British Colonial Administration Jailed African Prophet Whose Sermon Led to Decrease in Alcohol Sale

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Prophet Garrick Sokari Idaketima Marian Blaide who lived between 1882 and 1918 was jailed by the British Colonial administration in Nigeria in 1916 because his sermon against alcohol consumption led to a great loss due to the fall in the sales of alcohol and beverages in the Niger Delta of Nigeria.

Reports indicated that British administration became envious of this Nigerian prophet because he achieved within three months what the Christian Missionary Society (CMS) could not achieve in fifty years.

A conspiracy was cooked and Prophet Braide was arrested in March, 1916. He was accused of insurrection, blasphemy and schism.

Later, he was found guilty by the Colonial authorities and sentenced to six months imprisonment with hard labour.

Eight months later in November, 1916, eight further charges were brought against him and his followers ,shortly before his release from prison.

He remained in prison until January, 1918 and died on January 15, 1918 following an illness. After his death, his followers founded the Christ Army Church.

Whilst many today claim people respond less to the gospel when truth is advanced aggressively and sin is condemned directly, Prophet Braide, hailed as the Father of Nigerian Pentecostalism preached the impending wrath of God idolatrous society and thousands responded and were converted.

In the Niger Delta area of Nigeria preached fervently against Idol worshipping and its attendant fetish mannerisms and he was regarded as a mouth piece of God, with God confirming his word through with miraculous signs.

He had public disputes with witch doctors and cultists and promoted divine healing, with all these yielding great results.

The strength of his ministry was the demonstration of the power of God at a time when many Africans were in the dark about God’s light-filled and gracious power.

He presented the gospel to the people of the Niger Delta in Nigeria not forgetting their socio-cultural context and world view whilst the mission churches of his time introduced Christianity through the teaching of the Creeds, The Lord’s Prayer and catechism.

He taught the people to renounce their gods, destroy their fetishes and to simply believe in the Lord Jesus.

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