BISHOP David Oyedepo’s Living Faith Church popularly known as Winners Chapel has sacked about 40 of its regional pastors for not generating enough income from their parishes after a recent performance review found them wanting.
By far the wealthiest of Nigeria’s evangelical clergymen, Bishop Oyedepo, 66, is the head of Winners Chapel and is estimated by Forbes to have a net worth of $150m. These wealthy clergymen collect 10% of their congregations earnings in the form of tithes and with their large followings have become millionaires.
It appears Winners Chapel expects its regional pastors to be as creative and innovative as Bishop Oyedepo but clearly many of them have shown they lack the business acumen. In a statement signed by Adebisi Aboluwade, the Winners Chapel executive secretary, 40 clergymen were relieved of their positions with immediate effect.
His letter read: “Consequent upon the recent performance review which revealed that your church growth index falls below expectation, please be informed that your service as the pastor in charge is no longer required in this commission with immediate effect. You are to vacate your official accommodation and hand over all properties including the official ID card to the area pastor before departure.
One of the sacked clergymen, Pastor Peter Godwin, said has been dismissed barely 11 months after he was employed by the church in August 2020. In a trending video on Twitter, Pastor Godwin said as a pastor, he tried his best to win souls for Christ but was surprised to receive a sack letter on July 1, 2021.
Pastor Godwin said: “Actually, by the special grace of God, our father in this great assembly, Living Faith Church received a mandate from the Lord to plant 10,000 churches in Nigeria and by the special grace of God, I was privileged to be one of the pastors that were employed on the 28th of August, 2020, that was last year. So after that, I started working, engaging myself in the work of the Lord. I tried my possible best to make sure I win souls for Christ but unfortunately, on the 1st of July, I received a call that the state pastor wants to see me, so I thought I was the only one but I was surprised, so I went to his office.
“When I got there, I saw other pastors too, over 40 of them, so I joined them. A few minutes later, we were issued a letter. I opened the content of the letter to see what was there and I saw that it was a sack letter.
“So I called the management the next day to know what happened since I wasn’t involved in any dubious activity or evil act. I was told by the management was that the church doesn’t operate at a loss, they also told me the total income that is being generated from my station should be able to cater for my welfare and accommodation, so as a result of low income, I’m hereby dismissed.”