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
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.