David O. Oyedepo is a Nigerian preacher, Christian author, businessman, architect and the founder and Presiding Bishop of the megachurch Faith Tabernacle in Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria, and Living Faith Church Worldwide, also known as Winners’ Chapel International.
The Winners’ Chapel International network of churches is located in over 300 cities, in all states of Nigeria, and in several cities in 45 African nations, Dubai, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Oyedepo has been seen as one of the pioneers of the Christian charismatic movement in Africa and has been referred to as one of the most powerful preachers in Nigeria. He is the Chancellor of Covenant University and Landmark University. He was named in 2011 by Forbes magazine as being the richest pastor in Nigeria.
Early Life and History
David .O. Oyedepo is a native of Omu Aran, Irepodun local government area of Kwara state. He was born on 7 September 1954 in Osogbo, Osun state. Raised in a mixed family, his father, Ibrahim was a Muslim Healer whiles his mother, Dorcas is a member of the Holy Order of the Cherubim and Seraphim Movement Church (C&S), a branch of the Aladura movement in Nigeria. He was raised by his grandmother in Osogbo, who introduced him to the virtues of Christian life through early morning prayers which she attended with him. She also taught him the importance of tithing.
Oyedepo was born again in 1969, through the influence of his teacher, Betty Lasher, who took an interest in him during his high school days.
He studied architecture at the Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin and worked briefly with the Federal Ministry of Housing in Ilorin before resigning to concentrate on missionary work. He received a Ph.D. in Human Development from Honolulu University, Hawaii, US.
Vision and ministry
According to him, he received a mandate from God through an 18-hour vision in May 1981, to liberate the world from all oppressions of the devil through the preaching of the word of faith. This is the inaugural vision that led to the founding of the Living Faith Church World Wide (LFCWW), first called Liberation Faith Hour Ministries, in 1981. Two years later, on September 17, 1983, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, ordained David and his wife, Florence Abiola Akano (known as Faith Abiola Oyedepo) to become pastors and officially commissioned the new church. Five years later, Oyedepo was ordained as Bishop.
Living Faith Church (AKA Winners Chapel International) started in Kaduna but moved to Lagos, the former capital of Nigeria in July 1989, to start a new branch of the church after Oyedepo claimed to have received instructions from God to reach out to the people of Lagos.
Place of worship for the commission
In 1998 he was instructed by God to build a new base for the Commission to accommodate the increasing number of worshippers. This resulted in Oyedepo’s church’s acquisition of the initial 530-acre (2.1 km2) facility, known as Canaanland, which serves as the headquarters. It is the home of the 50,000-seat capacity auditorium, the ‘Faith Tabernacle’, which is reputed to be the largest church auditorium in the world. This was a feat also recorded by the Guinness Book of Records.
Faith Tabernacle was reported as the Worlds’ Largest Church Auditorium in December 2005. Construction was completed within 12 months. Reports also claimed that this building was built debt-free. This 50,000-seat edifice was dedicated on September 18, 1999, under the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Cannanland is in Ota, Ogun state and is the 5,000-acre (20 km2) estate and campus, that houses the 50,000 seat auditorium, the church secretariat, the church’s youth chapel, a primary school called Kingdom heritage model school, a full boarding mission secondary school called Faith Academy, with over 1,500 students and the Covenant University facilities which accommodate over 7,000 students, fully resident in ultra-modern hostel facilities – with fully equipped faculty buildings and numerous staff housing facilities. Canaanland campus also has for-profit establishments operated by the church such as a bakery, a bottled water processing plant, a petrol station, various restaurants, and shopping stores, several residential houses that provide for the over 2,000 church employees and guesthouses. Four banks are also present on this Estate, three of which are branches of external commercial banks and one which is a community and micro-finance Bank and operated by the Church. The whole of Canaanland which includes a proposed 15,000 housing estate known as Canaan City had increased to 17,000 acres as of 2012.
The Ministry’s biggest annual meeting Shiloh holds every December in the same Faith Tabernacle and often welcomes thousands of congregants across the world.
The teachings of Oyedepo have put him in the category of what is commonly called the Word of Faith Movement. He has referred to principal exponents of the Faith Movement such as Kenneth Copeland, Gloria Copeland, the late Kenneth Hagin, E. W. Kenyon, T. L. Osborn, Smith Wigglesworth as well as renowned Nigerian preachers; Enoch Adeboye and the late Benson Idahosa as mentors. As with many of his influences, Oyedepo has been described as a preacher prosperity gospel.
Winners Chapel International operates a Bible training program known as the Word of Faith Bible Institute for members and non-members alike to develop knowledge of Christian principles as well as to develop leaders and future pastors. The institute is run in major branches of the Church.
- Not By Power Nor By Might
- The Turnaround Power Of The Word
- Understanding The Power Of Faith
- The Breakthrough Power Of Vision
- On Eagle’s Wings
- The Unlimited Power Of Faith
- In Pursuit Of Vision
- Pillars Of Destiny
- Signs & Wonders Today
- Exploits In Ministry
- Winning The War Against Poverty
- Walking In Dominion
- Possessing Your Possession
- The Wisdom That Works
- Exploits Of Faith
- Anointing For Exploits
- Understanding The Power Of Praise
- Walking In Newness Of Life
- Maximize Destiny
- Commanding The Supernatural
- Winning Invisible Battles
- Success Systems
- Understanding Financial Prosperity
- Success Strategies
- Understanding Your Covenant Right
- Miracle Meal
- Exploring the Riches of Redemption
- Anointing For Breakthrough
- Excellency Of Wisdom
- Breaking Financial Hardship
- The Release Of Power
- Walking In 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 Vision
- Understanding Divine Direction
- The Force Of Freedom
- Born To Win
- The Shower Of Blessing
- Riding On Prophetic Wings
- All You Need To Have All Your Needs Met
- Operating In The Supernatural
- Ruling Your World
- The Blood Triumph
- Keys To Divine Health
- Winning Faith
- Conquering Controlling Powers
- Put Your Angels To Work
- Covenant Wealth
- Keys To Answered Prayer
- Miracle Seed
- The Hidden Covenant Of Blessing
In 1982 he married Florence Abiola Akano (now known as Faith). They have four children together (David Jnr, Isaac, Love and Joyce). David Oyedepo Jnr. and Isaac Oyedepo were ordained as Pastors in May 2007 by Kenneth Copeland. David Oyedepo Jnr. formerly pastored the London Branch of the Church with his wife, Kemi but is now the resident pastor of the Ministry’s headquarters church (Faith Tabernacle) while Isaac Oyedepo pastors Winners’ Chapel International, Maryland, in the United States of America with his wife Ayomitide.