The last book I read in 2017 was “Mysterious Legacies of J.A Babalola” by E.H.L Olusheye. I found it in my dad’s library few days to the end of the year and I immediately picked it up.
Apostle Joseph Ayodele Babalola was a Healing Evangelist, Apostle and Prophet. He was the first prophet to lead a great revival in Nigeria after raising a dead 10 years old boy in 1930.
He was also the first General Evangelist and founder of the Christ Apostolic Church Nigeria, a church that metamorphosed from a prayer group popularly called “egbe aladura”.
(I’ll use “Baba” to refer to Apostle Babalola in this post because that’s what I call him).
Prior to my reading the book, I had heard a lot about Baba from people like my Father, mother, pastors and so on as I was born and brought up in the Christ Apostolic Church but nothing they said really struck me.
I spent my formative years in the Christ Apostolic Church and back then, I always saw Baba’s picture in the Church and wondered why he was so important.
Fast forward to many years later, I had learnt more about Baba and seen that he was more than just a “mighty man of God”. Baba was legacy even while he lived, one of the greatest entities that treaded the surface of the earth.
He was born on the 25th of April 1904 to Pa David Lawani Rotimi and Madam Martha Talabi Rotimi. His mother narrated the several encounters she had before his birth. Angels appeared to her on her way to the farm telling her of the mighty man she was about to birth.
On the night of his birth, there was a very heavy rain fall and thunder like never before.
Even though it was evident that there was a call upon the life of Baba due to the mysterious circumstances that surrounded his birth and strange experiences he had growing up, he didn’t get a direct call until 1928 while he worked as a steamroller along Akure-ilesha road by the river Ariran. He heard a loud voice from above like the roar of thunder which called his name thrice saying “Joseph! Joseph!! Joseph!!! Leave this job you are doing; if not, this year you are going to be cut off from the earth.” Again On 11 October 1928, while trying to repair his machine, he heard an audible voice from the Lord to abandon the job he was doing and start preaching. That is how he received the call and he went into fasting and prayer.
The Water of Life (Omi Iye)
Another powerful fact about Baba was his indisputable healing power.
He was known to use water for healing which prompted the popular C.A.C song then: “Babalola Olomi Iye re o. Omi Iye, Iye, Iye, re o. Omi Iye…” which means “Babalola with the water of life”.
People with all sorts of illnesses and diseases that came in contact with the water were immediately completely healed.
Predicted His Death.
Apostle Babalola was said to have been one of the few that had the rare privilege to know when they’d die. It was said that Baba predicted his death to his disciples during a three days fasting and prayer in 1957 at ikere Ekiti.
The Use of Psalms
Christ Apostolic Churches all over the world are known for the use of the book of “Psalms” in the Bible for prayers and supplications. This is a legacy that was left by our Father, Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola.
Baba used different Psalms for different forms of prayers. He had Psalms for warfare prayers, protection prayers, prayers for favor and so on which he passed to his followers and is still being practiced till date.
The Prayer Mountain (Oke Aanu)
Baba was a man of prayers. He spent several days on mountains praying.
There is a mountain called “ori oke Aanu” (Mountain of mercy) in Erio-Ekiti in Osun state, Nigeria.
This mountain of prayer was founded by Baba. There is a spot on top of the mountain where he Kneeled to pray and his knee mysteriously pierced through from long hours of kneeling to pray leaving a giant hole in the rock. The hole remains there till date.
Fasting and Prayers and The Python.
John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
God used Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola to trigger a spiritual awakening in his time that ushered people into a season of strange signs, wonders and occurrences. Babalola was a man who had strange passion for prayer and through the help of the Holy Spirit, he spent a large part of his life fasting and praying. He is said to have fasted for 40 days and nights more than twice in his life.
“Once, while he was in a prayer retreat at Ido-Ajinare in Ekiti State, after hours of prayer, he heard a sound of a moving object in which the Lord instructed him not to open his eyes. As he continued in prayer, a large python crawled over him. Later God instructed him to open his eyes and he readily obeyed. Just a little distance from where he was lying down, the Lord pointed to the python who had been roasted as if an electric current had shocked it. With this evidence, God told him that he had turned him to coal of fire and that he had now become untouchable for evil powers. His dedicated prayer life and the manifestation of signs and wonders through charismatic gifts exposed the weakness and emptiness of most of the existing churches at the same time. His prayer life has become a challenge to the past, present and future generations of Christians. Evangelist Babalola was known to fast often for many days. At times, he would engage in marathon fasting and prayers for up to forty days. During this period, he would retreat to a secluded place or mountain tops to wait upon the Lord. There were many locations which he had taken as his prayer resort. Some of the most prominent ones were hill tops at Ido Ajinare, Ikoyi, Efon Alaye and Erio” – CAC – Oke Igbala Araromi Ilesha
Apostle Joseph was a man surrounded by mysteries and the wonders he performed through the power of God cannot be exhausted.
Without any doubt, Nigeria is blessed to have hosted such a general.