Perusing the news today, I ran across an article citing the richest pastors in Nigeria which listed Bishop David Oyedepo as the richest coming in at a whopping $150 million. Being that the article is from a Nigerian news source, I was skeptical that this was actually true. So I did a little digging and found that, well, it is actually true.
David Oyedepo is a Word of Faith preacher and is the founder and presiding bishop of Living Faith Church World Wide which is also known as the Winners Chapel International denomination. Oyedepo is the presiding bishop at Faith Tabernacle with around 50 thousand in weekly attendance according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Being that Nigeria isn’t exactly a wealthy country, I found Oyedepo’s net worth to be astounding, especially compared to some of the similar American celebrity pastors. Joel Osteen, for example, has a similar weekly attendance at around 45 thousand according to Wikipedia, however, Osteen’s net worth, according to Celebrity Net Worth, comes in at a dreary 100 thousand. Creflo Dollar, another similar-minded Word of Faith pastor, has a net worth of around 27 million according to the same source.
That means this Nigerian pastor’s net worth is millions more than both Joel Osteen and Creflo Dollar combined. Strange, huh?
The Word of Faith movement, also known as the prosperity gospel, is one of the most nefarious and subversive false gospels plaguing the American Church today, right behind the social justice gospel. But it doesn’t just plague the American Church, it is the dominant theology in African countries. This is because the Word of Faith gospel preys on the desperation of the poor seeking a way out of their poverty.
The prosperity gospel teaches that God is, in a sense, a genie in a bottle, and by having enough faith, you can get what you want from him — material gain. Sadly, the reason it’s so prevalent in Africa, and particularly in Nigeria, is that there is a much higher concentration of poor, un/undereducated folks in these populations who are willing to risk what little bit they have in the hopes of a higher return. Unfortunately, the people who fall victim to these charlatans never receive anything in return and place their hopes solely in a false gospel.
This is why it is extremely important to counter these false gospels with the truth and to support what little bit of biblical missionaries exist in these nations.