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Bishop Oyedepo during an interview, 2005
|Born||David Olaniyi Oyedepo
September 27, 1954
Omu Aran, Kwara State, Nigeria
|Occupation||Pastor, Author, Educationist, Minister|
|Spouse(s)||Faith Abiola Oyedepo|
|Children||David Oyedepo Jnr, Issac Oyedepo, Love Oyedepo, Joyce Oyedepo|
|David Oyedepo Ministries Online|
Early life and historyOn September 27, 1954 David Olaniyi Oyedepo was born in Osogbo but is a native Omu Aran, Kwara into a religiously mixed family: his father,Ibrahim,was a Muslim healer and his mother, Dorcas, was a member of the Eternal Order of the Cherubim and Seraphim Movement (C&S), a branch of the Aladura movement in Nigeria. He was raised by his grandmother in Osogbo, who inculcated into him the virtues of Christian life via the early morning prayers which she attended with him. She also taught him the importance of tithing. David was “born again” in 1969 through the influence of his teacher, one Ms. Betty Lasher, who took special interest in him during his high school days. He studied architecture at Kwara State Polytechnic and worked briefly with the Federal Ministry of Housing in Ilorin before resigning to concentrate on missionary work. Oyedepo also gained a Ph.D in Human Development from Honolulu University, Hawaii, United States of America. Honolulu University is not accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Secretary of Education, according to the Universities webpage.
Bishop David received a mandate from God through an 18 hour long vision in May 1981 to liberate the world from all oppression 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 after, on 17 September 1983, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, ordained David and his wife, Florence Abiola Akano (now known as Faith Abiola Oyedepo) to become pastors also officially commissioned the newly started church of Oyedepo. Five years after, Oyedepo was ordained a Bishop.
Living Faith Church (AKA Winners Chapel) started in Kaduna, but moved to Lagos, the former capital of Nigeria in September 1989 to start a new branch of His Church, after receiving an instruction from God to reach out to the population in Lagos. This Church in Lagos grew to become the International headquarters of Living Faith Church,with a constantly increasing flow of crowds spilling over to adjacent roads, and on decks of uncompleted buildings nearby,compelling people to stand for hours to listen to His teachings.This led to the building of the renowned Faith Tabernacle, as instructed by God.
Oyedepo is the wealthiest preacher in Nigeria with a net worth of over USD $150 million. The church he pastors, owns four private jets and they own buildings all around the world, including London and the United States. Oyedepo is an acclaimed author and publisher who has written over 70 titles apart from periodicals. He is also Chairman/Publisher of Dominion Publishing House (DPH), a publishing arm of his ministry. DPH has over 4 million prints in circulation to date. Through him, Covenant University, Landmark University, Faith Academy and Kingdom Heritage Schools have been established to equip the youth for impact.
Place of worshipIn 1998,Oyedepo set forth to build a new building to accommodate the increasing number of worshippers. This resulted in his Church's acquisition of the initial 530-acre (2.1 km2) facility, known as Canaanland, which serves as the headquarters of His Church.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.
 This 50,000-seat edifice was dedicated on September 18, 1999 under the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Canaanland is in Ota, a suburb of Lagos and is the 5,000-acre (20 km2) estate and campus, that houses The 50,000 church building, 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 its University facilities which accommodates 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 guest houses.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.
Christian ministryThe teachings of Oyedepo has 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, T.L Osborn, Smith WigglesWorth as well as renowned Nigerian preachers Enoch Adeboye and the late Benson Idahosa as mentors.
The teachings of Oyedepo are grouped under a range of topics called '12 pillars of Destiny', which include: Faith, The Word, Prosperity, the Holy Spirit, Praise, Consecration, the Supernatural, Wisdom, Prayer, Success, Vision and Healing. The Overall focus of His teachings centre around Faith in God's, Prosperity and Miracles.He teaches that faith in the word of God is the key to a life of God's blessings and security of the works of the devil.His teachings on prosperity are aimed at empowering people to live free from poverty, particularly the African continent. He describes his own teaching on prosperity as “covenant software for programming yourself into victories and triumphs." His Church (Winners Chapel) also operates a Bible training programme known as Word of Faith Bible Institute for members and non-members alike to develop knowledge of Christian principles and to develop leaders and future pastors.This institute is run in major branches of the Church.
Oyedepo who operates like the “Chief Executive Officer” of a conglomerate,is the President of David Oyedepo Ministries International (DOMI). DOMI is the umbrella organisation comprising Living Faith Church World Wide (a global network of churches), World Mission Agency (WMA); the global missionary arm of the church's operations, Dominion Publishing House; the publishing arm of the church, Covenant University, and the Social Development Missions projects (made up of hospitals, maternity homes, schools, etc.
Oyedepo is also a strong critic of corruption in Africa as a whole and poor leadership in government.
Criticisms and controversyOyedepo has received much criticism from many in the Christian community as focusing on prosperity. This is largely based on the biblical passage "Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." (Matthew 19:23-24, Mark 10:24-25, Luke 18:24-25).
Educational endeavoursOyedepo's socio-economic endeavours include founding over 100 educational institutions based on Christian principles for primary, secondary and tertiary stages of formal Education to empower the young generation,develop the human capacity and improve the educational system in Nigeria and Africa. This has led to the establishment of kingdom heritage model schools in different cities in Nigeria for primary education, Faith Academy; a missionary full boarding secondary school was opened to students on October 25, 1999 and Covenant University.Covenant University was opened to students on October 21, 2002 and was adjudged to be the best private university in Nigeria as of 2005. On March 21, 2011, Landmark University, Omuaran Kwara State (another educational institution founded by the Ministry) officially opened the doors to her pioneer students.
Landmark University by her founder (Dr. Oyedepo) was said to be built with over 'USD $100 million at one of his speaking engagement in 2011
Book publishingOyedepo's church also operates its own publishing house,called Dominion Publishing House(DPH), commissioned on December 5, 1992 which has published over 60 Christian, inspirational and motivational books, mini books, magazines and other resources. Some of His Best Selling books include:
- Pillars of Destiny
- Exploits in Ministry
- Walking in Dominion
- Possessing your possession
- Exploits of Faith
- Anointing for exploits
- Walking in the Newness of life
- Maximise destiny
- Commanding the supernatural
- Winning invisible battles
- Success Strategies
- Success systems
- Towards Excellency in life and Ministry
- Excellency of Wisdom
- Breaking Financial Hardship
- The Release of Power
- Excellency of Wisdom
- Born to Win
- The Miracle Meal
- The Healing Balm
- The Blood Triumph
- Keys to Divine Health
- Fulfilling Your Days
- Breaking the Curses of Life
- All You Need to Have All Your Needs Met
- Emergence Of The Glorious Church
- Manifestation of the Spirits of God
- The Unlimited Power of Faith
- Ruling your world
- The idea of a university