Winners Chapel Founder, Bishop David Oyedepo has found himself in yet another controversy, after a UK newspaper accused him of Cynical Exploitation.
The Daily Mail website alleges that the Church’s British Branch received £16.7m (Over N4bn) in donations from followers who were told that God would give them riches in return.
The recent allegations have prompted the Charity Commission to review the charitable status of the church, which is said to be one of the fastest growing churches in the UK. Oyedepo is said to be worth an estimated £93m (Over N24b), with a fleet of private jets and a Rolls-Royce Phantom.
The newspaper reports that its investigation further revealed that:
Congregants are handed a payment slip requesting payments using cheque, cash or debit card when they enter London’s Winners’ Chapel.
Donations to the ministry in England almost doubled from £2.21 million to £4.37 million between 2006 and 2010.
Winner’s Chapel in Nigeria received £794,000 or 73% of the charitable donations paid out by the British Winners Chapel between 2007 and 2010.
The registered charity has spent £6.81 million on evangelism and ‘praise, worship and fellowship’
The church’s ‘Joseph Squad’ preaches in British prisons and has a weekly broadcast named ‘Liberation Hour’ on satellite and cable TV.
According to the newspaper, in the past three years, Winners’ Chapel Churches have been established in Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds and Bradford, adding to those in London, Manchester, Dublin and Glasgow.
A Charity Commission spokesman said they are currently assessing what, if any, regulatory role there is to play with regard to the complaints made against the World Mission Agency.
It is important to clarify that this does not constitute an investigation at this stage.”
Oyedepo was recently severely criticized online by Former PMAN President Tee Mac Itseli, who called him a fraudster and condemned the pastor’s lifestyle.
As at press time, neither Oyedepo nor any of his pastors have made any comments regarding the allegations.