In Africa, it has become a common scene to witness preachers live extravagant lifestyles and grow into billionaires and millionaires out of church offering, book sales, movie endorsements and sometimes even through selling some anointed oil. This doesn’t mean that the wealth they have is not hard earned. However, the lives of the preachers has drawn sharp criticism from those who try to draw a parallel between how the “men of God” live their lives as against how Jesus lived his life. However, supporters of the preachers are quick to defend them arguing that the blessings are a mere by product of serving the Lord.
So who exactly are the wealthiest preachers in Africa?
- Chris Okotie – Net Worth: $10 Million
Christopher Oghenebrorie Okotie (born 16 June 1958) is a Nigerian televangelist and the pastor of the Household of God Church International Ministries, a Pentecostal congregation in Lagos since February 1987.
Chris Okotie was successful musician of the 1980s,in fact a pop singer as that.He became a christian and set up the Household of God Church, one of Nigeria’s most flamboyant congregations.
- Matthew Ashimolowo – Net Worth: $10 Million
The Foursquare Gospel Church sent Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo to established a branch in London, that was 1992, but the pastor founded his own church instead.
Matthew Ashimolowo’s Kingsway International Christian Center is the largest Pentecostal church in the United Kingdom. It has assets worth more than $40 million and earns a profit of more than $10 million. According to forbes, he is among the richest pastors in Africa and whole world
Ashimolowo gets an annual net salary of $ 200,000.He also makes money from his media company called the Matthew Ashimolowo Media.
4.Temitope Joshua – Net Worth: $15 Million
Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua is Nigeria’s most powerful, controversial and philanthropic preacher. He heads the Synagogue Church of all Nations (SCOAN), a congregation he founded in 1987. He has been ranked among the richest pastors in Africa.
The christian minister, televangelist and faith healer is a big giver; his humanitarian works include education, healthcare and rehabilitation programs.
He is the owner of Emmanuel TV, a Christian television network.
- Chris Oyakhilome – Net Worth: $50 Million
Chris Oyakhilome’s church Christ Embassy has more than 400,000 members, several of whom are successful entrepreneurs and politicians.
Pastor Chris has diversified interests include magazines, newspapers, a TV station, a record label, hotels, satellite TV and real estate. He is one of the most influential pastors in his teachings hence makes it to list of richest pastors in Africa according to forbes
- Shepherd Bushiri – Networth $150 Million
He is south-African based Malawian prophet .They are ranked top with David Oyedepo as richest pastors in Africa. He has Net Worth of $150 Million. He has three private jet acquired in span of two years. He has got branches all over africa example is Ethiopia, Malawi and Tanzania.
- David Oyedepo – Net Worth: $150 Million
Bishop David Oyedepo is the richest pastor in Nigeria and the world. He is the founder of the Living Faith World Outreach Ministry. Ever since he founded this ministry in 1981, it has grown to become one of Africa’s largest congregations. He hosts three services every Sunday in The Faith Tabernacle.
His church is Living Faith Church World Wide, also known as Winners’ Chapel, in Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria. Oyedepo has a 50,000 seat church auditorium, and it is reported to be the largest church auditorium in the world by the Guinness Book of Records. The Winners’ Chapel network of churches is located in over 300 cities and towns, in all the states of Nigeria, as well as, in over 63 cities in 32 African nations, Dubai, the United Kingdom and the United States.
But when exactly is Mr Oyedepo?
On September 27, 1954 David Olaniyi Oyedepo was born in Osogbo, Nigeria, but is a native of Omu-Aran, Kwara State, Nigeria. He was raised in a mixed religious family His father, Ibrahim, was a Muslim healer. His mother, Dorcas, was a member of the Eternal Order of the Cherubim and Seraphim Movement (C&S), a branch of the Aladura movement in Nigeria. He was raised by his grandmother in Osogbo, who introduced him to the virtues of Christian life via early morning prayers which she attended with him. She also taught him the importance of tithing.
Oyedepo was born again in 1969, through the influence of his teacher, Betty Lasher, who took special interest in him during his high school days. He studied architecture at the former Kwara State Polytechnic, now Kwara State University and worked briefly with the Federal Ministry of Housing in Ilorin before resigning to concentrate on missionary work. Oyedepo received a Ph.D. in Human Development from Honolulu University, Hawaii, United States, In 1982 he married Florence Abiola Akano (now known as Faith). They have four children together (David Jr, Isaac, Love and Joyce). David Jr and Isaac Oyedepo were ordained as Pastors in May 2007 by Kenneth Copeland. David Jr pastors the London Branch of the Church with His wife, Kemi while Isaac Oyedepo is the present Resident Pastor of Winners’ Chapel International, South Africa.
Oyedepo claimed to have received a mandate from God through an 18-hour vision in May 1981, to liberate the world from all oppression of the devil through the preaching of the word of faith. This is the inaugural vision that led to the founding of the Living Faith Church World Wide (LFCWW), first called Liberation Faith Hour Ministries, in 1981. Two years later, on September 17, 1983, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, ordained David and his wife, Florence Abiola Akano (known as Faith Abiola Oyedepo) to become pastors and officially commissioned the new church. Five years later, Oyedepo was ordained as Bishop.
Living Faith Church (AKA Winners Chapel) started in Kaduna but moved to Lagos, the former capital of Nigeria in July 1989, to start a new branch of the church after Oyedepo claimed to have received instructions from God to reach out to the people of Lagos. Oyedepo is the wealthiest preacher in Nigeria with a net worth of over USD $150 million. The church owns four private jets and several buildings around the world, including London and the United States.
Oyedepo is an author and publisher who has written over 70 titles apart from periodicals. He is the Chairman/Publisher of Dominion Publishing House (DPH), a publishing arm of the ministry. DPH has over 4 million prints in circulation to date. Through Oyedepo Covenant University, Faith Academy and Kingdom Heritage Schools have been established to equip the youth for global impact. The construction of a third university named Crown University is already underway, located in Calabar, Cross Rivers, Nigeria.
The teachings of Oyedepo has put him in the category of what is commonly called the Word of Faith Movement. He has referred to principal exponents of the Faith Movement such as Kenneth Copeland, Gloria Copeland, the late Kenneth Hagin, E. W. Kenyon, T. L. Osborn, Smith Wigglesworth as well as renowned Nigerian preachers Enoch Adeboye and the late Benson Idahosa as mentors. His Winners Chapel operates a Bible training programme known as Word of Faith Bible Institute for members and non-members alike to develop knowledge of Christian principles and to develop leaders and future pastors. This institute is run in major branches of the Church.
Oyedepo is the President of David Oyedepo Ministries International (DOMI). DOMI is the umbrella organisation comprising Living Faith Church World Wide (a global network of churches), World Mission Agency (WMA); the global missionary arm of the church’s operations, Dominion Publishing House; the publishing arm of the church, Covenant University, and the Social Development Missions projects (made up of hospitals, maternity homes, schools, etc.Oyedepo has criticised corruption in Africa as a whole and poor leadership in government.