school that influenced him to become a Christian however, “he left before taking his certificate and became a clerk with the Nigeria Police at Warri,”6 it was in Warri that he saw a journal in his friend’s house titled ‘the sword of the spirit’. The journal was sent to his friend by the “Diamond Society of faith Tabernacle”. In the journal, there were varieties of Spiritual essays, the one that impressed Odunbajo most was the one titled ‘the seven principles of prevailing prayer. Odunbajo became unreservedly dedicated to these principles of the article.
Before now Odunbajo had a fundamental link with Sadare. This was Pa. D.O Segun (the father of the present Anglican Bishop of Lagos) co-sponsored Odunbajo at St. Andrew’s College, Oyo with Sadare. Sadare’s name wasn’t strange to Odunbajo. While Sadare kept on with this group in Ijebu-Ode, Odunbajo was with him in Lagos where he had a group among the Ijebus. It must be said that the initial role of Miss Sophie Odunlami didn’t live long enough to guarantee much historical deliberations. She passed out of the scene, perhaps, because of Sadare factor. The connection with the foreign group continued unabated but either a number of hitches. The faith Tabernacle was seen by Rev. Clark (the Foreign Faith Tabernacle leader) as a classic sect and that “personal sanctity was drawn between the wickedness of the world, and the godly community of the sect.”7 the stance of Rev. Clark was distinct in purpose and content from the Odunbajo and Sadare’s groups. Clark counseled against school children taking part in empire day celebration and absolutely condemned any member taking another member to court. Worst still, there were sharp distinctions that existed on matters of church doctrines; namely, healing methods- the Nigerian based faith Tabernacle world make use of the water omi iye as a healing measure.
Furthermore, Clark and his group were looking and waiting for signs for Christ’s second coming and hence discouraged the acquisition of material wealth, so also the reliance on dreams and visions for guidance was regarded as unnecessary but that it is the holy Bible that can give effective leadership on spiritual matters. This position was contrary to the Nigerian based Faith Tabernacle. The Faith Tabernacle church continued notwithstanding but its growth was based purely on the convictions of the faith of the Nigerian based spiritual setting. As at this time there was a branch at Ijebu-Ode, Iseyin and Lagos. They all were operating on a min- level. It is pertinent to mention that were a few grounds on which the Nigerian based Faith Tabernacle agreed with the Philadelphia based Faith. They both stressed on prayers as the Christians power to fight the evil ones, also on biblical fundamentalism and the belief in the imminence of the millennium. The other branches of the faith tabernacle church that existed were initially operating within the Anglican Church as prayer groups. The power of tracts distribution, personal evangelism and the unity of purpose gave the Nigerian Faith Tabernacle soon spread to the Ijebus at St. Andrew’s College, Oyo, where a tutor, J.O Sanya, from Omi in Ijebu land, followed them.”8
One experience that happened in 1920 added a considerable mentor to the sound take off of Faith Tabernacle. At Ilesha, an Anglican Catechist J.A Babatope, an Ijesha, born in 1875 was trained by Bishop Philips in Ondo. The training was enough to make him serve as a catchiest. He worked very widely as catechist with the Anglican Church in Ijesa land. During this time, he was a leader of a small group of Faith Tabernacle in Ilesha. The experience happened when he was in the church in Iperindo (south of Ilesha). Babatope had a wonderful experience in an afternoon in which a stranger visited him for a period of six hours.
In this vision, the stranger, told him that he was not a member of any denomination but that the ‘church’ is one and only one’. The mind of J.A. Babatope .some of the questions he asked from the stranger border on Christian marriage, the behavior of pastors and on angels. What Babatope wanted to know about angels from the stranger was why God did not send to Africa. The stranger replied that it was because of sin and very on an instructor shall be sent to them. (This was believed to have been fulfilled in the call and ministry of Joseph Babatope at a later time). Such were the perplexities of Babatope until the stranger left after 6 hours of discussion in the bible that the stranger did not know the answer too.
From time, the Anglican Church, Ilesha had been feeling quite uncomfortable about J.A Babatope who was seen by them as playing a double role (viz as catechists of the Anglican Church and faith tabernacle group leader). They could not dragoon his interest out of Faith Tabernacle not could create any sentiment to drive into him the interest of the Anglican Church. He was therefore, transferred out of Ilesha. For Babatope. When Babatope left Ilesha, his group continued to meet in Mr. Hezekiah Akinyelu, a member of the group. The Anglican Church continued to transfer J.A Babatope all around Ijesha villages. The endurance and patience of Babatope run out in 1924 at Imesi-Oke. He resigned his appointment and came back to Ilesha to work full time with the Faith Tabernacle. It was at this point that he contacted Rev. Clark and Sadare and told them (through correspondence) his experiences, the broad-daylight vision inclusive. It must be said that Babatope was known at this time and this helped him to acquire a plot of land in Ilesha by 1926 to build a Faith Tabernacle church (where the apostolic church stands today.) The Anglican Church did not limit this this supposed suppression to Babatope alone but to another man called J.A Aina. Mr. Aina was a ‘school master who was a member of Odunbajo Faith Tabernacle group in Lagos. He (Mr. Aina) later travelled to Ibadan where he formed a group with an elderly man Isaac Babatola Akinyele in 1924.the Faith Tabernacle church continued to expand since it was not difficult for Sadare to co-ordinate the efforts of Odunbajo, Babatope, members had immeasurably helped the spread of the church. By 1927, Benin Kebbi, Kontagora, Makudi had branches of the church because railway corporation clerks were transferred they go to establish a group in their new stations. The number of branches of this church didn’t have much effect on its numerical strength because by 1930, “the members cannot have exceeded a total of 1,000, gathered in small pietistic congregation.”9
Even in the Yoruba land, it was everywhere that Faith Tabernacle had taken any known root-Owo, Ondo and Ekiti were good examples .up to this point, there were no known problems among the Faith Tabernacle had a problem-Pastor Clark committed adultery. He was expelled as a result of this act. The expulsion of Clark had no effect on the Nigerian Faith Tabernacle but problems came up particularly from differences in personal interests. This led to a considerable disagreement of the Lagos and Ebute Metta branches that were almost going their separate ways while the Ijebu-Ode and Ilesha branches were dedicated to pietism. Odubanjo was turning out as the over-all leader of the church. He was the one who rigorously pressed for missionaries from the American based Faith Tabernacle. The only man who came was Pastor Myers and his coming was not a resident missionary but as a visiting one.
The coming of Myers coincided with the membership of Joseph Ayo Babalola. In an absolute sense, the visit of Pastor Myers did not help to create more doctrinal differences among the members. He (Myers) introduced to the members a radical position on divine healing. He recommended that water need not be used on healing procedures which vehemently stood against the positions of Sadare, Babatope, and Babalola. Odunbajo’s case was becoming too radical, perhaps, as a result of the foreign contact with Faith and Truth Temple of Toronto, Canada and with the welsh ministry in Wales. The teaching of the former group was different from that of Faith Tabernacle on fundamental grounds. The extent the Toronto group went was even to forbid some types of food not to be eaten by Christians. All these problems did not hinder the growth of the Faith Tabernacle. The ijebu-Ode group was under the leadership of J.B. Sadare, Lagos (Odunbanjo); Ilesha (Mr. Babatope), Ibadan (Akinyele) this is to name but a few. Odunbajo didn’t believe that the Faith Tabernacle could effectively function without any foreign connection. The connection he had with the Welsh ministry came to a climax after the July 1930 Faith Tabernacle delegate’s conferences at Ilesha. This conference was to discuss, among other things, the problems existing differences among the leaders. Sadare, Akinyele, Odunbanjo, Joseph Babalola and a few others were in attendance. It was in this conference that Babalola and a reiterated, once again, his call to the ministry. There was a marathon. Revival meeting that resulted from this conference. “the revival attracted huge numbers of people from as far away as Ilorin, Ijebu and even across the Niger, and caused serious disruption of transport and food supplies which brought it to the notice of the authorities,”10
Besides food supplies, the other factors that brought this revival to the notice of the authorities were the burning of idols and juju, healing by the use of water of life (omi iye), and the vigorous desire of Babalola to see man repent from their sins and to this end, he expressed, in clear terms, God’s anger on the world. This revival was tremendous and it went a long way to draw in more members and “faith Tabernacle acquired a new figure of authority.’ This revival also brought in some problems that were compelling government to stamp out the Aladura churches because they were organized and manned by known authorities. The chaos of the revival made Odunbajo to suggest affiliation with the Welsh ministry (Apostolic Church) based in pennycress, Wales so that “having European sponsors, they would be permitted to own land and to evangelise.”11
Odunbajo, on his own initiative invited the Apostolic Church missionaries to come for a visit. There was no definite evidence that this was a general agreement among the Faith tabernacle leaders but when they heard that they (the missionaries) were coming, they made ready to receive them. They came under the leadership of D.P Williams who ordained seven of the Faith Tabernacle as pastors. The seven were J.B Sadare, (Ijebu-Ode), S.G. Adegoyega (Ebute-Metta) D.O Odunbanjo (Lagos), J.A Babatope (Ilesha), I.A Akinyele (Ibadan), S.A Mensah (Kaduna) and E.G.I Macaulay (Zaria). Mensah and Macaulay were both Ghanaians. This marriage between the Faith Tabernacle and the Apostolic Church technically dismembered the Faith tabernacle. “Sadare in particular was not happy about the apostolic aailitation.”12 But he didn’t refuse the ordination. The Apostolic church therefore sent a resident missionary Pastor George Perfect who was working with Babatope at Ilesha putting together ‘the scattered Aladura congregational under control and making proper negotiations with the District officers and the Obas securing land grants for the church.’ The coming of Pastor Perfect was to cement the relationship between the Faith Tabernacle and the Apostolic Church. The Apostolic Church eventually inserted her programs into the Faith Tabernacle programs and the Yoruba members found the new church both emotionally and intellectually satisfying.’
2.2 The Divine Call Of Joseph Ayo Babalola
Great men appear now and again to help shape the course of human history. The history of their lives does not of itself amount to the totality of the history of man. It nevertheless serves to illuminate that history and unravel the course of human events13The story of Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola, his life and work can thus be classified. This unprecedented Oke-oye Revival gave birth to what is now known as the Christ Apostolic Church (C.A.C.), a Nigerian indigenous church. Joseph Ayo Babalola was born on April 25, 1904 to David Rotimi and Madam Marta Talabi who belonged to the Anglican Church. The family lived at Odo-owa in Ilofa, a small town about ninety kilometers from Ilorin Kwara state, Nigeria. His father was the Baba ijo(“church Father) of the C.M.S church at Odo- Owa. Pastor Medayese wrote in his book Itan igbe dide Woli Ayo Babalola(that Mysterious Circumstances surrounding the birth of Ayo Babalola) on that day, it was believed that a strange and mighty object exploded and shook the clouds.14
On that January 18, 1914 young Babalola was taken by his brother M.O Rotimi, a Sunday school teacher in the C.M.S church at Ilofa, to Osogbo. Babalola started school at Ilofa and got as far as standard five at All saint’s 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 (P.W.D). He was among the road workers who constructed the road from Igbara Oke to Ilesa, working as a stream roller driver. Just like the Old Testament prophets; Babalola was called by God into the prophetic office to stand before men, His call 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 stream 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 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. Men like Moses and Jeremiah summited to God only when it became inevitable. So Babalola gave in only after he had received the assurance of divine guidance. To go on mission, he had to resign his appointment with the Public Work 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. He obeyed and at the end of the period he saw a great figure of a man, who, according to pastor Alokan resembled Jesus.15
The man in a dazzling robe spoke at length about the mission he was to embark upon. The man also told him of the 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 a bottle of life-giving water16 to heal all members 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. Enabled by the power of the Holy Spirit he could spend several weeks in prayer. Elder Abraham Owoyemi of Odo-Owa, said that the prophet regularly saw angels who delivered divine messages to him17.An angel appeared in one of his Prayers and forbade him not to wear cap. During one of his prayer sessions an angel appeared to him and gave him a big yam which he ordered him to eat. The angel told him that the yam was the tuber with which God fed the whole world. He further revealed that God had granted unto him the power to deliver those who were possessed of evil spirits in the world. He was directed to go first to Odo-Owa and start preaching. He was to arrive in the town on a market day, cover his body with palm fronds and disfigure himself with charcoal paints.
In October 1928, he entered the town in the manner described and was taken for a mad man. Babalola immediately started preaching and prophesying. He told the inhabitants of Odo-Owa about an impending danger if they did not repent. He was arrested and taken to the district officer at Ilorin for allegedly disturbing the peace. The district officer later released him when the allegations could not be proven. However, it was said that a few days later, there was an outbreak of smallpox in the town. The man whose prophecies and messages were once rejected was quickly sought for. He went around praying for the victims and they were all healed. PA David Rotimi, Babalola’s father, had been instrumental in the establishment of a C.M.S church in Odo-Owa. Babalola organized regular prayer meetings in this church 18Which many people attended because of the miracles God performed through him. Among the regulars was Isaiah Oluyemi who later saw the wrath of Bishop Smith of Ilorin diocese 19.Information had reached the bishop that almost all members of the C.M.S church in Ilofa were seeing visions, speaking in tongues and praying vigorously.20
Babalola and the visionaries allegedly ordered by Bishop Smith to leave the church 21. But Babalola did not leave the town until 1930. On an invitation from Daniel Ajibola, Babalola went to Lagos. Elder Daniel Ajibola at that time was working in Ibadan where he was a member of the Faith Tabernacle congregation. He introduced Prophet Babalola to pastor D.O Odubanjo, one of the leaders of the Faith Tabernacle in Lagos. Senior pastor Esinsinade who was then the president of the Faith Tabernacle was invited to see Babalola .after listening to the details of his call and his ministry, the faith Tabernacle leaders warmly received the young prophet into their midst. Babalola had not yet been baptized by immersion and senior pastor Esinsinade emphasized that he needed him in the lagoon at the back of the Faith Tabernacle church building at St. Moloney Bridge Street, Lagos.22 Babalola returned to Odo-Owa a few days after that and elder (late pastor) J.A Medayese, paid him a visit. The news of the conversion of the new prophet reached Pastor K.P. Titus at Araromi in Yabba present Kwara State. Pastor Titus was a teacher and a preacher at the Sudan interior mission which was then thriving at Yabba, performed mighty works of healing. Many Muslims and Christians from other denominations and some traditional religionists were converted to the new Faith during the revival 23.The fact that Babalola did not used the opportunity to establish a separate Christian organization despite his marvelous evangelical success, must be puzzling to historians, but his intention was not to start a new church. He declared to his followers that he had registered his membership with the faith tabernacle, the society which had him baptized in lagos.24
He thus persuaded them to become members of the Faith Tabernacle. To facilitate this, he went to Lagos to confer with the leaders, especially as he was not yet well acquainted with the doctrines, tenets, and administration of the church. There was a controversy among the leaders of the Faith Terbernacle in Nigeria over some doctrines. In the midst of it were, in particular, the Ilesa and oyan branches of the tabernacle. The oyan branch was under the supervision of Pastor J.A Babatope, a notable Anglican teacher, before his conversion and later, one of the outstanding leaders of the Faith Tabernacle in Nigeria, issues like the use of western and traditional drugs versus divine healing, polygamy and whether polygamous husbands should be allowed to partake of the lord’s supper, were among those doctrines that needed to be agreed on. These issues had caused dissension at the Ilesa tabernacle and in other to avoid a split, a delegation of peacemakers made up of all leading faith tabernacle pastors was sent to Ilesa. It was headed by Pastor J.B. Esinsunade of Ijebu-Ode, president of the General Headquarters of the movement and D.O. Odubanjo of the Lagos missionary headquarters. The Ilesa meeting was scheduled for the 9th and 10th of July, 1930. The apostolic council of Jerusalem in A.D 48, and other important church councils, is precedents in seeking ecclesiastical direction on matters affecting the life and peace of church25.
Before the delegation left for Lagos for Ilesa, Babalola had been invited to meet the leaders at Pastor I.B. Akinyele residence at Ibadan from there I.B. Akinyele and Babalola joined the delegation to Ilesa. At Ilesa, he was introduced to the whole conference and was lodged in a separate room because of their meeting and on the agenda were twenty four items. The first was the validity of baptism administered to a man with many wives. The second was the issue of divine healing because some of the members believed in the use of drugs like quinine to cure malaria fever. They were only able to discuss the first item when there was a sudden interruption which pastor Adegboyega described thus: “the conciliatory talks at Ilesa were going on, when suddenly a mighty seeping revival broke out at faith tabernacle congregation church at oke- oye, Ilesa”26.The revival began with the raising by Babalola of a dead child. The mother of the dead child who was restored to life went about spreading the news around the town of Ilesa proclaiming that a miracle working prophet had come to the town of oke-oye. This attracted a large number of people to oke-oye to see the prophet. According to pastor Medayese, many of those afflicted with various diseases that came to Oke – Oye were healed. Many mighty works were performed through the use of the prayer bell and the drinking of consecrated water from a stream called Omi Ayo (“Stream of Joy”) 27.
The result was that thousands of people including traditional religionists, Muslims and Christians from various denominations were converted to the Faith tabernacle. As there was no space in the church hall, revival meetings were shifted to an open field where men and women from all walk of life, from every part of the country and from neighboring countries. Assembled daily for healing, deliverances and blessings. Odubanjo testified that within three weeks Babalola had cured about one hundred lepers, sixty blind people and fifty lame persons.28The assistant district officer in Ilesa in 1930 wrote that he visited the scene of the revival incognito and found a crowd of hundreds of people including a large contingent of the lame and blind and concluded that the whole affair was ordely29.
Members of the church made fantastic claims such as: “hopeless barren women were made fruitful; women who had been carrying their pregnancies for long years were wonderfully delivered. The dumb spoke and lunatics were cured. In fact, it was another day of Pentecost. Witches confessed and some demon possessed people were exorcized.30A revelation was later given to Ayo Babalola to burn down a big tree in front of the Owa’s palace. The big tree was traditionally believed to be the rendezvous’ of witches and wizards. The juju tree was therefore greatly feared and sacrifices were usually made to the spirits believed to reside in it. There was apprehension that this bold act would result in the instantaneous death of Babalola since it was expected to arouse the anger of the gods. But to the great amazement of the people, the prophet did not die but rather continued to wax stronger in the Lord’s work. That single event was said to have made even the Owa of Ilesa and important people in the town to fear and respect the prophet. The tidal wave of Babalola’s revival spread from Ilesa to Ibadan, Ijebu, Lagos, Efon,-Alaaye, Aramoko Ekiti and Abeokuta. No greater revival preceded that of Babalola. It was popularly held in Christ Apostolic Church (C.A.C) circles that at one revival meeting, attendance rose to about forty thousand. Among the men of faith who came as disciples to Babalola were Daniel Orekoya, Peter Olatunji who came from Okeho, and Omotunde, popularly known as Aladura Omotunde, from Aramoko Ekiti. These men drew great inspiration from Babalola. Orekoy went on to reside in Ibadan where a great revival also broke out at Oke-Bola through him. It was during his Oke-Bola revival that Orekoya reportedly raised a dead pregnant woman.31
After the great revival of Oke- Oye, the prophet was directed by the Holy Spirit to go out on further missionary journeys, but even before this, people from other parts of the country had been spreading the glad tidings of Oke-Oye, Ilesa’s great revival, to other parts of the country. Accompanied by some follower, Joseph Babalola went to Offa, in present Kwara state. Characteristically, people turned out to hear his preaching and see miracles. The Muslims in Offa became jealous and for that reason incited the members of the community against him. To avoid bloodshed he was compelled to leave. His next stopped in Usi in Ekiti land for his evangelical mission and he performed many works of healing. From Usi he and his men moved to Efon-Alaaye, also in Ekiti land, where they received a warm reception from the Oba Alaaye of Efon. An entire building was provided for their comfort. Babalola requested an open space for prayer from the Oba who willingly and cheerfully gave him the privileged to choose a large site. Consequently, the prophet and his men chose a large area at the outskirt of town. Traditionally the place was a forbidden forest because of the evil spirits that were believed to inhabit the place. The Oba tried to dissuade Babalola and his men from entering the forbidden forest, but Babalola insisted on establishing his prayer ground there. The missionaries’ entered the bush, cleared it and consecrated it as a prayer ground. When no harm came upon them, the inhabitants of Efon were inspired to accept the new faith in large numbers. Babalola’s evangelistic success in Efon –Alaaye was a remarkable one. Archdeacon H. Dallimore from Ado- Ekiti and some white pastors from Ogbomoso Baptist seminary were believed to have come to see for themselves the “wonder- working prophet” at Efon. Both Dallimure and the Baptist pastors reportedly asked some men from St. Andrew’s college, oyo and the Baptist seminary, Ogbomoso to assist in the work.32.
The success of the revival was accelerated by the conversion of both the Oba of Efon and the Oba of Aramoko. They were both baptized with the names, Solomon Aladejare Agunsoye and Hezekiah Adeoye respectively. After this event, news of the revival at Efon spread to other parts of Ekiti land.33The missionaries also visited other towns in the present Ondo State. Among them were Owo, Ikare and Oka. Babalola retreated to his hometown in Odo- Owa, a warrant for his arrest was issued from Ilorin. He was arrested for preaching against witches, a practice which had caused some trouble in Otuo in present Bandel State. He was sentenced to jail for six months in Benin City in March 1932.
After serving the jail term he went back to Efon Alaaye. One Mr. Cyprian E. Ufon came from creek Town in Calabar to entreat Babalola to “come over to Macedonia and help”. Ufon had heard about Babalola and his works and wanted him to preach in Creek town. After seeking God’s direction the prophet followed Ufon to Creek town, his campaign there was very successful. From Creek town, Babalola visited Duke town and a plantation where a national church existed at the time. Certain members of this church received the gift of the Holy Spirit as Babalola was preaching to them and they were baptized. When the prophet returned from the Calabar area, he settled down for a while. In 1935 he married Dorcas.Babalola was a spiritually gifted individual who was genuinely dissatisfied with the increasing materialistic and sinful existence into which he believed, the Yoruba in particular and Nigeria in general were being plunged as western civilization influence on society grew. The C.A.C believes that the spiritual power bested on Babalola placed him on an equal level with Biblical apostles like Peter, Paul and others who were sent out with the authority and in the name of Jesus
2.3 Origin of Christ Apostolic Church
The birth of Christ Apostolic Church could be likened to that mysterious bird called ‘Phoenix’. This church came out of the ‘ashes’ of the Faith Tabernacle which was consumed by some internal crises. The peace meeting held at Ilesha, to settle the misunderstandings within the leaders of the Faith Tabernacle, seemed to be the farewell service for the Faith Tabernacle Movement and welcomed service for the new church.34 the establishment of the C.A.C. was as result of Joseph Ayo Babalola who was born in 1904 at Ilofa in Kwara State. He was not an intellectual in the contemporary sense of it but was a man called by God when as a stream roller with the P.W.D, (Public Works Department) 1928 beginning. “He was working on the Ilesha- Akure road in South-Western Ekiti when, in October 1928, his roller stopped working, and a voice called his name three times, and told him to leave his work to go and preach the gospel.”35 The establishment and growth of the C.A.C influenced the precautions that the mission oriented churches needed to take in building their adherents to the rise of the Aladura movement, which threatened to overwhelm orthodox Christianity.36On the call of J.A Babalola he saw a vision in which three palm leaves stuck to the roller he was driving.’ one was dead and dried, the other was, turning dry while the third one was fresh and green with life.’ “He was told” by that voice” to take a bell, and was given the message that prayer and omi iye, the ‘water of life’. Would cure all sickness all medicines should be destroyed.37 it was this format that the ministry of J.A Babalola took all through his life. It is pertinent to mention here that the desperate intention of the District officers to stop him from using the ‘water of life’ for healing purposes couldn’t have worked with Babalola since the order was totally against the fundamental revelation he received from God.
At the point in which Babalola received this call, he went home to Ilofa terribly humbled by his new convictions. He looked lunatic by the time he got to Ilofa that the people of Ilofa could not spare lodging him in prison for two weeks. It was noted that his suffering in the prison witnessed Ilofa being ravaged by small pox, presumably as punishment on the people. However this development might be his release was noted to be the release of Ilofa from the attack of smallpox. The experience of Babalola at home showed that his people refused to accept him. Many reasons might have been responsible among which could not be separated from the existing C.M.S. mission in Ilofa. This church had already had a strong hold on the people. Besides, it was, believed that God would not make use of somebody of Babalola’s competence and look for revival purposes. Babalola moved from home in an attempt to identify himself with other Christians that had a similar believe in God as he did. He went to Ibadan where he related his 1928 experience to the combined. Faith Tabernacle congregation in Lagos and Ebute-Metta. The two congregations accepted him and on 9th December, 1929 Babalola was baptized by Odunbanjo in the sea at Ebute-Metta.38 Babalola continued to identify himself with the existing prayer groups such as the Faith Tabernacle.During the time Babalola was associating himself with the existing prayer powered groups, he was humble, unassuming and dedicated. His presence in the delegates’ conference of the Faith Tabernacle in July 1930 gave him a significant spiritual reputation. Unparalleled with those who were member’s years before him. It was through his influence that a marathon spiritual revival runs concurrently with the meeting. Babalola established his spiritual personally by the performance of miracles through healing with the use of the ‘water of life’ (omi iye). His ministry continued to attract very many people and while he was carrying on the ministry, he was not offending anyone because he was doing it in co-operation with the others. ”Before this vast concourse several times a day, Joseph Babalola, clad in white shorts and shirts, with Bible and hand bell, preached to the people to renounce evil practices and witchcraft, and to bring out for burning all their idols and juju, for God was powerful enough to answer all their needs, and to cure them.”39
It can now be noted that Babalola’s ministry took a more dramatic position than the Faith Tabernacle and the Apostolic Church. He was burning idols and juju around the places he went to. On the 1st of September 1930, Babalola went back home to Ilofa for evangelical purposes. His mother gave him a motherly support while he was at home. It was from home that he proceeded on to Efon Alaye where his ministry impressed the generality of the people. His ministry and personality both secured him a piece of land granted him by the Alaye of Efon, oba Aladejare. This development again gave Babalola the courage to start thinking about the possibility of making himself an independent evangelist in Ekiti- land. Revival became intensified and Babalola began to get his converts meticulously organized, giving them prophetic offices since spiritual gifts varied from one individual member to the other. Babalola also saw the need to work hand-in hand with the previous leaders of Faith Tabernacle who are now in the Apostolic Church. Indeed, revivals continued to break out though individuals. Notable among these individuals were David Orekoya, Ositelu of Ogere and “in a sense the revival was only a more intense form of what had already occurred at the visits of the Seraphim to the inland towns. While Babalola remained a freelance evangelist, doctrinal problems continued to confront the Apostolic Church. These problems, as earlier mentioned, bordered on the conflict of the use of water of life. Omi iye for healing, the use of quinine for prophylactic against malaria by the European.Apostolic Church pastors and perhaps the inability to rely principally on the power of Christ for divine healing. Babalola’s ministry remained undaunted. “Large numbers of illiterates, fresh, converts from paganism, who were quite different from the literate and rationalistic Christians attracted by Faith Tabernacle, were drawn in by the miracles and fervor of the prophets not the restrained senior churchman of the type of Sadare and Akinyele but the prophet who works miracles, who might be himself illiterate as many of the subsidiary prophets were.40
The masses obviously became more excited that the revivals of Babalola kept on bringing in good name for his group. The opposition of the Apostolic church on the use of the water of life became quite glaring that the member of the Apostolic Churches in Ekiti got divided on the issue. They went as far as standing apart from the Apostolic headquarters at Ilesa and worst still, “the leaders in Ekiti had refused to allow the various land grants to be registered in the name of the Apostolic Church 41. While Babalola’s revivals were sources of help and comfort to the masses, the revivals kept on bothering the District officers and their agents because they had the feelings they were obstructing the normal social behavior of the people and that the miracles that usually followed were being done in disorganized fashions. In an attempt to sit on Babalola’s ministry and on other Aladura ministries.For instance in Ekiti, there was what was known as a four-point charter established by the colonial government. These were the ban on the use of water of life, ban on witch-finding; ban on what was known as nocturnal meetings and that there should be no interference with other cults. In 1932, Babalola was accussed of witch-hunting at Otuo in Afenmai and was punished for that in Benin by putting him in jail. The role that Joseph Babalola played at this time was notable among the figure that personified the establishment of the Aladura movement. It must be noted that even when on the 17th of July, 1941 that Akinyele, Odubanjo and Babalola joined hands to establish Christ Apostolic Church. Evangelist Babalola was regarded, by many people, as the founder of the church. Since 1941, the Christ Apostolic Church continued to witness a considerable amount of growth. Evangelist Babalola embarked on a spiritual- oriented revival meetings all over Yorubaland namely; Ibadan, Efon Alaye, Ile- Ife, Ijebuland, Ekitiland, Ilesha etc. The church continued to grow and flourish in the area of spiritual and social needs of the society. The C.A.C did not exist without some problems. The first notable problem came as a result of the disparity that existed between Pastors and Prophets. This case came up as a result of the feelings of Prophet Peter Olatunji. Prophet Olatunji was a notable figure in C.A.C. He was said to be second to Babalola, he had very wonderful spiritual gifts. He was prompted by a vision on a mountain in the Oke Ogun to establish a permanent base for his work.42
Prophet Olatunji obeyed the vision by setting up the church but with time prophet Olatunji began to feel that his church was a sub-church as otherwise thought by the C.A.C. sitting on top of this was Olatunji’s desire to divorce his wife and re-marry to another woman. This desire, he claimed, was not his own making but that he saw it in a vision. Olatunji’s claim placed the C.A.C in a difficult situation of knowing the authenticity of Olatunji’s vision. Since Olatunji was at this time a force to reckon with, he further claims spiritual competence to ordain people whom the C.A.C. pastors felt was contrary to the convictions of the church.In his personal defense, prophet Olatunji contended that “the Biblical rule is for prophets only to be judged by superior prophets, and pastors by pastors; pastors are essentially teachers, and have no power to override prophets.43 he further made it abundantly clear to the C.A.C that his own case was one whom God has sent. The pastors’ argument was that the gift of the spirit without the word of God led to error. 44Olatunji broke away to establish his own church called Christ Gospel Apostolic Church with its headquarters in Foko. The ministry of Olatunji and his church focused very considerably on the rural areas. After this experience, never again had there been such an internal problem that shook the C.A.C. it must be said, undoubtedly, that quite a number of separation and off-shoots had taken place within the C.A.C. nonetheless, the C.A.C. had been a growing church not only among the Yoruba’s. But also in some other areas in Nigeria. After the death of Evangelist Joseph Ayo Babalola in 1959 the church has kept on growing from strength to strength.
2.4 Structure of the Church
Christ Apostolic Church has a collective participation of various categories of governing bodies empowering their authorities given to them and is responsible for overall authority under the president. Although individual churches are autonomous, the various assemblies are under a central administration to which a part of tithes and donations may be sent. This is done with a view to centralizing the disbursement of the church fund. Pastors are normally posted and can be removed by the overseers.45 According to Alokan the administration of Christ Apostolic Church has it smallest geographical division as the local assembly supervised by a church teacher or pastor: depending on its numerical strength and viability, but the pastor is under the control of a district superintendent through the Area Pastor.Christ Apostolic Church is well structured and known for its pastoral care from its inceptionstarting from its pastoral care from its inception starting in 1943, the Church is governed by three principal officers with different functions. They are the president, the General Superintendent, and the General Evangelist. Over the years and more recently, the General Secretary has become one of the principal officers. 46
General Executive Council
General executive council is the governing council of Christ Apostolic Church. The council is composed of the trustee, selected Superintendents and some other designated members of the organization, such as the Treasurer and some leading Elders. There are over 100 members (90 members and other co-opted members) of the General executive council.
Districts Coordination Council
The DCC is an agglomeration of Districts. Up to 20 Districts form a District. A group of Assemblies (Churches) forms a District. The DCC is the highest level of organization of Assemblies in Christ Apostolic Church. The head of the DCC is called the DCC Superintendent.
A zone is a lower form of DCC. It was created to allow a group of Districts, which are not enough to form a group of Districts this give them the opportunity to grow. Basically, when a zone is created, the zonal superintendent intensifies evangelism and church planting to grow into a DCC. The head of the zone is called the zonal Superintendent. A zone cannot be a subset of a DCC. It stands on its own.
A special District is a group of Assemblies that outnumbers what is reasonably called a District. Even though it has only one District. It can neither be a subset of a DCC nor a subset of a Zone. A special District stands on its own and his leader is also called a superintendents. A special District can grow into a Zone and into a DCC by breaking its Districts into several Districts.
A group of Assemblies, usually around the same geographical location forms a District. The leader of a District usually a Pastor of one of the Assemblies in the district, is called District Superintendents. A group of Districts form either a zone or a DCC. A zone requires lesser number of Districts than a DCC. Alokan stress the indiscriminate creation of Districts, which result to their unreliability as a result of poor management. 47
Assemblies are the lowest unit of Church Organization in Christ Apostolic Church. The Assembly is just the regular local Church. Up to 35 Assemblies may form a District. The head of a Church is the senior Pastor. Other Ministers of the Church are the curate (Assistant Pastor). Associate Pastors, Youth Pastor, and Evangelists. The Church is administered by Elders and Deaconess. 48
2.5 Doctrines of the Church
Christ Apostolic Church right from its formation in 1918 as Aladura group believes in holiness, divine healing and all sufficiency of God. After its great revival of 1930, where several people received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the Church combines a rare combination of Holiness and Pentecostalism. The Church holds the position of the Aladura Pentecostal in the world.49 The Christ Apostolic Church derives its doctrine from the Holy Scriptures, sermons, cooperation with other Churches and beliefs of the founding fathers and mothers. Following the cooperation with the Apostolic Church, England in 1931, the revival group accepted eleven tenets of the Apostolic Church in 1940; Christ Apostolic Church added the thirteen and fourteen tenets. The word tenet means belief or doctrine that a person holds or maintains as true. It is derived from the Latin word tenere which means to hold and maintain. Christ Apostolic Church accepts the teachings of the Bible in its entirety; The tenets are not intended to replace the Bible, they are necessary to guide against false teachings in a world of shifting morals and beliefs (ll Pet 2:1, Titus 1 :11). Christ Apostolic Church tenets are:
1 The unity of the Godhead and the trinity of the persons therein
2 The utter depravity of human nature, the necessity for Repentance
3 The Virgin Birth, Sinless life, Atoning Death, Triumphant
4 Justification and Sanctification of the Believers through
5 The Baptism of the Holy Spirit for Believers with signs following
6 The Nine Gifts of the Holy Spirit for the edification, exhortation
7 The Sacraments of Baptism by Immersion and of the Lord’s Supper
8 The divine inspiration and authority of the Holy Scriptures
9 Church Government by Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists
10 The possibility of falling from Grace
11 The obligatory nature of Tithes and Offerings
12 Divine Healing through obedience to the command
13 Faith in God, the Jehovah Jireh to supply all financial needs.
1 Peel, J.D.Y, Aladura: A Religious Movement Among The Yoruba
(Oxford: Oxford University press, 1968),. 62
2 Peel, J.D.Y, Aladura: A Religious Movement Among The Yoruba … 62
3 Peel, J.D.Y, Aladura: A Religious Movement Among The Yoruba…62
4 Peel, J.D.Y, Aladura: A Religious Movement Among The Yoruba… 63
5 Peel, J.D.Y, Aladura: A Religious Movement Among The Yoruba... 63
6 Peel, J.D.Y, Aladura: A Religious Movement Among The Yoruba... 63
7Peel, J.D.Y, Aladura: A Religious Movement Among The Yoruba... 64
8Peel, J.D.Y, Aladura: A Religious Movement Among The Yoruba… 66
9Peel, J.D.Y, Aladura: A Religious Movement Among The Yoruba... 69
10 Peel, J.D.Y, Aladura: A Religious Movement Among The Yoruba... 91
11Peel, J.D.Y, Aladura: A Religious Movement Among The Yoruba… 105
12 Peel, J.D.Y, Aladura: A Religious Movement Among The Yoruba… 106
13 Prof S.O Biobaku, The Life and Works of Uthman Dan Fodio
(Lagos: Islamic Publication Bureau, 1975), .1
14 J.A Alokan, Idasile ati Idagbasoke ijo Aposteli ti Kristi ni Ilu Efon- Alaaye
(Ibadan: Caston Press 1975),.1
15 J.A Alokan, Idasile ati Idagbasoke ijo Aposteli ti Kristi ni Ilu Efon- Alaaye...1
16 E.H.L Oluseheye, Saint Joseph Ayo Babalola 1904-1959
(Akure:The Christian Overcomers Publishers, 1983). 41
17 Elder Abraham B. Owoyemi, Iwe Itan Igbe dide Woli Ayo Babalola
(Ibadan: POP Omoboriola Printers),. 5
18 Elder Abraham B. Owoyemi, Iwe Itan Igbe dide Woli Ayo Babalola ... 8
19 Elder Abraham B. Owoyemi, Iwe Itan Igbe dide Woli Ayo Babalola… 6
20 Elder Abraham B. Owoyemi, Iwe Itan Igbe dide Woli Ayo Babalola…8
21 Elder Abraham B. Owoyemi, Iwe Itan Igbe dide Woli Ayo Babalola … 5
22 Pastor S.G. Adegboyega, A Short History of the Apostolic Church (Ibadan: Rosprint
Press Ltd, 1978), . 22
23 Elder Abraham B. Owoyemi, Iwe Itan Igbe dide Woli Ayo Babalola … 11
24 Pastor S.G. Adegboyega, A Short History of the Apostolic Church ... 22
25 J.N.D. Kelly, Early Church Doctrines (N.Y: van Nostrand Company). 4
26 Pastor S.G. Adegboyega, A Short History of the Apostolic Church … 22
27 Pastor D.O Babjide, Iwe Itan Ibere Ise Woli Joseph Babalola ati ti
Daniel Orekoya ni Odun 1930 (Ilesa: Folasayo Press),.13-14
28 Dr. David Olayiwola, Makers of the Church in Nigeria
(Lagos, CSS Bookshops Ltd, 1995), .137
29 Pastor D.O Babjide, Iwe Itan Ibere Ise Woli Joseph Babalola ati
ti Daniel Orekoya ni Odun1930...15
30 Pastor S.G. Adegboyega, A Short History of the Apostolic Church ... 25
31 Pastor D.O Babjide, Iwe Itan Ibere Ise Woli Joseph Babalola ari
ti Daniel Orekoya ni Odun 1930… 21-30
32 Dr. David Olayiwola, Makers of the Church in Nigeria ...137
33 Pastor D.O Babjide, Iwe Itan Ibere Ise Woli Joseph Babalola ari
ti Daniel Orekoya niOdun 1930...65
34 Peel, J.D.Y, Aladura: A Religious Movement Among The Yoruba...70
35 Webster, James Bertin. The African Churches among the Yoruba 1888-1922
(Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1964). , 95
36 Peel, J.D.Y, Aladura: A Religious Movement Among The Yoruba ... 70
37 Peel, J.D.Y, Aladura: A Religious Movement Among The Yoruba…91
38 Peel, J.D.Y, Aladura: A Religious Movement Among The Yoruba… 93
39 Peel, J.D.Y, Aladura: A Religious Movement Among The Yoruba…90
40 Peel, J.D.Y, Aladura: A Religious Movement Among The Yoruba… 110
41 Peel, J.D.Y, Aladura: A Religious Movement Among The Yoruba... 283
42 Peel, J.D.Y, Aladura: A Religious Movement Among The Yoruba… 284
43 Peel, J.D.Y, Aladura: A Religious Movement Among the Yoruba… 71
44 Peel, J.D.Y, Aladura: A Religious Movement Among the Yoruba…. 71
45 Pastor S.G. Adegboyega, A Short History of the Apostolic Church … 109
46 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ Apostolic Church 11/08/2015
47 Oral Interview, Elder Owoyemi Olusola, No 20 Afon Close Sabo Oke , Ilorin.
48years, 8th of September, 2015.
48 Oral Interview, Elder Owoyemi Olusola, No 20 Afon Close Sabo Oke , Ilorin.
49 Oral Interview, Pastor Paul Adeola,32B Isaoye street, Ikere Ekiti,
50years, 9th of September, 2015.
50 Oral Interview, Pastor Paul Adeola,32B Isaoye street, Ikere Ekiti,
3.0 Crises in the Christ Apostolic Church
3.1 Causes of Crises in Christ Apostolic Church
The secret of the failure of any human being, a nation, a company, any religious or secular organization, or anything at all in any given society, is traceable to the influence of Lucifer (now Satan) the deposed General of the host of heaven.1 Christ Apostolic Church was initially administered by the founding Fathers who manifested exemplary lives of probity, love, industry, loyalty and tenacity of purpose. The momentum held sway till the beginning of the 1960’s.2 Different reasons have been adduced by Scholars for Schism and fictionalization in the Church. Sundkler examines sociological factors3 while Webster stresses inadequacy of central finance, communication difficulties and parochialism4. All the variables are vital when considering the factors that are responsible for crises in the Christ Apostolic Church in Nigeria.
In 1990, a controversy occurred in the Christ Apostolic Church between some young and zealous pastors and the church authority over doctrinal practices (particularly on divine inspiration and faith in God without borrowing money or incurring debt from bank) and the abuse of prophetic gifts. There were other complaints which have to do with the sudden emergence of charismatic and gifted ministers (special reference to Pastor Timothy O Obadare) who were alleged to be running parallel administrations and ministries within the church. In the early 70s, Timothy Obadare, a gifted and charismatic minister claimed to receive a divine instruction to organize a praying group within CAC and named it “Soul Winning Evangelical Group” (WOSEGRP). Soon, he extended the membership of the Group not only to members in CAC districts but also to non-CAC members across the country. He later transformed the group to a ministry called Soul Winning Evangelical Ministry (WOSEM), popularly known as Koseunti5. Other ministries began to spring up speedily within the CAC as from the early 80s. For instance, “The Agbara Olorun Kii Bati Ministry” sprang up and became very popular under the leadership of a woman called Bola Odeleke. She later opted out finally from CAC in the late 1990 and was consecrated as a Bishop of newly created “Agbara Olorun Kii Bati Church” in 1998. Similarly, a popular singer in the church named Bola Are founded a ministry called, “The Spiritual Covenant Gospel Singers Internationals”. The Ministry became well known in Africa and overseas. Also, S.K. Abiara founded “The CAC Agbala Itura Worldwide”. He was also the president of a ministry named “Christ International Evangelistic Ministry”. This Ministry was well known in America and in the West African sub-region.6 Most of these Ministries has their own Bible Schools, Nursery and Secondary Schools, Printing Presses, and separate Constitution among other things. This constituted crisis in the C.A.C and the Church attempted to manage and control these crises, but however, the controversies got out of hand.
The leaders of the Church were hasty in deciding to discipline the vocal pastors; while they too were not patient enough before taking the church authority to Court of Law to settle the scores involved. This was contradictory to the doctrine and teachings of the church. The youths at the local level did not help matters as they campaigned against the teachings of the church on divine healing and against church restrictions of students in higher institutions of learning from studying courses related to medicine, law and banking and finance.
Also, some ministers who were caught in the acts of immorality and abuse of power in the church refused to be subjected to discipline from the church authority. For example, in 1977, Prophet Oluwani Durojaiye of CAC Oke-Aanu Akintola Road, Ibadan was alleged of immorality but refused sanctions. He took further steps in annoyance to preach against the church authority and disobeyed the church leaders. Consequently, Durojaiye pulled out of the CAC and formed a new church called The Blood of Jesus Apostolic Church 7Thus, the crisis which started on the level of administration within the church ended with the emergence of three groups popularly called in the local context as General Executive Council, Supreme Executive Council and The Christ Initiative Forum8. The Forum group initially classified itself as peace makers but ended up taking sides with the General Executive Council. This made the story complicated and interesting as the Forum group split into two, namely, “The Working Policy Committee” and “The Interim” These two groups till now have not been in good terms.9
The Forum group became very influential in decision making during this time. The group consisted of wealthy people, learned fellows and elites. Some members of this group used their positions to influence court cases, bought positions and change church policies in their favour. Some members of forum group became so powerful to the extent of directing the affairs of the church to the point of dictations, some bought houses, cars for church leaders so as to find ways to the corridors of power. One radical step taken by the forum group was the enforcement of the church policy on retirement. These actions led to the retirement of the three principal officers of the church then namely Joseph Orogun (President of the church), Abraham Ade Olutimehin (General Superintendent) and David Babajide (General Evangelist). 10 From July 1963, the age-limit of retirement in the Church had been fixed at 70 years.
However, all along, the regulation had not been enforced. But now that all the principal officers were octogenarians, the group advised them to resign their appointments giving six months notices with effect from that time. This decision led to the struggle for leadership positions in the church. Many churches leaders died in the struggle and also some Church buildings were closed down temporarily because of the crisis. At last, the Church was administratively split into two in 1992, but both groups still bear the name Christ Apostolic Church, with different leaders. The majority group is headed by Abraham Akinosun and the minority is headed by Adenekan and Udofia and assisted by the renowned Evangelist Timothy Obadare. According to Pastor Adeola, he said the causes of the crises can be because of other ministers who came from other denominations to join the Church.11 The expansion of the Church which was engendered by the influx of converts later gave rise to administrative complexities. Different kinds of people came in to join both the clergy and laity. Soon, problems which one could trace to the strange elements that joined the crowd began to surface.
“This problem is associated with expansion.Consequently, certain pitfalls of the
Church, traceable, to collective or individuallapses, began to occur, especially when the
established constitutional provisions wereignored and certain influential individuals
were negligently allowed to import andimpose the dictates of their inordinate
ambitions and aspirations.”12
These wolves in Sheep’s clothing saw the Church as green and fertile land where everyone could successfully operate a ministry parallel to the administration of the Church, even with total defiance of the existing practices and unity of the Church13. The outcome of this strange development had devastating influence on the growth and development of the Church and various ministries privately owned, as well as several competing youth organizations surfaced. Many of these were working at cross purposes. Their negative effects on the main fabric of the Church led to the proscription of the ministries and the merging of all the youth organizations into one. This was done in 1991 in order to eliminate internal bickering and to enforce unity within the fold. The house-cleaning and corrective exercise carried out in 1991 led to some significant improvements most especially in merging all youth ministries into one youth fellowship, more effective central administration (particularly in personnel and finances).
But again, some other problems cropped up in the process, which the Church Authority is still grappling with. These challenges are:
The banning of WOSEM and the disciplinary action meted on the General Secretary (who was also one of the four registered Trustees of the Church) for some lapses led to some intractable conflicts, with divisions into factions under rival offices. This has led to unending court litigations, which are diversionary and counterproductive.
2. Two major rival authorities emerged, namely, the CAC General Executive Council, which controls over 90% of the CAC’s population and assets and CAC Supreme Council, which controls about 5% of the Church population. The resultant division and internal conflict has partially weakened the administrative reforms introduced, to the extent that hundreds of independent Church planters have since been using (illegally) the famous and crowd- pulling name of Christ Apostolic Church for their Church assemblies, mostly in the big cities all over Nigeria but have failed to bring them under the umbrella of either of the two rival control Councils. This group of mushroom independent CAC planters forms about 5% of the Church population. The Church Authority is still unable to enforce any standard of discipline on this latter group.
3. The resultant and consequent lack of previously existing unconditional love, unity and peace, most especially between the ministers of the two factions, as a result of these unexpectedly unending divisions, artificial barriers, suspicions between the two main factions of the same stock of God’s own beloved Holy Spirit-filled Church- regrettably caught up in Satan’s contrived web of court litigations has not allowed an otherwise purely internal conflict to be settled.
4. The love of money (which the bible describes as the root of all evils), the love of material wealth, and the love of position have all led to the current lack of absolute dedication and consecration, among Church leaders. As a result, many lives that promote sinful practices have attained underserved promotion. These evils include lack of probity and accountability, or even outright dishonesty in the collection and rendition of Church funds, right from the Assemblies, Districts, Zones and Districts Coordinating Councils (DCC’s). Moreover, the mad rush for promotions in the pastoral ministry, has dealt a severe blow on the otherwise aggressive posture of soul winning and evangelistic outreaches initiated, encouraged and spear- head by the Present administration.
5. Lack of adequate checks and balances of spiritually talented persons in the Church and abuse of prophetic gifts have resulted into the premature deaths (physical or spiritual) of many of those gifted persons, whom God would have used for the salvation of many unbelievers in this nation.14
3.2 Leadership Challenges in Christ Apostolic Church
Leadership conflict has been an age long challenge to humanity. From biblical records, it started between God and Satan (Isaiah 14:12-14). Satan wanted to topple God’s administration in heaven. Thus, he rebelled against the leadership of God with some angels we referred to as demons. Leadership is consider as exercising control over someone or thing. Human beings generally love to exercise control over fellow man or resource. Behind conflict in most societies in the world is the desire to control. People aspire into leadership positions today because of a strong desire to control human and material resources. In the time of Jesus his disciples had a conflict on who was to be the leader among them after Jesus must have left them (Luke 9:46-48). The mother of James and John came to plead with Jesus to allow her two sons to be at his right and left sides in his kingdom. This suggests a desire to be above other disciples.
Today in the Nigeria church, leadership conflict is very common. No church tradition is immune to it. In most cases, this manifest whenever there is going to be a change of leadership. There are cases of those who have complied the terms provided by the church constitution but are not willing to go. Also, there are those who want to be in the church leadership at all cost. They see leadership as do or die. They are ready to blackmail, kill or destroy those they consider as obstacles to achieving their goals. Thus elections into leadership positions today in the church are sometimes mar with manipulations, use of charms, verbal assaults and the like which eventually water down the spiritual lives of the members after elections. Thus leadership conflict has continued to have devastating effects on the total ministries of the church and the expansion of God’s kingdom on earth.
Leadership conflict can be understood as a vigorous struggle or disorderly fight with a determination to occupying a leadership position or post by any means possible against the accepted norm or laid down rules / procedure or standard. In other words, it is a desire to become a leader by “fire by force” or “do or die.” This is always against the will of majority.
Leadership conflict could be between two people who are vying for or claiming a particular position of leadership or one person doing everything possible to usurp authority from a legitimate occupant of an office or position. Some in the church today have employed diabolical means for them to occupy a given office. Leadership conflict has pitched one denomination against another, one pastor against pastor, member against member, tribe against tribe, one social stratum against another, one region against another, children against parents and so on. There are litigations in some churches today by reason of leadership conflict. Besides, the church constitutes the entire body of those who are saved by their relation to Christ15, those belonging to the Lord. The church is not a building but a fellowship of the believers in Christ for the purpose of worship16. The primary responsibility of church leaders is to care for and nurture the believers. Leaders are to use their wisdom and maturity to guide the congregation and individual members into growing ways of life so that when Jesus speaks, His body will be healthy and responsive.17
From the biblical perspective, leadership emanates from God. He seats as the final authority. He enthrones and dethrones leaders. He has divinely instituted them to instill order in the universe He has created. The devil attempted to usurp power from God (Isa. 14:12-14).
There was conflict between Satan and man (Gen. 25:27). The rise and fall of kingdoms and empires are indications of conflict for power. The emergence of various Jewish sects was partly a demonstration of leadership conflict18. Prior to the arrival of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ there was various forms of leadership in the New Testament. When Jesus came on board, the Pharisees, Sadducees and the Scribes considered him as someone who came to usurp their authority and as such opposed him.
The era of the church fathers was not free from the menace of leadership conflict as they were faced mainly with the challenge of doctrinal differences. This brought in polarization that pitched the west and the Eastern Church on different pedestal which eventually midwife the reformation. There was acrimony between the church in the East and that of the west19. In Nigeria church today, people fight for position of authority. They see it as do or die. It appears every Christian wants to lead and nobody wants to be a servant. Some Christians run down a leader because they want to be appointed in his/her place. According to Awojobi Peter conflict for power is one of the major factors responsible for conflict in the church today 20. Ponle Adetunji towed Awojobi’s line when he declared thus:
Conflict is also a serious issue in the church, if not among the rank and file, then among the leaders and would-be leaders. Conflict, in form of cold war, is even worse among Christian Leaders. Very sad to write but very true that many of us have failed our master and Lord along this line with unnecessary envies, black mailing and gossips, and many times, writing strongly worded letters against another Christian brother to destroy him but God through Jesus Christ not destroying such individual, lying against one another in the attempt to destroy another before the Chief Executive officer or president of a Christian institution. We see these happening every day.21
Historically, most indigenous churches in Nigeria were embroiled in leadership conflict after the death of their founders. For instance, after the demise of Apostle Ayo Babalola, the acclaimed leader of the Church. However some decades after his death, the Church has become factionalized and crises ridden because of leadership tussles. The first notable factor of crises in Christ Apostolic after the demise of Apostle Ayo Babalola was leadership tussle. During his life time, Ayo Babalola, in spite of his charisma and potentialities, was humble enough to have worked diligently with other foundation members of the Church like Odubanjo, A.B. Akinyele, J.A. Babatope, Adegboyega, Mensah, and Macaulay. He did not claim that he was more spiritually talented than his peers. He complemented their efforts in the establishment and growth of the Church.
Today the problem of leadership is a threat to the unity of the Church. There are many cases of Christ Apostolic Church in the courts of law, while many letters of dismissal, expulsion and suspension have been served on notable members and officers of the Church. For example, Pastor N.E. Udofia, General Secretary, Pastor D.O. Olaoye, General Treasurer, and Pastor and Evangelist T.O. Obadare, were expelled from the Church. There is another group in the Church styled Initiative Forum. These are young educated elites. They leveled allegations bordering on mismanagement, fraud and anti- Church activities against a former President of C.A.C., Pastor J.B. Orogun and the Council of the Churches. There are other accusations and counter- accusations in the Church. Some elders were accused of being “sit-tight” leaders. They accused the elders of flouting the constitution of the Church by refusing to go on retirement after reaching the retirement age of seventy-five. According to my research, some of them are Pastors J.B. Orogun(82 years) Pastor D.O Babajide (80years) and Pastor A.O. Ade Olutimehin (78 years).
The elders are also accused of financial mismanagement. According to the Initiative forum, the funds that are meant for the growth and expansion, of the Church were misappropriated and pocketed by some elders. It is necessary to note that many of the serving pastors are poorly remunerated in spite of their education. However, Apostle Paul in his writings, in 1 Corinthians 1:10 indicated the division observed in the church. This could not be unconnected with leadership tussle and crisis in the early Church. Some aligned themselves with Paul, Apollos and Peter. Paul emphasized the leadership of Jesus as the only unifying factor in Christianity. He condemned fictionalization and schism in the Church.
Today this is being witnessed in the Christ Apostolic Church. There are many leaders using the name of Ayo Babalola and C.A.C without any authority from the leadership of the Church. Several attempts have been made to unify the Church under an umbrella of Christ Apostolic Church. For example, Pastor S.K Abiara, and his Christ International Evangelistic Ministry, and Bola Odeleke and her ministry are being called upon to relinquish their personal ministries to the main body or be dismissed from the Church.22
These directive actions degenerated into litigations and court actions. However, later on there was an advertisement in the Nigerian Tribune and signed by Pastor S.K. Abiara cancelling the certificate of the registration of Christ International Evangelistic Ministry (CIEM):
“This is inform the authority of the Christ Apostolic Church Mission (worldwide) especially the President, General Executives, and Members of the public in general, that I, Prophet S.K Abiara have no Intention of leaving the C.A.C. mission as being suggested. The registration of Christ International Evangelical Ministry (CIEM) has been cancelled. I re- affirm my total loyalty and commitment to the leadership of our great mission.”23
Again in 2010, there was a lawsuit in the Federal High Court, Lagos on who was to succeed Pastor E.H.L Olusheye as the head of Christ Apostolic Church worldwide. A faction led by Pastor Olusheye and another faction led by Pastor Akintola.24
In another development, as Christians worldwide were celebrating Christmas and given glory to God for bringing them to the end of 2012, worshippers, at the Christ Apostolic
Church in a branch in Lagos was busy waging battle of supremacy and allegiance. The crisis in the church which has been ongoing for more than 20years, took a dangerous turn when two factions of the church clashed during a Sunday morning service. It was gathered that the Lagos based faction which was busy with church activities was suddenly brought to an end when the Ibadan based faction arrived and chased them away. The aggrieved faction disconnected the electricity supply to the church after they were chased out leaving the Ibadan faction to conduct their service without electricity supply. The crisis between the two leaders became so deep that they have to seek redress in the court of law.25
3.3 Christ Apostolic Church Before and how it is now
The Christ Apostolic Church is distinctly an indigenous African Church. By its structure, belief and practices, it is an independent Pentecostal Church. The history of the Church is traceable directly to their fore-fathers, namely Oba/Pastor Isaac Babalola Akinyele, Pastor David Ogunleye Odubanjo, Joseph Sadare, Miss Sophia Odunlami and Evangelist (late Apostle) Joseph Ayodele Babalola who was called to the ministry by the Lord on 11th, October, 1928. Apostle Babalola’s call subsequently led to the great revival of 1930. Before then, there was the 1918-28 Faith Tabernacle era characterized by the formation of praying groups’ such as the Precious or Diamond Society found in small pockets all over Nigeria. The brethren in control were Joseph Sadare (a.k.a. Esinsinade), D.O. Odubanjo, I.B. Akinyele (late Olubadan of Ibadan) and Miss Sophia Odunlami. Majority of the members of the first group of Diamond Society were worshipers at St. Savior’sAnglican Church, Ijebu-Ode, where they began meeting regularly for prayers and spiritual guidance in 1918. Mr D. O. Odubanjo26 soon developed contact between members of the ‘Praying Band’ and Pastor A. Clark, the leader of Faith Tabernacle in Philadelphia, USA. Through correspondence and receipt of tracts and magazines such as ‘The Sword of the Spirit’. Soon, tension rose between the group and the Anglican Church over such practices as divine healings, opposition to infant baptism, reliance on dreams and visions, abstention from dancing, drumming, debt-owing, drinking of alcohol, gambling and mixing with non-Christians. Mr. 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. But in less than a decade, branches of the group had been established in Lagos, Ibadan, Ilesa, Oyan, Ile-Ife, Mina, Jos and Zaria. Their members had also imbibed reliance on the power of prayer, divine healing and the All Sufficiency of God.27
Fortunately, the Great Revival of 1930 with Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola as its medium, emerged in July 1930 at Oke Ooye, Ilesa. Those who assisted him during the Revival included D. O. Odubanjo, Oba I. B. Akinyele and J. A.Babatope as well as Babalola’s followers such as J. A. Medayese, A. O. Omotoso, John Oye, J. B. Orogun, and Philip Mabigbade among others. Prophet Daniel Orekoya later on came to the scene. The Great Revival did not only embrace all the beliefs accepted by the Faith Tabernacle group, but also went further by embracing the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the spiritual manifestation of seeing visions, prophesying, speaking in tongues and dreaming. Consequently upon this, people with diverse deceases were healed in thousands and, in turn, they spontaneously rejected their “juju” and other medicines. Massive revivals hitherto unknown in Nigeria ensued. Thousands of people surrendered their lives to Jesus.
Meanwhile the Church leaders were subjected to avoidable intimidations, harassment and humiliation at different levels of the society. So, on their behalf, Mr D. O. Odubanjo sought co-operation with British Apostolic Brothers in Bradford, England. Thus on 23rd September, 1931 three missionaries, viz. Pastor D. P. Williams, A. Turnbull and W. J. Williams arrived in Nigeria as guests of the Church. In November, 1931, the visiting missionaries ordained the first seven Pastors of the Church who had earlier on been ordained by proxy by Pastor A. Clark in America. Three of the new Pastors namely, Pastor J. B. Sadare, D. O. Odubanjo and Oba I. B. Akinyele later came to play important roles in the growth of the Church. After the return of the white Missionary delegates to Bradford, Pastor George Perfect and Prophet Idris Vaughan came to Nigeria on 22nd June, 1932 to strengthen the band of fellowship between the two religious bodies. For a time, the religious activities of the white brothers complemented the religious exploits of Joseph Ayo Babalola. From the side of the Nigeria, the hope that the partnership would mitigate, if not totally eliminate, their untold sufferings and persecutions became an illusion. The partnership, however, staggered for a decade before it crumbled during 1939/40 crisis.28 As a result of the disagreement over the issue of “Divine Healing”, two groups had emerged. The pro-European group was led by Pastor S.G.Adegboyega while Apostle Joseph Babalola, Pastor D. O. Odubanjo and Pastor (Oba) I. B. Akinyele led the Nigerian Group. Over the time, God revealed to Apostle Ayo Babalola to name the Revival Group “apostolic church”. about 1939, the church changed its name to Nigerian apostolic church. This name was again changed to united apostolic church until 1942 when god specifically revealed that the name of the church should be christ apostolic church. It was thereafter that the name was registered as no. 147 of May 4, 1943, under the lands Perpetual Succession Ordinance. During the decades 1940-1960, the CAC was subjected to a series of strain and stresses. Stiff opposition came from the detractors of the Church including some of the orthodox churches, most government officers, some Obas and high chiefs and even evil forces. There were also problems of internal administration, inadequate training, recruitment of unqualified Church personnel and weak finances. However, the following factors later tilted the pendulum in favor of the Church; political power had then passed to the Africans who were free to embrace the Gospel; the church had produced literate children; prominent men and women who had directly or indirectly benefitted from church then gave it their support; the oil boom of the 1960s provided money for better church personnel throughout Nigeria. The golden era of the Church ended in 1959 when Pastor D. O Odubanjo and Apostle Ayodele Babalola died.29
The history of the church witnessed remarkable developments such as the establishments of a Bible Training College, Ede (1952) (the Bible Training College moved to Erio Ekiti in 1954, to Efon Alaaye in 1958 and to Akure in 1969), Pastoral Training College at Ibadan (1946), School of Prophets and Evangelists at Ilesa (1949), defunct Teachers’ College at Efon Alaaye (1955), Faith Home at Ede (1959). Grammar Schools at Ibadan, Efon Alaaye and Iperu (all in 1960), Ilesa (1962), Akure (1964) and Odo-Owa (1970), Press and Publications department (1966-67), Sunday School Department (1977), Theological Seminary at Ile-Ife (1979) by merging the Bible Training College and Pastoral Training College, and the formation of Societies, Associations and Fellowship groups. All these organs soon helped the Church to firmly establish religious practices and liturgy peculiar to it. The teaching of the Church had grown out of many sources, namely the Bible, the remarkable soul-searching sermons of the founding fathers; borrowing from Europeans and American literatures especially tracts and magazines; the lessons produced by the various tensions within the Group over the prophylactic use of medicine and other issues of administration. Besides the belief of C.A.C. members in prophecy, visions, divines healing and holy living, the focal points of all tenets and practices of the Church is prayer. And when accompanied with fasting, it could accomplish the impossible. The C.A.C. has strong belief in the efficacy of prayer and that no divine healing could be achieved without FAITH and TRUST in Jesus Christ.30
1 Pastor Elijah H.L Olusheye, The Legacies of Our Church Patriarchs
(Ibadan: Gideon Global Press, 2010,), . 60
2 Pastor Elijah H.L Olusheye, The Legacies of Our Church Patriarchs
(Ibadan: Gideon Global Press, 2010,), . 60
3 S.B.G.M. Sundkler, Bantu Prophets in South Africa,(Condors: Camelot, 1948), 161-179
4 J.B. Webster, The African Churches Among Yorubas, 1882 (London: Clanderon,
1964), . 153
5 Alokan Adeware, Cradle and Beyond (Ile- Ife: Timade Ventures Ayegboyin,
1997), . 450
6 Alokan Adeware, The Christ Apostolic Church, (Lagos: Ibukunola Printing press.1928-1988), . 239
7 Alokan Adeware, The Christ Apostolic Church at 90,(Ile-Ife: Timade ventures, 2010), . 450-460
8 Alokan Adeware, Cradle and Beyond … 450
9 Pastor Elijah H.L Olusheye, The Legacies of Our Church Patriarchs ... 60
10 Magazine Publication of The Nigerian Tribune titled “C.A.C. Imbroligio, Taering the house of Christ, “April 1991
11 Oral Interview, Pastor Paul Adeola,32B Isaoye street, Ikere Ekiti, 50years, 9th of September, 2015.
12 Pastor Elijah H.L Olusheye, The Legacies of Our Church Patriarchs
13 Pastor Elijah H.L Olusheye, The Legacies of Our Church Patriarchs
14 Pastor Elijah H.L Olusheye, The Legacies of Our Church Patriarchs
15 Peter O. Awojobi, Church Management(Ilorin: Kingdom Power Communications, 2011), 41.
16 Peter O. Awojobi, Church Management… 41.
17 James O.Adeyanju, An Introduction to The History Of the Intestamental Period( Ilorin:Amazing Grace Print media, 2009), 35-104.
18 Robert G. Clouse, The Story of the Church (England: Moddy Press, 2002), 41.
19 Peter O. Awojobi, Church Management…34
20 Oluwaponmile Gideon Adetunji, Leadership In Action (Ibadan:Baptist Press Ltd, 2010), 121.
21 http://www.Scuib.Org/jsms/www.Scuib.Org/jsms/ pdf 2011/4/AJS Leadership Conflict, ) 05/11/2015
22 Nigeria Tribune Magazine, “CAC Imbioglio, Tearing The House of Christ”, April 1991.
23 Nigeria Tribune Magazine, “CAC Imbioglio, Tearing The House of Christ”, October 1, 2003
24 C.A.C Members in Church Leadership Conflict in www.Conflict.Org. Com
25 http:// Scihub.Org/ AJSMS, October 05/11/2015
26 http://www.Believershttp://www.Believers portal.com/show thread. Php History of the Christ Apostolic Church. 08/11/2015
27 http://www.Believershttp://www.Believers portal.com/show thread. Php History of the Christ Apostolic Church. 08/11/2015
28 http://www.Believershttp://www.Believers portal.com/show thread. Php History of the Christ Apostolic Church. 08/11/2015
29 http://www.believersportal.com/show_thread.phphttp://www.believersportal.com/show_thread.php.History of the Christ Apostolic Church. 08/11/2015
30 http://www.Believershttp://www.Believers portal.com/show thread. Php History of the Christ Apostolic Church. 08/11/2015
Effects Of Crises In The Christ Apostolic Church
4.1 Proliferation of Assemblies
The crises had resulted into the establishment of Churches and assemblies on both sides of Christ Apostolic Church that is, World Soul Evangelical Ministry by late Timothy Obadare and others like the Forum Group( the General Executive Council) and the Supreme side ( the Supreme Council)Church Proliferation has become an issue in Christendom today, especially in the area of bringing many new foreign religious ideas and practices into the Church, contrary to the mode of worship as lay down, especially, by the founding fathers of Christ Apostolic Church. When one studies well these new religious doctrines and practices, one will discover that some of them are fairly good while most of them are very dangerous for the Christian life and worship. They can easily attempt people to lose their potentially spiritual ability of effectiveness and the fundamental doctrinal truths of the Bible they believe in.1
4.2 World Soul Evangelist Ministry (WOSEM)
Timothy Oluwole’s date of birth is uncertain. While some documents have 1925 as his birth date, others asset that he was born in the year 1930. He was born at Ise-Ilesa, in the present Osun State of Nigeria, to Pastor and Mrs. David and Felicia Obadare of the Apostolic Church of Nigeria. His father David was initially a farmer before he was called to be a minister of God, while his mother Felicia was a petty trader. Obadare’s family could be described as ecclesiastical or Levite, as his four brothers were all ministers of God and his only sister was married to a clergy man. Timothy’s father later relocated to Oke- Eso, Ilesa, where he continued in the service of God as a Pastor in his denomination.Timothy attended the Apostolic Church primary school, Ise-Ilesa but was unable to complete his primary education as he developed an eye problem caused by a chronic small poor epidemic, which ravaged his entire community and cost him the use of both eyes.2All effort by his parents to salvage the situation and help restore his sight proved fruitless. He was later taken to a missionary doctors at the hospital confirmed that his eyes were damaged beyond restoration, but suggested that God had provided him with invisible eyes sharper than ordinary human eyes. This sounded prophetic and that was it turned out to be. This ugly incident became a challenge which propelled young Timothy to seek divine intervention, as a result of which he encountered God at the age of seven. He received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in February 1949. Having sensed the call of God on his life, Timothy submitted and set himself to be a vessel to be used by God. This led to many encounters with the lord. One of these encounters took place in 1952 and was a pointer to his call to the ministry. That year all the members of the Apostolic Church were commanded by God to participate in a period of fasting and prayer for ten days. On the tenth day of the program, during the normal Sunday morning service, Obadare received what could be called a spiritual ordination from God. He saw a wonderful hand, bigger than any hand in world. “The hand descended upon my head like a cap and oil was poured on my head and it streamed down my feet. Then the spirit of God made me to prophesy mighty things from 9:15 am to 1pm and there was no other thing done in the service that day and the prophecies were recorded.”3
Obadare started his career as an evangelist in the Apostolic Church of Nigeria in 1953. The choice of the denomination was no doubt influenced by his father who was a pastor with the Church. Obadare worked passionately with the Apostolic Church for four years, from 1953 to 1957, before divine providence brought him into the CAC through Apostle Ayo Babalola. After joining the CAC he worked in many towns and cities across southwest Nigeria before he permanently settled in Akure in the year 1965 as an itinerant prophet and evangelist, he successfully spread the gospel to the far corners of west African in general and Nigeria in particular, where God used him to establish many parishes for the CAC.4Timothy OluwoleObadare started the Koseunti in 1970 in consequence of a vision which he had during a prayer and fasting session organized to round off the year 1969. According to Obadare on December 30, 1969, God spoke to him in a vision lamenting the vast number of dilemmas confronting many people in the word and emphasizing that many are faced with difficulties engineered by Satan. Consequently, through Obadare, God promised to establish a place of prayer for people to come together and bring their problems to God. This would be a place they could get solutions to those problems and it would be known as Koseunti. Koseunti is a Yoruba word meaning “God never fails”. This refers to God as the Almighty, a God with whom nothing is impossible and who is prepared to rescue as many as would ask. God promised to grant the Koseunti meeting power authority so that miraculous acts could be performed. Obadare was specifically instructed by God to dig a well, whose water was to be used for the treatment of all kinds of ailments, including problems which defied rational explanation. Obadare inaugurated the Koseunti on February 1, 1970. Before this, in September 1968, he had established the C.A.C Oke- Itura(Mount of Comfort) at Akure, the capital city of the Present Ondo Sate of Nigeria.
This eventually became the parent body of Koseunti, the international headquarters of WOSEM and the place of Koseunti prayer meetings.5 when Koseunti monthly meetings started they were held in a hut, built with disused corrugated iron sheets, but this was eventually abandoned when it became too small to contain the ever increasing number of attendees. It started as a one day prayer meeting usually on the first day of every month. In later years.it became a place of pilgrimage. It was commonly flooded with people, from all walks of life, bringing their myriads difficulties to God. In the available records there are a great many testimonies to the miraculous feats which attended the prayer meetings the prayer meetings became popular that it even found favour in the eyes of many traditional rulers and chieftaincy title- holders in Yoruba land who formerly had not been favorably disposed to attending of Church services. Many of them became notable members of the meeting bestowed blessings on many people. For example, farmers who had previously been poverty stricken among the community became quite prosperous and able to have houses of their own.According to Obadare’s biographers the WOSEM, which was established in August 1974, is the grandchild of CAC, Oke- Itura and the brain child of Koseunti in 1974, the Lord directed Obadare to establish a group that would sponsor his evangelistic Campaigns and tours to all parts of the world. This group was initially known as World Soul Winning Evangelistic Group (WOSEGRO), but had its name changed to World Soul Wining Evangelistic Ministry (WOSEM). In 1975. It grew into a complex structural organ from 1979. The motto of the ministry is “Eagerness of God”. Obadare though World Soul Evangelical Ministry, was instrumental in the establishment of Revival centers in almost all of the 36 states of Nigeria. There are also World Soul Evangelical Ministry Revival centers in Ghana, Liberia, the Republic of Benin, Lome, Togo, Cote D’Ivoire, the United Kingdom, the United States of American, Canada and other parts of the world.6 Considering the nature of the crises in the CAC, it would be wrong to attribute their genesis and continuance in the CAC to Obadare and the World Soul Evangelical Ministry affair. Although it is difficult to completely exonerate the apostle from certain controversies within the church, other members of the hierarchy could also be considered culpable. The schism generated by various controversies, actions and counteractions from all the key players in the church has, over the years, devastated the CAC and made virtually all of those players vulnerable.
The above assertion notwithstanding the operation of WOSEM within the CAC has been highly controversial, with some leaders of the Church accusing Obadare of sponsoring a parallel ministry within the CAC. WOSEM contributed immensely to the growth and popularity of the CAC through its exploits, but at the same time the Organization allegedly engendered much confusion because of the ways in which it was administered by Obadare.7
4.3 C.A.C Agbala-Itura of Pastor Samuel Kayode Abiara
The founder of Christ Apostolic Church Agbala-Itura, Pastor S.K. Abiara, was allegedly called by God into the ministry of evangelism in 1963.8Before his call; he was working as a clerk with the late Chief Agoro who later became of great help to him later in his ministerial adventure. He claimed to have been called while working as a government officer in Akufo Farm settlement, a village at the outskirt of Ibadan.In some of his sermons, he described his call as sheer obedience to the call of God. According to him, he found it quite unbelievable that God could translate the little beginning to a magnificent ministry today.9 He claimed to have learnt courage, seriousness and zeal for the work of God. He purported God revealed to him through dream His purpose for him to be enlisted in ministerial duties. In 1963, he heeded and this gave birth to the Akufo Church. After engaging in some preaching and revivals, his sitting room could not contain the crowd who saw the zeal and passion for leadership in him. He acquired a land and erected a church named Independent Christ Apostolic Church, Oke-Igbala.10This church soon became crowded and the founder soon relocated to the center of the city. The significance of this relocation is that there was growth around this period, Christ Apostolic Church leaders then, such as Pastors Akindele and Budale used to come to visit Prophet Abiara in his Akufo base and encouraged him to join the Christ Apostolic Church. This he did when he relocated to the center of the city to form the Christ Apostolic Church, OkeImole, Agbeni.11 This church was dedicated by Christ Apostolic Church’s Ministers. A land was further given to Prophet Abiara as a gift in 1977 in appreciation of God’s divine intervention in the life of the donor who had earlier shown his gratitude by giving the man of God a huge sum of money which he refused, claiming that God demanded that he should give spiritual assistance to whoever believed without any strings attached. Coincidentally, that same year Prophet Abiara heard the voice of God instructing him to shift to the Old Ife Road site (the piece of land he was given) and this became the site of Christ Apostolic Church, Agbala-Itura (Garden of Comfort) Old Ife Road , Ibadan . Prior to moving into this piece of land, the whole environment was bushy. God called him and said that if he (Abiara) would believe and abide on the lonely site, He would change all the bushes around to people. This meant that just as the bushes overcrowded the whole place, God would populate the place with multitude of people.
This is similar in a way to the promise of God to Abraham when God entered into covenant with him a great nation. The spiritual significance of this name reflected that God would give to those who stepped on the land with faith, the desires of their hearts and that the place would be a point of contact for pleasure, convenience, blessing and spiritual well-being of all.12Apart from this, Prophet Abiara usually claims in his sermons that God divinely instructed him to move to Old Ife Road so as to bring comfort to many people suffering the afflictions of Satan and the odd world. He later alleged that God said that just as He did for Abraham who became the father of nations; he would also have many followers.13 A new church at new Ife Road, precisely a place called Olode now harbors a 25,000 capacity church auditorium. This place serves as the international headquarters of the Church.
Christ Apostolic Church Agbala-Itura, being an arm of Christ Apostolic Church generally shares the major doctrines and beliefs of Christ Apostolic Church. Some of the certain peculiar traits of Agbala-Itura that made it characteristically different. The first is that it had an arm of evangelism known as the Christ International Evangelical Ministry (CIEM). The CIEM was formerly known as International Evangelical Association and was founded in 1976,14 and gained much popularity between 1980 and 1983. The name however changed in 1984 to Christ International Evangelical Ministry. This arm of evangelism saw to actualizing the mandate of the “Great Commission” as instituted by Jesus Christ (Matt. 28:19). Many branches of Agbala-Itura were established through this unit. The arm also reached out to people in confinement such as hospitals and prisons.
The second peculiarity lies in the name of the church, “Agbala-Itura” which simply means
“Garden of comfort” or “Vineyard of Comfort”. The name has a fondness or predilection for African indigenous thoughts especially the Yoruba world views for Agbala and Itura. Agbala in Yoruba parlance ordinarily means a place for recreating or refreshing after hard labour while Itura means the actual act of relaxation. The two words then mean an abode where stress is relieved and solution is found to problems of life. According to the founder, God had revealed to him that everyone who stepped into the Church must experience relief from whatever discomfort he had suffered from. However we need to observe that it is not everyone that attends a church, no matter the level of charisma of the founder that could be comfortable.15 Though many people claimed that they had solutions to their problems, yet it appears very impossible no matter the case to establish that “all” members were really comfortable.
Also, comfort is not derivable through prayer alone. The Church generally needs to be involved in seeking material provisions for members through provision of schools and hospitals and giving out of loans to empower those who are fit to utilize such benefits productively, especially the jobless. Miracles happen not only by prayer but also by rendering necessary assistance to members when needed most. By this, the Church is also participating in alleviating poverty, which is ravaging Nigeria.16
4.6 The Positive Effect of the Crises on Christ Apostolic Church
On the contrary, there are positive effects of the crises on Christ Apostolic Church. Firstly it leads to the spread of the gospel, Churches establish by Christ Apostolic Church (WOSEM) gets to villages and abroad.17 Max Weber is of the view that Christianity is to be used as channel towards industrialization as a result of this many people have benefited out of the Churches that were founded by both Christ Apostolic Church and World Soul Evangelical Ministry because it provides works, and it reduces the tension of those who seek admission into tertiary institution. Secondly, reforms sanitized the retirement of church worker, retirement of the president, General Superintendent and General Evangelist started in 1990, retirement of the old pastors those older than 70years were relieved of their post and punishment for the few elders’ followed.18 The procedure brought into the church pastors relatively young but better educated to direct the affairs of the Church. Thus almost all the succeeding Principal Officers after 1992 are comparatively young pastors who are daring, fearless and ready to move mountains. Consider the determination that prompted the former President Elijah Olusheye to perform many feats: Leading the Church to establish Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU); carving CAC constituency in the Country to DCC, Zones and assemblies in the Church together both in Nigeria and Diaspora. The Olusheye Administration has convincingly taken the CAC to a very great height. It merits admiration and commendation.19
The reforms made the General Executive Council to replace Supreme Council. These new council comprises mainly the senior pastors and few among the elders in different District coordinating Council as it was during the time of the founding fathers of the Church. Creation of districts known as Coordinating council was established under the Assistant General Superintendent and Assistant General Superintendent and Assistant General Evangelist. Eradication of youth wing in the Church; such include Youth Camp, Light of the world, Christ disciple and committee for GOMAN in Nigeria. CAC Youth fellowship was established instead, for evangelism and the Spiritual growth in the Church. The next programme that followed was nomination of three ministers to take care of the Church. They are Pastor J.D Obafemi (President), Pastor EHL Olusheye (General Superintendent) and Pastor J. Olu Alokan ( General Evangelist). This happens in June 1993. The former three later became the trustee.20
The donations of 3 million naira by the reformers for the development of the Church and its administration widened the practice of embarking on costly developmental projects in the Church. In the imitation, some other financers within the Church emerged to work for the Church. Examples of such projects are the international Revival Camp at Ikeji–Arakeji promoted by I.O Ogunbomehin and his Church. The CAC theological Seminary at Ile- Ife and its Satellite in Ilesa, Lagos, Ibadan etc, courtesy of men’s association and the printing press in Lagos. 21
4.5 The Negative Effects of the Crises on Christ Apostolic Church
` The belief of Christ Apostolic Church is that the church is one. Therefore few people that were disciplined supposed to accept the relationship standing on the issue that let it be no matter how, through this steps, CAC maintains their stand for the fact that few were affected and this cannot affect the whole Church and that, programme is the first order in heaven; and likewise we supposed to have it on earth.22 Apostle J.A Babalola said the Lord told him that, He the Lord, has spread only one mat for all members of the Christ Apostolic Church to lie upon, and that anyone who deserts the Church would fall and drop into the dust. He said the Lord told him that as sands bugs (kuluso- in Yoruba) lives and dies inside the dust of the earth, that any minister who was trained and ordained by Christ Apostolic Church, and later separates himself or herself from the CAC because of selfish interests, will never succeed further but retrogress and finally fail. The events of some notable examples in the history of Christ Apostolic Church demonstrate the truth about this fact. One of the reasons for the failure of such a deserter is that he would never have a clear conscience of love towards the true gospel and the Church he deserted. His messages will be like those of a wounded lion that is always hostile any object around him. Such person cannot live for a day without someone confronting him with, “Why the Separation?”. The instant reaction usually from such a person would be to be hostile and begin to formulate bogus lies. Invariably, such a person will create a kingdom of his own, and be living absolutely free from the truth of the gospel, such as taking several wives to himself and doing some other things that are not expected of Christians working to earn the kingdom of God.23
These “wolves in Sheep’s clothing” saw the church as green and fertile land where everyone could successfully operate a ministry parallel to the administration of the Church, even with total defiance of the existing practices and unity of the church. The outcome of this strange development had devastating influence on the growth and development of the Church. Various ministries privately owned, as well as several competing youth organizations surfaced. Many of these were working at cross purposes. Their negative effects on the main fabric of the Church led to the proscription of the ministries and the merging of all the youth organizations into one. This was done in 1991 in order to eliminate internal bickering and to enforce unity within the fold. The negative effects of the crises on Christ Apostolic Church will be examined below:
1 This crises may become complex as the year is rolling by; likewise anger and arguments will be more. As this issue is being delays friends may become enemy
2 The crises may want to dent the name of Christ Apostolic Church because people are looking at them. People outside and the lovers of the Church are seeing what is happening in the Church, today with amazement, and shame most especially that CAC was the first Pentecostal and spiritually Church in Nigeria
3 Christ Apostolic will continue to loose youth both male and females in to some upcoming Churches that are yet to have such Crises. Such Church includes Deeper Life, Gospel Faith, and Redeemed Christian Church and so on. Presently these youths are going to these Churches.
4 In continuation of these crises, Christ Apostolic Church as a spiritual Church may lose the honour and glory most especially that these three groups claimed to be justified. They will make it possible for people to leave the church.it will assist division since things may be destroyed, the foundation cannot stand.
5 Christ Apostolic Church time and materials that were supposed to use for the progress of evangelism as Christ has commanded his disciples will be used for fighting. This cannot help in propagation of gospel in any way
6 The doctrinal differences that emanate as a result of split usually confuse the members of the churches. 24
In addition to this the Church was forced to go to court to settle the crisis with the former members of the church that were punished. Also the few among the pastors, elders and so on that were punished during the time gathered together to form two separate groups; but they are bearing the same name of the Church that is, Christ Apostolic Church. Through this, Christ Apostolic Church now became three which are the real Christ Apostolic Church, World Soul Evangelical Ministry group and the Interim Section. These churches stood on their own with their respective leaders; the first established Christ Apostolic Church. No wonder there is challenges here and there out of which that of court case and argument on which side should be making use of the holy mountain named after Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola inIkejiArakeji up till today. Most especially between CAC and World Soul Evangelical Ministry group.25
1. Pastor Elijah H.L Olusheye, The Legacies of Our Church Patriarchs (Ibadan: Gideon Global Press, 2010), .53
6. God’s General: The Biography of Apostle Dr. T. O. Obadare
(Able Print House, 2013), 81-82
7. AdeolaBalogun, “I’ve Done my Best to Bring Prophet Obadare’s Camp back to CAC – Akinosun”, Saturday Punch, 30 March 2013, 22-23.
8. Falaye, T.A, The Origin and growth of Christ Apostolic Church, AgbalaItura, 1977-2003, APh.DTheseis submitted to the Dept of Religious Studies University of Ibadan, Ibadan. 2005. P. 108
9. Bisi Yesufu, The journey so far, in touch of God Magazine,September 1996, P.10
10. Bisi Yesufu, The journey so far, in touch of God Magazine…..
12. S.K Abiara“God of Possibility” sermon delivered during the annual Jesus FestivalConvention (Dec 2006 edition).
13. S.K Abiara“God of Possibility” ….. (Dec 2006 edition).
17 Oral Interview, Elder Owoyemi Olusola, No 20 Afon Close
Sabo Oke , Ilorin.48years, 8th of September, 2015.
18 Adeware Alokan J.P, Itan Kukuru NipaIjo Aposteli Ti Kristi, (Ile- Ife: Babs- Adedeji & Sons Press, 1995), .29
19. Adeware Alokan, Christ Apostolic Church 1928- 1988
(Mushin: Ibukunola Printers.1991) . 433
20. Adeware Alokan J.P, Itan Kukuru Nipa Ijo Aposteli Ti Kristi...29-30
21. A Meeting Of CAC Supreme Council Held at Ibadan on 17th June, 1988,. 22-23
22. Adeware Alokan J.P, Itan Kukuru Nipa Ijo Aposteli Ti Kristi, ....30
23 Pastor Elijah H.L Olusheye, The Legacies of Our Church Patriarchs....72
24 Pastor Elijah H.L Olusheye, The Legacies of Our Church Patriarchs ....67-70
25 Adeware Alokan J.P, Itan Kukuru Nipa Ijo Aposteli Ti Kristi....30
52crises, Christ Apostolic Church as a spiritual Church may lose the honour and glory most especially that these three groups claimed to be justified. They will make it possible for people to leave the church.it will assist division since things may be destroyed, the foundation cannot stand.