ASHIMOLOWO: Worth between £6 and £10 million
PASTOR MATTHEW Ashimolowo, founder of one of the UK's largest black majority congregations, Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC) , has been named as one of Nigeria’s richest church leaders, in a Rich List published by the Forbes magazine website.
The list was compiled by journalist Mfonobong Nsehe, who wrote a blog for the site. The list is topped by Bishop David Oyedepo of the Living Faith World Outreach Ministry, who is worth approximately $150m. Oyedepo, who has a private jets and business interests in a range of companies, leads Nigeria’s largest congregation which numbers 50,000. He also has a branch of his church here in the UK.
Other ministers featured in the list are:
Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of the Believers' Loveworld Ministries, whose wealth is estimated between $30 and $50m;
Temitope Joshua Matthew of the Synagogue Church Of All Nations (worth between $10m and $15m); and Chris Okotie of the Household of God Church (worth between $3 million and $10 million).
Nsehe said representatives of all the clergymen, except Pastor Ashimolowo, confirmed ownership of the assets listed on his blog.
The journalist said that the pastors acquired their wealth from various sources, including their congregations. However he was critical of some church leaders who appeared on the list.
“We have Nigerians who are desperate, looking for solutions to their problems" said Nsehe “They go to church for salvation, redemption and healing and pastors sometimes take advantage of them."