By David Odongo
Pastors are increasingly making their mark in the financial world, and African pastors are not being left behind. According to Forbes Magazine, on Africa’s list of the richest pastors, the five top positions are taken by Nigerians.
Bishop David Oyedepo estimated net worth is $150 million( Ksh 12.75billion.)
With a branch also in Kenya, Bishop David Oyedepo’s Winners Chapel is the largest worship centre in the world. It has a sitting capacity of 50,000 people inside and an outside overflow of 250,000 people. The church holds three services every Sunday.
It is rumored that the Sunday tithe collection exceed 30 million Naira (Kshs 56million).
Founded in 1981, it now has well over 400 branches. Its assets include two aircraft (Gulfstream 1 & Gulfstream 4) and a fleet of over 400 buses that convey worshipers to and from church. Plans are in the making to purchase a third aircraft for use by the vice president, Bishop David Abioye.
The Church also owns Dominion Publishing House, which churns out books and other materials written by Oyedepo. The church is also heavily involved in humanitarian causes thorough its subsidiary, World Mission Agency (WMA) which provides welfare and other health and humanitarian services to the needy in the society.
Another rich church is the Christ Embassy headquartered in Lagos. Pastor Chris Oyakhilome’s estimated net worth is $50M (Shs 4.25 billion). With up to 30,000 members, the church owns a string of large business with interests in broadcasting, entertainment, banking, publishing, and the hospitality industries.
The major money spinning arms of the ministry includes LoveWorld Cyber Ministry, LoveWorld Television, Love World Christian Network, LoveWorld Multimedia Ministry and LoveWorld Publishing Ministry. Love World the first 24-hour Christian Network from Africa to the rest of the world. Monthly financial yields of the 2 billion Naira printing press is approximately 10m Naira. (Kshs 19.8 million).
The church is headed by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome. Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, is the founder and lead pastor of the Christ Embassy, a thriving congregation with branches in Nigeria, South Africa, London, Canada and the United States. His publishing company, Loveworld Publications, publishes ‘Rhapsody of Realities,’ a monthly devotional he co-authors with his wife.
It sells over 2 million copies every month at $1 apiece. That’s a cool $2m every month. He also owns television stations, newspapers, magazines, a hotel, a fast-food chain, and more. His Loveworld TV Network is the first Christian network to broadcast from Africa to the rest of the world on a 24 hour basis.
Nigeria’s most controversial clergyman is also one of its richest and most philanthropic. T.B Joshua heads the Synagogue Church of all Nations (SCOAN), a congregation he founded in 1987, which accommodates over 15,000 worshippers on Sundays. His estimated net worth $15 million (Shs 1.275 billion)
The Pastor has remained controversial for several years for his inexplicable powers to heal all sorts of incurable diseases, including HIV/AIDS, cancer and paralysis. For miracle-craving worshippers, it’s the perfect seduction. The church currently has branches in Ghana, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Greece.
In the past three years, he has given over $20 million (Sh 1.7 billion) to causes in education, healthcare and rehabilitation programs for former Niger Delta militants. He owns Emmanuel TV, a Christian television network, and was close friends with Ghanaian President Atta Mills.