Joseph Ayo Babalola, 1904-1959: Holy People of the World: A Cross- Cultural Encyclopedia, Vol.1
Joseph Ayo Babalola was born in 1904 at Odo Owa in Kwara, Nigeria, into an Anglican family. He had an elementary school education and thereafter was trained as a mechanic. Receiving the call to preach in his mid-twenties, he abandoned his job as a streamroller operator with the Public Works department of the colonial government and became a prophet. In the years that followed, he demonstrated extraordinary spiritual powers. In 1930, he joined Faith Tabernacle, one of the earliest independent churches in Nigeria. As an itinerant evangelist, he travelled far and wide in Yorubaland and also among the Akan people in Ghana. He had converts among kings and the masses, and his message permeated both rural and urban communities.