Many choose the ways of religion, but the few who are ordained to become pastors are likely to be the most influential, reputable, and, of course, rich. Nowadays being a pastor is proven to also be quite the profitable occupation, mostly due to the extremely high number of believers and followers they lead, the worldwide exposure and other profitable endeavors.
This list reviews selected Reverends, Pastors, Prophets and Christian leaders. On one hand, we tried to provide insight on their community work, their spiritual guidance, and their generous contribution to society. On the other hand, we tried to expose the hedonism, Hollywood-like lifestyle, and in some cases, financial corruption that came along with these individual’s success in reaching the heart and soul of communities across Africa.
Rev. Chris Okotie
An established author, musician, televangelist, and founder of Household of God Church, Chris Okotie is one of Nigeria’s most famous pastors. After several years of attending the University of Nigeria, he decided to quit his studies in pursuit of a music career only to return later and graduated with a law degree and proceeded to attend the Grace Fellowship Bible School, from where he established his own church.
Chris Okotie made some presidential runs as well, but never found successes in the elections. He is a very wealthy man, with a passion for luxury cars. His car fleet includes cars like Range Rover and a Rolls Royce Phantom. His net worth estimation is somewhere between $3-10 million.
Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo
Matthew Ashimolowo is a pastor in one of the United Kingdom’s largest churches and hosts about 12,000 people every Sunday. Matthew Ashimolowo hosts a daily program named “Winning Ways” on several radio stations and television channels in Europe and Africa. Ashimolowo converted to Christianity from Islam when he was 20 years of age, after the death of his father.
Forbes estimates his net worth to be $6-10 million, and his church owns assets worth more than $40 million. Ashimolowo was subject to an investigation by the Charity Commision of England and Wales. The Commission released an inquiry report stating that Ashimolowo had mismanaged and took advantage of his charity by approving personal payment to himself and to his wife in the sums of $500,000 and purchased himself a $100,000 car with charity funds. He was ordered by the commission to repay around $300,000
Prophet T.B. Joshua
Temitope Balogun Joshua grained recognition all across Africa and the world in general, mostly thanks to his famous TV network “EmmanuelTV”, which is, in fact, the largest Christian television network in Africa. Yet, he isn’t only famous in Africa, but also as an online personality, as he has over 2 million followers on Facebook and over 800,000 subscribers on YouTube, which makes him the most popular pastor on YouTube. T.B. Joshua also received backlash from families due to his methods of healing, which led to his ban from a few African countries.
With a wealth of $10-15 million, Forbes once crowned him as Nigeria’s third richest pastor, a claim that was later denied by his church. It was also rumored that Joshua had purchased a $60 million Gulfstream private jet. However, several media channels with ties to Joshua dismissed this statement
Prophet Uebert Angel
Often seen traveling by helicopter, Uebert Angel is the president and founder of the “Spirit Embassy”, a registered business in the United Kingdom, as well as other businesses he leads in the UK. He is often described by publications as a “young charismatic prophet”, and considered by the scene to be a revolutionary preacher.
While being somewhat controversial, Uebert Angel has been making headlines in Africa and Europe for years with the miracles he has been reportedly performing. In 2014, he was featured in Forbes magazine, making him the second ever Zimbabwean to be featured on a Forbes magazine. There is no accurate estimation of his net worth, however, it is confirmed that he owns several residential and commercial properties valued in over $25 million, as well as luxury cars such as a Range Rover, a Lamborghini and a Rolls Royce valued at over $5 million combined.
Pastor Ray Mccauley
Ray McCauley is a known figure in the South African religious communities. In his early years, he chased a bodybuilding career and took part in several championships. After attending Bible college, McCauley founded Rhema Bible Church. Nowadays, the church has 45,000 strong followers, which makes it the largest church congregation in South Africa.
Ray McCauley also has controversy following him, as his church was previously accused of the prosperity gospel and other allegations regarding his lifestyle. McCauley often defends himself by saying that he earns a salary of any executive in a medium-sized company.
Pastor Tshifhiwa Irene
The leader of the Divine Truth World Restoration Services, Tshifhiwa Irene has made quite an impression on American audience especially and generated a big following worldwide, especially via social networks.
She also has a popular television network on the African broadcast service DStv. She is considered to be one of the richest pastors in the world, with a net worth of roughly $40 million.
Pastor Chris Oyakhilome
Chris Oyakhilome is the president of the Christian ministry “Christ Embassy”, and is serving as a minister in Nigeria for more than 30 years. Chris Oyakhilome runs television programs focused around faith healing that generated millions of viewers, he is also a best-selling author of numerous books that are distributed in over 140 languages.
His current net worth is about $50 million. Chris Oyakhilome is also known for his philanthropic works, aiding the weak both spiritually and materially, with his mission’s motto being “every child is your child”.
Bishop Ayo Oritsejafor
Ayo Oritsejafor was a president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and received numerous awards in regard to his peace and humanitarian initiatives. Ayo Oritsejafor also has received heavy criticism, as CAN is not well recognized in Nigeria, and had many publications writing headlines about him.
Today, he is the second richest pastor in Nigeria. Ayo Oritsejafor is renowned across Africa for his luxury and wealth, as he owns a private jet, university (Eagles Height University), and a bank(!).
Pastor Enoch Adeboye
Enoch Adeboye was given a respectable position in the church “RCCG” in Nigeria in 1981. At the time, he was also a Mathematics professor at the University of Ilorin until 1984 when he decided to give up his position as a professor at the university to become a full-time pastor.
Ever since Enoch Adeboye became an overseer of RCCG, he worked hard to expand the church and gain recognition worldwide. Today, Enoch Adeboye’s church has branched into more than 196 nations, and he is considered by many to be one of the most influential pastors.
Bishop David Oyedepo
With a net worth of no less than $150 million, David Oyedepo is the single richest pastor in Nigeria. David Oyedepo claims to have received a message from God when he was younger, tasking him to cleanse the world from evil through faith, which led him to found his church.
Today, he is the bishop of Faith Tabernacle, a 50,000-seat megachurch that he founded in 1983.
The church headquartered at Logas, Nigeria, and leads one of the largest following in all of Africa. David Oyedepo is also a renowned author and preacher and published over 70 works. He and his church own several houses as well as four private jets.
Prophet Shepherd Bushiri
Known as the “Major One”, Shepherd Bushiri is a pastor, preacher and the founder of the Enlightened Christian Gathering and has a major following, making him not only a prominent religious figure but also in politics.
Shepherd Bushiri claims to cause miracles that cure HIV and other diseases, although those claims generated some criticism towards him, which led to his ban from the country of Botswana and shutdown of one of his churches. His net worth is around $150 million. He owns a fleet of cars, a private jet worth about $37 million, and houses across many countries in Africa. –everydaychimp