The Eternal Sacred Order of the Cherubim and Seraphim is the first African initiated church established in 1925 by Moses Orimolade Tunolase. The church was born out of the Anglican church community among the Yoruba people in Western Nigeria.
Moses Orimolade Tunolase was born c1879 into the royal family of Ayibiri in Ondo State of Nigeria. Orimolade could neither stand nor walk until he was well over five years of age. In an effort to get Orimolade the help he needed, his parents had taken him to St. Stephen’s Anglican Church, the only church in the Yoruba town of Ikare in Western Nigeria at the time.
Orimolade was often left in the custody of the clergyman at this Church Missionary Society establishment of the Anglican Communion. One night the minister observed a strange light in the church and heard singing coming from inside. The minister discovered that the building was empty, except for Orimolade, who was about 5 years old at the time, sitting on the floor of the church in bright phosphorescence.
At age 12 years, Orimolade had a dream in which he was presented with a rod, a Royal Insignia and a crown. He woke with a personal conversion to the Christian faith and a conviction of his calling to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ but his evangelistic mission did not begin until after a period of seven years in confinement. Some of his close associates at the time attributed this confinement to a protracted illness while others regarded it as a period spent in training and preparation for his missionary work. Orimolade emerged from this confinement with partial recovery of the use of his legs and a remarkable ability to pray and preach the King James Version of the Bible that had been translated into his own native Yoruba language earlier by his tribesman, Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther.
Orimolade started his missionary work as an itinerant preacher in Ikare (his Yoruba town of birth) with no formal education. He openly confronted witches and wizards in Irun (another Yoruba town) and pulled down the image of Osijora, one of the idols worshipped in the village. He condemned the prevalent practice of human sacrifice in Benin City. He consecrated a pool in Kaba town and rid it of the evil spirit the villagers had worshipped. Orimolade converted many to the Christian faith. Traditional worshippers willingly gave up their charms and images for burning in response to his preaching and prayer. He directed his converts to the existing churches, irrespective of denominations, and where no church existed he helped establish one. Some of the churches established by Orimolade were actually established for the Church Missionary Society.