The personality behind THE GREAT OKE OYE 1930 REVIVAL, THE FOUNDER AND THE FIRST GENERAL EVANGELIST OF C.A.C turns 117 today.
Joseph Ayo Babalola (25 April 1904 – 26 July 1959) was the first General Evangelist of the
Christ Apostolic Church , popularly called CAC in
Nigeria . He was credited with healing powers.
Babalola was born of Yoruba parents at Odo-Owa, Kwara State, Nigeria. He was brought up as an Anglican. He was registered at an elementary school at Oto-Awori on Badagry Road, Lagos State, in 1914. He got to standard four, before he became a blacksmith’s apprentice and he learned it for two years, before he became a steamroller operator under the PWD (Public Works Department) , then under the control of Great Britain , learning to become a steamroller driver. After 15 days of learning to drive the caterpillar, he was able to drive it without any assistance. After nine months; he became a master in his class. A steamroller was first given to him on 1 April 1928 to work on the Osogbo – Ilesha road. On June 14, 1928, he was transferred to Akure – Ilesha road. Babalola was baptized in Lagos lagoon in December 1929.
Ministry and healing
In 1931 Faith Tabernacle affiliated with The Apostolic Church with general headquarters in the United Kingdom (and not British Apostolic Church, as erroneously called by some authors). Then following a schism in The Apostolic Church about 1940, Babalola went with a group led by Pastors J.B. Akinyele and D.O. Odubanjo to form a new independent church, Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), where he continued his healing and revivalistic activities until his death. The CAC regards Babalola as an apostle, while in actual sense by real church ordination he was not at any time historically ordained into that office. A CAC retreat center was built at Ipo Arakeji, Osun State where Babalola was first called in 1928. However, Babalola was not the sole founder of CAC as many claims today but one of the trio of CAC Founding Fathers.
The Christ Apostolic Church has not died along with Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola in 1959. In fact, it has grown rapidly over the years, with many churches under the Christ Apostolic Church name but each church with a specific branch name. The Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU) a private Nigerian university located in Ipo Arakeji and Ikeji-Arakeji, two neighbouring communities in Osun State, established by the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) Worldwide is named after him, located at the place where he says he was called by God in 1928. He was buried at Erekesan street at the Mausoleum in Efon Alaaye town in Ekiti state.
May his gentle soul continue to rest in peace.