The 10 Richest Churches In Nigeria According To Their Population

Religion is a big part of the lives of Nigerians, as a large number of people try to get in tune with spirituality. This affinity with religion is evident in the fact that more than half of the population practices different religions. For Christianity, the share of the population that practices this religion is over 47%. This large number of people visiting churches means that statistically, some churches would have more attendees than other churches which is a major indication that a church’s wealth is tied to its population.

Wealthiest Christain Denominations In Nigeria, Their Founders, Investments, And Their Populations

There are some churches that have been able to maintain their large populations for many years and here we rank the richest churches in Nigeria according to the size of their population.

1. The Catholic Church

Richest Churches
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  • Population: more than 20 million
  • General Overseer/Head In Nigeria: Augustine Obiora Akubeze
  • Headquarters (Location): Benin City, Edo State (where Augustine Obiora Akubeze is serving as the Archbishop)
  • Year The Church Was Founded: During the 19th century

This Catholic church is not just the oldest Christian church in Nigeria, it is also the church with the largest population in the country. It currently has more than 20 million members in Nigeria and can be found in different parts of the country with more than 300 branches that are scattered across Nigeria. Although the global Catholic church was founded in the 1st Century and credits Jesus as its founder, the history of the catholic church in Nigeria which is a bit fuzzy, has it that it was formed in the country by the late 19th century.

More so, since its initial creation, there have been 266 Popes and the current Pope of the global catholic church is Pope Francis. The catholic church also has its headquarter in Vatican City and has more than a billion members in the entire world.  However, in Nigeria, the current head of the church is Augustine Obiora Akubeze. The large population the church has both on the international scene and local level is definitely one of the reasons it is the richest church in the country, a feature it also shares with its overall head church, as the catholic church is the richest church in the world.

Other Investments

Catholic churches in Nigeria are also notable as owners of prestigious schools across the nation which have helped to enhance the wealth of the church. Some of these institutions include:

  1. Caritas University – Enugu
  2. Godfrey Okoye University – Enugu
  3. Madonna University – Anambra
  4. Our Saviour Institute of Science and Technology – Enugu
  5. VUNA, Veritas University Abuja (The Catholic University of Nigeria) – Abuja

2. The Anglican Church

Richest Churches
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  • Population: More than 18 million
  • General Overseer/Primate In Nigeria: Henry Ndukuba
  • Headquarters (Location): Abuja ( where he is serving as the Bishop of Nigeria)
  • Year The Church Was Founded: 19th century

With more than 18 million members, the Anglican church takes the second position of richest churches in Nigeria. From the history of this church, it is clear that it has strong ties with the Roman Catholic faith as it was a denomination that split from the catholic faith in 1534. In Nigeria, it was one of the first churches established in the country in the early 19th century by Henry Townsend and is the church of the popular Samuel Ajayi Crowther who was the first black person to be ordained as a Bishop of the Anglican Communion. Since then, the Anglican church in Nigeria has grown and a branch can be found in all the 36 states of the country including the FCT.

The global headquarters of the Anglican church is in the United Kingdom, London precisely and Justin Welby who is The Archbishop of Canterbury, the highest position in the church, serves as the head of the church. However, in Nigeria, the Primate which is the highest position in the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) is currently held by Henry Ndukuba – he was elected into this office on 24th September 2019.

Other Investments

In Nigeria, the Anglian church has spread its evangelism drive to include erecting some high standard schools such as :

1. Archdeacon Crowther Memorial Girls’ School – Rivers

2. Bishop Crothwer Seminary – Anambra

3. CMS Grammar School – Lagos

4. Paul University – Anambra

5. Ajayi Crowther University – Oyo

3. The Redeemed Christain Church Of God

  • Population: More than 5 million
  • General Overseer: Reverend Enoch Adejare Adeboye
  • Headquarters (Location): Lagos
  • Year The Church Was Founded: 1952

Reverend Enoch Adejare Adeboye is the current General Overseer of the Redeemed Church of God, but he is not the founder of the church. In 1952, Reverend Josiah Akindayomi started a fellowship with 12 men that has grown into what this church is today with its more than 5 million members and E.A. Adeboye was one of the men who was part of the fellowship. As one of the men that were there at the inception of the Redeemed Church, he became very close to Reverend Akindayomi who saw it fit to pass the mantle of the church to him.

Although Adeboye initially rejected the offer, he eventually aligned himself to his mentor’s plans and the rest is now history as the church has been growing rapidly over the years. Beyond Nigeria, it is believed that the Redeemed Christain Church of God is present in over 160 countries. As of now, the church has an enormous camp on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway but its headquarters is in Ebute-Metta.

Other Investments/Assets

One of the pointers that have proven that the church has a lot of wealth is with the G.O’s ownership of private jets as well as luxury cars including a bulletproof Land Rover Discovery and a Rolls Royce Phantom amongst others.

The church also owns more than 200 prestigious schools in the country which include

  1. Peaceville
  2. Redeemers High School, and
  3. Redeemer’s University.

4. Living Faith Church WorldWide

  • Population: More than 1.5 million
  • General Overseer: Bishop David Oyedepo
  • Headquarters (Location): Lagos
  • Year The Church Was Founded: 1983

This church is popularly known as Winners Chapel and it currently ranks as one of the richest churches in Nigeria with its over 1.5 million population. It was founded in 1983 by David Oyedepo who revealed that he was mandated to step out as a minister after a divine encounter with God which lasted for 18 long hours. With a lot of faith, he started his pastoral work which has grown into a large Christian congregation. The church has its headquarter in Ota, a location that is referred to as Canaanland.

Other Investments/Assets

The overseer of the church who is also an architect has been referred to as a businessman who owns a number of businesses and his own fleet of aircraft including a Gulfstream V. More so, in the same place the church is located in Canaanland, one can find the prestigious Covenant University.

  1. Living faith also owns other schools like
  2. Landmark University,
  3. Crown University, and the
  4. Kingdom Heritage Model Schools.

More so, the ministry runs a medical facility which is located in Canaanland, a publishing company called Dominion Press, and several other ventures which have contributed tremendously to the wealth of the church.

5. Christ Embassy

Richest Churches
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  • Population: More than 1 million
  • General overseer: Pastor Chirs Oyakhilome
  • Headquarters (Location): Lagos
  • Year The Church Was Founded: 1987

At the head of this church is Chris Oyakhilome and he reportedly started Christ Embassy sometime in 1987 while he was an undergraduate. The church which began its operations in Benin had just a handful of people but today, it has grown to have over a million members in its different locations across the country. A major reason for this is attributed to his popular TV program, Atmosphere of Miracles. It’s also on record that in a crusade that Oyakhilome once held in 2005, he had in attendance 3.5 million people from all over the world.

Apart from Nigeria, Christ Embassy has a notable presence in South Africa, Ghana, United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. However, the church has its headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria.

Other Investments/Assets

Pastor Chris is also among the league of ministers who owns a jet as he was reportedly given one by his church member sometime in the past. Another indication of the wealth of Christ Embassy is reflected in the kind of cars their general overseer rides which are normally luxurious cars such as a Bentley GTC, Range Rover Sports, Mercedes Benz G-Wagon, and others.

Oyakhilome also owns the popular gospel record label, Believer’s Love World Music which has been responsible for the rise of gospel music icons like, Sinach, Frank Edwards, and Ada Ehi.

6. Mountain Of Fire And Miracle Ministry

Richest Churches
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  • Population: More than 900,000
  • General Overseer: Daniel Kolawole Olukoya
  • Headquarters (Location): Lagos
  • Year The Church Was Founded: 1989

This church was founded in 1989 by Daniel Kolawole Olukoya, what started as a prayer meeting in his living room has grown to become a church that later acquired a place close to the University of Lagos to conduct services. As the activities of the church began to enlarge, its membership also grew and today it has a population size that is just shy of 1 million. As of now, Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministry has over 300 branches worldwide with the church’s headquarters in Lagos.

Other Investments/Assets

A notable extra-religious organization the church runs is the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Football Club also known as MFM FC, the team competes in the Nigerian Professional Football League. They are also known to own a large portion of land along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway named Prayer City. More so, the church has its own university which is called Mountain Top University.

7. Deeper Life Christian Ministry

Richest Churches
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  • Population: More than 700,000
  • General Overseer: William Kumuyi
  • Headquarters (Location): Lagos
  • Year The Church Was Founded: 1980

With over 700,000 members Deeper Life comes in at number 7 position on the list. The church was founded by William Kumuyi in 1980, prior to its establishment as a church, it initially started as a bible study group with 15 university students in 1973, when Kumuyi was a mathematics lecturer at the University of Lagos. By 1980 he had become a full-fledged pastor and 4 decades on, the church has branches all over Africa, Europe, and North America. All these branches report to the church headquarters which is in Gbagada, Lagos.

Other Investments

The church has secondary schools (Deeper Life High School) all over the country and this is one way that they make money. Pastor Kumuyi is also known to rake in a lot of money from the sale of his books which are available worldwide.

8. The Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Revival Ministry

Richest Churches
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  • Population: More than 500,000
  • General Overseer: Lazarus Muoka
  • Headquarters (Location): Lagos
  • Year The Church Was Founded:1994

This is another highly populated church that was created in Lagos state by a man called Lazarus Muoka. He has revealed that he was actually a pastor in a church but had a divine revelation via a dream in 1994 to start his own. As of now, the church boasts of having over 300,000 branches worldwide and in Nigeria, its population is more than 500,000.

Other Investments/Assets

Despite the large population of Mountain on Fire Ministries, the church’s founder is one of the lesser wealthy pastors in Nigeria and unlike some of the other pastors on this list, he does not have any other businesses or owns any exotic vehicles. However, he is an author as has published a series of Christian literature.

9. House On The Rock

Richest Churches
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  • Population: More than 500,000
  • General overseer: Paul Adefarasin
  • Headquarters (Location): Lagos
  • Year The Church Was Founded: 1994

Paul Adefarasin created this church in 1994 and has its headquarters in Lagos. However, when it first started, it was just a gathering in Adefarasin’s mother’s house, particularly the sitting room. Today the church has more than 50 branches in the world and boasts of more than 500,000 members

Other Investments/Assets

Although the church does not have any known investments, it is quite popular as the organizer of The Experience, a musical concert that features top gospel music acts across the globe. More so, Paul Adefarasin is quite a classy dresser. He has also been seen around with very fine automobiles like a Range Rover Autobiography and Mercedes Benz G-Wagon.

10. The Synagogue Church of All Nations

Richest Churches
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  • Population: More than 300,000
  • General overseer: Prophet T.B Joshua
  • Headquarters (Location): Lagos
  • Year The Church Was Founded: 1987

T.B. Joshua founded this church in 1987. What started as a healing ministry with just few persons soon became a popular place of worship in Lagos state and then gained popularity in other parts of Nigeria and the world at large. As of now, the church has its headquarters in Ikotun-Egbe, Lagos.

More so, the founder of the church still works in the capacity of the General Overseer and is known for the religious tourism that he encourages with the televising of the miracles that he performs which attracts people from all over the world. This accounts for the church’s high population of over 300,000 members.

Other Investments/Assets

There are no known investment SCOAN champions aside from its ministerial works. The wealth of the church has been reflected is in the lifestyle of Prophet T.B Joshua who rides very high-ended cars like a Range Rover Sports and Mercedes Benz G63. He also owns a private jet which is used for his numerous trips around the world.

Other Emerging Rich Churches To Look Out For In Nigeria

This list is not exhaustive on the number of rich churches that can be found in Nigeria. As Nigerians are largely religious there are other churches that also cater to the spiritual needs of a lot of Christians in the country. Five of such churches are:

  1. Brother of the Cross and Star
  2. Daystar Christain Centre
  3. Common Wealth of Zion Assembly popularly known as COZA
  4. The Apostolic Church
  5. Dunamis International Gospel Centre
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