Christ Apostolic Church Pilgrims Tabernacle is one of the assemblies of Christ Apostolic Church Worldwide which is one of the African Instituted Churches with her global headquarters in Ibadan, Nigeria.
The denomination has expanded with over one hundred branches in the United Kingdom and more than ten thousand branches worldwide. We are also a member of the Free Churches Group in the United Kingdom.
Christ Apostolic Church is an indigenous African Church. By its structure, beliefs and practices, it is an independent Pentecostal Church and is regarded as the first African Pentecostal Church.
The history of the Church is traceable directly to our forefathers, 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 Faith Tabernacle era of 1918-1928 characterised by the formation of praying groups such as the Precious or Diamond Society found in small pockets all over Nigeria. The brethren in control of this group were Joseph Sadare, D.O. Odubanjo, Oba I.B. Akinyele (late Olubadan of Ibadan) and Miss Sophia Odunlami.
The majority of the members of the first group of Diamond Society were worshipers at St. Savior’s Anglican Church, Ijebu-Ode, where they began meeting regularly for prayers and spiritual guidance. In 1918, D. O. Odubanjo 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 from their jobs and withdraw their children from the Anglican Schools which were in existence at that period in their vicinities.
But in less than a decade, branches of the group had been established in Lagos, Ibadan, Ilesa, Oyan, Ile-Ife, Minna, Jos and Zaria. Their members had also imbibed reliance on the power of prayer, divine healing and total reliance on the power of the all-sufficiency God.
Fortunately, the Great Revival of 1930 with Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola as its medium, which emerged in July 1930 at Oke Ooye, Ilesa became the anchor for the establishment of the Church.
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.
This 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 diseases 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 and drop every fetish materials they possess for destruction.
Meanwhile, the Church leaders were subjected to avoidable intimidation, harassment and humiliation at different levels of society. So, on their behalf, Mr D. O. Odubanjo sought cooperation 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 bond of fellowship between the two religious bodies. For a time, the religious activities of the white brothers complemented the religious exploits which God had been doing through his servants Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola.
From the side of Nigeria, the hope that the partnership would mitigate, if not eliminate their untold sufferings and persecutions became an illusion. The partnership, however, staggered for a decade before it crumbled during the 1939/40 crisis.
As a result of the disagreement over the issue of “Divine Healing”, two groups 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 time, God revealed to the Apostle to name the Revival Group “APOSTOLIC CHURCH”, around 1939, the name was changed to NIGERIAN APOSTOLIC CHURCH. It was later changed to UNITED APOSTOLIC CHURCH until 1942 when God specifically revealed that the name of the Church should be CHRIST APOSTOLIC CHURCH.
As God had given them the same work given to the apostles. 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 strains and stresses.
Stiff opposition came from the detractors of the Church including some of the orthodox churches, most government officers, some Kings and high chiefs even evil forces. There were also problems of internal administration, inadequate training, recruitment of unqualified Church personnel and weak finances just to mention but a few of the challenges faced by the Church.
However, the following factors later tilted the pendulum in favour 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 the church then gave it their support, this made the growth of the Church to be a rapid one. The oil boom of the 1960s provided more money for better church personnel throughout Nigeria and other African countries.
The golden era of the Church ended in 1959 when Pastor D. O. Odubanjo the first General Superintendent and Apostle Joseph Babalola, the first General Evangelist died. The history of the Church witnessed remarkable developments such as the establishment of a Bible Training College, Ede (1952) (the Bible Training College moved to Erio Ekiti in 1954, to Efon Alaaye in 1958 and 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 Joseph Ayo Babalola University (2000) 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 European and American literature 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, divine healing and holy living, the focal point of all tenets and practices of the Church is prayer. And when accompanied by fasting, it could accomplish the impossible. The church has a strong belief in the efficacy of prayer and that no divine healing could be achieved without FAITH and TRUST in Jesus Christ.
These two virtues are the bedrock of the Church’s spiritual power which made the Church experience growth. As a Pentecostal denomination, the Church, by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, is administered by the orders of Apostle, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and teachers. Ultimate power rest with the Authority of the Church; but it involves elders/deacons, women leaders (deaconess) and leaders of recognised organisations as found appropriate in the process of administration (Eph. 4:11-13).
In sum, for a little over eight decades of its existence, the Christ Apostolic Church has grown from groups of persecuted and inconsequential Christians to a church denomination that today claims some five million adherents residing in different parts of the world.
The Church possesses its uniqueness and identity in liturgy hinged on praying and singing of hymns, anthems and choruses. It had an impelling message of worshipping in a truly African pattern for all Nigerians. The most distinctive feature of the Church attractive to people of different faiths is the tenacious belief in and practice of divine and Christian healing.
No wonder people flock to the C.A.C. seeking solutions to their social, religious, existential and psychological problems. This emphasises the fact that Jesus Christ still heals and can still be relied upon to provide for all needs as He is the same yesterday, today and forever and that nothing about him changes, though human beings may change in their belief, behaviour and attitude towards him as recorded in the Bible.
On Sunday, September 13, 2020, the Christ Apostolic Church Pilgrims Tabernacle was founded in the United Kingdom with roughly 35 members.
In the year 2020, the charity was registered. Through her humanitarian involvement, the church has made a significant contribution to the development and improvement of the neighbourhood.
Registration: The church obtained Registration Number 1192782 from the Charity Commission in November 2020.
The unity of the Godhead and the Trinity of the persons therein.
The utter depravity of human nature, the necessity for repentance and regeneration and the Eternal Doom of the finally impenitent.
The Virgin Birth, Sinless life, Atoning Death, Triumphant Resurrection, Ascension and Abiding Intercession of our Lord Jesus Christ; His Second Coming and Millennial Reign upon the earth.
Justification and Sanctification of the Believers through the finished work of Christ.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit for Believers with signs following.
The nine gifts of the Holy Spirit for the edification, exhortation and comfort of the Church which is the body of Christ.
The Sacraments of Baptism by Immersion and of the Lord’s Supper.
The divine inspiration and authority of the Holy Scriptures.
Church Government by Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, Church Teachers and Elders/Deacon.
The possibility of falling from grace.
Faith-obligatory nature of Tithes and Offerings.
Faith in God, the Jehovah Jireh to supply all financial needs.
Divine Healing through obedience to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ and Faith in his name and merits of his blood for all sickness, disease and infirmities.
To learn more about our core values and principles, why not contact us?