LEADING Nigerian pastorpruener Bishop David Oyedepo that has revealed that two church members were the major financiers of his new church auditorium building known as The Ark as the donated respected sums of N1bn ($2.62m) and $1m each towards the project.
In January this year, Bishop Oyedepo announced plans to construct the world largest mega auditorium to be known as the Ark Project with a capacity of 100,000 people. It will cost in excess of N160bn to build over a three year period and Under plans being drawn up, the project will the demolition of the old Faith Academy, as well as Word of Faith Bible Institute among other facilities.
Speaking at the church’s Sunday service in Ogun State on Sunday, Bishop Oyedepo said: “Somebody said to me, the Lord told him to put a seed of N1bn in The Ark. He is in this church, he is not from America or Jamaica, he is from here and I knew where he was when he came here.
“You want another shocker? somebody put in $1m to The Ark project. No announcement, no ‘let’s raise offering, so all this 10 kobo you are holding in your pocket is not the way out but I know somebody is released right now.”
He added that he knew by his that there were than 10,000 people in this church who could build a rural place of worship each. He said some had built before and could build again but asked how many have a heart for it.
Up until now, Faith Tabernacle was the largest auditorium in the world but will give way to a new project that will include a 20-storey tower. This 20-floor tower is to replace the initially planned 12-floor building which was to have been built with the initial Faith Theatre Project in 2015.
Bishop Oyedepo, 66, is the head of Living Faith Church, popularly known as Winners Chapel and is believed to be the wealthiest of Nigeria’s new breed of pastorprueners. These wealthy clergymen collect 10% of their congregations earnings in the form of tithes and with their large following have become millionaires.
Most of these pastorprueners own strings of businesses, have fleets of posh cars, own private universities and travel around in private jets, with a retinue of body guards. Bishop Oyedepo is estimated by Forbes to be worth $150m as he exerts control over churches in 45 African nations, as well as several in Dubai, the UK and the US.