Before 1930, Joseph Babalola was a young road builder in Nigeria. Then the Holy Spirit came over him. He found himself unable to sleep for days as he read books, especially the Bible. He became a preacher, and crowds eventually began to follow him. His messages focused on an insight of “impending doom” and the need for repentance. “Many of these themes have the ring of John the Baptist, the second Elijah, in repairing for the in-breaking of the rule of God directly over God’s people” (Mark Shaw, Global Awakening: How 20th-Century Revivals Triggered a Christian Revolution [Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2010], 15). As the people of Jerusalem did not resist John the Baptist’s call to repentance, so the people of Nigeria didn’t resist Babalola’s message. He faced opposition, but Babalola is credited with the expansion of churches throughout West Africa.
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