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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Top 5 richest pastors in Nigeria unveiled

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 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 (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.
-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.
-Temitope JoshuaChurch:
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.

-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.
-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.
Written by Mfonobong Nsehe for forbes.com
Pastor Adeboye's name was missing?
Courtesy: www.thisisjs.com

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