Olugbemi Victoria Kikelomo PhD
Department of History& International Studies,
Faculty of Arts, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko.
The advocacy for water therapy in this 21st century reminds one of a lady who through new faith studied the Holy Bible and discovered the use of water for healing during the global epidemics which broke out after the First World War in 1918. The fact remains that she successfully preached it in spite of opposition to the level where she collaborated with other believers to establish a Pentecostal church in Yorubaland noted for divine healing. The concern of this paper therefore is to bring into limelight this notable woman, Miss Sophia Odunlami, as a heroine of divine healing at a period when the European Christian Missionaries and the British Colonial Government in Nigeria could not find cure for the influenza epidemic. She propagated water therapy which was used to cure her people from influenza attack. Both primary and secondary sources of historical methodology were engaged to reveal the ingenuity of Sophia as an unsung heroine of water therapy which today, the medical researchers found water to be good for healing. The paper concludes that bringing her life to limelight will encourage women with exceptional vision in this present generation to boldly translate it into mission for national development.
KEYWORD: Water-Therapy, Healing, Epidemics, Pentecostal, Development.
Historically, water has been used to cure ailments such as it happened in the Holy Bible during the period of Prophet Elisha who told Naaman, the Syrian Commander, a leper to bath in river Jordan for seven times. It was recorded in 2 Kings that after doing that, he became healed from the leprosy and his skin became refreshed like the skin of a new born baby1. In the same manner, in the New Testament, the use of water for cure otherwise known either as hydrotherapy or as water therapy was stated in the gospel of John in the Holy Bible thus:
that at Jerusalem by the sheep market, there is a pool which is called in the Hebrew language Bethesda in which lay a multitude of impotent folks, of blind, halt withered waiting for the move of the water for healing and that the first to step into the water after an angel had troubled the water would be healed2.
Apart from the Biblical record, medical records show that Hippocrates, the father of medicine prescribed the use of spring water bathing for the treatment of illnesses3 It is also on record that the use of water for healing was part of the culture of the ancient times especially in ancient Greek, Romans and Egyptian peoples.4 In Britain, there was a record in 1700 A. D. which stated the existence of water therapies through immersion in bath at mineral Spa and the soaking of feet in foot-bath each night5. In India, water is said to be used for curing insanity while the American History Blog stated that during the civil war that St. Elizabeth Hospital used water to treat the wounded soldiers6. Examples of successful use of water for cure or healing from ages are also on record such as the cure for burns through shower or immersion techniques, to produce vasodilation i.e. the widening of blood vessels and vasoconstriction that is narrowing of the blood vessel resulting from contraction of the muscular wall of the vessel, in particular the large arteries and the small arterioles. Also, the consumption of a gutful of water after waking up in the morning to cleanse the bowel is known as Indian, Chinese or Japanese water Therapy7etc Today, it has become known to different nations especially in Nigeria.
In 1800A.D, the idea of using water as inducement of something called a crisis came to existence with the belief that when water invades any crack, wounds or imperfections in the skin which were filled with impure fluids, it would flush out the impurities out which would rise to the surface of the skin to produce pus7.The crisis can be stimulated through sweating, the head bath, the sitting bath, the douche bath to gently expose the patient to cold water in different ways 8 In 1821, a frail and sickly lad called Sebastian Knaipp learned about Priestniz and his water therapy, he tried to plunge himself into Roy water and later discovered that after he plunged himself to the river, he became healthy.9 This became the basis of naturopathy
The modern revival of water therapy which for long ages and races has been associated with spiritual and natural treatment came to the fore in 1702 A.D. through the publication of John Floyer, a Physician of Lichfield,, who was struck by the remedial use of certain springs by the neighbouring peasantry, investigated the history of cold water and published a book on it10. The book was widely circulated in Germany and titled the book The Healing Virtues of Cold Water, Inwardly and Outwardly as Proved by Experience on the medical use of water11.
In 1863 A.D., another British Pathologist, Dr. I. W. Blackburn who was the first Specialist pathologist in St. Elizabeth Hospital introduced the use of hydro therapy to treat insanity12. In 1893 A.D., Dr. G.W. Foster used cold packs to the head to treat insanity and subsequently, the school instruction for School of Nursing began the same year13. In 1899 A.D., the School of Nursing became formalized as a two year certificate course with promotion and a raise in pay for graduands14.
In 1918 A.D., the use of water therapy was also discovered by Miss Sophie Odunlami in Isoyin a few kilometers from Ijebu-Ode in Ogun state, Nigeria during the outbreak of influenza epidemic worldwide after the First World War15. Like Prophet Elisha who directed Naaman, the Syrian Commander to bath in River Jordan through spiritual revelation, Sophie also claimed divine instruction through the Holy Spirit to use rain water to cure the influenza that struck her partially. She claimed to use the rain water after reading her Holy Bible to confirm her revelation16. After using the rain water, she discovered that she was totally healed of the influenza which the British Colonial Government and the Christian Missionaries could not find cure for, except to issue instruction to decongest everywhere and they ordered the closing of schools and churches in Yorubaland17.
From the above, it is established that revelations about the use of water for healing came to different people all over the world spiritually, accidentally or by experience. However, water therapy for healing has become another alternative to medicine globally. From the available records, other parts of the world documented the period and those that discovered the use of water but in Yorubaland Sophie was not properly documented as the first to propagate the use of water which eventually led to the establishment of Precious Stone in 1920 A.D. which is the beginning of Pentecostalism in Yorubaland18. From historical perspective, it seems that Africans” inability to document discoveries by them in the past accounted for the Euro-centric view that Africa is a dark continent.. Many Africans either for lack of ability to write or for fear of sharing the discoveries made them to keep these discoveries as sacred and kept them in secrecy so as to be the sole-proprietor/proprietress, but unfortunately, many had been buried with their discoveries. They eventually denied their generation and the incoming generation the benefit of having access into such discoveries, this had to a large extent contributed to the under-development of Africa. The implication is that the uplifting of the human development, the level of infrastructural development and economic growth would be at very low ebb when compared with other nations with higher rate of development.
Development therefore according to Adefolaju involves all facet of human life- economic, social, cultural, technological etc 19 while Tamas also posits that “development is a process in which people become more active agents of improving their circumstances20” Likewise, Fust expatiated upon their postulations by saying that “the religious and spiritual values that promote development are expressed at the level of individual and collective behaviour21” From the above views of development, the contribution of an individual to economic growth, social life, cultural and technological advancement is very crucial to every nation hence, every nation has to develop her human resources. In doing so, both the spiritual and religious values of individuals are essential in order to build a harmonious society that would engender development.
From the beginning of the 20th century, Pentecostalism has been a potent agent of development across the globe starting from the translation of the Holy Bible in 1900 A.D. to about 118 languages which stimulated the establishment of independent churches22. The availability of the Holy Bible in local languages to new converts is accountable for the waves of Pentecostalism that cut across the world and thus made independent churches to be Bible-Centred not relying on the preaching and teachings of the Christian Missionaries. This has led to personal encounter which has challenged the status quo. This has revived the spiritual consciousness of men and women across the world in the likes of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. These Apostles through the inspiration of Holy Spirit that was poured out on the day of Pentecost replaced the Judaism, the Jewish religion.
Pentecostalism as recorded in the Acts of Apostles in the Holy Bible was aptly described as:
the sudden sound from heaven as of rushing mighty wind , filling the house where people are gathered and appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire and sat upon all of them and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost23
In another way, Pentecostalism is the descending of Holy Spirit either as the word of God is being shared or during prayer on people which eventually lead to outbreak of revival reminiscent of sign and wonders. Thus, churches where there is evidence of divine encounter of the Holy Spirit with signs and wonders following are referred to as Pentecostal. The origin of Pentecostalism in Yorubaland emanated from the revelation of Miss Sophia Odunlami and other manifestations of Holy Spirit which led her to meet Elder Sadare who also believed in the dream of Sexton Alli to establish a Prayer Band which later metamorphosed to Precious Stone, Faith Tabernacle, Nigerian Apostolic to Church and later divided to The Apostolic Church and The Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) between 1918 A.D. to 1930 A.D. when Apostle Ayodele Babalola joined the group. It therefore behooves on this paper to put in proper perspectives for this generation and the coming generations the contributions of Mrs Sophie Ajayi nee Odunlami to social, economic and spiritual growth of Yoruba Society.
.. The focuses of this paper therefore are to ;
- highlight the roles played by Prophetess Sophia Odunlami-Ajayi in laying the foundation upon which the church was built.
- elicit proper recognition for her contribution to the origin and the growth of CAC as it had been given to Apostle Babalola, Pastor Odubanjo and Oba Akinyele who joined the group after her.
- bring into limelight the ingenuity of Prophetess Sophie Odunlami-Ajayi as the originator of water for healing in Yorubaland which scientists are now propagating as alternative to medicine
- also create awareness to upcoming generation of Africans especially our youths that when any idea is dropped into their consciousness, they must strive to translate it into a mission like Prophetess Sophie in order to bring development to Nigeria.
- also let it be known globally that Africans have the human capacity to develop technologically and scientifically if due recognition is giving to the efforts of individuals without any bias against women so as to bring women out of their shells to utilize their potentials for the development of the nation.
Background History of Prophetess Mrs Sophie Odunlami-Ajayi
Prophetess Sophie Odunlami Ajayi was born into the family of late Pa David Odunlami and Madam Kehinde Odunlami in1900 A.D during the British Government Colonial era in Isonyin24. Isoyin is about eight kilometer from Ijebu-Ode in the Northeast Local Government Area of Ogun State in Nigeria25. Her parents were blessed with five children who were Isaac Adeona, Jeremiah Ibukun, Alice, Abigail Olorunfemi and Sophie Adefowoke. She attended Emmanuel Primary School at Isonyin from where she proceeded to Ibadan for her Secondary Education at Kudeti Girls School and she was trained as a teacher at Domestic Science School at Ibadan26
After her education at Ibadan, she started her career as a primary school teacher in various schools around Ijebu province. According to Iyiola, among the school where she taught were Epiphany School, Erunwon, Anglican Girls Grammar School, Ijebu-Ode, Precious Stone Mission School and Parako United School, Igbile to mention a few.27
Divine Encounter with the Holy Spirit
The bombardment of Ijebu-Ode in 1892 A.D. by the British colonists opened the area to Christianity with the establishment of churches and the introduction of Western education into Ijebuland28. The Anglican Church otherwise known as Christian Missionary Society (CMS) was the first to have a foothold in Ijebuland. During this period, a young girl known as Sophie Adefowoke became converted to Christianity and became a beneficiary of western education. In spite of the fact that she became converted, her father remained African Traditional Religionist who was opposed to the conversion of her daughter into Christianity. She therefore faced strong opposition from her father but rather than denouncing her new found faith, the opposition strengthened her conversion.29 She was said to be a devoted Christian of Anglican Church like other Ijebu-Ode who believed that “ prayer is the weapon of the Whiteman against African Traditional Religion”30 This belief was a motivating factor for those attending the schools established by the Christian Missionaries more so when it enabled them to benefit from the economic advantages associated with western education such as becoming teachers, interpreters or sales clerks. Thus, she had her primary education in Isonyin area of Ijebu-ode from where she proceeded to Kudeti Girl’s School at Ibadan for her secondary school education. The journey and her stay in Ibadan also exposed her to more biblical facts about the teachings on faith, Holy Spirit baptism and divine healing. After her secondary education, she proceeded to Domestic Science School which is another Missionary School and trained as a teacher. She thereby became more involved in Christian doctrine and activities.
The Manifestation of Divine Power
The First World War which broke out in 1914 A.D. came to an end in 1918 A.D. with a devastating outbreak of influenza epidemic all over the world31. In Nigeria, the influenza epidemic spread to Italupe, Ijebu-Ode where Sophie was teaching32. According to Iyiola, Sophie was partially affected by the influenza; she prayed and claimed to have received divine instruction to use rain water to bath for the cure33. In obedience to the claimed divine instruction, she made use of rainwater and discovered that she was healed without the use of orthodox medicine34. She claimed that God instructed her to preach the message to others hence, after she was healed, she started to preach about the use of rain therapy for healing the influenza epidemic35. This was a time when the British Colonial Government closed all the government institutions including the churches at Ijebu-Ode in Yorubaland in order to curtail the spread of the epidemic36 In spite of the fact that her father who was a traditionalist vehemently opposed to her preaching, she did the preaching with all her vigour from Italupe through to Isonyin, and to Ijebu area and Ibadan axis. The ways she started to preach the gospel of water therapy made her father to think that she had run mad37. He therefore locked her up in a room but surprisingly, there was a claim that the door of the room like the case of Paul and Silas in the bible opened of its own volition for her to escape from her father’s detention38.
Apart from the fact that Sophie was the first to prophesy that water could be used for healing the influenza epidemics in 1918 A.D. She also claimed that God told her that on a certain day, a rain would fall and that any afflicted person who allowed the rain to beat him/ her or wash with the rain water of that day would be healed. To prove her claim, when the rain fell on the day she mentioned, she herself being afflicted with the influenza and others who believed, entered the rain and were cured miraculously. The unfortunate thing was that in spite of the healing experienced by the people who used the rain water with her, many people believed that what she did was abnormal because her claim of hearing a strange voice telling her to use rain was demonic. They believed that only demonically possessed people can communicate with the ‘unknown in Yorubaland’39. Hence, her father, Mr. David Odunlami who was a traditionalist also thought that Sophie was acting in a strange manner, started to use every possible means to restrain her from propagating the message so that she would not bring shame to the family40.That notwithstanding, when she persisted in the propagation of her belief, her father delivered her to a witch doctor to eliminate her so that his family would not be associated with strange ailment called insanity41. During this period, the Yoruba were very protective of their family name and lineage integrity and would not want anything that could tarnish the family name like insanity hence, the extreme measure taken by her father42. It was the custom in Yorubaland that enquiries must be made into a family before a marriage is accepted to take place between two families to detect any ailments or any tarnishing behaviours such as insanity or stealing. This was done for the upbringing of a disciplined family which the Yoruba believes is the bedrock of a responsible society. The Yoruba believes in racing up a child in the ‘Omoluabi’ concept which means a responsible child who would uphold the ideals of the society, therefore to achieve this objective, must not marry from a family with dented image. David Odunlami therefore as a protective father, went into the extreme due to the exigency at the time, to mete out punishment as a corrective measure in order to protect the family image, more so when Sophie was about 18 years and was a spinster. However, every effort to eliminate her proved abortive because she was said to be escaping from her persecutors in a miraculous manner like Paul and Silas in the Holy Bible43.Her father in collaboration with his traditionalists put her in detention, and she faced some many ordeals from her father and his co-traditional members, but always ended in miraculous escape.
She started to preach on a Sunday with more intensity the use of water from Isonyin, to Ibadan and to Ijebu-Ode where she met people who also believed more in what they read in the Holy Bible about the power of prayer and faith in God44. The group was led by Elder Joseph Sadare at Saint Saviours’ Church at Ijebu-Ode known as a Prayer Band (PB).Since Elder Sadare also claimed to have dreamt about the power of prayer embraced Sophie and accommodated her and utilized her potentials as an evangelist, a composer and a school mistress to the school established by the Prayer Band and Precious Stone at Ijebu-Ode. She devoted all her time and energy to the success of the school to develop the students in the art of prayer, Bible Study, Home Economics, Singing and Counselling. Sophie Odunlami who later got married to John Olatunji. Ajayi in Yorubaland with a view to discuss that the divine healing which is the hallmark of the CAC today was first introduced to the precursors of the church even before the emergence of Apostle Joseph Ayodele Babalola who today synonymous with divine healing through the use of water. Contrary to this belief that Apostle Babalola started the use of water for healing which culminated into the 1930A.D. revival, a lady in her teens called Sophie was actually the first to use and propagate the use of water for healing in Yorubaland during the influenza epidemic which broke out in 1918 A.D.. People should have faith in the Lord God only.
According to Iyiola, some of the popular miracles that were claimed to have been performed by her among the following include:
- She miraculously disappeared from the evil forest when her father threw her in an attempt to eliminate her.
- When they also locked her up in a room, the doors opened of its own accord like that of the Paul and Silas.
- At another occasion when she was left in a dark cell for 7days, again, a mysterious oil lamp supplied illumination to the cell for the 7days.
- Also, when she escaped from the cell at Isonyin and on her way to Ijebu-Ode.she claimed to have been divinely shielded alongside with her escorts, even though her pursuers went past them several times without seeing her and her escorts45
The zeal and the enthusiasm of Sophie to propagate divine healing led to her acceptability as a member of Diamond Band at Saint Saviour’s Anglican Church in Ijebu-Ode. She used to preach that
- People should pray to God frequently in the name of Jesus
- People should ask God alone for all their needs, protection, materials and financial needs.
- People should move closer to God in holiness, Bible reading and prayer
- People should not participate in idol and pagan worship.
The preaching of Sophie also led to the formation of Prayer Band which was inaugurated as a result of the claimed vision of the Sexton of the church. The claimed vision of the duo of Sophie on ‘divine healing and that of the Sexton on the ‘power of prayer’ made the PB to challenge some unbiblical practices in the church such as infant baptism and this eventually led to their ex-communication by the Anglican Bishop of Lagos Diocese Melville Jones, who was presiding over Saint Saviours’ Church at Ijebu-Ode46. After the ex-communication of the Prayer Band for their insistence of water for healing and other biblical injunctions such as speaking in tongues, no infant baptism, use of jewelry etc, she with other members of the Band started the Precious Stone which is the forerunner of Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) in1920 A.D.47.She spearheaded the establishment of Nursery and Primary School for the children of the excommunicated members of the Prayer Band (PB) because she was a teacher. The contributions of Sophie to the establishment and growth of CAC before and after the metamorphoses of Precious Stone to Faith Tabernacle to The Nigerian Apostolic Church to Christ Apostolic Church cannot be underestimated. Consequently, only few members of CAC who undertake a research activity on CAC are aware of her enormous contributions to the formation, establishment and growth of CAC. In spite of her pioneering activities in divine healing since 1918, she remained in the background of divine healing, and non-usage of jewelry which is the hallmark of Pentecostal churches such as CAC, The Apostolic Church, Deeper Life Ministry, Mountain of Fire and Miracles to mention a few, the credits was given to Apostle Joseph Ayodele Babalola in 1930. A.D. This is probably because the use of water by Babalola was claimed to have raised a dead body named Olabanji Olatunji or that the activities of Sophie’s use of water was subsumed in the activities of the Precious Stone where Sadare was seen as the figure head. On the other hand, it might be that the people who were healed through her ministration did not actually spread the news like that of Babalola’s claimed healing. However, as a pioneer of an alien practice in an unusual time, twenty-two years after she received persecution instead of acceptance Babalola in his period enjoyed acceptance after Sophie had propagated the use of water for healing. However, she was not also widely acknowledged and encouraged because of patriarchy tradition which sees a woman as a weaker vessel.
They became more resolute and fervent in prayer, the belief in prophecy and divine healing propagated by Sophie Odunlami was said to put an end to the death of children49. Hence, the use of water for healing became essential aspect of the tenets of the Precious Stone (PS) because it was a biblical fact. Within a short period, they had increased in population and they were called ‘The Aladura’ and became the precursors of Pentecostal church in Yorubaland and this body after three transformation era became the Christ Apostolic Church in 1930 A.D.. From this period, the Precious Stone has been self-financing, Self-Supporting and Self-Sustaining and independent of any foreign influence.
Apart from being the precursor of divine healing and a strong member of the Pentecostalism in Yorubaland, Sophie was also the supervisor of the school established by the group to cater for the educational needs of their children. Due to her claim of Holy Spirit baptism, she also became a clairvoyant and audioyant which she used for the benefit of many people. She became a counsellor to many couples and claimed to have performed miracles of divine healing, sign and wonders through her ministrations on the platform of the Precious Stone. In 1941 A.D/, she got married to Mr John Olatunji Ajayi with whom they both worked together as a teacher at the Precious Stone Mission School at Ijebu-Ode, Shortly after her marriage, she was promoted to the post of Education Officer which qualified her to teach at the Domestic Science School at Ijebu-Ode. It must be noted that the school became the first private primary school in Ijebu—Ode through the combined efforts of this couple Mr. $ Mrs. John. Olatunji. Ajayi. From evidences available, she had a very harmonious marital relationship with her husband and this further strengthened her position as a leading evangelist of the Precious Stone. Also, her training in music, playing of organ, the piano and the violin thereby became an adept musicologist and a composer of songs for the group. These songs composed by Sophie are still in use in the hymn books of Precious Stone, Faith Tabernacle, The Apostolic Church Christ, Apostolic Church, and other Pentecostal Churches until today. One of the songs is
“E fun ‘pe na kikan,
ko dun jake jado,
leti gbogbo eda,
Chorus: Odun Idasile ti de
Pada elese, pada”.2ice48
Blow the trumpet,
The evangelical trumpet,
To sound across
The hearing of all creatures
Chorus: Here comes the year of release,
Repent, oh ye sinners
Her roles as an evangelist, singer, counselor, teacher, organist and violinist sustained and contributed to attraction of converts and people of like minds like David Ogunleye Odubanjo who later introduced the Faith Tabernacle to them which subsequently led to the merging of the Precious Stone with the Faith Tabernacle and spread to other parts of Yorubaland.
Expansion of Precious Stone
The coming of a police officer, David Ogunleye Odubanjo further strengthened the group. He introduced into the group the power of prevailing prayers which he saw in a torn magazine of the Faith Tabernacle known as “The Sword of the Spirit”51. The torn magazine contained the seven principles of the prevailing prayer that in consonance with the doctrines of the Precious Stone. Through correspondence with the Faith Tabernacle (FT) in Philadelphia under the leadership of Pastor Clarke, Pennsylvania in the United States of America, embraced the doctrine of PS with the exception of speaking in tongues, vision and dreams which the group has been practicing before then. However, the group later affiliated with the Faith Tabernacle to become Precious Stone Faith Tabernacle (PSFT) in 192352. They continued in the power of prayer and the use of water for healing in Yorubaland as the group spread to other parts of Nigeria. The group continued to face persecution from the Orthodox Churches because they were purely indigenous; hence, David Odubanjo was made a pastor by proxy to oversee the activities of the church and to coordinate the members from across Nigeria.
Consequent upon the Pastor Clarke’s unbiblical view on speaking in tongues, vision and dreams with the incidence of his adultery, divorce and expulsion by the Faith Tabernacle in Philadelphia, the group decided in 1928 to affiliate with another group known as the Faith and Truth Temple (FTT) in Canada53. With the affiliation, seven missionaries were sent from FTT in, Canada with a mandate to establish a mission in Upper Volta, unfortunately, three of them (Rev. Ralph Curfew, Miss Daisy Crawford and the secretary of the party died of bubonic plague because they did not use any preventive medicine as they also embraced divine healing of PSFT. It should be noted .that the death of these missionaries cannot be attributed to their belief in divine healing because it was eventually discovered by Pastor J. A. Medaiyese and Brother Larsey that accompanied them from Nigeria to Upper Volta that they were secretly using medicine and that Mr. Myers took his wife to hospital Hence, their claim of embracing divine healing was not genuine. The PSFT parted ways with the survivors of the Canada group because of their insincerity. The PSFT remained without affiliation to any other Western World until 1931A.D., rather they kept on evangelizing and propagating the gospel of water for healing which attracted more members to the group from other parts of Nigeria. For example, Mr. Otubusin introduced the group to Mr. Babatope in Ilesa, Elder Aina introduced the group to late Oba Akinyele at Ibadan, Pastor Adegboyega joined and became the leader of the group in Lalupon, Elebu and Ile-Igbo while the Post and Telegraph (P&T) traders spread the group to Birnin-Kebbi , Kontagora, and Makurdi. It spread through the contacts among friends, members and associates to Abeokuta, Oyan and Ile-Ife between 1920 A.D.and 1928A.D. before the calling of Apostle Joseph Ayodele Babalola who is today known as the father of water for healing otherwise known as divine healing.
The PSFT continued to run fellowship for the outbreak of revival through fasting and prayer for seven years before Apostle Babalola received his calling on the 9th of October, 1928 A.D. The need for this prayer and fasting emanated from the unhealthy rivalries among the leaders in orthodox churches that degenerated to the use of charms, amulets, juju, bribery and corruption that pervaded the promotion of the clergies as preferential treatment were given to members of Ogboni Secret Society in the name of indigenization of the church. Thus, the obedience of Apostle Babalola to his calling was received as answer to their seven years prayer for the outbreak of revival in Yorualand. Hence, when Elder Ajibola, a member of the PSFT met Apostle Babalola at Ilofa propelled him to direct him to PSFT in Lagos54. Fortunately on the day that Apostle Babalola was to be officially introduced to the members during the General Council Meeting at Oke-Ooye, Ilesa in 1930, A.D. a revival broke out through the young Apostle Babalols who was said to have raised a dead boy (Olabanji, the son of Victoria Adetola Ogundipe) claimed to have been in a state of inertia for two days came back to life55. Spontaneously, many people in thousands among whom were Muslims Herbalists, and Orthodox Churches bombarded the venue and started to draw water from River Aayo which also miraculously was claimed to heal various diseases56. Consequently, Apostle Babalola became known as the pioneer of water for healing as even people from hospitals were withdrawn to receive their healings from the revival57. Eventually, the revival spread to nooks and crannies of Nigeria and to other parts of Africa. After the death of Apostle Babalola, another Prophet known as Aposle Dr Timothy Oluwole Obadare emerged and continued the propagation of water for healing which is today known as Koseunti water (Water that can do all things which never fail)
Today, people with physical, social, political, financial and spiritual ailments exercise faith in the use of water for healing. Many doctors, herbalists, muslims, Christians and even atheists believed in the use of water for healing. As discoveries have been made on the healing power of water, in the past centuries to different people all over the World, it has been medically accepted that water has healing power to cure ailments such as insanity, constipation, rashes, stomach troubles, cough, leprosy, even cancer etc. For example, Dr. Gupta said that the second step to cure cancer is to blend a whole lemon fruit with a cup of hot water and drink it for about 1-3 months before food and cancer would disappear58. Masaru Emoto authored more than eight books on the healing power of water emphasizing the use of water for a healthy living such as The Hidden Messages in Water, Water Crystal Oracle: Based on the Work of Masaru Emoto, Leap of Perception: The Transforming Power of Your Attention etc59.
In Yorubaland, the precursor of divine healing was Mrs. Sophia Odunlami-Ajayi who forsook her family to devote all her energy and resources to ensure the use of water for healing. It became widespread during the period of Apostle Babalola in 1930A.D. and further taken beyond the shores of African continent by Apostle Dr. Obadare with the use of Koseunti Water. It is therefore the submission of this paper that as the precursor of water therapy, she must be accorded due recognition as an apostle of water therapy in Yorubaland.
The paper also shows those African women especially Sophie in Nigeria from ages are capable of translating ideas and vision into reality; however they had not been brought into limelight because of cultural biases against women. Women in Nigeria must be accorded due recognition and giving accolades commensurate with their achievements like their male counterparts to encourage other women to emulate her for national development. Sophie apart from the vision she translated into reality, was co- pioneer of private school in Ijebuland. She was also a composer of some of Gospel Hymn Books in use in virtually all Pentecostal churches today
Finally, it is discovered that God continued to reveal to humanity without preference for race or colour of skin new knowledge every day and that the effects of translating the visions/ revelations into reality is accountable for the rate of development of nations of the World through the determination and temerity of individuals. According to Masaru Emoto in his book titled The Hidden Messages in Water reveals that”water from clear springs and water that has been exposed to loving words show brilliant, complex, and colourful snowflake patterns while in contrast, polluted water, or water exposed to negative thoughts, forms incomplete, asymmetrical patterns with dull colours”60 The implication is that water is a life force and energy giver, therefore, to enjoy good health, we must always be cheerful, exhibit habit of happiness and joy since water is exposed to our thoughts and our body is 100% before birth, about70% at middle age61. It is essential that water flow well in our system to avoid ailments and sudden death.
- King James Version, The Holy Bible:2 Kings Chapter 5:14. Claretian Publications, 2010:532.
- Ibid., 13-460. (John5:2).
- History of Water Therapy at https://www.watercures.org., accessed on 13/06/2018
https://en.m.wikipedia.org.wiki.hydrotherapy. Accessed on 13/06/2018
- https://www.watercures.org. accessed on 13/06/2018
- https://en.m.wikipedia.org.wiki.hydrotherapy. Accessed on 13/06/ 2018.
- A Brief History of Water Therapy at www.oohoi.com. accessd on13/06/2018
- Physical Therapy at www.vichyshower.com. Accessed on 13/06/2018
- Water Werks, History and Evolution of Hydrotherapy at www.vichyshower.com. Accessed on 13/06/2018
- The First Government Hospital for Insane at Cantonassylum for insane Indians.com.
- Olugbemi V.K., “Emergence and Development of Christ Apostolic Church in Southwest, Nigeria, 1918-1991” An Unpublished Ph.D.Thesis, 2014:76.
- Oral interview with Mrs Okanlawon, Mrs Sophie Ajayi’s adopted daughter, a proprietress, through phone across to her in London on31/09/2016.
- Olugbemi V.K.,”Emergence and Development of Christ Apostolic Church”op.cit.
- Ibid., 76.
- Adefolaju T, “Global Economic Challenges: Trade Union Growth Implications in Nigeria” in Journal of Pan African Studies, Vol.5, No6, September,2012:3
- Andy Tamas, “Spirituality and Development: Concepts and Categories, a paper prepared for the Dialogue on Spirituality in Sustainable Development sponsored by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) Ottawa,) in June, 1996. See PDFwww.tamas.com>samples” accessed on 16/06/2018
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- King James Version, The Holy Bible Acts of Apostles chapter2:3-4, op.cit. 1392
- Oral interview with Pastor Iyiola T.O., aged 50years, a pastor at C.A. C. Oke-Ibukun, Isoyin 30/09/2016
- Olugbemi V.K., “Emergence and Development of Christ Apostolic Church in Southwest, Nigeria, 1918-1991” op.cit.71.
- Oral interview with Pastor Iyiola T.O.. aged 50years, a pastor at C.A. C. Oke-Ibukun, Isoyin 30/09/2016
- Olugbemi V.K., “Emergence and Development of Christ Apostolic Church in Southwest, Nigeria, 1918-1991” op.cit.72
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- Ibid. Also see Olugbemi V.K., “Emergence and Development of Christ Apostolic Church in Southwest, Nigeria, 1918-1991” op.cit.75.
- Oral interview with Pastor Iyiola, T. O.aged 50years, a pastor at C.A.C Oke-Ibukun,Isonyin on 30/09/2016.
- Oral. Interview with Pastor Iyiola T.O., aged 50, a pastor at C.A.C Oke-Ibukun, Isonyin on 30/09/2016.
- .King James Version, The Holy Bible Acts of Apostles chapter16:25-26, op.cit. 1419.
- . Oral interview with Pastor Iyiola T.O., aged 50years, a pastor at C.A. C. Oke-Ibukun, Isoyin 30/09/2016
- Oral interview with Pastor Iyiola T.O. , aged 50years, a pastor at C.A. C. Oke-Ibukun, Isoyin 30/09/2016,
46 Olugbemi V.K., “Emergence and Development of Christ Apostolic Church in Southwest, Nigeria, 1918-1991” op.cit.77.
.48. Oral interview with Pastor Iyiola T.O. , aged 50years, a pastor at C.A. C. Oke-Ibukun, Isoyin 30/09/2016
- J.D.Y.Peel, Aladura; A Religious Movement Among The Yoruba. London: Oxford University Press, 1967:63.
- Ephraim Adebola Ademowo, The Growth of The Apostolic Church in Ijesaland (1930-1990). Lagos: CSS Bookshop, 2010:18.
- Adeware Alokan., The Christ Apostolic Church, CAC 1928-1988. Akure: Ibukunolu Printers, 1991:30.. See also Olugbemi V.K., “Emergence and Development of Christ Apostolic Church in Southwest, Nigeria, 1918-1991” op.cit.82..
- Olugbemi V.K., “Emergence and Development of Christ Apostolic Church in Southwest, Nigeria, 1918-1991” op.cit.77.
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