Christian and traditional Yoruba leader in Nigeria.
Born in Ibadan, a large and predominantly Muslim city, Akinyele was educated in a Church Missionary Society school and had three distinguished careers. In the civil service he rose to be chief judge of the native court and in 1961 minister of state without portfolio in the Western Region Government, after having been knighted by Queen Elizabeth. As a traditional leader, he became an Ibadan chief in 1935 and in 1955 was elected to the supreme office of olubadan (i.e. king) of Ibadan, but only on his conditions that there be no traditional ceremonies and sacrifices. As a Christian leader, he first served the Anglican Church as a synodsman and from the mid-1920s moved into the new Aladura movement with its faith healing and rejection of traditional medicines; he rejected all medicines for the rest of his life. His section of the Aladura movement became allied with the British Apostolic Church from 1931, but he resented missionary domination and by 1941 had separated as the ascetic and noncharismatic leader of the Christ Apostolic Church. This became the largest and the best organized of the Aladura churches. Among his many publications, secular and religious, is a tract entitled “How to Confess Sins Wholeheartedly.”
Harold W. Turner
J. D. Y. Peel, Aladura: A Religious Movement Among the Yoruba (1968); Harold W. Turner, “The Late Sir Isaac Akinyele, Olubadan of Ibadan,” *West African Religion *4 (1965): 1 - 4.
This article is reproduced, with permission, from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, copyright © 1998, by Gerald H. Anderson, W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.
Encyclopaedia Britannica (complete article): Aladura