One of the Prophet whom God used to ignite the Oke-Bola, Ibadan revival in 1930 is Prophet Daniel Orekoya ,an Ijebu man. He was a sexton under the defunct Faith Tabernacle group at Idi-Oro, Lagos.
Orekoya was born in Ijebu Imusin, Ogun State. The exact date of his birth could not be ascertained but he was already a teenager when locust first ravaged Yorubaland. That was around 1912.
Orekoya was born at a time when infant mortality was rife. He was not expected to survive. But he did survive. Orekoya’s parents had problem with children. Not that they don’t give birth but most of their children did not survive ,obviously the towns people did not expect him (Orekoya) to amount to anything.
They did not expect him to survive.He was Short-statured, impaired in one eye. He was not the child any parent will invest a lot of expectation on.
But the boy (Daniel Orekoya) who was given no chance to live; choose to embrace God in the course of time. He was a regular face in the Anglican Church of his town and was said to have been baptized by one Rev I. B. Ogunmefun, a native of Abeokuta who served in Ijebuland for over 40 years. With time, Orekoya began to be a seeker after God. But he soon noticed the disparity between what he read in the Bible and what was obtained in real life.
That is what pushed him to devote his life to prayers and study of God’s word.
It was in the course of seeking the face of God that he got instruction from the Holy Spirit to move to Lagos. In Lagos he joined the Faith Tabernacle Church while also learning sewing. He worked as a tailor for six months. He then opted out of the trade to render full service to God in Faith Tabernacle.
In Faith Tabernacle Orekoya gave himself to more prayer and fasting. It was during one of the days of his fellowship with God that he had an angelic visitation where a long message was delivered to the church.
He then sought financial assistance to travel to branches of the church to deliver the message. But the church declined to offer him help because of some flimsy excuses because he could only read the Bible and not any other book. He was partially impaired in one eye. Though he was aged, his physical stature was like that of a 12-year old.”
But that would not deter Orekoya who looked for money from other sources and proceeded to Ilesha when he heard of the great work God was using the famed Ayo Babalola to do.
By then Babalola had just been introduced as a new prophet in Faith Tabernacle. Babalola had also been praying that God would raise more prophets. Orekoya was one of those who caught the vision from Prophet J. A. Babalola at Oke Ooye, Ilesha. When Orekoya got to Ilesha it did not take long for Babalola to spot him in the crowd. He thus became an assistant. Having spent some time with the Prophet Babalola, he demanded for Babalola’s prayer so that he too might be empowered for the work. After this, Babalola left him at Ilesha and went to Efon Alaaye. He went back proclaiming the power of God and the use of water for healing diseases.
There was mighty move of God in Ilesha that year 1930. But then, Orekoya took off from there to return to Lagos after series of revival meetings during which God used him mightily along with Babalola.
While on the journey back home, those who heard of the mighty Ilesha revival and who had seen him play a major role in that revival approached him for prayers on the way. His destination was Lagos. But by the time Orekoya got to Ibadan, he could not move further. Immediately God started to perform miracles and healings. He had hardly settled down to eat at the residence of his host that the Lord ministered to him that three women were coming to see him.
Those women came. But not long, the number increased. Before long a sea of human heads had surrounded him.
They brought one dead woman with pregnancy. The family of the dead woman could not afford to pay for the heavy rituals needed for the burial. This was why they opted for prayer.
Akede Eko ,a newspaper of that period reported many miracles that took place through the prayers of Orekoya.
For days people were coming to him for prayers. There was a massive outpouring of God’s power that left no one in doubt that he was God-sent. His popularity among the people was only second to Prophet Babalola.
The miracles the Lord wrought through the hands of Orekoya were quite phenomenal. One of them is that of Madam Alice Abeo who was brought back to life four days after she had passed on. Incidentally the woman was pregnant at the time of her death. She came back to life, gave birth to her baby and lived many more years after.
Orekoya moved from one part of the country to the other holding revival meetings, healing the sick and bringing an end to the work of darkness. Among the Miracles performed during the ministrations include healing of Leprosy, epilepsy blindness, sores, various forms of addiction etc
It is noteworthy that cases of women with prolonged pregnancies that were delivered of their babies through his apostolic ministry numbered about 202, while a total of 22 people were raised from death.
He eventually came back to the Lagos branch of Faith Tabernacle. There, many who heard about his exploits in other states came to him for prayers and healing. It was from Lagos he was eventually invited to Warri where he had his “last revival” before his demise.
But the story of Orekoya had traits of some of the shortfalls that is common among some great men of God in history.
For instance, he had a turbulent marriage. His own elder brother who had married died without a child. So in trying to go along with tradition the widow of his brother was bequeathed to him. But his marriage to the woman became his undoing.
Orekoya’s wife often complained of dereliction of matrimonial duty on the part of her husband. Being a travelling evangelist, Orekoya had no time to fulfil his conjugal vows.
Despite the challenges in the home-front and the fact that Orekoya was a staff and elder of Faith Tabernacle, he did not shy from his evangelical trips. The invitation he got to Warri was however his last.
Unfortunately the Warri revival could not hold as expected because of a fire incident that consumed him. It was while preparing for the crusade that a gallon of fuel that was by his side caught fire while he was trying to fix a bad lamp. He was burnt by the fire.
Incidentally he was the only one affected by the fire. Prayers were offered for him in the midst of panic. But it got to a point Orekoya requested that nobody should pray for him and that they should take him back to his home town. He was brought back to Ijebu Ode where leaders of the church prayed for him. The church was averse to medication. Due to the injury sustained from the fire incident it became apparent that he would not survive. He died eventually but not without a confession.
He made public confession of his sin of pride, arrogance, disobedience and insubordination to church authority which according to him was responsible for his tragedy. He warned others not to follow his step. This was his confession and cry as he screamed and groaned in pain until he finally rested in the Lord.
But the striking thing about him is that the years of his impact were just about three years or thereabout before his life ended abruptly. Those three years were however years of outstanding achievements which enjoyed newspaper attention in those days.