Founder, Living Faith Church aka Winners Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo, in a new, very revealing interview with Punch talked about the numerous stories we've heard about his church and how most of them are lies plus how he reacts to them.
- Why are there so many rich people in Winners?
she does, she prospers and she knows that when she pays her tithe, she experiences open heavens. But in case people don’t know, they perish for lack of knowledge, and in case they think when you are rich you miss heaven, then they perish for lack of knowledge.
It’s for all the people who believe that Jesus already paid for them to be rich. And those who don’t believe, when they come they start believing when they see it happen in a lot of people’s lives. And we are not ashamed to be called the church of the rich. If they call your family poor, will you be excited? Nobody would be excited. Even when a family is poor, they hate to be called poor. No man in his right mind enjoys being called poor, and nobody truly wants to be poor, people may pretend. Which is more honourable between being a giver and a beggar? Most of us came in very poor, but the light of God’s word came on us and we walked out of poverty in grand style into wealth and riches.
- We learnt your church members once donated about 700 cars as seed and that the cars were given to the pastors?
Those are things that make news in the social media even when they are lies. People give here because they are taught to give, because we understand from the scriptures that it is the only way to increase.
Every normal Winner takes good care of his parents. We also give to the poor. My family has sponsored close to 150 people out of university and others at Landmark University are on scholarship on our own ticket because of our commitment to agriculture.
It is a lifestyle; it didn’t start yesterday or two days ago. Since 1992, I have been consciously sponsoring students in various universities in Nigeria. The church is blessed because the church is a giving church. Just today (before you came), I signed millions for people who have health needs from the welfare account. And that continues. For instance, the church gives scholarships annually, not N100m or N150m. And it’s not in the news. And that we have been doing for years.
- How do you feel when people accuse you of flying in jets and spending church money to maintain the jets?
The truth is I have never felt it, some say it’s not human, but I have not. I can’t be wasting my time trying to reply lies because I have too many things to do. They are doing their work, let me be doing my work too and before they wake up in the morning, I’ve done the next one, so, it doesn’t matter.
When we started Convenant University, so many people said it would not work, now, we hosted two Nobel Laureates this week, whereas no Nigerian university has ever hosted one in the history of university education in Nigeria. Now, it is the most pronounced and preferred private university in Nigeria. In fact, they say this is the university of the future; that is what they say in the university community. Those who said it could not work now have their children here because they have changed their mind.
Some people say how can you tell children how to dress? We have to do that so they won’t behave like mad people on the street. They say how can you tell them they can’t use phone? We tell them so they would be disconnected from cultism. Ask me anything, I can tell you why we did it.
Where are you going to find the President of a nation with a woven hair? I can tell you that in the next 100 years, you won’t find a male president using earring because they would count you as irresponsible, even in the secular world, they won’t see anything in you. As free as America is, have you ever seen any minister there with earrings? The person may be qualified, but he will be termed irresponsible. But if you train these children how to carry themselves, it will open up their future. Everywhere you get to in this world, people are looking for responsible people, who don’t only say so, but prove so. So, all the opinions on Covenant University have died now because we didn’t stop pursuing what we believe was right and now it has become a standard.
- Some people think there are too many churches in Nigeria and the best way to make money is to establish a church…