The presiding bishop and founder of the Living Faith Christian Church International, better known as Winners’ Chapel, Bishop David Eniola Oyedepo is not new to controversy. He was recently dragged to court for slapping a young lady who claimed to be a witch. The bishop was at a time said to have drafted his younger brother to the church security and many more of such incidents and he is the type that will not hide his dislike for Islamic religion.
Though he is seen as a man that can tolerate others which is obvious in his teachings and doctrine that we should not discriminate against one another as it is against the Bible which wants us to love our neighbors as ourselves, it is surprising that the man cannot hide his disdain for the Islamic religion which was evident when little Abdul-Gafar Ayomide Salami, a young Nigerian student seeking admission to Oyedepo church owned Covenant University was denied admission despite having all required qualifications, just because he is a Muslim.
If what he did to little Abdul-Gafar is thought to be anything serious, his disposition towards his half-sister, Alhaja Saratu Bello who refuses to become a Christian after every method implored by Oyedepo to convert her failed, the man called Papa by his congregation swore not to have anything to do with her until she changes her religion to Christianity, the sister in question we learnt is being treated like the black sheep of the family and the bishop has forbidden everybody from helping her.
The sister who lives in Iyana-Ipaja area of Lagos is living in abject poverty and finds it difficult to feed while her other siblings are living in affluence. Those who know her doubt her story of being related to the man who can be said to be the richest pastor even in Africa.
The man of God who is the surviving one of a set of twins after a prolonged delay in having a fruit of the womb by the late mother was born into a Muslim family of Pa Oyedepo in Omu-Aran. David Oyedepo was instrumental in the conversion of his father to becoming a Christian, a thing the father agreed to when he was very old after which he was baptized by his own son before death.
David Oyedapo has successfully influenced the lives of everyone in his family on both sides to become Christians, holding high positions in churches even outside his own Living Faith Church worldwide, but what baffles most is his stiff stance against the sister’s decision to practise her religion.
To many outside his fold, the prosperity preacher, who owns homes in London and the United States, and has been owner of four private jets so far, is seen as a role model to other pastors. In 2011, Forbes, the respected American business magazine which keeps a tab on the world’s rich, listed Oyedepo as Nigeria’s wealthiest pastor, with an estimated net worth of $150 million (about N23 billion). With all this wealth it will be hard to believe the man of God can be so cruel to his own blood as he is presently doing to Alhaja Saratu Bello.