Mfonobong Nsehe: forbes contributor
Two weeks ago, I posted a story about the Five Richest Nigerian Pastors
. The piece has since attracted considerable attention in Nigerian and foreign media, for reasons not entirely clear to me. Still I thought it was just about over until I received word from several friends on Sunday that one of Nigeria’s most erudite pastors, Paul Adefarasin, was mildly upset that he didn’t make my little list and that he took his grievance to the church.
Pastor Adefarasin is the founder and lead pastor of the House on the Rock Church, a thriving Pentecostal outfit that emphasizes financial prosperity almost as if it were a requisite for salvation. He is one of Nigeria’s most elegant men, famed for his bespoke Italian-cut suits, flashy automobiles, shiny head and his deep baritone enmeshed in a delightful American accent.
Pastor Adefarasin is “rich”, and he set out to prove his point to his church members at the 5-Star Eko Hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos where he held this Sunday’s service.
“I am a billionaire and there is nothing anybody can do about it,” he boasted. “I have coached many billionaires and you know, the pastor of billionaires is a billionaire.”
“The preacher of a billionaire can only be a billionaire because a monkey cannot give birth to a goat and a goat cannot follow a baboon.”
“I am a preacher. I am a motivational speaker. I am a TV personality. I am a life coach. You can criticize me or slander me in the pages of newspapers but the blessings are in me and there is nothing anyone can do about it,” he bragged. As a ‘billionaire’, he went ahead to give tips to his vast congregation who apparently are all dreaming of becoming billionaires.
“To become a billionaire, Christians must simply imagine it, ask and realize that money, blessing and favour are already in them. All they need is to ‘work out’ what ‘God has already worked in.’ ”
“Some of you do not see that you are already billionaires but there is a difference between to create and to unveil. God will simply unveil your billions to you as he did to me,” he said to his multi-thousand congregation.
I haven’t yet confirmed Pastor Adefarasin’s billions, but I’m certain his ‘billions’ are in Heaven currency, which unfortunately, is not legal tender here on Earth. Still he’s got plenty of real-life money. While he didn’t make my recent list of top five wealthiest pastors, I reckon he’s worth at least $1 million.
Pastor Adefarasin is one of Nigeria’s most respected preachers, and a renowned Televangelist. His church, the House on the Rock has grown phenomenally over the years, and is the preferred worship center for some of Nigeria’s most successful people. Former Nigerian billionaire, Femi Otedola apparently worships at the church once in a while, along with several successful middle-class professionals and corporate executives. (Imagine all those beautiful offerings and Tithes!)
But Pastor Adefarasin is also a change maker. He is the founder of the Rock Foundation, a Christian charity that services and tries to rehabilitate prostitutes, social miscreants, ex convicts and drug addicts.
He’s a good man; May God bless him with more ‘billions’. Amen
When I contacted the RCCG, I was told that Pastor Adeboye does not exactly own the church. He’s just the General Overseer, so he doesn’t own the assets of the church or any other vast estate. As a matter of fact, the Private Jet he uses belongs not to him, but to the church. But, definitely, he’s considerably rich.
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 (which are often centered on prosperity). He founded and owns Covenant University, one of Nigeria’s leading tertiary institutions, and Faith Academy, an elite high school.
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.
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.
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.
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.
comment by weboga 9jabook.com
I just realised that The Five Richest Pastors In Nigeria may not be the 5 richest Christians in Nigeria through Heaven's eyes ..
Prince of Egypt soundtrack: la la la la la la .....A little thread in the tapestry might not understand its worth in the grand design ....
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. and rust ..surely Mathew 6:20 will not make a popular sunday sermon tomorrow in 9ja !
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I am not against pastors living well but this will only serve too fuel the already existing Nigerian greed and over-ambition!