The Eternal Sacred Order of the Cherubim and Seraphim was solely founded by Saint Moses Orimolade Tunolase. He began his ministry from his home town Ikare. He left Ikare in 1915 and his missionary journey took him to Lokoja, Jos, Zaria, Kano and later down to Ilorin and Oshogbo until he arrived in Lagos in July 1924.
His first residence was at Ebute-Ero Anglican C.M.S Church, Lagos. From there he moved in September to the Ifako Agege plantation of Chief J. K. Coker, founder of the African Church.
In December, he moved to the residence of Chief J. K. Coker at No. 1 Balogun Square, Lagos. He intensified his preaching of the gospel in Lagos, be it in churches or through open air preaching. He quoted the Bible freely and recited portions to the amazement of his followers who had grown to large numbers.
However, there was no name for the band yet. On the 29th of June, 1925, Elder Hunny Moite and Mrs. Malomo (Iya Ibeji) called Baba Moses Orimolade Tunolase to come and heal Miss Abiodun Akinsowon who had fallen ill as a result of the strange beings she saw. She was healed of this mysterious vision and she subsequently became one of the followers of Moses Orimolade Tunolase.
As the number of followers increased, it became necessary to name the organisation. Members were therefore asked to fast and pray for three days for spiritual direction on the name to be given to the organisation.
At 9.00am, on the 9th of September, 1925 after the members had fasted and prayed for three days as directed, the Founder named the organisation the BAND of SERAPH at Agoshofin, Lagos. In the year 1926, on the 26th day of March, the name CHERUB was added.
The church thereafter became known as Cherubim and Seraphim. The Holy Order spread very quickly and branches were opened at Ebute Metta (Nov. 1925) Agege and Egba District (Feb. 1926), Shagamu (March 1926), Ijebu-Ode, Ibadan, Abeokuta, Oshogbo and Ondo (April 1927). Ile-Ife and Ijabe (1928) and Ilaje (December 1929).
Earlier on the 29th of September 1925, the Founder (Baba) named HOLY(Angel) MICHAEL as the Captain of the Order. On the 27th of November, 1925 he selected 70 disciples (45 brothers and 25 sisters) and created several bands shortly afterwards.
The Praying Band was named on the 13th of December, 1925. In 1926, Baba named the Twelve Patriarchs, the Army of Salvation, the Esther Band and the Fogo Olorun Han Band. The Martha and Mary bands were named by Baba in 1928.
The Ita Balogun Branch under late Elder E. A. Davies, broke away from the Order on the 27th of May, 1929. On the 20th of August, 1931, Baba named HOLY GABRIEL as the Vice Captain of the Holy Order.
During this period, Baba had moved from place to place in Lagos living with different people. As at the time the Order was named in 1925, he was living with Momo Giwa at Agoshofin. He moved on to live in the house of Mr. Holloway at Martin Street in June 1926.
In April 1927, he moved to the house of W.A. Dawodu at Egerton Road. In October 1928, Baba moved to the house of late Ezekiel Davies at Balogun Street, where he lived until May 1929 when he moved to Offin Canal as a result of a dispute. He left there to live at No. 42 Daddy Alaja in September 1929, where he lived for four years.
Notwithstanding all these difficulties, Saint Moses Orimolade Tunolase was able to register the Order under the Company Ordinance Cap. 18, as No. 316 on the 14th of February, 1930. He departed Daddy Alaja in September 1933 for Ojokoro. He lived briefly at Osholake Street, Ebute-Metta on his way to Ojokoro.
Baba had earlier in December 1931, ordained Mrs. A. Bickeseth as Mother Seraph, Mrs. R. Johnson as Mother Cherub and Mrs. M. I. Adeoye as Captain, in place of Captain Abiodun who had been separated from the Church. In December 1931, the Order won a court case restraining the Praying Band and Ita Balogun from bearing the name C & S. The Order however, has since continued to spread across the land having established at Epe (June 1930), Ajase, Shaki and Oke Ogun (September 1931).
Baba Moses Orimolade Tunolase finally moved on the 5th October, 1933 to the Ojokoro farm of late Revd. D. J. Oguntolu. On the 11th of October, 1933, Baba blessed Elder Onanuga, put one of his garments on him and showed him as his able successor.
On Thursday, the 19th October 1933, at 3.00a.m, in the midst of his disciples, Baba took his last breath and was laid to rest at Ojokoro on the 20th October, 1933.
Baba Aladura Abraham Williams Onanuga was consecrated BABA ALADURA On the 24th of December 1933 by Elder J. O. Coker. Consequently, Baba Aladura Onanuga went to stay at Enu Owa (Richard Lane, Lagos). The Praying Band led by Ezekiel Davies agreed to work in the unification with the Eternal Sacred Order of the Cherubim and Seraphim.
Consequently upon this agreement, Abraham Onanuga went back to Ita Balogun, the old Headquarters of The Praying Band which Moses Orimolade departed from in 1929. He thought he should unite the Holy Order of the Cherubim and Seraphim. In 1935 the late Baba Aladura Gabriel Ogunyadi observed that the members of the Eternal Sacred Order of the Cherubim and Seraphim were disintegrating.
The Ilajes were no longer coming to the National Conference. The same thing happened to the Dahomeians (Benin Republic). Even the members in Lagos area had all scattered. In the Lagos Island, only Elder Ogunyadi, who was the leader of Ita Balogun remained, Elder Adebulewo had gone to Ijebu.
Elder Ogunyadi according to his own statement approached Baba Aladura Onanuga about the unification of Cherubim and Seraphim. He sought permission to start worshipping in the name of Eternal Sacred Order of Cherubim and Seraphim.
Baba Aladura Onanuga granted the permission. Unfortunately, at one of the said services conducted by Elder Ogunyadi, a member from Ita Balogun sent the late Baba Aladura S. A. Adewunmi to stop the service being conducted by Ogunyadi. This resulted in a fracas, so Ogunyadi decided not to be part of the unification any longer.
He went to Ojokoro and requested that Elder Peter Omojola should come and lead his own faction of the Eternal Sacred Order of Cherubim and Seraphim. They hired a room at Hotonou in Lagos for their worship. With this division there were four factions in Lagos.
a) The Eternal Sacred Order of Cherubim and Seraphim led by Baba Aladura Onanuga
b) The Eternal Sacred Order of Cherubim and Seraphim led by Peter Omojola
c) The Praying Band of Cherubim and Seraphim led by E. A. Davies
d) The Cherubim and Seraphim Society led by Abiodun Emmanuel
There was need for reconciliation. The four groups were invited to Abeokuta by the Alake of Egba-Land who after hearing from all sides of the Cherubim and Seraphim advised that:
Baba Aladura Onanuga be recognised as the Only BABA ALADURA
Elder E. A. Davies should be regarded as a Leader.
Captain Abiodun Emmanuel to be regarded as the Mother.
These settlement terms did not grant any position to the Ogunyadi group.
Towards the end of 1936 the agreement was broken by the Praying Band of the Cherubim and Seraphim. Baba Onanuga departed Lagos for Ebute Metta to stay with his son at Kano Street.
As stated in the history of Moses Orimolade, Ebute Metta had already established a Branch by 1928. In fact, Elder J. O. Coker was a member of that Branch as he was staying at Glover Street in Ebute Metta. Baba Aladura Onanuga later relocated the Branch to Obasa house at the junction of Strachan and Ibadna Street (Olopo Merin) and later moved to Bola Street, Ebute Metta.
The Unification between the Eternal Sacred Order of Cherubim and Seraphim led by Baba Aladura Onanuga and Cherubim and Seraphim Society led by Abiodun Emmanuel continued steadfastly until the death of Baba Aladura Onanuga in 1946. The late Senior Apostle Rufus who helped to establish the Odi-Olowo branch of the Eternal Sacred Order of Cherubim and Seraphim was originally a member of the Cherubim and Seraphim Society.
The Order grew strong and waged war against the evil societies around them including the Alawo cult members, Oloros, Egungun, worshippers of Sango and Obatala, the witches and wizards. The battles were fierce; the Holy Order not only won but was able to convert many.
In February 1937, Baba Aladura Onanuga ordained the second eight Elders as Apostles of the Order. Membership had grown to an extent that tenants in Oguntolu’s house at Bola Street, Ebute Metta could no longer move freely.
Oguntolu then gave the Holy Order a piece of land at No 75, Ibadan Street, Ebute Metta, East free of charge. Baba Aladura Onanuga laid the foundation of the Prayer House at No. 75, Ibadan Street, Ebute Metta on 8th February, 1937. The building was completed and dedicated on 8th July, 1942.
He named it Mount Zion House of Prayer. This House was then regarded as Headquarters of the Eternal Sacred Order of the Cherubim and Seraphim. He organised the Holy Lamb (Sept. 1937), Aladura Ojojumo Band (July, 1942), Atupa ti Olorun Tan Band (July 1944) and Ifeloju Band (July, 1945).
Baba Aladura Onanuga popularised the use of incense, consecration and blessing of oil and most of the prayer gowns of different ranks were designed during his reign. He introduced most of the anointed ranks of the Order. As a matter of fact, he introduced the Order Book.
In April 1946, Baba Aladura Abraham Onanuga slept in the Lord. When he was about to breathe his last, only the female members were with him, namely Mother Roberts, Mother Selon, Captain Wadde’l and a few others.
They inquired from him about his successor and he told them that out of the three Most Senior Elders namely Elder J. O. Coker, Elder Amodu Adewunmi and Elder J. S. Olugbusi, the spirit had chosen the youngest, Elder Amodu Adewunmi. He then gave up the ghost and was laid to rest at Apena Cemetery.
Elder Samuel Amodu Adewunmi who was one of the pioneers of the Seraphim Society in 1925, was one of the second set of Apostles ordained in February, 1937. His ordination as Baba Aladura took place at No 70, Bola Street, Ebute Metta in the house of late Reverend Oguntolu and was anointed by Elder J. S. Olugbusi on the 9th of April, 1947.
During his reign as Baba Aladura, he organised the Blessed Israelites Band in November 1947. On the 5th of December, 1947, he wrote off Secretary Oladeinde of the Ibadan Unification Conference for their failure to abide by the standing regulation of the Order.
He organised the General Conference of the Holy Order in December, 1948.
His reign witnessed a lot of expansion as the Order was established in May 1949 at Enugu and Onitsha, Aba, Port-Harcourt, Calabar, Owerri, Umuahia, Diobu, Degema, Ahoada, Okrika and all Eastern Districts, also Benin, Ishan, Iruekpen, Sapele etc. in the then Mid-Western Province of Nigeria.
There had been a message way back in 1939 that the Holy Order should not organise any harvest for the Angels are the harvesters and when the time comes, the Holy Order would be directed on what to do. Ten years later, Baba Aladura Adewunmi through spiritual direction established the Adoption Thanksgiving Service for the Holy Order in 1949. In the month of November 1949, he organised the Egbe Ore Ofe.
As the Church progressed, the Holy Order was established in Ghana and registered as No. 12 Cap 156 Company Ordinance in the Town of Accra, Ghana. The Baba Aladura organized a Sub-Conference in July 1950 and in October of the same year, Egbe Ogo Oluwa was organised.
Baba Aladura Adewunmi organised the Eastern Conference in May 1953; while the Order was preached and established at Surulere in 1957. In June 1957, Baba Aladura Adewunmi established the Church at No. 62A, Rufai Street, Surulere. The Church is now the Headquarters of Elder E. Olu Coker’s Morning Star when it broke away from the Holy Order.
Baba Aladura Samuel Adewunmi enjoyed the last supper with eleven Elders at his residence No. 66, Ibadan Street, (East) Ebute Metta on Wednesday night, 25th September, 1957. On the 28th September, 1957, he slept in the Lord at Ebute Metta but had earlier instructed elders to take him to Ojokoro for interment and was so performed. He was aged 65 years.
In 1957 Elder S. A. Adewunmi who was then the Baba Aladura died, the mantle of office of Baba Aladura fell on Elder Josiah Soyemi Olugbusi, but a visioner delivered a message that “no Baba Aladura should be ordained until 3 years, 3 months, 3 weeks, and 3 days after the death of Baba Aladura S. A. Adewunmi”.
He accepted the challenge and was acting as Baba Aladura for 3 years, 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days until he was subsequently ordained Baba Aladura in December, 1960 by the Mount Zion Section of the Eternal Sacred Order of the Cherubim and Seraphim. He held the post until the Board was re-constituted in 1961, and he became the First Baba Aladura of the re-constituted Eternal Sacred Order of the Cherubim and Seraphim in 1962.
Elder Josiah Soyemi Olugbusi-Ajagungbade came into contact with Moses Orimolade Tunolase, the founder of this Holy Order who was then living at Agoshofin Street in Lagos, before the Order was named Seraphim in September, 1925. As he was not resident in Lagos, his membership was not well known to several people.
In 1927 he relocated to Lagos and became a regular member at a Bible Class under H. A. Phillips, then a Leader. He was in fact the secretary of the Bible Class. He held this post until 1929 when there was trouble in the Order and H. A. Philips and others left the fold to form their own sect.
The spiritual father refused to follow H. A. Philips out of the fold. Out of about 1,500 members of that Bible Class only himself and his family opted to follow the founder Moses Orimolade Tunolase when the group seceded in May 1929.
Baba Aladura Dr. G. I. M. Otubu who was the author of his biography was one of those who saw the letter addressed by him to the Permanent Secretary of the former Ministry of Lagos Affairs as Secretary of the Organisation reporting the death of the founder, Saint Moses Orimolade Tunolase, and the subsequent appointment of Elder A. W. Onanuga, as his successor.
During his tenure of office, the following Bands and Posts were created:-
The Army of Christ, the Supervising Apostle and Mary as anointed cadres and the post of the Chancellor.
He died on Holy Trinity day, Sunday 17th June, 1973 and was buried at Oko-Oba Agege.
When Elder Olugbusi passed away in 1973, Elder G. A. Ogunyadi was ordained the 5th Baba Aladura on December 3, 1973 at Idi Oro Court.
During the reign of Baba Aladura Onanuga, Elder Ogunyadi was worshipping first at Richard Lane and later at No 10 Hotonou Street in Lagos where they made Peter Omojola Baba Aladura.
The group under Baba Aladura Ogunyadi later dismissed Peter Omojola. The Group then moved to Martins Street, then King George V. Street, then Macarthy Street and finally, to Idi-Oro Court Lagos. At Macarthy Street, he continued in the Eternal way until he was invited for settlement with Ebute-Metta and the reorganisation of the Advisory Board.
At the outcome of this, he became the first Deputy Baba Aladura to the Holy Order (Dec. 1962) with Elder Olugbusi as Baba Aladura. He was a Spiritualist to the core and a faithful Elder of Eternal.
During his reign as Baba Aladura, the temporary Headquarters of the Holy Order was transferred from No 20, Pearse Street, Surulere to 9/11 Pearse Street, Surulere in 1974. In 1975, the New York Branch of the Order was established and also the 50th anniversary of the naming of the Order was celebrated.
In the year 1980, some Provincial Councils like Nkwere, Orlu, Sapele and Etche were established and also on 19th December 1980, the London Branch was established. In 1981, the foundation of Mount Zion Cathedral at 38 Tejuosho Street, Surulere, was laid while the Ngor Okpala Provincial Council was established in 1982.
On the 3rd of December, 1982, the Mount Zion Cathedral was consecrated by the Baba Aladura Ogunyadi assisted by the Senior Apostle General (SAG) Otubu and other top elders. On the 1st of August 1985, the London Cathedral, Mount of Salvation was officially opened.
It is on record that Baba Aladura G. A. Ogunyadi composed from the spirit, one of the greatest hymns of the Holy Order, Hymn No. 196 “Moses Orimolade is our Great Teacher”
Elder G. A. Ogunyadi slept in the Lord on the 7th day of October, 1985 and was buried at Oko-Oba in Agege, Lagos State.
After the death of Baba Aladura Ogunyadi, Elder G. I. M. Otubu, the then Senior Apostle General was appointed the Baba Aladura
In 1954, when Elder G. I. M. Otubu took up civil service appointment in Enugu, he started worshipping at the Eternal Sacred Order of Cherubim and Seraphim at Chief Agbor Street, Asata, Enugu. He started all over again from the beginning as Aladura and rose through the ranks and was ordained Apostle in 1959.
In the East, he worked tirelessly with others to propagate the gospel of Jesus Christ and to spread the doctrine of E.S.O.C. & S building prayer houses, opening new branches and converting new members to the Holy Order. At a time, when the Holy Order was seen by other people as an anathema, he was not ashamed to carry the cross.
Noticing a striking lack of uniformity in the way officers of the Order were conducting church services, with people doing different and sometimes contradicting things , h e wrote and caused t o b e published a booklet entitled “ E x p l a n a t o r y N o t e s ” which sort to standardise order of worship and is still in use till today.
He also published a guide entitled Duties of workers for all officers of the Holy Order on matters of conduct in and out of office and on questions of propriety and decorum in their behavior.
Elder Otubu also took upon himself to translate and modernise the Holy Order’s hymns from their traditional Yoruba into English, and the compilation of such hymns (together with other popular church hymns) into a single convenient volume.
When he arrived in Lagos, he worshipped with Elder E. Olu Coker who had been their leader at Rufai Street, Surulere and from there he was introduced to the Baba Aladura at Mount Zion Headquarters, Ebute-Metta.
In the same year, he was admitted as member of the Executive Committee by the Baba Aladura after the decision in the High Court in case No 194/59. The advisory board was organised, Mount Zion and Idi-Oro Court came together to form the Advisory Board. During the 1969 crisis at Ebute-Metta, Elder Otubu along with Elders Ojo, Uwanikone, Badejo and Ayo Olugbusi were arrested and charged with murder but thank God, they were all discharged and acquitted.
Elder Otubu, under the direction of Late Baba Aladura Olugbusi contributed immensely to the acquisition of land for the relocation of the New National Headquarters to Surulere and almost single handedly built the new Cathedral at Tejuosho, Surulere. Elder Otubu was also instrumental in the establishment of the Holy Order in London, England and New York, United State of America and the spread of the Holy Order throughout the world.
As a result of his hard work and loyalty to the church and the then Baba Aladura, he was ordained Chancellor to the Baba Aladura, a post that has not been held by any other member of the Holy Order, until recently.
In 1961, he was appointed Secretary to the Holy Order and later ordained Senior Apostle General (S.A.G.) in 1973; a post held till 1985 when he was appointed Baba Aladura by the Advisory Board. His Induction Ceremony as Baba Aladura was held on 12th September, 1986 at the Mount Zion National Headquarters Surulere Lagos.
Baba Aladura Otubu introduced the posts of Special Senior Apostle, Apostle General and Supervising Apostle General as well as Senior Mother in Israel. He also established the King David Association, the Eternal Touch Bearers Association and the Eternal Sisters Association.
He created the Central Management Committees (CMC) as well as Finance Committee to ensure probity, accountability and good governance in all the provinces of the Holy Order. Baba Aladura Otubu greatly enhanced the image of the Holy Order in Nigeria and abroad.
He was a member of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN); National President of the Organisation of African Instituted Churches (OAIC); the International President of the Organisation of African Instituted Church with headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya and member of Nigeria Inter Religion Council (NIREC) among others.
Elder G. I. M. Otubu slept in the Lord on the 17th of November, 2004 and was buried at Oghara, Delta State. After his death, Elder (Dr.) E. Olu Okeyemi was ordained Baba Aladura on September, 8th 2005.