50,000-seat capacity auditorium with 50,000 members plus, the ‘Faith Tabernacle’, which is reputed to be the largest Church auditorium in the world.
This was featured or also recorded by the Guinness Book of Records.Inside Sitting Capacity 50,000 Outside Overflow Capacity 250,000 plus.
Bishop 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 reputed 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.
Watch Panorama view inside the Building and Bishop Oyedepo:
Early life and history
On 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 aMuslim 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 do attend with
him. He 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
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 devilthrough 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.
Place of worship:
In 1998, Oyedepo set forth to build a new building to accommodate the increasing number of worshipers. This resulted in his Church’s acquisition of the initial 530-acre (2.1 km 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 featured or also recorded by the Guinness Book of
The speed of the construction of Faith Tabernacle was breath-taking, considering the size of the building. Construction of this gigantic project was completed within 12 months, which experts claim could only have been a miracle,
because such a project should normally take a minimum of three years to
complete. Reports also claimed that this building was built debt free. This
50,000-seat edifice was dedicated in September 18, 1999 under the administration
of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Canaan-land is in Ota, a suburb of Lagos and is the 5,000-acre (20 km 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.
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 theFaith Movement such as Kenneth Copeland, Gloria Copeland, the late Kenneth Hagin,
T.L Osborn, Smith Wiggles Worth 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. 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 theumbrella 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.
Criticisms and controversy
Oyedepo has received much criticism from many in the Christian community as focusing on prosperity.
Oyedepo’s socio-economic endeavours include founding educational institutions based on Christian principles for primary, secondary and tertiary stages offormal 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.
Oyedepo’s church also operates its own publishing house,called Dominion Publishing House(DPH), commissioned in December 5, 1992 which has published over60 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
Commanding the supernatural
Winning invisible battles
Towards Excellency in life and Ministry
Excellency of Wisdom
Breaking Financial Hardship
The Release of Power
Excellency of Wisdom
Born to Win
In 1982 he married Florence Abiola Akano (now known as Faith). They have four children together (David Jr, Isaac, Love and Joys). David Jr and Isaac Oyedepowere ordained as Pastors in May 2007 by Kenneth Copeland. David Jr pastors the
London Branch of His Church with His wife, Kemi while Isaac pastors the New York
branch of His Church.
|Bishop David O. Oyedepo|
At the beginning, in a unique vision-sharing meeting of the Power House (a team of men and women that stood in the gap interceding for this great ministry at the onset), precisely on April 10, 1982, God gave Brother David, as he was known at that time, the following profound prophetic verdicts, which were declared to the people:
“This ministry is not out to debate over doctrines, but to prove the power of the Holy Ghost.”
That is a power ministry connoting a flow of Signs and Wonders. Today, signs and wonders have become the trade mark of this ministry worldwide. Testimonies of the supernatural acts of God are shared in all our meetings everywhere.
“The work of this ministry shall not be limited to this country alone, but to other nations. And Church establishment on the mission field shall be the goal, where the living Word will be taught.”
Today, we have mission stations in about 68 cities and towns spread over 30 nations on the continent of Africa, where great Churches have been built with large followerships. We have also established Churches in Britain and United States of America.
“At the base of the ministry a tent shall be built to contain 50,000 people.”
Today, the 50,000 seat capacity sanctuary, Faith Tabernacle, located in Canaan Land, Ota, stands as a proof of God’s faithfulness and commitment to His word.
“A telecast shall be used to put on screen the gospel across nations.”
Today, church services at Faith Tabernacle are broadcast live via the Internet to all nations of the earth. Please note that at the time of this prophecy, internet technology was not in view.
“The printing press shall operate at an industrial scale.”
Indeed, the Dominion Publishing House operates at an industrial scale, with about five million books printed to date.
I saw wings passing across nations. This is interpreted to be an airplane flying to other nations, carrying the gospel of liberation.
To date, the ministry has acquired two aircrafts, one in exchange for another newer and faster, within a short period.
After the ministry was commissioned on September 17, 1983, church operations commenced in Kaduna the same year. Church services started with four members. Within a period of three years, the church multiplied greatly and attendance grew to thousands. Today that same church in Kaduna has well over 25,000 worshippers, holding multiple services on a 13-acre facility called the Garden of Faith in Kaduna, northern part of Nigeria.
In September 1989, Bishop Oyedepo moved to Lagos in obedience to God’s instruction to: “Get down to Lagos and raise Me a people.” The Lagos church started in a rented hall at 1A, New Era Road, Iyana Ipaja. From there, it moved to its own acquired 2.7 acre facility at 38, Raji Oba Street, Iyana Ipaja. There, a 3,000 capacity auditorium was built, which soon became inadequate for the ever-increasing worshippers at the Church. In January 1995, while praying in England for a larger space to accommodate the people, Bishop David Oyedepo received this word from God: “Why are you asking me for another land when you have not used the one I gave you?” So, the existing bungalow structures were pulled down and a four-storey L-shaped overflow facility and seven-storey office complex were built in their place. The buildings were all dedicated on Saturday, December 30, 1995.
These facilities were still not adequate to accommodate the people and canopies were erected to create more room for people. Yet, in no time the people spilled over to adjacent streets. To cater for them, multiple services grew up to five on Sundays and two on week days.
The force behind the phenomenal growth of the ministry is epitomized in the anointed, proof-producing and life-applicable messages. This is in fulfillment of the instructions given to Bishop David Oyedepo early in ministry when he was bothered about the slow pace of the church growth. The Lord told him, “Keep sowing the seed, (the word), and keep the grass green and the sheep will come to lie down there, for he maketh me to lie down in green pasture.”
By divine direction, the ministry established a number of outreaches in Lagos to spread the Word of Faith to liberate men, as God commanded in 1981. These multidimensional outreaches have made a lot of impact on the body of Christ worldwide. Such outreaches include publishing of books and other periodicals such as The Winners’ World, Signs & Wonders Today, and training through the Word of Faith Bible Institute (WOFBI) that is committed to ministry and leadership training and through the church network in the home and foreign missions.
Due to the increasing flow of people into Winners’ Chapel, Lagos, with crowds spilling over to adjacent roads, and on decks of uncompleted buildings nearby and people standing for hours to listen to God’s word, it became necessary to search for a larger place.
This was what led to the acquisition of the 530-acre facility, known as Canaan Land, which serves as the headquarters of this global ministry. It is the home of the 50,000-seat capacity sanctuary, the Faith Tabernacle, which is reputed to be the largest Church auditorium in the world and a living testimony to the awesomeness of God.
The speed of the construction of Faith Tabernacle was breath-taking, considering the size of the building. Construction of this gigantic project was completed within twelve months, which experts claim could only have been a miracle, because such a project should normally take a minimum of three years to complete. It is important to note that the massive facilities that make up the Canaan Land estate were built absolutely debt-free, to the glory of God. These facilities include the well-renowned Faith Tabernacle, the church secretariat, the Youth Chapel, the Kingdom Heritage Nursery and Primary School buildings, the full boarding mission secondary school called Faith Academy, with over 1,500 students, the Covenant University with about 6,000 students, fully resident in ultra-modern hostel facilities, with fully equipped faculty buildings and numerous staff housing facilities.