Nigeria is full of prominent and influential pastors. Many of them often end up on the lists of the richest pastors in the world. As a matter of fact, the richest pastor in the world is Nigerian, and his name is David Oyedepo. Today, we will talk about some fascinating facts about the current bishop and founder of the Living Faith Church that might actually surprise you.
Apart from holding a record of being the richest pastor, David Oyedepo, also known as Papa, holds the record for the largest church auditorium in the world. Faith Theatre, the auditorium of Oyedepo’s Winners’ Chapel (otherwise known as Living Faith Church World Wide) seats 50,000 believers. According to the Guinness Book of Records, no other church auditorium came close regarding size.
Overall, Winners’ Chapel has established its presence in more than 300 cities all across Nigeria, as well as in more than 63 cities in the United Kingdom, United States, Dubai and a few African countries.
David Oyedepo has been holding the title of the richest pastor for over six years now. He received the title in 2011 and had not let go of it since. It is estimated that his net worth is more than $150 million! He owns multiple private jets and has real estate on three continents.
Since 1982, David has been married to Florence (Faith) Abiola Akano. Together, they have four grown children: Isaac, David Junior, Joyce and Love. Both of David’s sons followed in their father’s footsteps and became pastors. They were ordained by Kenneth Copeland in May 2007. David Junior and his wife Kemi are pastors at the London branch of the Winners’ Chapel. Isaac is the current resident pastor at the South African branch.
David does not let his money just sit there. He invests large portions of it in education. He and his church have founded more than 100 schools, colleges and universities across the country. Among them was the Covenant University, which opened its doors to students in 2002. In 2005, it received the title of the best Nigerian private university. Another notable university, Landmark University in Kwara State, was opened in 2011.
5. Christianity above all
There have been many rumours surrounding David Oyedepo. Some say that his faith is stronger than family ties. He believes that Christianity is the only way to go. That is why, according to said rumours, Oyedepo refuses to help his own sister, Alhaja Saratu Bello, who is a Muslim. She currently lives in Lagos and struggles to get by.
6. Alleged exorcism
Apart from rumours, David Oyedepo’s name is also surrounded by controversies. One time in 2011, during a service in Otta of Ogun State, the pastor slapped one of the female worshippers across the face. For some reason, David was certain that the woman was a witch, and when she admitted that she was a ‘witch for Jesus’, he became furious and hit her violently. To add insult to injury, Oyedepo also called the lady ‘a foul devil’ and condemned her to burn in hell. Later he said that that incident was an attempt at exorcism.
7. Ban from the United Kingdom
Contrary to popular belief, David Oyedepo is not banned from entering the UK. At one point during the summer of 2014, someone has spread the rumour that the multi-millionaire pastor could not enter the United Kingdom. However, Oyedepo was quick to dispel those rumours by stating that they were nothing more than falsehood and blatant lies.
And there you go, seven fascinating facts about the richest pastor in the world. Like all people, David Oyedepo is not without fault. However, the message he is trying to convey is pure. May the Lord watch over him. If you want to learn more facts about David Oyedepo, visit NAIJ.COM.