The Profile of Ven. Collins Olufemi Babalola, Bishop-Elect for Ajayi Crowther Diocese.

  • Korede Akintunde
  • July 31, 2023

Collins Olufemi Babalola was born in Ibadan six decades ago to parents that originated from Modakeke and Ile-Ife in Osun state, Nigeria.

He had his elementary and secondary school education in Modakeke between 1969 and 1980. He graduated with honours in English Studies from University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Ile-Ife in 1986. He holds a Masters of Communication Arts (MCA) from University of Ibadan and is at present pursuing PhD in Mass Communication and Media Technology at Lead City University, Ibadan.

He attended Immanuel College of Theology, Samonda, Ibadan for his ordination training as a graduate student between 1992 and 1994 where he bagged Diploma in Theology. Much later, he attended Crowther Graduate College Seminary, Abeokuta, to bag Bachelor of Theology

Besides, he has attended numerous workshops and special Leadership/Management Courses within and outside Nigeria. Some of them included three weeks Leadership Course at Haggai Institute, Maui, USA in 2005; and Power, Politics and Christendom Course at Anglican Centre in Rome in 2018.

Collins Babalola had his first encounter with God which made him to confess Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Saviour on December 31 1979. He backslid for a little while between February and May 1980. Through the mercies of God, he had his second encounter with God which made him to rededicate his life to God. This was followed with the experience of baptism in the Holy Spirit with evidence of speaking with tongues just before he sat for June 1980 West African School Certificate Examination.

Shortly after the incident, he left the Anglican Church to Gospel Faith Mission International. However, in obedience to the instruction of the Holy Spirit, he returned back to the Anglican Church in !981 to become a teacher in the Sunday School Department. He joined the defunct branch of International Bible Reading Association of St Stephen’s Anglican Church, Modakeke which was made up of a group of born again Christians that were committed to spiritual awakening in the Church and to evangelism. The group was disbanded at a point because the authority of the Church considered some of their activities such as exorcism, holding vigils etc. as un-Anglican. This made many of the members to exit the church to other denominations.

Sometime in 1985 when there was need for another platform to promote spiritual awakening in the Church, lead evangelical activities and spearhead children, youth and adult spiritual development, the Lord led Babalola and a few other born again young and old members of the Church to establish an evangelical group known as The Messiah Evangelical and Revival Team which had a children arm with the name Soldiers for Christ. Through the grace of God this group greatly contributed to the expansion and spiritual development of Anglican Communion in Modakeke and its environs.

Babalola served as the pioneer president of the group and coordinator of its children arm from 1985 till 1988. To the glory of God, some of the children which he discipled along with others, and some members of the evangelical group which he pioneered and led then, are today priests in the Anglican Church and pastors and pastor’s wives in some new generation churches.

While Babalola was a student at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) between 1982 and 1986, he was a member of the largest Christian Students body, the Evangelical Christian Union. Beside being a member, he served in the school visitation and Bible study units of the group and later served as Assistant Bible Study leader and Vice-President of the Union.

Prior to his acceptance of the call into full-time ordained ministry, he served as the General Secretary, of Christian Evangelical Social Movement, Nigeria (CESM), formerly known as Christian Students Social Movement of Nigeria(CSSM) the group to which he had belonged since 1980.

Babalola was made Deacon in June 1994 and ordained Priest in December 1994 by the erstwhile Bishop of Ibadan Diocese; Rt. Rev (Dr.) G.I.O Olajide. He was preferred Canon of the Cathedral of St. James, Oke-Bola in 2002 and the Pioneer Archdeacon of Ijokodo Archdeaconry in 2007 by the Most Revd. Dr. Joseph Akinfenwa.

From 1994 till the time of his election into the episcopate, he served in a number of Churches in Ibadan Diocese as Curate, Cathedral Priest and Canon, Vicar and Archdeacon in three Archdeaconries and Chairperson of numerous Committees. He also had a brief stint of serving as Diocesan Missioner of Oke Osun Diocese (Jan.1996- Dec. 1997)

Worthy of mention also is that Babalola played a pivotal role in the establishment of the following Churches in Ibadan Anglican Diocese: Evangelical Anglican Church of the Trinity, Elebu-Eleta, St Batholomew’s Anglican Church, Ogundeji, Comfort Shodipo Anglican Church of Salvation, Ologuneru, El-Shaddai Anglican Church, Teachers Estate, Idi-oro and Rehoboth Anglican Church, Odebode .

Furthermore, he has been a regular guest preacher/teacher at conferences, revival meetings, vigils and seminars within the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion and in the wider body of Christ. He was also an elected delegate of Ibadan Anglican Diocese to the General Synod of Church of Nigeria in 2011, 2017 & 2019 which held respectively in Lagos, Port-Harcourt and Abuja respectively

On the ecumenical scene, Babalola has served successfully as General Secretary, Christian Council of Nigeria (Oyo State Chapter), 2008-2011; General Secretary, Central Planning Committee of Reinhard Bonnke Ibadan City-wide Gospel Campaign (2009) and General Secretary, Christian Association of Nigeria (Oyo State Chapter), 2011-2016. He is also a life member of Bible Society of Nigeria (BSN).

To the glory of God Almighty, as an attestation to the dynamism of Collins Olufemi Babalola and as a recorgnition of his highly impactful ministry, he has received many awards

Some of Babalola’s Publications include: Keeping Hope Alive (2016); Go Forward (2016); Secrets of a Peaceful and Long Life (2015); Season of New Things (2015); Handling The Trials of Llife (2015); Your Grief Shall Turn to Joy (2005 with reprint 2016).

In conclusion, Collins Olufemi Babalola is happily married to his highly supportive jewel of inestimable value, Professor (Mrs.) Chinedum Peace Babalola who is the current Vice-Chancellor of Chrisland University, Abeokuta. Their marriage is blessed with wonderful children.


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