Odunlami, Sophia

Alternative Spellings: Sophia Ajayi
1900-1981
Aladura Church , Anglican Communion
Nigeria

Introduction

The history of the Aladura Movement in Nigeria, West Africa, is blessed with notable male and female personalities who displayed prophetic charisma at different stages of the emergence and development of the movement from 1918 onward. To this end, different historians of the Aladura Movement have described the religious practice of prayer and charismatic display of prophecy of the 1918 Prayer Band as the emergence of indigenous Pentecostalism in Nigeria.[1] Although the contributions of the male group of this period to the development of the movement have received more recognition among church historians home and abroad, this does not demean the impact of the female group in the movement. This historical piece appraises the role of women in the emergence and development of the Aladura using the life and ministry of Sophia Odunlami as its case study. Notably, Sophia Odunlami leads the pack of the female group who impacted the emergence of the Aladura Movement. This is simply because she was right there at the heart and the beginning of the movement. She also played vital roles in the transformation of the indigenously formed Prayer Band (Egbe Aladura) in Southwest Nigeria to a formidable African Pentecostal Movement.

The Family Background of Sophia Odunlami

Sophia Adefowoke Odunlami (also called Sophie) was delivered to the family of David and Kehinde Odunlami at Itun Araromi, Odole compound, Isonyin, in 1900. She came as the first bundle of joy received by the Odunlami.[2] Her cultural background is traceable to the persona her father represented among the Isonyin. David Odunlami was a member of the Laagba Traditional Institution of Isonyin. This institution is known for the high-level ritual purity and spiritual powers of its members. History has it that Odunlami single-handedly waged war against the Agemos of Ijebu on behalf of the Isonyin, and he bewildered their host.[3] This feat made him famous among his people; it also gave the Idole clan in Isonyin a high recognition among the people of Ijebu-Ode.

Despite his inclination toward African Traditional Religion (ATR), David Odunlami was also a member of the Anglican Church. This is possible because some early mission churches in Nigeria permitted such poly-religious behavior among their indigenous members. Also, Sophia’s grandfather was a well-recognized member of the Emmanuel Anglican Church, Isonyin. Owing to this, Sophia must have also become a member of the Anglican Church by birth whilst retaining the title of being the daughter of the respected African Traditional Religion practitioner in Isonyin. Later in life, Sophia Odunlami had four siblings—two younger brothers, Isaac Adeona Odunlami and Jeremiah Ibukun Odunlami, as well as two step-sisters, Alice Odunlami and Abigail Odunlami.

Educational Pursuit and Teaching Career

Among all the women who were featured in the emergence of the Aladura Movement in Nigeria, Sophia Odunlami could be referred to as the most educated. Contrary to what has been reported that the majority of the leaders of the Aladura group were illiterate, most of the early leaders had quality formal education. Some were business tycoons, teachers, respected civil servant officers, and the like. Sophia Odunlami joined the Aladura Movement as an educated female.

Sophia commenced her formal education at the Emmanuel Baptist Church Primary School, Isonyin. For the lack of tutors and headmaster, the pupils of the school were moved to St. Mary Catholic Church School for a year. Thus, Sophia also had the benefit of receiving formal education from the Roman Catholic school as well. She continued her education at Emmanuel Anglican Church Primary/Standard School after the school was revived. She passed her First School Leaving Certificate Examination in December 1918. As it was the school tradition, Sophia became a student-teacher at the Emmanuel Anglican Church School immediately. Nonetheless, because she was young, she did not stay long at the school. She also went to Kudeti Girls’ School, Ibadan, in 1918, where she encountered almost the same challenge. With the teaching experiences she gathered, Sophia sought for a formal teaching employment at Epiphany School, Eruwon, Ijebu-Ode, in 1919.[4] This could be referred to as the formal beginning of her teaching career.

Due to the challenges that ensued within her family, especially as it pertains her divine calling, Sophia served just for a year at Epiphany School. From Eruwon, she moved to the Anglican Girls’ School, Ijebu-Ode, in August 1920. She served in this school until December 1921. It should be noted that Sophia’s movement from one school to another was not because of her incapability; rather, it was due to the crisis of tradition and religion that she met wherever she went. For instance, she stopped working with the Anglican Girls’ School, Ijebu-Ode, due to the doctrinal crisis that ensued between the leadership of the Prayer Band and the Anglican Church, Italupe, Ijebu-Ode.

Notwithstanding the various challenges she faced, her teaching career did not end with her exist from the Anglican Girls’ School, Ijebu-Ode. She a pioneer teacher of the Precious Stone Society School founded in 1922. This school was the first indigenous school founded by the Aladura Movement. Afterwards, Sophia continued her education at the Domestic Science School, Ibadan. She graduated from the school and later joined the Parako United School, Igbile, near Ijebu-Ode, where she became a needle work instructor.[5] While Sophia was at Parako United School, Igbile, her tenacity for formal education was eventually rewarded. The incidence of her reward for love of education came in the late 1920s when E. T. Phillips, District Education Officer of Southwest Nigeria, visited her school on his routine tour of all the schools owned by the government. When she sighted the young female teacher at her duty post, he made enquiries concerning her and was highly impressed with her qualifications and experience. Phillips encouraged Sophia to write to the Women Education Officer and apply for the post of domestic science teacher in Ijebu-Ode, which she did. In no time, Sophia was appointed to fill the vacant position of the domestic science teacher in the Standard School in Ijebu-Ode.[6] This made her the first youngest indigenous female domestic science teacher to serve in Ijebu-Ode at the time.

At this juncture, Sophia Odunlami’s passion for education should be noted as an important aspect of the legacy this Aladura woman bequeathed to the movement and Christianity in Nigeria at large. She was a teacher before she received her divine calling. After she became a prophetess, she did not stop teaching formally. The challenges she encountered did not deter her from providing formal education for the younger generation.

The Divine Call to Ministry and the 1918 Influenza in Southwest Nigeria

The divine call of Sophia Odunlami is situated around the events of the 1918 influenza epidemic that affected several parts of world. Historical reports hold that the influenza was one of the major outcomes of World War I. This plague has also been ranked the deadliest in human history.[7] The epidemic struck Nigeria close to the end of the war, and it dealt a great blow on different coasts. In southern Nigeria alone, about 270,000 people (estimated as three percent of the total population of the people in the coast) were reported dead.[8]

The incidence of the divine call of Sophia Odunlami started when she got infected with the influenza toward the end of 1918. Due to this, she stopped teaching. All efforts to find healing through religious prayers and practices of African Traditional Religion, which her father attempted, proved abortive. On the fifth day of her sickness, as she lay indoors, it was reported that she had a divine encounter.[9] In the encounter, she heard an audible voice, which informed her of her healing as well as the end of the World War. The voice stated: “I shall send peace on this house and to the whole world. The World War is ended.” Indeed, Sophia became healed of the influenza and the World War ended as announced to her soon after the time she heard the voice. On November 11, 1918, the Armistice Day for World War I was declared, and all warring countries ceased fire.

The first incident with the Divine that Sophia had could have been considered a coincidence, but it was followed by another after Sophia became healed. While the influenza was still rampaging in southwest Nigeria and many people were still losing their lives, Sophia received a divine message stating that those who contracted the virus would die if they relied on orthodox medicine or traditionally made medicine. However, they would be healed if they believe in the divine power of the water from the rain. Remarkably, no rain had been falling at the time. Nevertheless, the rain began to fall after she declared the prophecy. Due to the unprecedented nature of the experiences she was receiving, and considering her age age, she spilled out all she was told to her father and the Vicar of the Emmanuel Anglican Church, Isonyin, Rev. J. B. Ogunmefun. She spoke to them in the manner of the Aladura prophets who were emerging at the time. Contrary to her expectation, she received a stern rebuke from both of them. This rebuke was premised on the position of the early Anglican community in Nigeria regarding the disposition of the Aladura prophets. It was believed that these groups of individuals were possessed by demons and should not be considered as true Christians. Prophetic utterances were deemed a hallucination, and prophets were regarded as mentally deranged.[10]

Although Sophia’s father and the Anglican Reverend warned her not to speak of such things as she has revealed to them again, her prophesy found its way into the public, especially Isonyin community and Ijebu-Ode. As the rain began to fall, many people applied the water from the rain on their sick, and they were healed from the influenza. The news of the different incidences of healing got to different towns around Ijebu-Ode, and more people were healed. Owing to this evident outcome of her prophecies, Sophia Odunlami took the bull by the horns, and she began a formal prophetic campaign in different lands from 1919 onwards. This decision was not without consequences.

The young female prophet (prophetess) started as a sole prophetic entity with none to tutor her. She went about her business declaring the peace of God using her case of divine healing and those of countless people who have been healed as a witness. She also emphasized other issues of Christian worship in her prophetic discussions with the people in the communities she visited. These issues included the need for people to turn to the living God and serve him alone without compromising their faith with paganism. She preached against the desecration of the Sabbath day, emphasizing the need for Christians to become separate from the worship of other gods. She counseled against eating kolanut, indecent dressing among women, among other vices. She was fond of using Zechariah 14 to warn the people concerning the judgment day of the Lord.[11] Her prophetic messages were echoed both publicly and in private spaces.

Whilst she continued worshiping at the Emmanuel Anglican Church, Isonyin, she soon encountered untold difficulties that changed the course of her life from Isonyin to Ijebu-Ode. Since she was a (young) woman who happened to exercise certain charismatic gifts which were not honored in the Anglican community, she was sorely persecuted for insisting to carry on with her prophetic stance and messages. David Odunlami, Sophia’s father, took the lead among those who persecuted her. He placed her under solitary confinement to cure her from her hallucination and madness. Oral tradition has it that she was locked up in a room for six months.[12] However, this attempt could not break her spirit and resolve.

Next, David Odunlami decided to send his daughter to the Forbidden Forest (Igbo Oro) in Isonyin to threaten her. Still, she did not compromise. Another oral tradition reveals that Sophia’s father attempted strangling his daughter to death on his farm, but he failed in these horrible attempts. It was after these series of obvious attempts at her life that Sophia fled from Isonyin to Ijebu-Ode. Nevertheless, another attempt was made at her life while she was fleeing. Local assassins were sent after her to kill her. They ran after her, but she was divinely protected. It was reported that she held a locally made fan while running, and as she blew the fan, she practically became invisible to the extent that the assailants passed her by two times without seeing her.[13]

Sophia Odunlami and the Precious Stone Society

The Precious Stone Society (Egbe Okuta Iyebiye) was the formal name given to the Prayer Band (Egbe Aladura) founded by indigenous members of St. Saviour Anglican Church, Italupe, Ijebu-Ode Province in 1917.[14] This Prayer Band was initiated as a result of the vision Daddy Ali, a sexton of the church heard concerning the state of the church. Upon narrating it to some notable elders in the church, a Prayer Band was instituted within the church under the watch of Rev. S. J. Gonsallo, the presiding priest of the church.[15] In no time, the members of the Prayer Band increased from the five people who started it, namely Daddy Alli, Joseph Shadare, E. O. Onabanjo, D. C. Oduga, and E. O. W. Olukoya to a remarkable size.[16] The new form of vigorous prayers for a life of purity and holiness introduced by this group began to receive more attention within the Christian community in Italupe and beyond.

The Prayer Band received more attention during the 1918 influenza that came upon Ijebu-Ode province. The prayer for healing through faith led by the Band was instrumental to the healing of many people in Ijebu-Ode. This event eventually led to the first meeting between the Band and Sophia Odunlami. While Sophia was providing assurance for divine healing to people in Isonyin, the Band was reaching people from Italupe and other provinces of Ijebu-Ode. When the Prayer Band members learned of what God was doing through Sophia in Isonyin, she was invited to their meeting in 1919. At the meeting, she presented all the prophecies she had received from God with emphasis on divine healing.

The 1919 meeting between Sophia and the Band was an encouragement to both parties.[17] The members of the Band considered her prophecies as confirmation of the vision Daddy Ali received earlier.[18] The members were glad to receive another witness from a total stranger as touching the religious notion of divine healing, which had become one of their major religious revival campaigns among the Yoruba of southwest Nigeria. On the other hand, Sophia received the needed encouragement to hold on to her divine calling without any compromise.

After her flight from Isonyin in 1920, Sophia Odunlami went directly to the quarters of Joseph Shadare (Esinsinade) at Alapo, Italupe. As at this time, Esinsinade had become the leader of the Precious Stone Society. His affluence and spiritual gifting earned him this position. He gladly received the young prophetess into his abode and helped her become fully admitted into the Precious Stone Society. Thus, Sophia became the first prophetess of the Aladura Movement in southwest Nigeria and Nigeria as a whole.[19] Sophia also got the opportunity to become one of the teachers of the Anglican Girls’ Schools School, Ijebu-Ode, in August 1920.

Joining the Precious Stone Society and having a spiritual mentor in Joseph Shadare gave Sophia the opportunity to spread her prophetic messages to different parts of southwest Nigeria. Under the auspices of the Precious Stone Society, she was able to reach other areas like Ibadan, Ilorin, and Lagos. According to Ademakinwa, “Everywhere she went to preach, the assemblies were filled beyond capacity.”[20]

Sophia Odunlami and the Precious Stone Church

The Precious Stone Society became a full indigenous body and an independent church after its separation from the Anglican Community in Ijebu Ode in 1922. Different historical accounts revealed that the separation was primarily due to doctrinal differences. Issues related to infant baptism, use and exercise of spiritual gifts, the religious practice of prayers, and other Pentecostal practices topped the list.[21] Afterwards, the Society became affiliated with the Faith Tabernacle Church in Philadelphia, America, through the effort of David Odubanjo, a new introduction to the Society. However, in 1925, the church severed its relationship with the Faith Tabernacle in America, due to the question of integrity placed on the acts of Pastor Clark, the leader of the Faith Tabernacle Church in America.[22] Nevertheless, the Society retained Faith Tabernacle as its name, and it became the Nigeria Faith Tabernacle.

The Nigeria Faith Tabernacle received another Pentecostal revival with the introduction of Joseph Ayo Babalola in 1928. By 1930, a great revival came out of this Aladura Movement. This revival brought the Aladura faith, especially the belief in divine healing without the use of orthodox or traditional medicines, further into the limelight in Nigeria and Africa. In order to give the Pentecostal revival movement the shield it needed against all the persecution it faced, especially from the Government, the leaders of the indigenous church agreed to seek for another affiliation.

Before the 1930 Aladura Pentecostal Revivals began, David Odubanjo, through his experience in international relations, introduced “The Faith and Truth Temple Mission” from Canada to the Nigeria Faith Tabernacle. However, the six missionaries sent from the agency could not achieve their goals in Nigeria because they lost some of their team to malaria.[23] Later, in 1931, the Nigeria Faith Tabernacle was introduced to the British Apostolic Church. A European-African alliance was formed with the intent of mission at its core through this introduction.

All the while, Joseph Shadare maintained his role as the leader of the church, and Sophia Odunlami served as his personal assistant. Like the previous incidences, the Nigeria Faith Tabernacle with the new name, Nigeria Apostolic Church had different times of controversies with the policies of their European ally, especially those that contradicted their terms of engagement and the doctrines that were at the foundation of their existence as an Aladura Pentecostal Movement. By 1933, Joseph Shadare raised his displeasure against the demands of the British Apostolic Church and emphasized the need for the Nigerian Church to return to its indigenous roots. When he saw no one attending to his plea among the leaders of the church in Nigeria, he decided upon the leading of the Holy Spirit to return to the place the Precious Stone Society was founded at Alapo, Italupe. There, he resurrected the indigenous Precious Stone Society, an event which marked the formal beginning of the Precious Stone Church.[24] Leaving the Nigeria Apostolic Church, J. L. Ajayi, Sophia Odunlami, and others joined him. They were the pioneer members and leaders of the Precious Stone Church, Ijebu-Ode.

Sophia Odunlami continued with the Precious Stone Church from 1933 until the day she died in 1981. While she was with the Precious Stone Church, she continued as the Personal Assistant to Joseph Shadare, the General Superintendent of the church. She retained her role as prophetess in the church and acted as Church Evangelist. She initiated several evangelistic outreaches that led to the planting of the Precious Stone Church local assembly in southwest Nigeria. Particularly, her effort led to planting the Precious Stone Church in Isonyin, the land she fled from during her season of persecution.

Indeed, at the Precious Stone Church, especially while Joseph Shadare was still alive, her spiritual gifts were utilized publicly. She participated in administrative roles more, which was unlike what she did at the Faith Tabernacle Church and the Nigerian Apostolic Church. Although she was featured at some point, her spiritual grace was noticed only on the sideline. For instance, she was the only woman at the Nigeria Faith Tabernacle leadership meeting at Ibadan where the issues of the association of the Aladura Pentecostal movement with Josiah Oshitelu, the Aladura prophet at Ogere-Remo, was discussed. Her report and counsel on the religious practices of the prophet helped the leaders to conclude to sever ties with the prophet who eventually initiated the Aladura Spiritual Movement through The Church of the Lord, Aladura, on July 27, 1930. Also, Sophia Odunlami was part of the intercessory team who prayed for Daniel Orekoya’s recovery after he sustained an injury during his revival campaign in the eastern part of Nigeria.[25] Even with all these giant strides, she was not featured publicly during the Aladura Pentecostal Revivals of the 1930s, though she was a revivalist. On the contrary, while she was with the Precious Stone Church, she was able to exercise her prophetic grace and hold revival meetings the way she did when she joined the Precious Stone Society.

From Sophia Odunlami to Sophia Ajayi

Oral traditions reveal that, while Sophia Odunlami was young, she had told some people she would not get married.[26] However, she eventually got married in December 1941 to J. L. Ajayi. The incidence of her marriage was the sudden loss of the wife of J. L. Ajayi. Ajayi was one of the pioneer teachers of the Precious Stone Society School alongside Sophia Odunlami in 1921. As mentioned earlier, he was also part of the train that returned with Joseph Shadare to Alapo, when the Precious Stone Church was founded. Although these two individuals had worked side by side at different points in the history of the emergence and development of the Precious Stone Church, their union would not have been possible without the intervention of their leader, Joseph Shadare. Shadare encouraged Ajayi to remarry for the sake of his son. Likewise, he persuaded Sophia to change her view on the marriage institution. Indeed, the marriage of these two was a success. Nevertheless, apart from the miscarriage Sophia had, the couple did not have a biological child of their own. Notwithstanding, this challenge did not change the beauty of their home. The couple built a formidable family life and ministry that became example for others to emulate. They also raised the children they adopted as their own.

Sophia’s Legacies and Contribution to the Growth of the Aladura Movement

Indeed, Sophia Odunlami left an indelible mark in the history of Christianity in Nigeria. From 1918 when she first had her divine encounter until her death in 1981, she helped to address the lack of women’s inclusion in ministry, breaking different frontiers of gender inequalities both at the cultural and religious level among the Yoruba. On different grounds, she did not allow cultural and religious sentiments to deprive her of exercising all the potential with which she was blessed. Whether as a young teacher or a young female prophetess in her community, she raised the notion that age or gender should not be the major determinants of what individuals could contribute to the development of communities in the religious or secular space. At eighteen, Sophia was already contributing to the development of her community through education, and she continued doing this for sixty-three years more.

Sophia showed that the female gender could aspire to greatness in education and achieve as much as the male gender could, even within the context of gender inequalities. She showed young ladies of her time and beyond the need to become contributors to the development of their community within their given capacities. She also showed that divine encounters are not gender selective. As a female within a religious context that did not offer equal participation of gender in religious matters, she revealed a distinguishing charisma that changed the narrative of the Christian religious belief of her people, especially the Christian community in Isonyin and Ijebu-Ode. Through these dispositions, she carved a niche for the indigenous Pentecostal nature of the Aladura Faith, which she represented.

Apart from the vision received by Daddy Ali, the Sexton of the Anglican Church in Italupe, the divine encounter Sophia had in 1918 was the first major divine encounter recorded in the history of the Aladura Pentecostals. The prophetic visions God gave Odunlami were unique at the time. While Daddy Ali’s vision only showed the spiritual state of the Anglican Church, Italupe, Ijebu-Ode, at the time, Sophia’s vision spelt out godly attitude and rules for Christian living within the Yoruba cultural setting as a way of retaining the purity of the church and the Christian community. The issue spelt out in the vision later became part of the core practices of the Aladura Pentecostal churches as a whole. As an emphasis, Sophia was the first prophet in southwest Nigeria to preach against practices such as consulting herbalists, using charms, eating kola nuts, drinking palm wine and other alcoholic drinks, using cultic waistbands, wearing excessive jewellery, and desecrating the Sabbath days.[27]

In addition, the ministry of this prophetess made the Precious Stone Society an irresistible centre of attraction[28] such that the news of the exploit of the new society spread far and wide within southwestern Nigeria and beyond. Her prophetic vision had a great impact on the healing of many people from the dreadful effects of the influenza, and so many people resorted to join the prayer group because of this achievement. She was not just the first female prophetess of the Aladura Pentecostal Faith and the church in Nigeria; she was also the first indigenous female missionary in southwest Nigeria, if not Nigeria as a whole. After her divine encounter in 1918, she took the faith to different parts of Ijebu-Ode Province. Whilst she emphasized divine healing, she also raised Zechariah 14 to encourage unbelievers to turn to God. She also used her passion for teaching as a missionary platform for preaching the Gospel.

The use of sanctified water for divine healing among the Aladura generally and the church in Nigeria today is traceable to her 1918 prophecy. Although this religious practice became magnified during the 1930 Aladura Pentecostal revivals which featured Joseph Ayo Babalola and Daniel Orekoya as its major revivalists, the use of water for divine healing associated to the Aladura Faith was introduced by Sophia Odunlami. Without any medical training, she was used by God to reveal the potency of water as a healing agent.

Although, compared with her later service in the Precious Stone Church, Sophia served on the sidelines in the Nigeria Faith Tabernacle and the Nigeria Apostolic Church, she nevertheless separated herself totally from the former, especially when the church emerged to become the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC). She fostered unity between the Precious Stone Church and the Christ Apostolic as well as other denominations within the Aladura block. Whenever the CAC invited her to hold revival meetings in their churches, she honoured their invitation gracefully. Notably, before her demise, Sophia Odunlami Ajayi held a monthly revival meeting at CAC Ebute Elefun, the General Headquarters of the CAC in Lagos State in the late 1970s. It should also be noted that Sophia Odunlami could have chosen to stand on her own and create a new form of Aladura, but she did not. She could have walked in the path of many early Aladura prophets like Moses Orimolade and Josiah Oshitelu, but she chose to join the Precious Stone Society to promote the Aladura Faith.

Likewise, Sophia Odunlami modelled what the male-female ministerial work-life should be in the Christian community. She served under different male church leaders and missionaries, and she was never reported to have abused her relationship with them in anyway. Although she was spiritually endowed and socially more famous than some of her male counterparts, she did not abuse the Christian culture that presents the male as the head. The ministry of Sophia Odunlami was instrumental to raising many renowned Pastors, Evangelists and Prophets in the Aladura Pentecostal circle; still, she did not take this as a license to launch a female supremacy campaign against her male leaders.

Sophia exemplified morality at the best. Notwithstanding the fact that she rose to fame at a youthful age, her prophetic grace was conducted with dignity and humility. Wherever she was invited to, she always exhibited the demeanour expected of the elderly. She personalized all the aspects of her prophetic utterances. She held the Sabbath as holy and would not do anything except church worship on the Sabbath. In her dressing, she modelled the decency expected of a Christian woman to both the old and young. In the public, she dressed in sparkling blouses, skirts, socks, gloves, and shoes.[29] She lived a chaste life and taught the same to everyone around her.

Before and after marriage, Sophia was a model to young people of purity before and in marriage. She encouraged the youth to avoid promiscuous living and to embrace marriage. Sophia revealed what a biblical prophet is—not just someone who declares the counsel of God, but one who also teaches and encourages the audience to embrace the counsels revealed. Notably, the fact that she did not have a biological child of her own did not debar her from being a blessing to others who were married with children.

Timothy Smith Babatunde


References

[1] Ruth Marshall, Political Spiritualities. The Pentecostal Revolution in Nigeria (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009), 45-52. Peter Olusegun Ayodeji Alokan, David Oladunjoye Alabi and Sunday Funmilola Babalola, “Critical Analyses of Church Politics and Crises within the Indigenous Christianity in Nigeria,” in American Journal of Social and Management Sciences, 2(4), (2011): 360-370, http://www.scihub.org/AJSMS, accessed in March 2016.

[2] Moses Oludele Idowu, Sophia Ajayi (Nee Odunlami): A Woman Like No Other (Agege: Divine Artillery Publications, 2016), 52.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Eto Isin Iranti Odun Kewa fun Prophetess Sophia Adefowoke Ajayi 1900-1981 (10th Year Remembrance Anniversary for Sophia Ajayi), Precious Stone Church, Ijebu-Ode, 28th September 1991, 11.

[5] Moses Oludele Idowu, Moses Oludele Idowu, Sophia Ajayi (Nee Odunlami): A Woman Like No Other (Agege: Divine Artillery Publications, 2016), 54.

[6] Moses Idowu, Sophia Ajayi, 55-56.

[7] J. M. Barry, The Greatest Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History. (London: Penguin Books, 2005), 1ff.

[8] Ralph Schran, A History of the Nigerian Health Services. (Ibadan: Universal Press, 1971), cited in Moses Oludele, Sophia Ajayi, 67.

[9] Moses Oludele, Sophia Ajayi, 70.

[10] Oral Tradition received from the niece of Sophia Odunlami. Moses Oludele, Sophia Ajayi, 83.

[11] J. A. Ademakinwa, History of the Christ Apostolic Church: The Faith of our Fathers (Grand Prairie: International Missions, 2012), 16-17.

[12] Moses Oludele, Sophia Ajayi, 83.

[13] Ibid, 87.

[14] Smith Babatunde, The Christ Apostolic Church 1930 Revivals in Retrospect: Issues, Challenges and Prospects for the Preservation of Inherited Legacies (Germany: Lambert Publishers, 2017), 1ff.

[15] E. A. Ayandele, The Missionary Impact on Modern Nigeria, 1842-1914: A Political and Social Analysis (London, Longmans Group Ltd., 1971), 12. Joshua Adeware Alokan, Christ Apostolic Church @ 90 (1918-2008), (Ile-Ife: Timade Ventures, 2010), 15.

[16] Alokan, CAC @ 90, 15.

[17] Moses Oludele, Sophia Ajayi, 94-95.

[18] Ibid, 95, Oral Tradition received from Mrs. Okanlawon, Ijebu-Ode.

[19] C. O. Oshun, “Christ Apostolic Church in Nigeria: A Suggested Pentecostal Consideration of its Historical Organizational and Theological Development, 1918-1977,” PhD Dissertation Submitted to the Department of Religious Studies, University of Exerter, Exerter, 1981, 38.

[20] J. A. Ademakinwa, History of the Christ Apostolic Church: The Faith of Our Fathers. (Grand Prairie: International Missions, 2012), 16.

[21] Ademakinwa, History of the Christ Apostolic Church: The Faith of Our Fathers, 23.

[22] Alokan, CAC @ 90, 59.

[23] Smith Babatunde, The Christ Apostolic Church 1930 Revivals in Retrospect: Issues, Challenges and Prospects for the Preservation of Inherited Legacies, 47.

[24] S. G. Adegboyega, A Short History of the Apostolic Church Nigeria, (Ibadan: Rosprint, 1978), 70.

[25] Moses Oludele, Sophia Ajayi, 106-107.

[26] Ibid, 119.