Christiana Abiodun Emanuel’s biography, fact, career, awards, net worth and life story

Intro Nigerian missionary (1907-1994)
Is Missionary
From Nigeria
Gender female

25 December 1907, Abeokuta

Christiana Abiodun Emanuel, born Abiodun Akinsowon (1907–1994), was the co-founder of the Cherubim and Seraphim, an Aladura Christian denomination. After a schism in the Church, she founded and led the Cherubim and Seraphim Society.

Personal life

Abiodun Akinsowon was born in 1907 to a Saro family. The daughter of a pastor, Abiodun was baptised into the Anglican Church in Lagos, Nigeria, where she attended elementary school. In 1920 she left school to join her aunt as a trader. In 1942 she married George Orisanya Emanuel, a civil servant working in the Lagos City Council.

Founding the Cherubim and Seraphim

In 1925, while watching a Catholic Corpus Christi procession, Abiodun reportedly fell into a lengthy trance. She awoke from her coma after the healer Moses Orimolade arrived to pray for her. Upon waking, Abiodun claimed she had been visited by angels, who had taken her to heaven. As increasing numbers of visitors came to hear of her visions, Abiodun and Orimolade founded an interdenominational prayer group called the Cherubim and Seraphim. In 1927 Abiodun led an evangelical tour of Western Nigeria, condemning the worship of traditional gods and encouraging Christian prayer. In 1928 Abiodun and Orimolade established the Cherubim and Seraphim as its own independent Church, within the Aladura tradition.

Schism and reconciliation

In 1929 the Cherubim and Seraphim underwent its first schism, with Abiodun founding the Cherubim and Seraphim Society and Orimolade founding the Eternal Sacred Order of Cherubim and Seraphim. The split arose from disputes within the group over the role of female leadership. Abiodun demanded to be recognised as co-founder of the Church. This was viewed by Orimolade, who denied Abiodun was co-founder, as insubordination, and led to their eventual split. The split between Abiodun and Orimolade was followed by multiple other schisms, leading to the existence of more than 10 separate sects within the Cherubim and Seraphim.

After Orimolade’s death, Abiodun campaigned to be recognised as the supreme head of the church, claiming she had been discriminated against as a woman. In 1986, in an attempt to reunite the disparate groupings within the Church, Abiodun was reinstalled as leader of a united Cherubim and Seraphim Church.