When we mention Kwara State in the ears of many, they often believe it is mainly an Islamic state which is not so. Kwara state is a home for different religions, tribes and ethnic groups as everyone of them lives in peace — that is why the state is being called "The State of Harmony."
In the history of Kwara State, two great men of God who happened to be founders of two of the greatest churches in Nigeria were from the state. There is no way you will talk about Christianity in Nigeria that the names of these two peoples will not be mentioned as they are among the pillars holding the faith — Christianity in this country.
Over decades ago, Christianity came to Nigeria with the help of the white missionary who were from Portugal. However, after some years of the Portuguese in Nigeria, the faith began to expand as many indigenous people in Nigeria who accepted the faith then began to establish their own churches.
Prior to the amalgamation, there were only missionary churches in Nigeria like Catholic church, Anglican, Baptist, Methodist and ECWA. These were churches which were founded and established by white men before indigenous men came to actions.
Sequel to the creation of missionary churches, different indigenous men who had the vision started coming on board to establish churches like Celestial, C & S, CAC and many more.
However, this article will open our eyes to two great Nigerian pastors who came from Kwara state and have really contributed to the growth of the Christianity in Nigeria in different ways:
1. Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola:
He was born on April 25, 1904 in Odo-Owa, Kwara State. He was the first general envangelist and a co-founder of Christ Apostolic Church (CAC).
According to Wikipedia, Babalowa was born and brought up as an Anglican before he later recieved the vision to become an evangelist in 1929.
Several reports and testimonies from the witnesses have it that Babalola was blessed with a healing power, he did miracles in which many people still testified about it today.
As at present, there is a popular mountain prayer named after Babalola in Odo Owa, Kwara State where people go everyday, week and month to make their requests known to God. Most people believe that is where Babalola's healings started and they can as well recieve their miracles there.
However, when we talk of great men of God in Nigeria which have contributed immensely to the growth of Christianity, Babalola can not be left out. Though sources, including Wikipedia revealed that Babalola was not the sole founder of CAC as many claimed, he was among the three people who established the church.
2. Bishop David Olaniyi Oyedepo:
When we talk of Men who have been trying to maintain the growth and expansion of Christianity in Nigeria, Bishop Oyedepo can not be left out as he is always over the media these days, maintaining the standard of Christ and propagating the faith accross the whole world.
Although, Oyedepo was born on September, 27 1954 in Osogbo Osun State, he is a native of Omu-aran Kwara State. He is the founder and the general overseer of Winners Chapel World-wide and he is currently the presiding pastor in the church.
According to Wikipedia, Oyedepo's father was a Muslim while his mother was a Christian, a member of Cherubim and seraphim. However, the man of God became a Christian with the Influence of his grandmother who also taught him the importance of tithing.
As at present, Oyedepo is one of the leading pastors in Nigeria. He is currently the richest pastor in the whole Africa with US$150 million according to Forbes, 2011.
Moreover, nothing can dispute the fact that Kwara state is blessed with great men of God as these two men mentioned above are testimonies that the state are blessed with wonderful people.
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