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Nigeria’s Five Richest Pastors and how They Made Their Wealth

By | October 3, 2011

To many Nigerians today, it is very difficult to convince them that running churches is not a vastly profitable venture. They see everyday pastors moving from a live of average financial status to stupendous wealth in a matter of months.

We have profiled what is believed in many quarters and according to Forbes Magazine as the top 5 richest pastors and preachers in Nigeria. Several of them clearly show aptitude and business sense in consolidating and expanding their wealth base through private businesses in various niches.

Recommended Read: Nigeria’s 10 Richest Pastors in 2014

Here are the self proclaimed men of God in Nigeria who earn biggest and are worth a King’s ransom. The richest pastors in Nigeria;

1. Bishop David Oyedepo:
Bishop Oyedepo is the head pastor and founder of Living Faith World Outreach Ministry (aka Winners Chapel). His estimated Net worth is $150 million.

Seen as Nigeria’s richest pastor he founded Winners Chapel in 1981 and has grown it to become one of Africa’s largest congregation. He holds 3 services every Sunday at the Faith Tabernacle touted to be Africa’s largest worship center.

He owns two private jets (some sources say four) and houses in London and the United States.

He owns Dominion Publishing House, a successful publishing company which publishes all his books. His books, incidentally, are all about prosperity and little or nothing more.

Some years ago he founded Covenant University, taking advantage of the government’s decision to encourage private individuals and organizations to own and run higher institutions of learning. Covenant University has become one of the elite private universities in the country. Just recently, in another round of licensing by the government, Pastor Oyedepo got himself another license to run another university.

Bishop Oyedepo also owns Faith Academy, a high school for the upper class.

2. Chris Oyakhilome
:
Pastor Chris (as he is popularly called) is the founder and Head pastor of Believer’s Loveworld Ministries (aka Christ Embassy). His estimated net worth is $30 – $50 Million.

Christ Embassy is reportedly consisted of over 40,000 members many of whom are successful businessmen and hippy undergraduates.

Pastor Chris paints a picture of a pastor cum savvy business executive just as Oyedepo and has diversified interests in media, hotels, and real estate. His media empire includes LoveWorld TV network, thee first Christian TV network to broadcast from Nigeria to the rest of the world on a 24 hour basis. He also has interests in printing & publishing and owns an ultra modern printing company in Lagos.

Last year the charismatic and hair styling pastor was involved in a $35 million money laundering case. He was suspected of siphoning church funds but the matter died down and nothing more has been heard of it.

Pastor Chris, of the five richest pastors in our list, is the most media savvy and uses new networking media such as facebook and twitter to great effect.

3. Temitope Joshua
:
Pastor T.B. Joshua (as he is known) is the head pastor at Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN). He is worth an estimated $10 – $15 Million.

Pastor Joshua is famous as Nigeria’s most philanthropic pastor and also the most controversial. He founded SCOAN in 1987 and unlike other pastors has never opened another branch of his church in Nigeria outside the original one in Lagos which is said to accommodate over 15,000 people.

Among the rich list of Nigerian pastors he is most popular for his healing powers and gets regular miracle seeking visitors from all parts of the country and beyond.

His church has only one branch in Nigeria but currently has branches in Ghana, the UK, South Africa and Greece.

He owns Emmanuel TV, a Christian TV network. Most of his wealth is believed to have come through donations and his relationships with the high and mighty in several parts of Africa. He is, for instance, close to Ghanaian President Atta Mills and has entertained several heads of state in Africa at his Synagogue Church.

4. Matthew Ashimolowo:
Pastor Ashimolowo heads the Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC) and has a reported net worth of $6 – $10 Million.

In 1992, Foursquare Gospel Church, in Nigeria, sent Pastor Ashimolowo to open a satellite branch in London. But the Afro style pastor had his own ideas and set up his own church instead.

His church is reportedly the largest Pentecostal church in the united Kingdom. In 2009 the church made close to $10 million in profits and reported assets of $40 million. He is reported to earn $200,000 in annual salary. His real wealth comes from various business interests which includes a media company.

5. Pastor Chris Okotie:
Pastor Chris Okotie is the head of Household of God Church and has a networth of $3 – $10 Million.

Pastor Okotie first made name as a popular pop musician in the 80s. He later set up the Household of God Church, one of Nigeria’s most flamboyant church with over 5,000 members consisting of Nollywood movie actors/actresses, musicians, and society people.

He has run for the presidency in Nigeria three times and lost each time. He received criticisms from several quarters for insisting that God asked him to contest the elections. The last time in April 2011 he contested under the Fresh Party, a political party he founded.

Pastor Chris Okotie is an automobile collector and lover. He drives a Mercedes S600, Porsche, and several other cars.

Source: Forbes Magazine

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54 thoughts on “Nigeria’s Five Richest Pastors and how They Made Their Wealth

  1. sis blessing

    what will it profit the fake pastors to gain the whole world and loss their souls they should remember empty we come empty go every body will give account of his or her life i am happy BIG GOD /OUR LORD were not respecters of pastors /whoever

    Reply
  2. Olumide

    Before you conclude your negative ideas about Pastors what about other religious leaders?aren’t they Nigerians? don’t we have those who stupendously rich overnight? why Pastor!Pastors! Pastors all the time? Why is Christianity under heavy attacks in Nigeria? what about Imams,alfas,alhajis/alhajas, sheiks,,awo shrine heads,ogbonis,babalawos,cultists clan heads,jehova witnesses, Rosicrucian, eckankerians, sectarians,ogun/ sango/ osun/ amadioha worshipers etc to mention a few?
    let me ask you all…HOW DID THEY GET THEIR WEALTH? Many commentators here falls in dark religions. that y you talk with thoughts. Christianity is a religion life and light.We serve a living GOD! all other gods na so so yeye….Continue the gossip about the church. After all you are still killing us in north.yet u pple are not done.GOD -THE ELSHADDAI will disgrace ALL at the ‘RED SEA’..It will happen again.Nobody envies a mad man! (African universally accepted adage) Olumide,V/I,Lagos

    Reply
    1. richard

      mr ade, pls what makes oyedepo a man of God? who made him a man of god, when was he called by god, what is his message. any man sent by God, must come with a messeage, you cannot come only to repeat what other prophets have done and stop there, it means you do not have a message. he sent himself, his god is his belle that is y, they are more concerned about wealth how to make money and not the souls of the people that throng their church, infact eternal life is not their target, but the peoples money beware!

      Reply
  3. Omotosho Omolaja Emmanuel

    Ignorance has made people to lack focus, but if the person you are deceiving did not know that you are deceiving him/her, you that is deceiving the person knows quiet alright that you are deceiving the people. but as it has been stated earlier that judgment is of God alone, let’s leave everything to God to decide, but frankly speaking, it is a shame on Some Nigerian Christian leader to amass wealth unto themselves, while thousands of their congregation are dying in abject poverty and lack. In biblical history, leaders surrenders and sacrifice all to their followers, even during the days of Jesus Christ our Lord on earth, but presently, most of this so called leaders exploit their people in the name of giving to God for them to receive. but i strongly believe that God knows his people and his people truly knows him. Once again it is the way and manner of this so called religious leaders that government officers are taking path with. but God will forgive them and never forget us. Amen

    Reply
  4. Dayo

    Pastors help ur nabor as ur self, i know dt u pple are trying b4 but pls try mon. Me to i wan’t to rech like perstors pray 4 me pastors. Tanks

    Reply
  5. Dayo

    Pastors help ur nabor as ur self, i know dt u pple are trying b4 but pls try mon. Tanks

    Reply
  6. Biabari Nwi-akeeri

    Remember the bible says. GOD has given us all things to enjoy? So why are you guys comdeming men of God? Pls leav judgment for God for he is the one to judge them. Remember God said in his world that” if ye are willings and obedient that ye shal eat the fruit of the land? What do you fink he is talking about? All the great men in the bible which of them was poor?

    Reply
  7. Eric

    Shame on you as a Christian if you resent any Pastor because they are making progress or because they never gave you attention. You are called to be a blessing to your world and not to seek help behind evry door! I’m a giver and not the one in need and destitution! I dont hold others responsible 4 my challenges. I face them head on and conquer them!

    Reply
  8. stanly

    pls, frnds let leave all dis men of God alone. dat in d bible God makes us to understand dat we should not judge anybody. let God judge alone.

    Reply
  9. williams

    am nt interested in side tlk oyedepo remain my spiritual father.

    Reply
  10. Peter okafor

    Hmm dear peple of God, lets leave evrytin to our father in heven he has d final say. My happiness is we can nt cheat our God. He knows his peple, lets nt judge bcoz judgement belongs to him. l love u all.

    Reply
  11. Matheus Matheus

    Than they need to help us poor people…we dn’t even have the beginning becouse No money…

    Reply
  12. frank

    I dont blame A̶̲̥̅L̶̲̅L̶̲̅ ☺f U̶̲̥̅̊ who are judging pastors okay U̶̲̥̅̊ want dem τ̅☺ advertise the people dat dey are helping b4 U̶̲̥̅̊ ₪☺ dat dey are helping people,leave dis pastors alone y are U̶̲̥̅̊ curious hw dey make their money dont U̶̲̥̅̊ people have brains make ur own.people ☺f dis world U̶̲̥̅̊ are poor nd dey say a true man ☺f God Ȋ̝̊̅§ nt meant τ̅☺ be poor den be rich nd dey say a true man ☺f God isn’t meant τ̅☺ have dis kind ☺f money cant U̶̲̥̅̊ people stay ☺U̶̲̥̅̊†̥ ☺f their business

    Reply
  13. Mphephu ambani

    I Like EVERYONE 2 KNOW THAT T.B JOSHUA HE IS THE REAL MAN OF GOD AND I MEAN IT U CNT CHANGE MY UNDERSTANDING/BELIEVING.

    Reply
  14. Iphyjo

    Thou shall not juldge pls live the juldgement for GOD cos he says ‘ I KNOW MY PEOPLE AND MY PEOPLE KNOW ME ‘. Who are you as a human being to juldge ask yourself these question ‘ Are you SAINT ‘?.

    Reply
  15. Blessing

    Brethren,lets leave dis for God to judge ok,on ur own part do wat is right

    Reply
  16. jeremiah Boma

    from the look of things,pastors ar not far.different from politicians.in fact there’s is even worse as they ar al involved in taking our hard earned money n doing nothing 4 us

    Reply
  17. joseph adesiyan

    it is just impossible for people to ignore how things are gone very wrong in today churches but it is also a warning to all of us that we need to be prayful because the end is here

    Reply
  18. apostlefred

    this is a quit notice to me from google flyers. i don’t do much to believe a speculated lie by the so called church of satan membership.

    Reply
  19. Daniel Henry

    why wont you guys mind ur bussiness nd stop counting the success of wise individual, i guess u guys re human with brain, why cnt u mak ur money

    Reply
  20. Bankole samson

    Pls 4 GOD’s sake do not judge any pastor again whether what they are doing is right or wrong,why not lets leave judgement 4 GOD afteral the bible warns us not to judge 4 us not 2 be judge,luv u all.

    Reply
  21. bozzom

    On the last day many will say lord in your name we cast out devils,and did many miracles but I will say unto them leave my sight you workers of iniquity.the bible didn’t disagree that even you won’t be deceived but it hurts to see that you don’t even read the scriptures anymore you only read your pastors.if the blind lead the blind…

    Reply
  22. ro uk

    How sad that Nigerians move from one slavery to another. Do you not know that it is easier for the camel to go through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God? Do you not think what that means? Have you not been taught that? You should read your bible’s yourself and not be lazy, waiting to be spoon fed. Do you not know that Love of money is the root of all evil? Do you not know that Jesus this not stockpile riches but focused on the Kingdom which is yet to come to solve mankind’s problems? Do you not know that the apostles preached the good news of God’s kingdom, referring to the new world as the ‘real life’? Why do you keep amassing wealth in a sinking ship? It will all end soon and your riches will not save you. And those supporting these self proclaimed men of god must have aspirations for riches themselves so I can’t blame you. Just know that what you’re defending has nothing to do with righteousness or word of God and will not lead to your salvation. Not my words. Read your bible and become selfless rather than selfish. Don’t forget that Satan has blinded the minds of many so that the illumination of the word will not penetrate their minds. SAd, sad, sad world we live in. But there is hope for those making effort to follow the word and living with real soundness of mind.

    Reply
  23. otis bushiri

    You people show me how immature and carnal you are. How can you dispute over issues which are so clear in the Bible? Religion blinds people. You oppose what you don’t understand. How do understand Christianity? Who is a Christian? A poor, miserable beggary fellow? Then where do we place Deut 8:18? Accept it or not, God has plans to prosper each and everyone of His children. Die poor if you want. Was Abraham the father of faith poor? May be you are not the seed of Abraham. What about Jacob, Job, Solomon? The problem with you is that you have allowed these unprofessional researchers to miss inform you about most of these MOG. You wanted them to advertise how many people they are helping? I am a man of God and I am paying school fees for MANY students. Do you think people know that? Don’t you know many MOG write very important books which have changed many lives in the world? If people access these books do you see satan in that? Your suggestions and lack of understanding on this subject will not stop God’s blessings on men of God and all Christians who know their place in Christ. Next time there is a subject like this one write sence. Both the article writer and commentators. If you want to oppose this go ahead but check the genuineness of you conscience. I love you all

    Reply
  24. Andrew

    Jesus, for the sake of your sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world. Mary, queen of heaven and earth, please touch the sacred heart of Jesus for us, Amen.

    Reply
  25. oluwayomi26

    God alone knows is poeple and those serving Him sincerely. pls, dont judge any pastor so that you will not be judged.

    Reply
  26. Chimdi

    As for me i like TB joshua, because he helps the poor remeber God says give

    Reply
  27. Olabisi awolusi

    Brothers and sisters,let us leave judgement or condemnation of pastors to god almighty.let us concentrate on heavenly issues.remain blessed in Jesus name

    Reply
  28. Abu

    The bible said;jesus christ told one of the scribe as at then that:go and sell all your property,give the proceeds to the poor and you follow,thats what you need to do to have a complete faith.Secondly,jesus still said in the bible that for “a rich man to enter the kingdom of God,it will take the camel to pass the eye of a needle”.i mean do these pastors or their congregation still read these verses or is no longer relevant to them in this modernity? Or do they now better than jesus?

    Reply
  29. Sceptre Business Magazine

    It is very funny to see the wealth and personality displayed by men of GOD. Their extravagance is disheartening.

    Their excuse will be that David, Solomon and the likes were rich and that their GOD is never a poor GOD.

    Reply
  30. festus

    The God we serve is a very rich God.so you should expect his workers to be rich[spiritually,financially materially e.t.c]

    Reply
  31. oluwafemy femxy

    Why did they leave pastor e.A adeboye behind? Jst bcos he is nt pompous cos he hv it.

    Reply
  32. Kenneth Berbatov

    I am not against a man of GOD been rich.but we should conseder in the bible Elija served & worked 4 God in true and spirit not mading the things of the world.how can a man of God been a pastor went and contest election and faill saying dat God instrulted him 2 contest.PLS friends can God tell you to go for what you will lose.pls let be wise. Be havenly concious and earth useful.

    Reply
    1. prince zuby

      oyedepo will for ever remain the prophect of my generation, gossipers go to heal nd b urn to ashes.

      visit winners chapel nd see what God his using his servant to do. I am a living witness.

      Reply
      1. ramsey

        i must tell u dat u r dead wrong wit ur facts cos they r mere speculation which u dnt hv d actual figures of d their wealth or the no of the congregation n i can prove u wrong. Always do ur research properly to support watever u call it (facts),

        Reply
  33. Igboeli ken azuka

    Church is now a business, my own church is coming very soon, (DE ROCK OF ADGE’S KINGDOM & MIRACLE CENTRE)

    Reply
  34. Charles Etym Benjamin

    There is nothing for men and women of God to be wealthy, but my cncer and questions are:
    (1) How do they make their wealth, is by deceiving the innocent and harmless members in the name of preaching the gosple?
    (2)If the source is genuine, how do they affect the poor with their wealth?
    Wealth is just like manure or fertilizer if you dont spread it on your crops it become useless hoarding them.
    No matter how much billions of Dollars or any currency they may have in their account it does them no good if they dont spread afterall they will not take a kobo to heaven if atall they make heaven

    Reply
  35. Alex alieja

    Well it’s pretty obvious that God’s kingdom is taking over. And very soon the riches t man in the world is going to be from the church

    Reply
  36. Stag

    Articles like this are usually filled with lies galore. How can anyone come out to claim that Bishop Oyedepo’s books “are all about prosperity and little or nothing more”?

    Obviously the writer has never read een one of the Bishop’s more than 100 titles (of which ONLY THREE are about prosperity), neither has he read the weekly bulletins that are released every Sunday, paid for by member for free distribution to the public?

    Or perhaps the article writer does not know of community secondary schools which are built and run by Winners branches to accommodate the poor and needy children, fully paid for by the church with no financial commitment from the children who attend whatsoever? Books, classrooms and uniforms are all paid for by the church.

    Or do we talk about the visitations that are done to widows and orphans? There is no month where WInners Chapel does not give out truckloads of food, clothing and other materials to the destitute of society. That the church refuses to broadcast this in the media as commanded by Jesus Christ who said that giving must be done secretly so that God who is the One who blesses will be honoured and not the church or the man of God, should not be misinterpreted otherwise.

    I find it hard to understand why Forbes should be associated with such deceptive reporting where facts are deliberately misrepresented to paint these pastors as people who are stealing money from the flock.

    In America, every single pastor who stole from the flock has been exposed. The list is endless; Jim Bakker, Robert Schuller, etc. Let Forbes point to one of these aforementioned pastors who has done it. Winners has operated for 31 years. From a modest beginning in Kaduna to where the church is now.

    I think Forbes should focus on the American morally bankrupt clergy who are now sanctioning abortion and gay marriage (when the bible clearly condemns such practice and clearly stated that gays can NEVER get to heaven because the practice of homosexuality is a sin before God). What are the American priests preaching? Which bible are they using?

    The intent of Forbes is very clear. It is part of the neo-colonialist mentality which paints Africa as a dark continent where nothing good happens. It hurts them to see African men of God who have unlocked Divine principles to work for them. It hurts them that where American home owners cannot pay for houses, a church here can build a 50,000 seater auditorium from internally generated revenue. in a space of one year. It hurts them that Africa is now the next big thing. Nigerian pastors are heading the largest churches in London, in Ukraine (Sunday Adelaja) and other places.

    It is time our own people support what our men of God are trying to do, which is to remove the wool that these Forbes neo-colonialists are trying to pull over our eyes. We are great and we can be greater, and no negative articles which propagate falsehood from Forbes or the Oprah Winfrey Show or CBS’s 60 Minutes will stop us. NEVER!

    Reply
    1. hobnobb

      stag,u are a man of real value,God bless u. All these idiots cant they mind their own bisness?if u say our pastors are estourting us are we complaining 2u? Can all ur useless scientific works for years make a woman with womb to give birth to tripplet?or a 70yrs old woman given birth to twins?can our overzealous scientic do that??? Whatever thing u represent,Shut up!! U are worse than us(nigerian).my 2gr8est Fathers of Faith. Daddy E.A ADEBOYE, BISHOPE DAVID OYEDEPO,9ija 4life!

      Reply
  37. Rick Ross

    I am not against a man of God being rich, I am just against the way they just tell us series of LIES just to get alot of money from us, and yet they dont care about the poor members of their congregation.

    I used to worship with one of these so called mega churches before, but when i needed help they were not there for me. Back then I so much wanted to personally speak with my pastor but I was too small to have his phone number, only presidents, governors, rich politicians etc are allowed to have access to him because he is a God. Anyways i quit and found myself a small church in Port Harcourt where i worship when am in the country, when i travel i worship anywhere, sometimes in Catholic church etc depending on where I am and what is closest to me.

    Right now my pastor is my family friend, I call him anytime i need to speak with him, he prays for me and my family, he simply cares abut me and this is exactly what i wanted from my former church/pastor. I want my pastor to be my best friend and confidant. As a pastor you are not only supposed to collect my tithe and tell me God said this and that when in real sense most of these people dont hear from God, they just use peoples mentality,

    The only Great man of God I seem to admire soo much is TB Joshua even though I dont worship there. Most times I watch their Sunday broadcast live on TV. The other so called SAINT men of God in Nigeria talk rubbish about TV Joshua, He is actually the one doing what others cannot do. TB Joshua is feeding and clothing hundreds of widows/widowers. His scholarship program and football academy is open to everyone, both Muslims and Christians. He helps poor members of the public more than any other pastor in Nigeria. The other men of God claim TB Joshua is using Satans power, my brothers how do we know whose powers is real and fake when all of these pastors uses Gods name to perform miracles???

    For the records Christ embassy members are more than half a million. The 40,000 this site mentioned is it just the members in one single branch in Lagos or Christ embassy members in all over the world? What is a pastor doing with 4 private jets when millions of their church members are poor and needy? Also, how come after paying tithes these church universities are among the most expensive in Nigeria? How come these mega churches are not building free schools and hospitals all over the Nigeria???
    In my opinion these listed pastors are like 70 times richer than we think/assume, just imagine how many millions of dollars a church like winners or Redeem generate every single day from offering, tithes, books etc. Like is said before, there is nothing wrong in a pastor being rich, but they MUST help poor members of the public, There is this report that pastor Chris has 40 brand new jeeps or so, what is a man of God doing with all these cars? Is he a car dealer? Why cant he give some of these cars out? I dont know which pastor is good or bad, and am not gonna judge anyone. But my happiness is that God is coming soon to end these evil way of things.

    Reply
    1. Paul Post author

      Well said, bro. Commercial religion is in vogue. Lucky you got a pastor who really understands what pastoring a church is all about. Thanks for coming around here.

      Reply
      1. richard

        the truth about all the churches today is dat, they are not serving anybody but themselves their families, it is nothing but a bizness center, the owner is not God but the initiator of the church – idahosa for instance- you dat is a member is only a factory worker working for the family of the owner, is dat what christ preached. no man of God stays in the temple waiting for people to come and give him money, in the new testament, they used their hands to work – paul was a tent maker, Jesus was a capenter, Peter was a fisherman, Luke was a doctor – where will i start or stop all the so called men of God are out to do business and that they are doing. check their history, it is either from a lecturer to church opening or musician to dat, because money has become their god, they do all sort of things to get it using tithe which is part of the old way of doing things. if you must give tithe are you an isrealite if yes is your pastor a levite, if yes where is the temple, the alter, the outer court, inner court and the holy of holies, the priest that are officiating their.

        Dont allow false christ to decieve you. for more visit http://www.brideofchristministryworldwide.com

        Reply
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