The presiding clergy of the Living Faith Church Worldwide also known as Winners Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo clocks 66 years on Sunday.
Born September 27, 1954, in Osogbo, but a native of Omu-Aran, Kwara State, Nigeria, Oyedepo, a qualified architect, is a Nigerian preacher and Christian author, likewise, the founder of the David Oyedepo Ministries International, which gave birth to the Living Faith Church Worldwide among others.
Oyedepo anchors his church services at that Faith Tabernacle, a 50,000-seat church auditorium, located in Ota, Ogun State, and it has been reported to be the largest church auditorium in the world.
Also, it has been said that the Winners’ Chapel network of churches is located in over 300 cities, in all states of Nigeria, as well as, in several cities in 45 African nations, Dubai, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Oyedepo has been seen as one of the pioneers of the Christian charismatic movement in Africa and has been referred to as one of the most powerful preachers in Nigeria. He is the Chancellor of Covenant University and Landmark University. He was named in 2011 by Forbes magazine as being the richest pastor in Nigeria.
In his early childhood, Oyedepo, was said to have been raised by his grandmother in Osogbo, said to have introduced him to the virtues of Christian life via early morning prayers which she attended with him, and also taught him the importance of tithing.
It was in the year 1969, Oyedepo was said to have become born again, through the influence of his teacher, Betty Lasher, who was said to have taken a special interest in him during his high school days.
On his completion of secondary school education, Oyedepo studied Architecture at the former Kwara State Polytechnic, now Kwara State University and worked briefly with the Federal Ministry of Housing in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, before resigning to concentrate on missionary work. Later on, Oyedepo furthered his studies and received a PhD in Human Development from Honolulu University, Hawaii, United States.
Before he began his full ministry, Oyedepo said he received a mandate from God through an 18-hour 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 later, on September 17, 1983, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, ordained David and his wife, Florence Abiola Akano (known as Faith Abiola Oyedepo) to become pastors and officially commissioned the new church. Five years later, Oyedepo was ordained as Bishop.
Living Faith Church aka Winners Chapel, started in Kaduna but moved to Lagos, in July 1989, to start a new branch of the church after Oyedepo said he received instructions from God to reach out to the people of Lagos.
Oyedepo as an author is equally a publisher, said to have written over 70 titles apart from periodicals. He is the Chairman/Publisher of Dominion Publishing House (DPH), a publishing arm of the ministry, said to have over four million prints in circulation till date.
He is the chancellor of Covenant University and Landmark University established by his church, likewise, the church has established Faith Academy and Kingdom Heritage Schools to equip the youth for global impact. The construction of a third university named Crown University, located in Calabar, Cross Rivers, Nigeria, is said to be underway.