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Coronavirus: How God used late Prophetess Sophia Odunlami to cure Spanish Influenza pandemic in 1918




By 'Gbenga Bankole


Christ Apostolic Church has produced so many God's Generals who have used their encounters with the Holy Spirit to bring lasting solutions to the problems of mankind. One of such Generals this generation needs to celebrate and emulate is Prophetess Sophia Odunlami, a battleaxe God used to cure Spanish Influenza pandemic in 1918.


In a journal written by Revd. Dr. Samson Adetunji Fatokun
titled "The Origin, Growth and Development of the Precious Stone Church – the Pioneering African Indigenous Pentecostal Denomination in Southwest Nigeria" it was gathered that Prophetess Sophia Odunlami who was a member of the Precious Stone was brought to limelight by God during the outbreak of Spanish Influenza which killed millions of people across the globe.


Precious Stone which later metamorphosed to Christ Apostolic Church was a prayer group raised through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in 1918.



A significant development in the prayer group which earned her popularity as a prophetic healing movement was the outpouring of the Spirit of God upon a nineteen-year old Sophia Odunlami.


This was believed to be an answer to the group’s cry for spiritual renewal and divine healing from the Spanish Influenza. Sophia Odunlami (later Mrs. Ajayi), a school mistress and Shadare’s niece, had a spiritual experience which resulted in her divine empowerment as the first evangelist and prophetess of the group. Sophia was herself one of the victims of the influenza for five days. But it was during this period when she laid dying in a weak body  that she received an ‘outpouring of the Spirit from on high’ which revived and transformed, not only her life, but as well made the entire town to witness, for the first time in its history, a vivid demonstration of the Pentecostal power with signs following. In her trance, she reportedly heard a voice: “I shall send peace to this house and the whole world as the world war is ended.” More significantly, she received a divine revelation that the most effectual remedy for the influenza victims would be ‘sanctified rain water’ and aggressive prayer.


Furthermore, it was allegedly revealed to her repeatedly that members of the church were “sinning” in various ways such as using medicine (both native and European), chewing kola – nuts, drinking too much palm-wine, wearing charms, dressing flamboyantly, and having feasts on Sundays.



Awaking from her spiritual stupor loaded with the power of the Holy Spirit in a way reminiscent of Jesus’ return from Jordan after baptism with the Holy Spirit, Sophia became an itinerant Pentecostal evangelist in Ijebuland emphasising, among other things, repentance, regeneration, sanctification, and particularly divine healing through faith in the blood of Jesus (a message that was not in any way practically famous before that time in the south-western Nigerian Christianity). With this prophetic-healing campaign, several people reportedly received divine healing from the influenza. Diverse miracles were also reportedly performed through her. Consequent upon this, a good number of people joined this spiritual renewal prayer group. In line with the vision earlier given to her concerning the church, she particularly denounced the use of medicine of any sort (both traditional and orthodox), chewing of Kola, drinking of alcohol, and gorgeous dressing (which was a key feature in Ijebu culture especially during celebration times), in her prophetic campaigns. This message of Sophia became the bedrock of the strict anti-medicinal Puritanism with which the group was later known.



In a manner that defied scientific explanation, influenza victims were cured by heeding to Sophia’s prophetic warning and particularly through the use of her sanctified rain water for drinking and bathing. The people of Ijebuland were astonished at the great demonstration of the power of God through Sophia. To say that the same atmosphere which blew the wind of epidemic could also almost at the same time harbour rain with healing virtue, was to them something beyond human explanation. It is also equally significant to note that the rise of Pentecostalism in south-western Nigeria, with its prophetic-healing dimension, was through the instrumentality of a lady in an age when the feminine gender was highly discriminated against as weaker vessels in church ministry.


A WAKE UP CALL!
The God of our fathers in Christ Apostolic Church is still alive to do greater works than before. He even promised us in the scripture that "latter glory shall be greater than the former."


Also, apart from outbreak of pestilence, war etc. which Jesus prophesied will happen in the last days, the Bible also says in Acts chapter 2 verse 17 and I quote "And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams."


Through our belief in Christ Jesus and God's promise for the last days, what happened in 1918 can still be repeated. We need to wake up from our slumber and call on the God of our fathers in one accord. Knowing full well we should not forget who we are and what we have in Christ.

3 comments:

  1. Jesus Christ pay for our sin we believers need to rest our thrust in him he surely deliver our from this pandemic amen

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  2. Power as of old I need it Lord

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  3. Great hope indeed we have in Jesus. However, the source that Fatokun article quoted (Adegboyin and Ademola, 1997), to which this blog used did not quote a source or declared that they conducted body of work that established that Prophetess Sophia Odunlami actually healed 1918/1919 influenza afflicted people. whether by rain water or any other spiritual means. It is high time we have strong documents for our testimonies. Let us document healings (even of COVID 19) possibly with health authorities attestation.

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