Bishop David Oyedepo Biography
David Olaniyi Oyedepo, an architect, businessman, Christian author, and Nigerian preacher, is the founder of Living Faith Church Worldwide (also known as Winners Chapel) and serves as the presiding Bishop of Faith Tabernacle in Ota, Ogun State.
He is widely recognized as one of Nigeria’s most influential speakers and a key figure in the African Christian charismatic movement. Oyedepo is the chancellor of both Covenant University and Landmark University.
His network of Winners Chapel International churches spans across various states in Nigeria and multiple countries worldwide. Forbes magazine also recognized him as Nigeria’s wealthiest pastor in 2011.
David Oyedepo Biography
- Full Name : David Olaniyi Oyedepo
- Date of Birth : September 27, 1954
- Nationality : Nigerian
- State of Origin : Omu-Aran, Kwara State, Nigeria
- Place of Birth : Omu-Aran, Kwara State, Nigeria
- Spouse : Faith Abiola Oyedepo
- Occupation : Pastor, Author, Educationist, Minister, Architect
- Net Worth : $150 million
Early Life and Education
Born on September 27, 1954, in Osogbo, Nigeria, David Olaniyi Oyedepo hails from Omu-Aran in the Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State.
Growing up, he was exposed to various religions as his father, Ibrahim, was a Muslim healer, while his mother, Dorcas, followed the Aladura movement in Nigeria, specifically the Holy Order of the Cherubim and Seraphim Movement Church (C&S).
Despite this, his grandmother, who lived with them in Osogbo, instilled in him Christian values and teachings by taking him to early morning prayers and emphasizing the importance of tithing.
Oyedepo pursued architecture at the Ilorin campus of the Kwara State Polytechnic, and later obtained a PhD in Human Development from Honolulu University in Hawaii.
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Oyedepo briefly worked for the Federal Ministry of Housing in Ilorin before leaving to dedicate himself to missionary work. He was “born again” in 1969 after his high school teacher, Betty Lasher, took an interest in him.
In May 1981, Oyedepo claims to have received a divine mandate through an 18-hour vision to spread the word of faith and free the world from devilish oppression. This vision inspired the establishment of the Liberation Faith Hour Ministries, which later became the Living Faith Church World Wide (LFCWW), in 1981.
Two years later, on September 17, 1983, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, ordained Oyedepo and his wife, Florence Abiola Akano (also known as Faith Abiola Oyedepo), as pastors and officially commissioned the new church. Five years later, Archbishop Benson Idahosa, Oyedepo’s life mentor, consecrated him as a bishop.
In July 1989, the Living Faith Church, originally founded in Kaduna, relocated to Lagos, Nigeria’s former capital, to establish a new branch of the church. Oyedepo reportedly received divine orders to minister to the residents of Lagos, which led to this relocation.
In 1998, Oyedepo claimed that God instructed him to build a new base for the commission to accommodate the growing number of worshippers.
This led to the acquisition of a 530-acre (2.1 km2) piece of land known as Canaanland, which serves as the headquarters of Oyedepo’s church. The site is home to the “Faith Tabernacle,” an auditorium with a seating capacity of 50,000, which was listed in the Guinness Book of Records.
Remarkably, the construction of this structure was completed without any debt within a year. Under the presidency of the late President Olusegun Obasanjo, the 50,000-seat structure was dedicated on September 18, 1999.
Canaanland is a vast estate covering 5,000 acres (20 km2), and it is located in Ota, Ogun state. The campus features a 50,000-seat auditorium, the church’s secretariat, a youth chapel, the Kingdom Heritage Model School (a primary school), and the Faith Academy, a full-boarding mission secondary school with over 1,500 students.
In addition, the Covenant University facilities on the campus can accommodate over 7,000 students and house them in state-of-the-art dormitories.
The church also operates several for-profit businesses on the Canaanland campus, including a bakery, a water bottling facility, a gas station, multiple restaurants and shops, as well as homes for more than 2,000 employees and guesthouses.
There are also four banks on the estate, including one community and microfinance bank run by the church and three external commercial bank branches.
As of 2012, the Canaanland estate had expanded to 17,000 acres, which would also include the development of Canaan City, comprising of 15,000 homes.
Every December, the ministry hosts its largest annual gathering, Shiloh, at the Faith Tabernacle, which draws thousands of attendees from all over the world.
Currently, the ministry is constructing an amphitheatre, nicknamed the “Ark,” with a seating capacity of 100,000. The structure is said to have the widest span in the world.
Oyedepo’s teachings place him within the Word of Faith Movement, and he cites influential leaders in this movement as his mentors, such as Kenneth Copeland, Gloria Copeland, the late Kenneth Hagin, E. W. Kenyon, T. L. Osborn, Smith Wigglesworth, as well as prominent Nigerian preachers like Enoch Adeboye and the late Benson Idahosa.
Oyedepo has been associated with the prosperity gospel, which is in line with the teachings of many of his mentors.
The Word of Faith Bible Institute, which aims to train leaders and future pastors while also promoting Christian values, is operated by Winners’ Chapel International for both members and non-members. The institute is overseen by the principal branches of the church.
David Oyedepo Ministries International (DOMI) is headed by its president, David Oyedepo. DOMI is an umbrella organization that comprises Living Faith Church World Wide (a worldwide network of churches), World Mission Agency (WMA), Dominion Publishing House, Covenant University, Landmark University, the church’s publishing arm, and the Social Development Missions projects.
These projects include hospitals, maternity homes, schools, and other facilities aimed at social development.
According to Forbes, Bishop Oyedepo has a net worth of over $150 million, making him the wealthiest preacher in the world. Allegedly, the church owns four private jets and several properties, including ones in the United States and London.
Oyedepo has established Covenant University, Faith Academy, and Kingdom Heritage Model Schools to prepare young people for global impact. A third institution, named Crown University, is currently under construction in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria.
Oyedepo is a vocal critic of ineffective governance, leadership, and corruption throughout Africa. He has also been a prominent critic of President Muhammadu Buhari.
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Marriage And Family
David Oyedepo married Florence Abiola Akano, now known as Faith Oyedepo, in 1982. They have four children together: David Jr., Isaac, Love, and Joyce. In May 2007, Kenneth Copeland anointed Isaac and David Oyedepo Jr. as pastors.
Isaac Oyedepo currently leads Winners’ Chapel International in Maryland, USA, with his wife Ayomitide, while David Oyedepo Jr. formerly served as the resident pastor of the ministry’s main church (Faith Tabernacle) with his wife Kemi.
Love, his first child, is married to Stephen Ogah, another pastor at Winners’ Chapel. Joyce Priscilla is his second daughter and youngest child. In 2020, she married Abimbola Abodunrin.
David Oyedepo Day of Service (DODOS)
The Covenant University Alumni Association launched the DODOS program on September 27, 2012, which is Oyedepo’s birthday. The program is designed to celebrate Oyedepo’s contributions and way of life, and it encourages people to make a positive impact on individuals, organizations, or society in general.
Bishop David Oyedepo is a prominent figure in Nigeria and has been involved in several controversies due to his social standing. These controversies cover a broad spectrum of issues ranging from personal to financial matters. Here are some of the scandals he has been involved in and how he dealt with them.
The Beating of Journalists and State Officials
In September 2013, members of the Winner’s Chapel attacked employees of the Ogun State Ministry of Urban and Physical Planning, as well as two journalists who were accompanying them, while they were serving building inspection notices at the church’s administrative centre.
The journalists were reportedly subjected to severe abuse, and their cameras were confiscated and destroyed, with the recordings deleted. David Oyedepo, the founder, was reportedly present during the incident, but did not intervene.
The church was subsequently ordered to pay for the victims’ medical expenses, replace the damaged cameras and other items, and prosecute the five identified church members responsible for the attack.
The allegation that Oyedepo was present during the incident was dismissed. Oyedepo stated that the church would take disciplinary action against the members responsible once they were released from custody.
Bishop Oyedepo Urging His Members To Kill
In a 2017 video that circulated among Nigerians, Pastor Oyedepo was seen encouraging his church followers to kill any Muslim attackers they encountered on church property.
He claimed that the Boko Haram sect had threatened to attack his church, and called on his congregation to pray and ask for divine judgment against these individuals and any government representatives who supported them.
He went on to say that if the cult approached the church, they should be killed and their blood spilled. Following the release of the video, which caused concern across the nation, the church rallied to support him.
In their defense, they claimed that the video was not a recent reaction to the massacres in Southern Kaduna and was actually produced in 2015 during the Boko Haram crisis.
Therefore, it was considered to be outdated and irrelevant to the current national issue at hand. As a result, the video was dismissed as inauthentic.
Gate of Hell Proclamation
In January 2015, a conflict arose between Bishop Oyedepo and members and supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Prior to the 2015 elections, David had met with Goodluck Jonathan, who was the President at the time.
His remarks during the meeting led to insults and negative comments from the APC group. He was accused of threatening to send those who opposed Jonathan to hell.
Some members of the opposition party reportedly insulted and attacked him, while others argued that there was no cause for alarm, as the APC members had cheered when Fr. Mbaka spoke out against Jonathan.
However, the president and founder of Winner’s Chapel denied making such a statement. He claimed to have actually threatened to send those who opposed Nigeria to hell. Furthermore, he urged his congregation to pray for Nigeria and for peaceful elections.
Sacked Pastors Controversy
In 2021, it came to light that the Winner’s Chapel had dismissed 40 pastors on June 25, citing inadequate financial performance. One of the affected pastors spoke to the media about the incident.
Peter Edwin, who attended the meeting where they were informed of their termination, reported that they were each given a letter that turned out to be a termination letter upon opening it.
When he questioned why they were being let go, the church administration claimed that they were expected to raise the necessary funds to cover the costs in their respective church branches. However, the church is known to operate profitably.
In response, David Oyedepo denied that the pastors were dismissed due to financial reasons. He claimed that the church does not tolerate failure, and those pastors failed to fulfill their responsibilities and produce results.
Apart from being featured in various publications, Oyedepo is a prolific author and publisher, having written over 70 books.
He is also the chairman and publisher of the Dominion Publishing House (DPH), a publishing division of the ministry. Since its establishment on December 5, 1992, DPH has distributed over 4 million copies of its publications. Some of Oyedepo’s authored books include:
- All You Need to Have All Your Needs Met
- Anointing For Exploits
- Born To Win
- Covenant Wealth
- Commanding The Supernatural
- Conquering Controlling Powers
- Exploits of Faith
- Exploits in the ministry
- In Pursuit of Vision
- Maximise Destiny
- Not By Power Nor By Might
- On Eagle’s Wings
- Pillars Of Destiny
- Signs & Wonders Today
- Success Systems
- Success Strategies
- The Breakthrough Power of Vision
- The Turnaround Power Of The Word
- The Wisdom that Works
- The Unlimited Power of Faith
- Understanding Financial Prosperity
- Understanding The Power Of Faith
- Understanding The Power Of Praise
- Understanding Your Covenant Right
- Walking in Dominion
- Winning The War Against Poverty
- Walking In The Newness Of Life
- Exploring the Riches of Redemption
- Anointing For Breakthrough
- Breaking Financial Hardship
- Excellency Of Wisdom
- The Release Of Power
- Walking Into The Miraculous
- Satan Get Lost!
- The Winning Wisdom
- Walking in Wisdom
- The Healing Balm
- Manifestations Of The Spirit
- Breaking The Curses Of Life
- Overcoming Forces Of Wickedness
- You Shall Not Be Barren!
- Exploring The Secrets Of Success
- Winning Prayer
- Understanding The Anointing
- Fulfilling Your Days
- Towards Mental Exploits
- Understanding Divine Direction
- Understanding Vision
- The Shower of Blessing
- Riding on Prophetic Wings
- Operating In The Supernatural
- Ruling Your World
- The Blood Triumph
- Keys to Divine Health
- Put Your Angels To Work
- Keys To Answered Prayer
- Miracle Seed
- The Hidden Covenant Of Blessing
- Winning Faith.
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Awards And Nominations
Bishop David Oyedepo is known for his devoutness and humanitarian activities, which have earned him several accolades. Among them are:
- The International Biographical Centre in Cambridge, England awarded him the International Who is Who of Intellectuals, 13th Edition.
- He was inscribed in the Jerusalem 3000 Scroll # 102268.
- Global Care International recognized him as the Man of Dignity.
- He was awarded the Frontline Christian Author by ECOWAS in the ECOWAS International Gold Awards.
- Forbes Magazine named him the richest pastor in Nigeria in 2011, with a net worth of over $150 million.
- He currently serves as the president of World Mission Agency Incorporated (WMA), a Christian ministry organization with mission stations in over 40 African nations, as well as in Europe, Jamaica, and America.
- He has been awarded a Doctor of Divinity by the Bethel Graduate School of Technology in Riverside, California.
- He is also a Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Education and a Fellow of the Institute of Strategic Management of Nigeria.
Bishop Oyedepo has been recognized by Forbes as the richest preacher in the world, boasting a net worth exceeding US$150 million.
Social Media Handles
- Twitter: @DavidOyedepoMin
- Facebook: @davidoyedepoministries
- Instagram: @davidoyedepomin