Odunlami, Sophia

1900s Aladura Church

Sophia Odunlami, a descent of Isonyin in Ijebu-Ode province, has been referred to as the first female prophet and revivalist in Nigeria.[1] Her prophetic ministry stood out during the 1918 prayer revivals. Before her marriage to J. L. Ajayi, there were testimonies of several miracles and divine healings performed through her that spread her fame throughout the land. According to Ademakinwa, “everywhere she went to preach, the assemblies were filled beyond capacity.” [2] In addition, the ministry of this prophetess made the Precious Stone Society an irresistible centre of attraction [3] such that the news of the exploit of the new society got far and near, even to Lagos and beyond. Her prophetic vision had great impact on the healing of many from the dreadful effects of the influenza, and so many people resorted to join the prayer group.*

Timothy Smith Babatunde


  1. C. O. Oshun, “Christ Apostolic Church of Nigeria: A Suggested Pentecostal Consideration of its Historical, Organizational and Theological Development, 1918-1975”, (Unpublished PhD Dissertation, University of Exeter, Exeter, 1981), 38.
  2. J. A. Ademakinwa, History of the Christ Apostolic Church: The Faith of our Fathers (Grand Prairie: International Missions, 2012), 16.
  3. Deji Ayegboyin and Ademola Ishola, African Indigenous Churches: A Historical Perspective (Lagos: Greater Heights Publications, 1999), 67.

This excerpt*, received in 2020, is from the article “A Critical Assessment of the Contributions of the Anglican Communion to the Emergence and Development of the Aladura Pentecostals in Nigeria” (p11-12) written by Timothy Smith Babatunde, a Ph.D student in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Joseph Ayo Babalola University, Ikeji-Arakeji, PMB 5006, Ilesa, Osun State, Nigeria.