One of Nigeria’s largest charismatic churches, the Living Faith Church International, popularly known as Winners Chapel, has fired about 40 pastors in Ekiti State for failing to grow their respective parishes.
Winners’ Chapel [International] is led by its founder, David Oyedepo, a businessman, architect and the founder and presiding Bishop of the megachurch Faith Tabernacle in Ota, Ogun State.
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According to an online publication, The Punch, the figure may be much higher than 40 nationwide.
In a letter which is dated 25 June 2021 and signed by the Executive Secretary of the church, Adebisi Aboluwade, the pastors were asked to vacate their official accommodation and hand over their identity cards to their respective area pastors. One of the letters read in part:
Consequent to the recent performance reviews which revealed that your church growth index falls below expectations.
Please be informed that your services as a pastor in charge are no longer required from this commission with immediate effect.
You are to vacate the official accommodation (where applicable) and hand over all properties of the ministry in your custody, including your staff identity card to the area pastor before departure.
May you find grace for a new beginning. Peace.
In a trending video, Pastor Godwin, who claimed to be one of the pastors affected in Ekiti State, said he was employed on 20 August 2020.
He claimed that he was invited with about 40 of his colleagues by the state pastor on 1 July 2021, but was sacked for failing to grow the revenue of the church.
A source within the church, however, told The Punch that the sacking of the pastors had nothing to do with money; rather, the source said, it involved membership growth. Said the source:
As indicated in the letter, pastors were sacked for failing to grow membership, which is a key aspect of the ministry.
It had nothing to do with money and nowhere in any of the letters of disengagement was it stated that it was about money.