The Five Richest Pastors In Nigeria

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.

After the blog post I wrote in May about Nigerian pastors owning private jets, I was bombarded with emails from readers requesting to know the richest pastors in Nigeria. So I set out to investigate the assets of some of Nigeria’s most prominent pastors, and I came up with conservative estimates of their fortunes. I contacted representatives for all of the pastors and all except Matthew Ashimolowo’s representative confirmed ownership of the assets I list. Representatives for Pastor Ashimolowo did not respond to my emails.

Bishop David Oyedepo

Affiliation: Living Faith World Outreach Ministry, aka Winners Chapel

Estimated net worth: $150 million

David Oyedepo is Nigeria’s wealthiest preacher. 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.

Chris Oyakhilome

Church: Believers’ Loveworld Ministries, a.k.a Christ Embassy

Estimated net worth: $30 million – $50 million

Last year, the charismatic preacher was at the center of a $35 million money laundering case in which he was accused of siphoning funds from his church to foreign banks. Pastor Chris pleaded no wrongdoing and the case was eventually dismissed. 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. He is one of the richest Nigerian pastors. His net worth is estimated at fifty million dollars. They say he has more than thirty jeeps. Of course, the Pastor does not confirm or deny this information, but taking into account his net worth definitely, he can afford that number of cars.

Temitope Joshua

Church: Synagogue Church Of All Nations (SCOAN)

Estimated net worth: $10 million – $15 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.

Nigerian Prophet T.B. Joshua declared his intention to leave Nigeria and relocate his ministry to the nation of Israel.

Speaking at his church service on Sunday 30th April 2017, Joshua disclosed that he had just returned from the ‘Holy Land’ after holding meetings with three prominent Israeli mayors of Jerusalem, Tiberias and the Jordan Valley.

TB Joshua said Israel offered him both land and facilities in an area around the biblical site of the Sea of Galilee for the Nigerian Pastor to organise meetings for international pilgrims.

“This is where my Father in Heaven came from – it’s non-negotiable,” Joshua explained, adding it was not a decision he undertook lightly.

“It’s the best place for you to meet Prophet T.B. Joshua. After your healing, blessing and deliverance, you can move around all the spiritual monuments which will establish your faith,” he clarified.

Joshua said his decision to leave was not connected to the “persecution” he endured during his ministry.

TB Joshua said the move would help people to “appreciate” what his ministry had been contributing to both the local economy and Nigeria’s international image.

“This is the most persecuted ministry in the world. Who are the people persecuting the ministry? My people, Africa.

“That is why I choose to live a lonely life. If you want to see me, come to this church. I don’t go out. It has not been easy – because I don’t know who is a friend or who is an enemy.

“If you learn T.B. Joshua is not around, I am in a revival. I live in the church here. I don’t have a house outside.”

Nigerian Prophet T.B. Joshua declared his intention to leave Nigeria and relocate his ministry to the nation of Israel.

Speaking at his church service on Sunday 30th April 2017, Joshua disclosed that he had just returned from the ‘Holy Land’ after holding meetings with three prominent Israeli mayors of Jerusalem, Tiberias and the Jordan Valley.

“This is where my Father in Heaven came from – it’s non-negotiable,” Joshua explained, adding it was not a decision he undertook lightly.

“It’s the best place for you to meet Prophet T.B. Joshua. After your healing, blessing and deliverance, you can move around all the spiritual monuments which will establish your faith,” he clarified.

Joshua said his decision to leave was not connected to the “persecution” he endured during his ministry.
TB Joshua said the move would help people to “appreciate” what his ministry had been contributing to both the local economy and Nigeria’s international image.

“This is the most persecuted ministry in the world. Who are the people persecuting the ministry? My people, Africa.

“That is why I choose to live a lonely life. If you want to see me, come to this church. I don’t go out. It has not been easy – because I don’t know who is a friend or who is an enemy.

“If you learn T.B. Joshua is not around, I am in a revival. I live in the church here. I don’t have a house outside.”
“Anytime you pray, remember Africa in prayer. Many heroes and great people have been chased out of Africa. There are many geniuses in the Western world who are originally from Africa.”

The cleric pointed to the example of heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua who was allegedly turned down by Nigerian sporting authorities when he wanted to represent the country.

“What happened to me from the beginning of my ministry is enough to chase me out of this country – but I am still in your midst. Upon the persecution and hatred. I decided to follow the path of love.

“You show hatred; I show love. When I go for a revival, you will see the stadium full but I am not carried away by that. I leave where I’m celebrated to live where I’m persecuted.”

The cleric then advised congregants: “Where you are not celebrated is the best place to stay, to get strength. When you are in the midst of a battle, you are building yourself.

“That is why I decided to stay where I am not celebrated here in Nigeria. When the grace of God is amid challenges, it gets stronger.”

“Your life can preach a better sermon than your mouth,” he exhorted the congregation, stating that the Israeli officials had observed his ministry from afar before inviting him.

Matthew Ashimolowo

Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC)

Estimated 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.

During more than 30 years in the ministry, Pastor Matthew has given countless people the spiritual and practical foundation on which to successfully build their lives. An inspiring visionary, Pastor Matthew launched the UK’s first church-owned television channel, KICC TV, and his television and radio ministry Winning Ways is a source of inspiration and deliverance for the millions it reaches across the globe.
As an award-winning and prolific author, Pastor Matthew has published more than 90 books, including “The Power of Positive Prayer Bible” and the pioneering ‘What’s Wrong With Being Black?’ – a book hailed for ‘reaching the parts community campaigners cannot reach’. Pastor Matthew constantly challenges believers to become the best they can be.
Honoured several times as the most influential black person in the public sector/religion category in the Power List, Pastor Matthew’s influence on church growth and evangelism has been noted by local and international news media. A successful businessman, he is recognised as one of the most exciting and inspiring Christian voices on the world scene today.
His influence on church growth and evangelism has guaranteed countless requests for his comments by a variety of mainstream media including BBC TV and Radio, Sky News, The Times and Guardian broadsheet newspapers, as well as a broad spectrum of Christian and faith-based publications.
As a respected leader, Pastor Matthew sits on the Board of Reference for God TV and is considered a Christian thought leader, Biblical scholar and media commentator on a variety of issues that have left indelible marks on modern society.

Nigerian highly placed cleric, founder and General Overseer of the Kingsway International Christian Center, KICC, Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo has shocked his viewers after he compelled his congregants to give a thousand dollars for every year each of them had lived on earth.

Pastor Ashimolowo already is worth over $10 million.

He demanded in a church service that his members give what he described “the seed of Glorious expectation”, which is according to the number of years they have lived on earth.

Kingsway International Christian Center is located in the United Kingdom with branches in Nigeria.

The pastor said in the video, “For every year you have lived on earth, I want you to give a N100… No sorry, a N1000 naira.

“If you have lived on earth for 35 years, you give N35,000. You have lived 60 years, you give N60,000.

“Those who are paying in dollars to the left while those paying in naira to the right.

“Thousand dollars to the left, thousand naira to the right, those that are doing the both, to the middle.

“Get out of your seats.”

The video was shared by controversial Nigerian On Air Personality, OAP, Daddy Freeze, who has always frowned at the ways men of God in Nigeria live flamboyant lifestyle, while their members suffer to pay tithe and offerings.

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.

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