Joseph Ayodele Babalola was born on 25 April 1904 of Yoruba parents (Pa David Lawani Rotimi and Madam Martha Talabi Rotimi ) at Odo-Owa, Kwara State, Nigeria.
He was brought up as an Anglican. He was registered at an elementary school at Oto-Awori on Badagry Road, Lagos State, in 1914. He got to standard four, before he became a blacksmith’s apprentice and he learned it for two years, before he became a steamroller operator under the PWD (Public Works Department), then under the control of Great Britain, learning to become a steamroller driver. After 15 days of learning to drive the caterpillar, he was able to drive it without any assistance. After nine months; he became a master in his class. A steamroller was first given to him on 1st of April 1928 to work on the Osogbo – Ilesha road. On June 14, 1928 he was transferred to Akure–Ilesha road. On 9th of October 1928 at about 12 o’clock he was by his steamroller by the river Ariran, it was here he heard a loud voice from above like the roar of thunder which called his name thrice saying “Joseph! Joseph!! Joseph!!! Leave this job you are doing; if not, this year you are going to be cut off from the earth.” Again On 11 October 1928, while trying to repair his machine, he heard an audible voice from the Lord to abandon the job and start preaching. That is how he received the call and he went into fasting and prayer. Ayo Babalola was sent out of the Anglican Church of his village by his Bishop because most members of the Church see visions; speak in tongues and pray vigorously. Babalola was baptized in Lagos lagoon in December 1929
Ministry and healing.
In 1930 Faith Tabernacle affiliated with the The Apostolic Church with General Headquarters in the United Kingdom (and not British Apostolic Church, as erroneously called by some authors)
(1). Then following a schism in The Apostolic Church about 1940, Babalola went with a group led by Pastors J.B. Akinyele and D.O. Odubanjo to form a new independent church.
(2). Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), where he continued his healing and revivalistic activities until his death. The CAC regards Babalola as an apostle owing to his evident apostolic gifts that characterized his revival ministry as the beginning of the church, while in actual sense by real church ordination he was not at any time historically ordained into that office.
A CAC retreat center was built at Ikeji-Arakeji, Osun State where Babalola was first called in 1928. However, it is pertinent to note that Babalola was not the sole founder of CAC as many claim today but one of the trio of CAC Founding Fathers.
(3). To corroborate this, on registration of CAC with Corporate Affairs Commission in 1943, Pastors Akinyele and Odubanjo occupied the offices of first President and Vice-President/General Superintendent respectively, while Babalola (who was junior to the duo in both Faith Tabernacle and The Apostolic Church), occupied the Office of General Evangelist. This error of founder-ship here pointed out needs to be corrected in history.
Although He died on 26th of July 1959, The Christ Apostolic Church has not died along with Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola. In fact it has grown rapidly over the years, with many churches under the Christ Apostolic Church name but each church with a specific branch name. The Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU) a private Nigerian university located in Ikeji-Arakeji in Osun State, established by the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) Worldwide is named after him, located at the place where he says he was called by God in 1928.