Wednesday, May 26, 2010
BISHOP DAVID OYEDEPO ONE OF THE WORLD GREATEST PIONEER OF CHRISTIANITY
David O. Oyedepo, affectionately called Papa by his followers (born September 27, 1954) is a Nigerian Christian author, Preacher and the founder and Presiding Bishop of Living Faith Church World Wide also known as Winners Chapel and its affiliated International churches known as Winners Chapel International, with headquarters in Ogun State, Nigeria. He is also the senior pastor of the acclaimed Faith Tabernacle,a 50,000 seat church auditorium reported to be the largest church auditorium in the world by the Guinness Book of Records. The Winners Chapel network of churches is present in over 300 cities in all states of Nigeria, as well as in over 63 cities in 32 African Nations, Dubai, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.Oyedepo has been seen as one of pioneers of the Christian charismatic movement in Africa and has been referred to as one of the most powerful preachers in Nigeria.
EARLY LIFE AND HISTORY
On September 27, 1954 David Olaniyi Oyedepo was born in 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. 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 Corporation in Ilorin before resigning to concentration on missionary work. Oyedepo also gained a Ph.D in Human Development from Honolulu University, Hawaii, United States of America.
According to him, he 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 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.
Oyedepo's church 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 has gone on to become the International head quarters of His Church.Due to the increasing flow of people into His Church with crowds spilling over to adjacent roads, and on decks of uncompleted buildings nearby and people standing for hours to listen to His teachings, it became necessary to search for a larger place.This led to the building of the renowned Faith Tabernacle.
The 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 faith', 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.He 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
Oyedepo's socio-economic endeavours include founding 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 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
WINNERS CHAPEL INTERNATIONAL IN NIGERIA