Who are the richest pastors in Nigeria?
Following the Biblical injunction “Therefore go in the the world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy spirit” (Matthew 28:19), has really given men and women the opportunity to become holy men and women of God’s message. Nigeria has really utilized the biblical injunction both spiritually and financially as most pastors can now be rated as millionaires and billionaires through what they have collected from the masses and people of goodwill in the name of the church for the benefits of them and their families.
God is good, especially if you’re a Nigerian pastor with some business savvy. These days, millions of souls, desperate for financial breakthroughs, miracles and healing, all rush to the church for redemption. And while the bible expressly states that salvation is free, at times it comes with a cost: offerings, tithes, gifts to spiritual leaders, and a directive to buy literature and other products created by men of God.
Pastors are no longer solely interested in getting people to Heaven; they’ve devised intelligent ways to make good money while reaching out to souls. Take Pastor Chris Oyakhilome for example. He 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. He also owns television stations, newspapers, magazines, a hotel, a fast-food chain, and more.
Many other Nigerian pastors are similarly building multi-million dollar empires from their churches. Today, pastors fly around in private jets, drive fancy cars like Daimlers, Porsches and BMWs, don Rolexes and Patek Phillipes, and own breathtaking mansions all over the world.
1. Bishop David Oyedepo
- Church: Living Faith World Outreach Ministry, aka Winners Chapel
- Net worth: $150 million
David Oyedepo is one of the richest pastors in Nigeria. Ever since he founded the Living Faith World Outreach Ministry in 1981, it has grown to become one of Africa’s largest congregations. The Faith Tabernacle, where he hosts three services every Sunday, is Africa’s largest worship center, with a seating capacity of 50,000. Oyedepo owns four private jets and homes in London and the United States.
He also owns Dominion Publishing House, a thriving publishing company that publishes all his books. He founded and owns Covenant University, one of Nigeria’s leading tertiary institutions, and Faith Academy, an elite high school.
2. Chris Oyakhilome
- Church: Believers’ Loveworld Ministries, a.k.a Christ Embassy
- Net worth: $30 million – $50 million
His church, Christ Embassy, boasts more than 40,000 members, several of whom are successful business executives and politicians. Oyakhilome’s diversified interests include newspapers, magazines, a local television station, a record label, satellite TV, hotels and extensive real estate.
His Loveworld TV Network is the first Christian network to broadcast from Africa to the rest of the world on a 24 hour basis.
3. Temitope Joshua
- Church: Synagogue Church Of All Nations (SCOAN)
- Net worth: $10 million – $25 million
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. 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 to causes in education, healthcare and rehabilitation programs for former Niger Delta militants. He owns Emmanuel TV, a Christian television network, and is close friends with Ghanaian President Atta Mills.
4. Matthew Ashimolowo
- Church: Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC)
- Net worth: $6 million – $10 million
In 1992, Foursquare Gospel Church, a Nigerian church, sent Ashimolowo to open a satellite branch in London. But Pastor Matthew had other ideas and decided to set up his own church instead. Today, his Kingsway international Christian Center is reportedly the largest Pentecostal church in the United Kingdom.
In 2009, the church posted profits of close to $10 million and assets worth $40 million. Ashimolowo earns an annual salary of $200,000, but his real wealth comes from varied business interests including his media company, Matthew Ashimolowo media, which churns out Christian literature and documentaries. Ashimolowo’s representatives did not respond to a request confirming his net worth and ownership of all these assets.
5. Chris Okotie
- Church: Household of God Church
- Net worth: $3 million -$10 million
Pastor Okotie made his first success as a popular pop musician in the 80s. He found the light, embraced the bible and set up the Household of God Church, one of Nigeria’s most flamboyant congregations.
His 5,000 member church consists predominantly of Nollywood celebrities, musicians, and society people. He contested and lost Nigerian presidential elections for the third time this year under the Fresh Party, a political party he founded and funds. An automobile lover, he owns a Mercedes S600, Hummer and Porsche among several others.
The above illustrations and analysis will show you clearly that these men of God are really rich as even some Nigerian politicians can not even compare their wealth with theirs. This list only shows a few, there are a host of others who are still yet to make this list which may likely appear in our next update.