The Story of an Unsung Hero: History and Legacy of Garrick Sokari Braide (1882-1918)

African Church history is rich with stories of renewals across the continent. Garrick Braide is one of the pioneers of revival in Africa. Braide was born ca. 1882 in Obonoma, a small Kalabari pagan village in the Niger Delta (now Bayelsa, Delta and River State in the South of Nigeria). This village was noted as one of the leading places of pagan worship and pilgrimage in Nigeria. His parents were servants of the Ogu cult which was a titular deity of Obonoma. His parents were very poor; therefore Braide did not have the opportunity of being educated.  He later became a Christian and was baptized on January 23rd 1910 at St Andrews Anglican Church in Bakana. Garrick Braide was an Ijaw man by tribe, but he had to learn the Church catechism in Igbo language, as this was the language of instruction in all the Niger-Delta Pastorate. Braide had to learn the Ten Commandments, The Lord’s Prayer and the Creeds in Igbo before he was baptised. After his baptism, he was confirmed by Rev. James Johnson. Around 1912 Braide was beginning to be noted for his enthusiasm and religious exercises. He later felt called by the Lord into ministry and was accepted as a lay preacher in the Anglican Church of the Niger-Delta pastorate.

Braide’s method of teaching and ministry was very different from that of the Mission Churches. While they introduce Christianity through the teaching of the Creeds, The Lord’s Prayer and catechism, Braide adopted a more practical approach and contextualized the Gospel among the Delta people. He taught the people to renounce their gods, destroy their fetishes and to simply believe in the Lord Jesus. This approach is Biblical, as reflected in 1 Thessalonians 1: 9-10. Braide was convinced that the approach of the Mission Churches did not deal with the root problems of the Delta people; namely idol worshipping. He knew that until the Delta people lost faith in their witch doctors, idols and fetishes there could be no true conversion. To this end he organized a crusade against charms, idol worshipping and the use of fetish objects. The following are some of his teachings:

(1)  He emphasized absolute dependence on God and explained sin and suffering as cause and effect. He taught the people to depend on God for physical and spiritual healing. He encouraged his hearers not to seek traditional medicine nor seek the help of medical doctors.

(2)  He also preached that people should abstain from alcoholic beverages and refrain from dealing in magical practices.

(3) Braide demanded a strict observance of Sunday, because in the traditional religion the day of rest was every eighth day, Fenibene, ceremonially observed for the gods. Sunday was the Lord’s Day; therefore no normal activities should take place.

(4) He recommended a liturgy in which the indigenes should praise God in their local songs, prayers and worship. Braide taught Africans how to worship God in an African way. He castigated the missionaries for not taking the world-view of the Africans into consideration in presenting the Gospel. The Mission Churches made Christianity too remote and intellectual to meet the ritualistic needs of the Delta people’s traditional religion.

Braide’s methods of ministry redefined Christianity as a practical religion for the people of the Niger-Delta, and the result was a large number of conversions to the Anglican Church. Braide, using and encouraging the native language of the Ijaw people and not Igbo, made Christianity available to the average person. He reasoned from his own personal experience of learning the Church doctrines in Igbo that it took a long time, making it burdensome to become a Christian. Aided also by his ability to demonstrate the gift of healing through prayer, he was accepted by his people as a Prophet commissioned by God. The effect of Braide’s preaching was evident in the number of those coming to the enquirers’ class (a modern day equivalent of The Alpha Course). At the Anglican Church the number of people enquirering about Christianity ca. 1909 was 300, but by 1912 (when Braide was already involved in evangelistic activities) the number increased to 2,933.  Another influence Braide’s preaching had on the Ijaw people was to convict them to set on fire their fetishes and charms. Like the Biblical Gideon he stopped people from offering sacrifices to the great divinity of Kalabari.  Visitations to witch doctors also dramatically decreased as the people relied on God for healing. Another change that occurred was the fall in the sales of alcohol and beverages. As a result, the British administration faced a deficit of £576,000 in 1916, a loss which was ascribed to Garrick Braide’s movement. Braide moved from one village to another preaching the Gospel and telling the people to renounce their fetishes. His ministry spread from Bonny to Urhoboland, Benin and Yorubaland. Some Anglican ministers who supported Braide’s ministry noticed that the statistical figures of those becoming Christians had risen steeply. The cross of Christ was erected in the place of idols, revival meetings were held with thousands of people attending and people were healed faster at Braide’s meetings than in the care of the traditional or European doctors.

Garrick Braide achieved in three months what the Church Missionary Society (CMS) had not attained in half a century. Bishop James Johnson, the supervisor of the Niger-Delta, believed that Braide was gifted by God, but only as long as Braide acknowledged that he was endowed by God. Braide used his gift to win thousands of converts into the Anglican Church under James Johnson for a period of seven years.  Braide’s ministry was a success in that there was an awakening in Nigeria which had never occurred before. Initially, several Anglican clergy declared their approval of Braides’s evangelistic crusades because of the obvious increase in Church membership which resulted in mass baptisms, especially in the Anglican Churches.

Later the Anglican Church authorities became suspicious and ultimately very critical of Braide’s activities because he did not apply the discipline of the Anglican Church. He was accused of tolerating polygyny and calling himself ‘the second Elijah’ (Elijah redivivus). Braide had inevitably become the object of adoration because he was popular among his people.  It was even reported that people wanted to drink his bathwater in order to be healed. Personality worship, something common in Pentecostal circles today, took the place of true worship as people regarded disobeying Garrick Braide as disobeying God. The final straw came in February 1916, when chiefs from all over the Delta assembled to meet with Bishop James Johnson. The purpose of the gathering was to persuade the Bishop to give Braide an officially recognized place in the Delta Church. The request was tantamount to asking Johnson to institute the office of the Prophet in the Anglican orders. His rejection of this request led to a great schism. From this time on Braide’s followers rejected the leadership of Bishop James Johnson and the Anglican Church. Later on, as the situation deteriorated, James Johnson appealed to the Colonial administration to intervene. This intervention was welcomed by the Colonial Authorities for obvious reasons. Firstly as mentioned earlier the reduction of the sales of alcohol as a result of Braide’s preaching caused a huge deficit for the Colonial government. The Government had largely depended on the sale of alcohol for its revenue, hence their willingness to intervene. A second reason for intervention, was the prophetic movement of William Wade Harris (1865-1929) which was contemporaneous with the Braide movement and which the Colonial administration in Ivory Coast (now Cote d Ivoire) had claimed was associated with political matters. In 1915 the French government in Ivory Coast had thought it expedient to arrest and expel Harris, so the British government thought it wise to follow suit. It must also be reasoned that the Colonial powers felt threatened by a strong local man with a large following.

In March 1916 Braide was finally arrested and accused of insurrection, blasphemy and schism. He was pronounced guilty by the Colonial Authorities and was sentenced to six months imprisonment with hard labour. Shortly before he was to be released in November, eight further charges were brought against Braide and his followers. He remained in prison until January 1918. His activities after release from prison are unknown, and he was said to have survived only eleven months. He died on 15 November 1918 following an illness.

After his death his followers founded the Christ Army Church and flourished under the leadership of Rev S.A. Coker. Braide himself had never intended to start a Church of his own; he had always insisted that his mission was that of a Prophet. The Christ Army Church constituted a rival Church to the Anglican Church in the Niger Delta Pastorate, with Christ Army Church in control of Delta Christianity. However, by 1939 Christ Army Church began to decline as a result of poor funding and weak organizational structures. There was also a split in the Church because of power struggles amongst the leaders. Later, S.A. Coker was able to bring together the various strands in the Church. The Braide Movement continues today with its prophetic distinction, although they are not very prominent. In conclusion, Briade was the first revivalist and Prophet Nigeria ever witnessed to pioneer mass gatherings, which have become typical of African Christianity today. He will be remembered for his contextual approach to ministry which resulted in the Niger-Delta revival.


When you make up your mind to serve God and service your generation, supernatural supplies will naturally flow to you.

SCRIPTURE: And ye shall serve the Lord your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee. Exodus 23:25

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: When you make up your mind to serve God and service your generation, supernatural supplies will naturally flow to you. 

It has been confirmed that service to God is a covenant blessing connector. Service is a connector of supernatural supplies.

The Book of Exodus 23:25 makes it clear that if you serve the Lord, you shall be blessed. And please note that it is not just serving God but servicing your generation. 

When God blesses you greatly, what would you do with the money? Of course, it is to service your generation. When you minister welfare to people, you would realise that there are many people in need. Many times, you will not even know where to start from in meeting the needs of people. 

Let me give you an example: After preaching on a Sunday service one day, as I was attending to people, I saw many of them in diverse needs. One of them told me, “I don’t have where to sleep this night; I don’t even know what to eat tonight”. Many people are genuinely in need.

God wants you to come to a point where you begin to service your generation; a point where you are positioned to service your generation with supplies; where you don’t look for money for personal comfort but to service your generation. When you make up your mind to serve God and service your generation, then supernatural supplies will naturally flow to you.

Remember this: When you make up your mind to serve God and service your generation, supernatural supplies will naturally flow to you. 


  1. Make up your mind to be of service both to God and to your generation.
  2. Be involved in service in the House of God.

PRAYER: Lord, I receive a heart of a servant. I receive the grace to dedicatedly serve You and service my generation Lord, in Jesus’ Name. 


REFLECTION: Have you wiped the tear of anyone recently? Have you put the smile on the face of anyone recently? Have you cared enough to listen to anyone’s plight recently? Have you made a positive difference in the life of anyone recently?

PROPHETIC DECLARATION/WORD: May the Lord put in your hand, what is in your heart to do for others in Jesus’ Name.


Sailors make vows to the LORD

JONAH 1:13-16

“At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him” Jonah 1:16NIV

Some time ago, a gang of highway robbers stopped a lorry and ordered the women (traders) to climb down from the lorry. One of the women (a non-Christian) started shouting the name of Jesus. The leader of the gang pushed her aside and said, “Stay aside, Jesus’ mother”. She was the only person who was not robbed; this led to her becoming a Christian.
God can use any situation to save the lost. The people who traveled with Jonah were obviously pagans and didn’t know the God of the Hebrews. Jonah told them to throw him into the sea and as they obliged, the trouble stopped. Indeed, the experience brought them to the saving knowledge of God. They worshipped the God of Hebrews and made vows to Him. They yielded their lives unto Him and became “born again”.
Have you given your life to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? If no, today is the day of your salvation. Bow down, open your heart unto Him, and invite Him into your heart. You will become a new person. If you have given your life to Jesus, know that He can use any situation in your life to bring men to Himself. Corporate with God in the Kingdom’s business.

Insight: “Our behaviour is nothing more than a reflection of the depth of our conversion to Jesus Christ.”

Prayer: Father, let all the weapons of the enemy against me be destroyed in Jesus name!


Service to God is a covenant. When you do your part in serving God, God does His part in blessing you. 

SCRIPTURE: You shall serve the Lord your God and He shall bless your bread and your water… Exodus 23:25.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Service to God is a covenant. When you do your part in serving God, God does His part in blessing you.

There is something called the covenant of service. Service to God is a covenant. When you do your part in serving God, God does His part in blessing you.  

Things produce for you according to your revelation of them. It is possible to work in church or render service to God for donkey years without any commensurate reward. Maybe you think you are merely assisting the church or God by your service.  

People struggle to work for oil companies, the United Nations, the World Health Organization or some foreign embassies because they think the pay is big. But the truth is, the pay of God is much bigger. 

If you function with revelation, you exist with manifestation. You must function with the appropriate revelation to see the blessing of God in service. As you serve God, you must know that you are not wasting your time. You are not just assisting the church; you are in the most lucrative employment of Jehovah. You are in the appointment of El-Shaddai, the mighty-breasted God. This is the revelation that sponsors the blessing of God in Kingdom service.

So, I like you to do the things you do for the Kingdom with the right revelation and mentality. Don’t think that you are trying to help a church. Always know that you are in God’s employment via your service in the Kingdom, and God will pay you.

Remember this: Service to God is a covenant. When you do your part in serving God, God does His part in blessing you.  


  1. Go through today’s message again.
  2. Make up your mind to play your part in serving God.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for Your Word to me today. I receive the grace to play my part in the covenant of service with the right mentality, Lord, in Jesus’ Name.


QUOTE: Be a servant of God. Live in His service. Serving God preserves life. Culled from “15 KINGDOM STRATEGIES FOR SURVIVAL” by Dr Paul Enenche.

DAILY READING: Psalm 19-21

REFLECTION: How have you contributed to the expansion of the Kingdom on earth through service? And how have you served? As a favour done to the church or as a covenant walk with God? More important than what we do is the heart and the revelation with which we do it. 

PROPHETIC DECLARATION/WORD: The Blessing of service finds expression in your life in Jesus’ Name.



I read earlier today on my son’s page, Adeyeye Tosin about this great father of faith.
This is not Apostle Babalola but he was made from his sleeves.
Prophet Ezekiel Oladoye Babalola was born in 1924, he lives to 79years of age before he left to be with the Lord.
After his call, he had an encounter where Apostle Ayo Babalola appeared to him and asked him what he wanted.
Baba answered and said he wants to be an genuine ambassador of the cross, in the revelation Ayo Babalola laid on him and he woke up.
Babalola Oshogbo was known mainly for creative miracles.
He was invited to Lagos in the late 80’s to a CAC church in Mushin, as he was ministering, a man who was known to be a dwarf was in the meeting.
The man of God asked the people of God to ask for what they wanted, the dwarf asked that he wants to be tall because the reproach is too much.
This was revealed this to his servant, he said, to that man that requested to be tall, receive answer to your prayers, immediately, he started growing tall until the man of God said stop.
Any sick person that comes close to Baba got healed immediately.
Just like Baba Omojuwa he was very full of God’s presence.
His prayer life was extra ordinary like Apostle Ayo Babalola.
He was invited to a meeting one day and the Lord told to read the Lord’s prayer alone and nothing more.
There were hundred of people at the meeting, as he mount the pulpit, he read the Lord’s prayer and there was massive healing and deliverance.
One great thing about the wonders of God in life is translocating, his vehicle broke down one day and he told his driver to work on it and meet him at the front.
He fixed the vehicle under 10minutes to his surprise he saw the prophet trekking towards the venue of the program, the he speeds the more further Baba have gone trekking.
He finally gave up in order not to crash the vehicle, he met the prophet of God at the venue.
‘In the 1980s, a boy was brought to him, Lukman, who had no mouth opening.
Before then, his mouth had been operated upon severally to create an opening but each time that was done, it sealed up again.
Prophet Babalola prayed and anointed the mouth with oil, the mouth opened permanently.
This defied science even the watching crowd had their mouth opened.
Like the men in his time, The prophet made use of this opportunity by preaching Christ to the people.’
(Culled from Evang Adeyeye Tosin article).
He was also known for the grace to heal people with mental illness, the Lord so blessed him with power that as soon as they brought a madman he would say loose him and the person who become healed.
Like the men in his time they were not motivated by material wealth, their sole aim is Jesus reveal.
Their faith stood them out.
These men don’t go about talking about themselves they talk about Jesus they have personally encountered.
They are sold out to prayers. Not just prayers but faith soaked prayers.
They were soul hunting for Jesus without camera and PR personnel.
Their aim was not to gather crowd but to convert men into the kingdom of our Lord Jesus.