Bishop David Oyedepo is one of the most beloved clerics in this country.
He is also Nigeria’s richest pastor, according to the recent 2018 Forbes list. But, there is still so much that people do not know about him.
Here are 10 things you need to know about Bishop David Oyedepo:
1. He comes from a mixed-faith background
The beloved Man of God was born on September 27, 1954, to a Muslim healer father while his mother reportedly went to Cherubim and Seraphim.
His parents were named Ibrahim and Dorcas.
2. We have a teacher to thank for his Christian faith
Reportedly, the Bishop became born again through the help of Betty Lasher, who was a missionary teacher. This event took place on February 19, 1969.
3. His grandmother played a huge role in his life
Prior to his teacher, Lasher, Bishop Oyedepo’s grandmother set him on the Christian path.
During his stay with her in Osogbo, he learned about early morning prayers and tithing. She is said to have been a devout Anglican.
4. Before he became Bishop Oyedepo, he was really into school
Years before his missionary work, he studied Architecture at Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin. Eventually, he also got a Ph.D. in Human Development from Honolulu University, Hawaii, United States of America.
He got to use his architectural degree briefly when he worked the Federal Ministry of Housing in Ilorin.
5. His missionary work began in 1981
Bishop Oyedepo left the ministry for the House of God after receiving a mandate from God in an 18-hour long vision. This occurred in May 1981. Before this revelation, it has been reported that he shared the gospel for the first time in March 1970.
6. Living Faith began in Kaduna state
After this vision, the Living Faith Church (a.k.a Winners Chapel) was born, originally as Liberation Faith Hour Ministries, in Kaduna state.
He was ordained to the full-time ministry by Pastor Enoch Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) on September 17, 1983. He became an ordained Bishop five years after.
Eventually, Bishop Oyedepo moved to Lagos, where a new branch was born in September 1989. This was the result of a divine instruction to reach out to Lagosians.
Years later, the well known 50,000-seater Faith Tabernacle was built to handle the crowd.
7. He has a couple of mentors
Bishop Oyedepo looks up to Kenneth Copeland, Gloria Copeland, the late Kenneth E. Hagin, T.L Osborn, Smith Wigglesworth, Pastor Adeboye and the late Arch-Bishop Benson Idahosa.
8. He is also an author and president of a huge organization
Bishop Oyedepo is not just a cleric as he is also an author of many bestsellers. These include Pillars of Faith, Born to Win, and Possessing your Possession.
On the other hand, he is the President of David Oyedepo Ministries International (DOMI). This organization comprises of all the Living Faith Churches Worldwide, and World Mission Agency (WMA); which is the global missionary arm of the church’s operations.
Covenant University, Ota, Landmark University at Omu Aran, Crown University at Calabar, Kingdom Heritage Model School, Faith Academy in Canaanland, Ota and the Dominion Publishing House (DPH); the publishing arm of the church also fall under DOMI.
Reportedly, DPH has published over 4 million prints since its establishment on December 5, 1992.
9. Where Bishop Oydepo’s money does NOT come from
Over the years, the preacher has faced many accusations concerning the source of his wealth.
In 2017, he reacted to the rumors that he maintains his private jets with the church’s money.
During the interview with the Education Explorer, the pastor said, “I feel very good. It’s an opinion. Let me tell you what my understanding of persecution is; it’s simply an opinion harshly expressed. And everybody has a right to his opinion.
“People who are walking in the truth are hardly bothered when things are said negatively about them because they have nothing to hide. The truth is I have never felt it, some say it’s not human, but I have not. I can’t be wasting my time trying to reply lies because I have too many things to do.
“They are doing their work, let me be doing my work too and before they wake up in the morning, I’ve done the next one, so, it doesn’t matter. My idea of it is that, in a football match, you have only 22 people playing with thousands of spectators.
“And that is the way it is in the journey of life. In every field, you find just a few players and many spectators, multitudes. If we don’t know where to place opinions, they will displace us.”
While announcing the expansion of his publishing ministry last year, Bishop Oyedepo responded to allegations that he makes his money off his books.
In his words, “I have never drawn a dime from my books once-we only feed on the testimonies that come in.
“No author from DPH earns a dime from the books in DPH yet it sells around the world. We sell the cheapest of all Christian literature and we produce among the best.
“The Church has never drawn from DPH since inception. Why are we so blessed? We are doing the right thing.
“Is it wrong to get money from books? No, but that’s not my style with Jesus.”
10. Family Life
Bishop Oyedepo met his wife, former Miss Florence Abiola Akano, when he was only 22 years old at a motor park.
They tied the knot in 1982. Now, his wife is known as Pastor Mrs. Faith Abiola Oyedepo.
Their marriage has been blessed with four children (David Jr., Isaac, Love, and Joy).
David Jr. and Isaac Oyedepo became pastors after they were ordained by Kenneth Copeland in May 2007.