African Initiated Churches - Classification and Taxonomy - Aladura Pentecostal Churches

Aladura Pentecostal Churches

The Aladura Pentecostal churches originated in Nigeria. They rely on the power of prayer and in all effects of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Today such churches include Christ Apostolic Church, Cherubim and Seraphim, Celestial Church of Christ and Church of the Lord (Aladura). The first Aladura Movement was started at Ijebu-Ode, Nigeria in 1918 by Sophia Odunlami, a school teacher, and Joseph Sadare, a goldsmith. They both attended St. Saviour's Anglican Church. They rejected infant baptism and all forms of medicine, whether western or traditional. In consequence, they initiated the "Prayer Band", popularly called Egbe Aladura. 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. The Aladura began as a renewal movement in search of true spirituality.

A revival took place during the 1918 influenza epidemic. The group used prayer to save many lives affected by the influenza epidemic. This consolidated the formation of the prayer group and the group was named "Precious Stone" and later the "Diamond Society". By 1920, the Diamond Society had grown tremendously and had started to form branches around the Western region of Nigeria. In particular, David Odubanjo went to start the Lagos branch. The group emphasized divine healing, Holiness, and All Sufficiency of God, which form the three cardinal beliefs of the Church today. For this reason, the group had association with Faith Tabernacle of Philadelphia and changed its name to "Faith Tabernacle of Nigeria".

The GREAT REVIVAL in Nigeria started in 1930 where the Leaders of the Cherubim & Seraphim, The Church of the Lord (Aladura) and the Faith Tabernacle played important roles. God used these leaders - Joseph Sadare of "Egbe Aladura", David Odubanjo of "Diamond Society", Moses Orimolade of "Cherubim & Seraphim", and Josiah Ositelu of "The Church of the Lord (Aladura)" performed several miracles through the Holy Spirit of God. The revival started in Ibadan in the South-West of Nigeria and later spread to other parts of the country.

The Revival group went through several name changes until, after 24 years of its formation, it finally adopted the name Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) in 1942. Today, CAC has spread worldwide and is the precursor of Aladura Pentecostal Churches in Nigeria. The Church has established several schools at all levels, including Joseph Ayo Babalola University.

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