He was born on the 27th of September, 1954 in Osogbo Osun State, in south western Nigeria, but hails from Omu–Aran, Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State. He was brought up in a mixed religious family. His father, Ibrahim, was a Muslim healer and his mother, Dorcas, was a member of the Holy Order of the Cherubim and Seraphim Movement Church (C&S), a branch of the Aladura movement in Nigeria.
He was raised by his grandmother in Osogbo, who introduced him to the virtues of Christian life through early morning prayers and teachings which she attended with him. She also taught him the importance of paying tithe as an open heaven to mankind.
David Olaniyi Oyedepo became “born again” in 1969, through the influence of his teacher, Betty Lasher, who picked an interest in him during his high school days.
He studied architecture at the Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin and worked briefly with the Federal Ministry of Housing in Ilorin before resigning to concentrate on the works of God. Oyedepo bagged a PhD in Human Development from Honolulu University, Hawaii, US.
According to him, he received a mandate from God through an 18-hour vision in May 1981, to liberate the world from all oppression of the devil through the preaching of the word of faith.
Oyedepo made his journey to the founding of the Living Faith Church World Wide previously known as Liberation Faith Hour Ministries, in 1981. Two years later, on September 17, 1983, he and his wife Florence Abiola Akano now famously known as Faith Abiola Oyedepo were ordained pastors by the General Overseer of the Redeemed Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye and the church was eventually commissioned officially.
Five years later, Oyedepo was ordained as Bishop.
Living Faith Church also known as Winners Chapel International, kick- started in Kaduna but moved to Lagos, the former capital of Nigeria in July 1989, to start a new branch of the church after Oyedepo revealed to have received instructions from God to reach out to the people of Lagos.
This ministry which has its headquarter in Otta, Ogun State has a population of over 100,000 worshippers at a sitting and considered one of the largest in the world. It also has over 600 branches in all the states of Nigeria and over 50 African countries including Dubai, the United Kingdom and the United States and Asia continent.
Canaanland campus has a number of establishments operated by the church such as:
- A bakery
- A bottled water processing plant
- A petrol station,
- Several restaurants
- Shopping stores,
- Several residential houses that accommodate over 2,000 church employees and guesthouses.
Four banks are also functional on this Estate, three of which are branches of external commercial banks and one which is a community and micro-finance Bank and operated by the Church.
David Oyedepo abhors corruption and blamed poor leadership and corruption in Africa as a whole for being responsible for African woes.
Oyedepo’s church also operates its own publishing house, called Dominion Publishing House (DPH), commissioned on December 5, 1992. This big project is reputed to have published over 100 Christian, inspirational and motivational books, mini books, magazines and other resources which have turned the lives of many around positively.
His Personal Life
In 1982 he married Florence Abiola Akano now known as Faith. The marriage has the blessing of four children namely, David Jr, Isaac, Love and Joys. David Jr. and Isaac Oyedepo were ordained as Pastors in May 2007 by Kenneth Copeland.
David Jr formerly pastored the London Branch of the Church with his wife, Kemi but is now the resident pastor of the Ministry’s headquarters church Faith Tabernacle, while Isaac Oyedepo pastors Winners’ Chapel International, Maryland, in the United States of America with his wife Ayomitide.
He was named in 2011 by Forbes magazine as being the richest pastor in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of over $150 million dollars and also one of the richest Pastors in Africa.