Pastor Babatunde Gbolahan Bakare is a Nigerian Televangelist, Lawyer, politician and activist. He is the head and Founder of Latter Rain Assembly (End-Time Church). He was formerly with the Redeemed Christian Church of God. According to a statement posted to E Line, a Christian online network, “Pastor Bakare is the only pastor in Nigeria who could look at any government in the face and say you are wrong”.
Bakare is an alumnus of the prestigious University of Lagos and was called to bar in 1981. Thus, he is a trained lawyer. He established his own law firm Tunde Bakare & Co (El-Shaddai Chambers) in October 1984.
Pastor Tunde Bakare is a known critic of government. In fact, he was reportedly arrested by the Obasanjo regime in March 2002. Obviously, he went on to join the then opposition CPC. On Monday, 31 January, Muhammadu Buhari announced Pastor Tunde Bakare as his running mate for the 2011 Presidential Elections which he accepted. They lost to the incumbent Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP.
Dr. Tunde Bakare was born into a Muslim family in Iporo Sodeke in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria. He is said to have been born in the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month (November 11) 1954. Though the only child to his mother, he was born into a polygamous home.
Early Life and Education
To begin with, Tunde did not grow up to know his father. He died when he was just two. However, he was brought up by his mother, Abigail Eebudola Bakare. He then attended All Saints Primary School, Kemta. Subsequently, he enrolled in Lisabi Grammar School, also in Abeokuta.
Bakare developed an interest in the legal profession and therefore enrolled into the University of Lagos in 1977. He received his Bachelors in Law in 1980. Also, he was eventually called to the Nigerian Bar a year later.
Pastor commenced his practice of law with Gani Fawehinmi Chambers, Rotimi Williams & Co and Burke & Co, Solicitors. He later on established his own law firm Tunde Bakare & Co (El-Shaddai Chambers) in October 1984. In his words, he won his first Appeal Court case on his 21st day at the bar.
In 2007, he established the International Centre for Reconstruction and Development. ICRD is a knowledge industry/think-tank devoted to re-engineering the social, economic and political landscape of Nigeria in particular and Africa in general.
Notably, Tunde became born again on September 24, 1974 after a unique encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ. Sahara Reporters quotes him as saying “it was [on the] night of his circumcision as a little boy that God showed him a glimpse of his future, which manifested in a dream from which he woke up in a pool of his own blood.”
September 1974, as the publication put it, he had gone to a Baptist Church to take photograph of a friend being baptised and the “pillar of light” he had seen in his vision 10 years earlier was replayed inside this church. “It was so dramatic he could not hold back. He recognised it as a vision from God and as a call to service. Thereafter he was converted to Christianity”. Tunde remained in the Baptist Church until he became a youth pastor.
Pst. Bakare has also previously worshipped with Deeper Life Bible Church and Foursquare Gospel Church. Particularly, he spent five years in the core leadership of Deeper Life. He was the National Legal Adviser.
Bakare later joined The Redeemed Christian Church of God where he handled the church’s cases free of charge. According to him, he left after he received instructions on 1st October 1988.
The Latter Rain Assembly
In 1994, after nursing the dream for 15 years, he established the Latter Rain Assembly, which he called “an Apostolic Community of believers whose purpose is to carry forward the purpose of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.” According to him, his wife has been a huge support, especially from the home front.
Bakare has severally criticised big churches in Nigeria. He especially takes on the leaders of RCCG and Living Faith Church. He specifically accused Oyedepo of idolatory.
Family and Personal Life
Dr Bakare is happily married to Mrs. Olayide Bakare. They got married in 1984 and together they have five children. She is a co-pastor, as well as a member of the Board of Trustees of the church. His mentor is Dr. Lester Sumral of blessed memories.
Mr B, as he is fondly called is a very disciplined man. This could be judged by his well set out principles below:
Persuasion: “I’m fully persuaded that I will live long in health; having long life in health, with wealth for the purpose for which He created me to be a blessing to humanity”. This persuasion invariably affects and informs his thought patterns, decision making process and choices in life.
Conviction: “God will not justify the wicked, He will not forsake the righteous; the wickedness of a wicked man will fall upon his head and the righteousness of a righteous man will answer for him in the days to come”.
“The minority that is right will become the majority and the majority that is wrong will become the minority, it’s just a matter of time”.
Passion: “To see that the true perspective of the gospel of Jesus Christ is given to people without any contamination or mixture” and “To see a Nigeria that works in his lifetime”.
Legacy: “My legacy? The grace to pray through”. Surprisingly, Pastor Bakare initially as a young Christian did not have a flare or desire to pray, but according to him, circumstances in his marriage as orchestrated by God taught him not only how to pray but also how to pray through.
Secret of success: Obedience only to the word and instructions of God. Sandwiched between his willingness and desire to do the will of God is obedience even when all things are working contrary to the word of God.
Mr Bakare brought Skoda into Nigeria. He is quoted as saying
“I had factories in Nigeria and I was doing well in international trade. I wanted to use both law and business to go into politics.”
With this in mind, he joined the CPC so as to effect the much needed change he longed for. However, he contested the 2011 Presidential Election on a joint ticket with the current President, Muhammadu Buhari. They lost to PDP’s Goodluck Jonathan.
Nevertheless, Bakare announced his 2019 Presidential ambition on the 1st of January, 2018. Speaking at the cross over service at the Church’s auditorium in Ogba, Lagos, on Monday morning, Bakare said God had instructed him to return to politics to lead the nation to prosperity.