CESNUR - Centro Studi sulle Nuove Religioni diretto da Massimo Introvigne


Religious Experience in the Post-colonial era in Nigeria: An examination of the challenges of Pentecostal Churches in Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria

by Rotimi Williams Omotoye


Religious experience has a gradual and progressive development in the history of a race, nation and society. In Nigeria, there are three recognized religions namely: African traditional religion, Islam and Christianity. Each of the religions has a religious experience and historical background.

Our focus in this paper shall be the religious experience and challenges of Pentecostal churches in post-independence era on Mainline and Aladura churches in Ilorin. The methodology to be adopted is historical and phenomenological. It is observed that there is a phenomenal growth of Pentecostal churches after 1960 and beyond in the community. The period has witnessed an in-flux of Church founders, General Overseers, and Superintendents of such churches. The activities of the Pentecostal churches are effectively challenging the existence and growth of Mainline/Aladura churches in the town. The study therefore highlighted the challenges of Pentecostalism on church growth in Ilorin.


The objective of this paper is to examine the challenges of Pentecostal churches on the Mainline and African Independent Churches (Aladura) in Ilorin metropolis in the Post-colonial era in Nigeria. The country got her political independence on 1st October, 1960 from the British Colonial master1. In fact, the country celebrated her 50th political independence some days ago with pomp and pageantry. It is of interest to note that religious independence preceded the political independence. The first attempt was made by the African Churches between 1888 and 19172 through secessions from the Protestant churches because of marginalization and racial discrimination.

The next independent churches in Nigeria were established between 1920’s and 1960.These churches are the Cherubim and Seraphim Church, Christ Apostolic Church, Church of the Lord (Aladura) and Celestial Church of Christ3. In one of our earlier studies, we examined the challenges of the African Independent Churches on the mainline churches in Nigeria.4

The Pentecostal churches have increased phenomenally in Ilorin metropolis from 1960 till date. These churches are in two categories:

1. Pentecostal churches founded and established with their headquarters in the town. In fact, some of the founders are University Lecturers, Civil servants and Business men. The founders of such churches are based in the town. It has also been found out that many of them are elite and well educated. According to Ojo “they are led by the educated elite, which though small in number, exert considerable influence in the society”5. These churches were critically examined in our earlier paper on “Charisma as a phenomenon in the growth of Pentecostal churches in Ilorin”6. Some of these churches are: The Ever Increasing Ministries (Rhema Church) founded by Pastor George Olawale Adegboye, New Testament Christian Church established by Revd. Moses Rahman Popoola, Christ Assembly founded by Revd. Joseph Mohammed Alli. Another peculiar feature of the churches in this category is the fact that some of the founders of the churches were Muslims before they were converted to christianity.This religious experience has assisted them in their preaching and expositions of the gospel. Another feature is the recognition and responsibilities given to women in the Pentecostal churches.

2. Pentecostal churches established with branches in the town. Most of these churches are established in Lagos, Ibadan and Abeokuta the economic nerve centers of the country. For example, The Redeemed Christian Church of God, The Living Faith Church, Deeper Life Christian Church, The  Sword of the Spirit, Latter Rain, and Christ Embassy etc.

In some of our earlier related studies, we have examined the following:

1. Christianity and Educational Development in Ilorin Metropolis (1855-1995)7

2. Divine healing in the Aladura Churches: A phenomenon of challenge to the Mainline Churches in Nigeria8

3. Charisma as a phenomenon in the Growth of Pentecostal Churches in Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria9.

4. Christianity and Cultural Development: An Examination of the Aladura Churches in Yorubaland10

5. A critical examination of the Role of Pentecostal Churches in National Development in Nigeria11.

All the above studies have given us an idea about the interactions existing amongst the Mainline, African Independent Churches and Pentecostal Churches in Ilorin in particular and Nigeria in general.

The methodologies adopted in this work are historical, phenomenological and comparative. As an historical method, the analysis and interpretation of data was based on the principles of historical method. This involves an attempt to interpret past trends for the purpose of understanding the present conditions and predicting what conditions are likely to be met in the future12. The phenomenological approach seeks to unfold the archaeological realities of the objects, beliefs and practices under study without presuppositions. This made us to take active part in the observation of the activities of the churches. This method was considered necessary because a research work such as this requires an eyewitness accounts. Coupled with the above was the Comparative method of worship in the Mainline, Aladura and Pentecostal churches. The scope of the paper is an examination of the influence of Pentecostal churches on the Mainline and Aladura churches in Ilorin.

Definition of terms:

Mainline Churches –These are European Christian Churches that were introduced to Nigeria in the 19thc namely: Methodist Church, Church Missionary Society (C.M.S) later known as Anglican Church, Baptist Church and Catholic Church.

African Independent Churches (Aladura)-The word Aladura has been variously defined by different scholars.J.D.Y. Peel refers to the African independent Church as Aladura because of the simple claim that God answers all prayers13. It is observed that the Aladura emphasize the efficacy of prayers and with the belief that nothing is impossible to be achieved from God. As a result they commit everything to God in prayers. Hence, they are referred to as Aladura (praying people).Omoyajowo explains that African Independent Church is a “Church which has been founded in Africa by Africans and primarily for Africans”14

Pentecostal Churches-Richard Burgess defines Pentecostalism as movement that stresses the experience of the spirit and the practice of spiritual gifts.15 Ojo believes that the churches share common phenomena through literature, crusades, camp meetings, Fire or Holy Ghost or Power crusades, open air evangelism16 etc.

The Introduction of Christianity to Nigeria

The first attempt made in introducing Christianity to the geographical area later known as Nigeria was in   Benin and Warri in the 15th c.17 It was introduced by the Catholic Portuguese Missionaries. Unfortunately, the attempt was a failure because of some factors already stated by some scholars like Ryder, Ade Ajayi, Erivwo, Lamin Sanneh and Peter Clarke.

 An attempt has also been made to document the introduction of Christianity to Yorubaland in the 19th c in particular and Nigeria in general by scholars like E.A.Ayandele, J.F.A.Ajayi, and Ogbu Kalu.Christianity made an in-road to Yorubaland in 1842.The Methodist mission took the lead under the leadership of Revd Thomas Birch Freedman.He got to Badagry in September, 1842.He was closely followed by the Church Missionary Society (C.M.S) later known as the Anglican Mission. It was led by Revd Henry Townsend to Badagry in December 184218.In fact; the two missionaries celebrated the Christmas Eve together in the town. The collaborative effort of the two missions in December 1842 was seen as the beginning of the history of ecumenism in Nigeria.

Unfortunately, the Badagry communities were hostile to the growth and expansion of Christianity. Omotoye quoted Asaju to have said “many Egun people do not regard it as sacrilegious to be a Christian or Muslim and at the same time partake actively in ritual of vodum or the masquerade such as Igunnuko”19 The action made the missionaries to go to the hinterland where they were more acceptable and accommodated.

Sodeke, the traditional ruler of Abeokuta warmly welcomed the missionaries to his domain. It is necessary to note that the acceptance of the missionaries was not basically based on the deep acceptability of Christianity by the people but they had other political and socio-economic reasons20. Dopamu quoted Omoyajowo to have said “the early missionaries to Yorubaland would never have been allowed to settle there, if Ifa (the oracle divinity) had not consented. As early as 1845 Ifa was said to have predicted the coming of the missionaries to Abeokuta. It had declared favorably about the Christian religion and pledged that its missionaries be allowed to establish and practice their religion”21. As a result of the early acceptance of Christianity by the Egba, the community is regarded as “sunrise within the tropics.”22 It was from there that other missionaries were sent to other parts of Yorubaland. Dopamu recorded a traditional Christian song in Egbaland thus:

Egba Ake ni igbagbo ti se wa

Egba Ake ni igbagbo ti se wa

Awon Egba lo ni Jesu.

Christianity started in Egba Ake

Christianity started in Egba Ake

Jesus belongs to the Egba.23


Revd David Hinderer was sent to Ibadan as an Anglican pioneer Priest in 1851.Thus, he became the first white Christian missionary in the town. He consequently sent some missionaries to Ilesa, Osogbo, Ile-Ife and Ondo24. The Methodist mission equally sent some missionaries to areas like Lagos, Oyo, Ibadan and Ilesa.The Baptist missionaries was led by Revd Thomas Jefferson Bowen from Abeokuta to Ijaye on invitation of Are Kurumi of Ijaye. He built the first church in the town in 1854. It was from there he moved to Ogbomoso where he achieved and recorded much achievements for the church25.

The second attempt by the Catholic mission in introducing Christianity to Nigeria was led by Revd. Father Francisco Borghero in Lagos in 1862.However,it should be mentioned that there were some  Brazillians,Cubans and Sierra Leoneans immigrants in areas like  Campus Square and Olowogbowo areas before the arrival of Father Borghero. The Catholics in Lagos were led by a lay catechist known as “Padre” Antonio who was considered as “the first Negro apostle of Nigeria”.26 It was from Lagos that the catholic mission went to Topo in Badagry and other parts of Yorubaland.

At the time Christianity was spreading in Yorubaland the situation was different in Ilorin metropolis which is the focus of this paper. By the end of the 19th c Islam had been entrenched as a dominant religion in the community. Ilorin was initially a Yoruba community which was established by Afonja a generalissimo of Oyo Empire. However, we are not un-aware of other versions of historical history of the town being written by some scholars in reaction to Samuel Johnson version of Yoruba history. The untimely death of Afonja led to the establishment of the Emirate system of Government in 1823 in Ilorin27. In other words, Islam became the imposed religion on the community. The Uthman Dan Fodio Jihad and strategies adopted by the Muslims in the community aided the quick spread of Islam in Ilorin.

Danmole opines “that Ilorin emirate represents the most southerly of the emirates within the Sokoto Caliphate that was established after the successful jihad in Hausaland during the 19th century”28. By its location in the transitional belt between the open savanna to the north and forest zone to the south, Ilorin was advantageously located to attract settlers from both the north and the south.Danmole went further to say that “the movement of population to Ilorin before the jihad can be accounted for through the activities in the town of three major figures in the period towards the jihad. These were the Afonja, al-Salih and Solagberu”29. Immediately after the imposition of Islam the Emirs tried to protect Islam jealousy from the incursion of Christianity which was gradually coming from the Southern part of the country.

The imposition of colonial rule in 1900 assisted the Christian missionaries in the propagation of Christian religion. In the pre-colonial era some efforts were made by some itinerant Ijesa textile dealers known as Osomalo in propagating the gospel in Ilorin and Igbomina areas.30 Many of them were converted Christians from their country home. The construction of railway from the south to the north also contributed to the propagation of Christianity in Ilorin31. Some of the employees from the south were Christians from their towns and villages. The traders and the railway workers collaborated and started holding Christian fellowships on Sundays in Ilorin. The worship was interdenominational because the Christians were from different denominations. The meeting venue commenced in the house of a man named Mr. Ajia alias “Baba Ijesa.”Omotoye claimed in his earlier work that the house of the man was in Itakure at Ile Ape Aro; Oke Aluko.There was a change of leadership and venue in 1913 with the appointment of Mr. Anjorin as a Catechist. The new location was changed to Garden area around Asa River. In 1916 the fellowship moved to Mr. Howell’s house at Sabo Oke area.32

The fellowship metamorphosised to the establishment of Anglican Church, Sabo Oke. The activities of the Christians in Ilorin got a boost and attraction with the support of Bishop Smith who was based in Offa. According to Mepayida, Bishop Smith “had to visit the Christians in Ilorin for the purpose of encouraging them…he appointed one Mr. Adekunle as a Catechist to supervise the infant church”33.Mepayida in his work said that the Christians erected a thatched roof shed on a piece of land donated by Chief Adetomiwa a native of Oyo34. Considering the submission of Omotoye and Mepayida there was an indication that the early Christians later separated based on denominational rivalries.

Among the early Christian converts to Christianity in Ilorin were late Honourable Samuel Ayinde Babatunde and late Pa Joseph Aremu Ladipo.Mepayida reported that their conversion generated a lot of controversy, ill-feeling and persecution35. Apart from the Ijesa traders and railway workers, some Christian missionaries made occasional visits to the town before 1900.Revd T.J Bowen of the Baptist  church based in Ogbomoso visited Ilorin in 1855.He was welcomed by Emir Shitta to the palace but did not grant his request that a church be built in the town. The Emir was quoted to have said “I am very much afraid that your religion will spoil ours”36. This comment was an indication that Islam had become entrenched in the community. Other white Christian missionaries that visited Ilorin before the end of 1900 were namely: Revd.Adolphus Mann of C.M.S., M.T. Lumbley, Lackett, C.G Smith, Dr Green and Rev.Tugwell.All efforts made by them to establish churches were futile because they were politely turned back and rejected.

Apart from the European missionaries mentioned above, Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther of the Anglican Church equally visited the town in 1859 and 1872 on his way from Lokoja to Lagos. He was given a rousing welcome by Emir Shitta in 1859 but denied him the opportunity of establishing a church in the town37. His visit to Emir Aliyu also did not meet his expectation of establishing a church. The frustrations and disappointments of the Christian missionaries did not stop them from sending delegations to the Emirs on throne for allocation of land to build churches in the town. The appeals and persuasion started yielding results when the colonial government took over the administration of the country in 1900.

The first church to be built was in 1926 which was named St Barnabas Anglican Church; Sabo Oke. It is the present Diocesan headquarters of Kwara Anglican Diocese. The mainline and Aladura churches in Ilorin came in the following order.

1. Anglican church- 1910

2. Roman Catholic church-1920

3. Christ Apostolic Church 1930

4Cherubim and Seraphim 1931

5. The Apostolic Church 1931

6. African Church 1936

7. Methodist Church 1932

8. Baptist Church 1939

9. Evangelical Church of West Africa 1946

10. United Mission Church Society 1953

11. Celestial Church of Christ 196038

In our earlier studies, we have examined the challenges posed by the Aladura churches to the mainline churches in Nigeria. The challenges are equally true of Ilorin.

We have also argued in our earlier paper that Pentecostalism is not alien to Nigeria in particular and Africa in general. We agree with Ojo and Ogbu Kalu in this regard. The latter said “Nigerian Pentecostalism is not an offshoot of Azusa Street revival … or an extension of American electronic church or a creation of televangelists”39. African people are religious. Their experience in the traditional religion was a carry over to the Aladura and Pentecostal experiences.

Bolaji Idowu said “The real keynote of the life of the Yoruba is neither in their noble ancestry nor in the past deeds of their heroes. The keynote of their life is their religion. In all things, they are religious”40. This mentality is found in any religion in which the Africans are found. What we are witnessing in religious life of the Nigerians is a clear transformation of spirituality and experience.

The following Pentecostal churches are found in Ilorin with the names of the founders. The churches are not arranged according to the years of establishment.

1. Christ Assembly -Revd. Joseph Mohammed Alli

2. Potters Porch International Church –Pastor J.T. Aboyeji

3. Canaan Ministries (Champions Church) Revd. Emmanuel Oset

4. Dominion Life International Church –Rev Barrister Bode Amoo

5. Elevation Christian Centre –Pastor Tope Ajetunmobi

6. Christ Proclaimer’s Church –Pastor J.T.Opatola

7. Search the Scripture Gospel of Christ Ministry (Strong Tower) Evangelist Professor Timothy Opoola

8. Be of the Same Mind Evangelical Ministry (Pastor Evangelist David Akano)

9. Ever Increasing Ministries (Rhema Church) –Pastor George Adegboye

10. Endtime Overcomers Mission –Revd. S.O.Olayinka

11. Jesus Revolution Revival Mission –Pastor Johnson O.Kusina

12. Potters Household –Pastor Victor Philips Ibitoye

13. New Testament Christian Church –Revd. Moses Rahman Popoola

14. The Shield of Faith Assembly –Revd. Dr Steve Metiboba

15. Trinity Household of Faith –Revd. Idowu Olawuyi

16. Word Commission Ministries –Evangelist Isaac Omolehin

17. King’s Vine Church –Revd Sam Abejide

18. Jesus is Life Outreach Ministries –Bishop Dr David Bakare41

The second category of the Churches listed below have their founders and headquarters outside Ilorin, however they have branches located in the town.

1. Deeper Life Christian Church –Lagos –Pastor W.F. Kumuyi

2. Redeemed Christian Church –Kilometer 46, Lagos/Ibadan Express road –Being led by Pastor Enoch Adeboye

3. Living Faith Church –Otta, Ogun State, founded by Bishop David Oyedepo

4. Church of God Mission –Benin-city –Late Arch-Bishop Benson Idahosa.

5. Christ Embassy –Lagos –Pastor Chris Oyakhilome

6. Fire of Mountain and Miracles Ministries – Kilometer 12 Lagos/Ibadan express road –Revd Daniel Olukoya42

Challenges of the Pentecostal Churches to the Mainline and Aladura Churches in Ilorin.

It is observed that the challenges being posed by the Pentecostal churches to the Mainline and Aladura churches are not limited to Ilorin alone.


In our earlier work, it was found out that polygamy was acceptable and tolerated in some Aladura churches43. For instance, Cherubim and Seraphim church, Church of the Lord (Aladura) and Celestial Church of Christ. Igenoza quoted   Murdock to have said that a society may be considered polygamous “whenever the culture permits, and the public opinion encourages a man to have more than one wife at the same time, whether such unions are common or comparatively rare, confined to men of outstanding prestige or allowed to anyone who can afford them.”44 This phenomenon was an attraction when the churches emerged in Yorubaland. Even though at inception, the mainline churches frowned at it but within some years the churches were silent on its condemnation. Insistence on monogamy created some problems at Saint Mark Offa some decades ago! Many parishioners left the church to start the African Church, Iyeru-Okin where you have the shakers and movers of the town today.

From our investigation, the Pentecostal churches are un-compromising in their teachings and insistence on monogamy. According to Ojo,”Pentecostals are concerned for the ways in which the marriages and sexual expressions of their members influence spirituality within the movements”45. Members of the churches are discouraged from having more than one wife and are encouraged not to engage in extra-marital affairs. Divorce is discouraged among the members of the churches and many literature are written to guide people in successful marriages.

Values and much recognition placed on Women.

In Pentecostal Churches women are given important roles to play in the churches visited. In, fact some women are church founders. For instance, Pastor Mrs. Amila was the founder of Christ the Messiah Church, Unity road,Ilorin46.Many of the wives of the founders are called and addressed as Pastor Mrs. Some are permitted to conduct services when their husbands are not around, at times they feature together in services during the week or on Sundays. Women in Aladura churches are not marginalized like what is obtainable in mainline churches. There are women founders like Evangelist Bola Odeleke, Captain Abiodun Akinsowon and Mrs. Makanjuola of the World Soul Evangelistic Ministry47.

      Women in the mainline churches are still struggling to be ordained like women in the Aladura and Pentecostal churches. An attempt was made by Late Bishop Herbert Haruna of Kwara Anglican Diocese by ordaining three women in December 1993.The ordination was nullified by his successor Late Bishop Fabuluje I. in 199448.


            Jesus Christ the acclaimed founder of Christianity gave a directive to all Christians to proclaim the gospel to all nations in the three Synoptic gospels and Acts of the Apostles (Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:15, Luke 24:47, Acts 1:8).”Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you and lo,I am with you always to the close of the age.”(Matt.28:19).This verse is usually refer to as the Great command of Jesus in the scripture. Owoeye quoted W.F. Kumuyi to have said “… Soul Winning is the greatest work you can be involved in. It’s the most rewarding enterprise you can undertake. Its works that gives joy in this life and bring reward in the world to come…”49The methodologies adopted by each mission in carrying out the command differ from one denomination to the other.

            The strategies being adopted is becoming more sophisticated with science and technology. The Pentecostal churches are often seen on the streets of Ilorin teaching the people and distributing hand-bills to people and inviting them to fellowships. It is observed that the street evangelism is limited to certain areas of the town. In course of our research, preachers are not permitted to go to certain streets like Oke-lele, Ojagboro, Oja-Oba, Omoda etc.The areas are being resided by indigenes of the town. In fact, churches are not found in the area. Many of the Pentecostal churches are involved in preaching on televisions and on radios. For example, Isaac Omolehin is always on Radio Kwara between 7.00-7.30 am every Sunday. Pastor George Adegboye and Pastor Emmanuel Oset have time on the Nigerian Television Authority between 2.00-2.30pm and 2.30-3.00pm respectively.  Limitation placed on evangelism in some parts of the town should be looked into. For instance, the Christians are not permitted to process to the Emirs palace during Palm Sunday programme. They are guided to pass through certain areas of the town under the close eyes of the police. Christians should be permitted to erect churches in any part of the town. Records are available that some International Evangelists invited to stage open revivals were sent packing un-ceremoniously.

Divine Healing.

            A major feature that has contributed to the growth of Pentecostal churches is divine healing as being claimed by the churches. This fact has been discussed extensively in one of our earlier papers. This made the Aladura churches grow phenomenally in Yorubaland. The Pentecostal churches have equally based their popularity on same factor. Owoeye once said “Healing and miracles are central to the teachings of Pentecostal churches”50 In other words every believer is expected to enjoy good and robust health. In this regard, a lot of propaganda is put in place to attract people to the revivals and crusades for divine healing. It has been a point of attraction of the members of the mainline churches in particular to the Pentecostal churches.

            It is observed that some of the miracles are contestable because there are allegations and counter allegations of the genuineness of some of the miracles. The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria has in the recent past accused Pastor T.B.Joshua of the Synagogue Church of All Nations that the miracles being performed are not real.51 It is not our interest to confirm or deny the efficacy of such healings, but to note that many miracles are claimed to have been successfully carried out at crusades and revivals. A monthly visit to the Holy Ghost night at the Redeemed camp on Ibadan/Lagos express road and Fire Mountain and Miracle Ministries is a testimony to the fact that there are miracles. Music and dancing are actively used in such programmes. In our research, we discovered that it is a point of attraction to the youths in particular and the entire church in general. No wonder every church is struggling to buy musical instrument for the church, so as to retain the youths in their youths in the churches.

Prosperity Theology

The theology of prosperity teaching has been ascribed to the Pentecostal churches in Nigeria. The Late Arch-Bishop Idahosa was the architect of it in Nigeria. It is the strong opinion of such preachers that Christians should not be poor or live in poverty, penury, un-employed or suffering any kind of sickness. Ojo quoted Benson Idahosa to have said “his God drove cars bigger than the Volkswagen Beetle car, which then was a popular car for the uprising middle class”.52 He was always requesting for good and expensive things from God. This philosophy was popularized by subsequent Pentecostal preachers like David Oyedepo of the Living Faith Church. According to him prosperity “is a state of well being in your spirit and body. It is the ability to use God’s power to meet every need of men…In prosperity you enjoy a life of plenty and fulfillment. Prosperity is a state of being successful; it is life on a big scale”53.

However, a critical examination of the teachings of the Pentecostals on prosperity need to be examined.How do we interpret the teaching of Jesus that the poor will always be with you? Is everybody in the church “rich”? Is the teaching not leading to materialism and acquisition of wealth?  Dada reported that “In the year 2003 two members of Pastor Chris Oyakhilome church, a prominent Nigerian prosperity preacher was implicated in massive fraud discovered in their places of work.”54 It is observed that some of the Pastors are more in business than preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Holy Spirit

The importance of the Holy Spirit in Pentecostal churches is highly emphasized in Olademo’s work on “Women, Pentecostalism, and Public Life in Nigeria”. According to her “ a major characteristic of Pentecostal churches is their insistence on the Holy Spirit as the sole agent for Biblical interpretations and director of worship”55. In view of this belief they wait on the Lord before a decision is taking on any issue. For instance, the directive of the Holy Spirit must be sought before you go into marriage, build a house, choosing a school to attend and ask the Holy Spirit to determine the type of sex of an expectant mother! Those who are in Public service or politics always claim that they are directed by the Holy Spirit before a decision is taking. How far this is true is a subject for our discussion. At times their actions in government do not comply with what they say. They take the event of speaking in tongues as recorded in Acts 2 on the Pentecost day as holistic. In view of that the Pentecostals believe that they must be directed and led by the Holy Spirit in all their endeavors.


1.     There is a need for the Christian Association of Nigeria (C.A.N) and Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria in Ilorin to work in conjunction with the Islamic organizations in the town for peaceful co-existence. The occasional religious violence should be avoided. It is believed that without peace the great commission of Jesus Christ cannot be achieved.

2.     The secularity of the country should be maintained. We are aware that the term secularity has been interpreted differently by different scholars. In our own interpretation, the Government should not give more preference to a particular religion to the detriment of the other.

3.     Christians in Ilorin should be permitted to preach the gospel in all the nooks and crannies of Ilorin. In Yorubaland, the Christians are permitted to pray for the Kabiyesi at the beginning of every year in his palace. The annual prayer is expected to begin and end in the Oba’s palace. In other words, the Christians in Ilorin should not be an exemption.

4.     The theology of Prosperity should be critically examined because it could lead to an abuse of interpretation and lasiness.We believe that that Christians should work and pray always.


Christianity in the post-colonial era in Ilorin has been a different institution from what it was in the pre-colonial and colonial era. The activities of the mainline and Aladura churches are being effectively challenged by the Pentecostal churches.  In fact many of the mainline and Aladura churches have started adjusting and adopting Pentecostal mode of worship. This is because   they have discovered that they are loosing some of their members, most especially the youths to the Pentecostal churches. Some of the mainline and Aladura churches are now effectively involved in some features of Pentecostal churches of divine healing,evangelism,women participating in church programmes, night   vigils etc.The Pentecostal churches  have been seen to have  challenged the activities of both the Mainline and Aladura churches in Ilorin. Considering the activities of the churches in general we believe that they have all contributed to the development of Ilorin in particular and Nigeria in general.

Notes and References

1.     Michael Crowther, The Story of Nigeria, London: Faber and Faber, 1978, p.237

2.     J.B.Webster,The African Church Among the Yoruba,1888-1922, Oxford: Clarendon Press,1964

3.     H.W. Turner, African Independent Church: The Church of the Lord(Aladura) 2 Volume,Oxford:Clarendom Press,1967,See also, Deji Ayegboyin and Ademola Ishola,African Indigenous Churches An Historical Perspective,Lagos,Greater Heights Publications,1999,See also,J.D.Y. Peel,Aladura;A Religious Movement among the Yoruba,London:International African Institute: Oxford University Press,1968,See also,J.A. Omoyajowo, Cherubim and Seraphim: The History of an African Independent Church,London:NOK Publishers,1982

4.     Rotimi Omotoye, “Divine Healing in the Aladura Churches: A Phenomenon of challenge to the Mainline Churches in Nigeria” Journal of Arabic and Religious Studies, Department of Religious Studies, University of Ilorin, Ilorin Volume 13 pp60-69

5.     Matthews A.Ojo,”Of Saints and Sinners: Pentecostalism and the Paradox of Social Transformation in Modern Nigeria” Inaugural Lecture Series 227,Obafemi Awolowo University,Ile-Ife p.21

6.     Rotimi  Williams Omotoye,”Charisma as a phenomenon in the Growth and Expansion of Pentecostal Churches in Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria” CESNUR Centro Studi sulle Nuove Religioni diretto da Massimo Introvigne  www.cesnur.org pp1-14

7.     Rotimi Omotoye, “Christianity and Educational Development in Ilorin Metropolis (1855-1995),A Journal of Religious Studies(JORS) University of Uyo,Volume 1,No 1 pp104-117

8.     Rotimi Omotoye,”Divine Healing in the Aladura Churches: A Phenomenon of challenge to the Mainline Churches in Nigeria” pp60-69

9.     Rotimi Omotoye,”Charisma as a phenomenon in the Growth and Expansion of Pentecostal Churches in Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria”

10.  Rotimi Omotoye, “Christianity  and Cultural Development: An Examination of the Aladura Churches in Yorubaland” Ade P.Dopamu(eds)in Dialogue Issues in Contemporary Discussion,Akute:Big Small Books,2007 pp329-343

11.  Rotimi Omotoye, “The Role of Pentecostal Churches on National Development in Nigeria” A paper presented at the 4th  International Conference of the African Association for the Study of Religions(AASR),held at Obafemi Awolowo University,Ile-Ife,17th -21st January,2010.

12.  M.P.Adogbo and Crowder E.Ojo.Research Methods in the Humanities,Lagos:Maithouse Press Limited,2003 p9

13.  J.D.Y.Peel,p181

14.  J.A.Omoyajowo

15.  Richard Burgess, Nigeria’s Christian Revolution: The Civil War Revival and its Pentecostal Progeny(1967-2006) Carlisle:Paternoster,2008

16.  Matthews A.Ojo

17.   S.Erivwo,A History of Christianity in Nigeria The Urhobo,The Isoko and the Itshekiri,Ibadan:Daystar Press,1978.pp1-3

18.  Ogbu Kalu(ed)Christianity in Nigeria, Ibadan:Sefer Press,1975

19.  Rotimi Omotoye, “The Challenges of Survival of a Mission: An Examination of the Anglican Diocese of Badagry”Orita Ibadan Journal of Religious Studies XL1/1 June 2009 www.oritajournal.org p232

20.  Rotimi Omotoye, “An Examination of the Attitudes of Traditional Rulers to the Introduction of Christianity in the Pre-Colonial Era in Yorubaland” Centre point Humanity Edition Volume 11 Number 1 A Journal of Intellectual, Scientific and Cultural Interest, University of Ilorin,Nigeria.p7

21.  Abiola  T. Dopamu, “Religious Pluralism in Nigeria: The Example of the Yoruba” Ade P.Dopamu(eds)et.al Dialogue Issues in Contemporary Discussion p319

22.  Ogbu Kalu

23.  Abiola T Dopamu p320

24.  Rotimi Omotoye,”The Contribution of Bishop Charles Phillips to the Church, Political and Socio-economic life in Eastern Yorubaland(1877-1906)”Unpublished PhD Thesis submitted to the University of Ibadan,2000

25.  Rotimi Omotoye,”A Historical Perspective of Population estimate in the Pre-colonial Era in Yorubaland: Assessing Pioneering efforts of Christian Missionaries” Religions A Journal of the Nigerian Association for the Study of Religions Volume 18, December,2008 pp1-12

26.  Ariri-Chidomere A.C. “Christianity in Lagos” Fundamentals of General Studies, Lagos State University,A.O.K.Noah(ed),Lagos:Olu-Akin Publishers pp 231-234

27.  Rotimi Omotoye,

28.  Hakeem O.Danmole “Emirate of the “Yarba”:Ilorin in the Nineteenth Century” H.Babbayi(eds)et.al The Sokoto Caliphate History and Legacies 1804-2004,Kaduna:Ahmadu Bello University,2006pp31-51

29.  Ibid

30.  Rotimi Omotoye, “Christianity and Educational Development in Ilorin Metropolis(1855-1995)

31.  Ibid

32.  Ibid

33.  S.M Mepayida, “A Brief Survey of the Emergence and Impact of the Anglican Church in Kogi and Kwara States(1854-1999) Orita Ibadan Journal of Religious Studies XL1/1 June 2000 p.201 www.oritajournal.org

34.  Ibid

35.  Ibid

36.  Rotimi Omotoye, “Christianity and Educational Development in Ilorin Metropolis (1855-1995)

37.  Ibid

38.  Ibid

39.  Matthews A. Ojo

40.  Bolaji Idowu,Olodumare,God in Yoruba Belief,Lagos:Longman,1962 p5

41.  Rotimi Omotoye

42.  Ibid

43.  Ibid

44.  A.O.Igenoza,Polygamy and the African Churches A Biblical Appraisal of an African Marriage System A Publication of the African Association for the Study of Religions,Ibadan:Oluben Printers,2003  p27

45.  Matthews A Ojo

46.  Rotimi Omotoye, “Charisma as a phenomenon in the Growth and Expansion of Pentecostal Churches in Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria”

47.  Rotimi Omotoye, “Divine Healing in the Aladura Churches: A phenomenon of challenge to the mainline churches in Nigeria”

48.  Ibid

49.  S.A Owoeye, “Evangelization and Electro—Media Technology Among the Pentecostal Churches in Yorubaland” Journal of Arabic and Religious Studies, Volume 16, University of Ilorin, Ilorin December,2002 p126

50.  Ibid

51.  Rotimi Omotoye

52.  Matthews A Ojo

53.  Ibid

54.  A.O.Dada, “Prosperity Gospel in Nigerian Context: A Medium of Social Transformation or An Impetus for Delusion? Orita Journal of Religious Studies University of Ibadan,XXXV1/1-2 June and December 2004 p98

55.  Oyeronke Olademo “Women,Pentecostalism,and Public Life in Nigeria” Orita Journal of Religious Studies, University of Ibadan,XL1/1 June 2009 p 152 www.oritajournal.org