“How many of his 50,000 members can afford it?” – Save Nigeria Group attacks Bishop David Oyedepo on airline

by Lekan Olanrewaju

Nigeria’s richest pastor by many accounts, Bishop David Oyedepo has made a new addition to his business empire by starting an airline called Dominion Air.

Listed by Forbes as Nigeria’s wealthiest pastor with a net worth of $150 million, Oyedepo, has been the subject of much debate over private jets, of which he owns four. He is also the owner of Dominion Publishing House, Covenant University and an elite secondary school called Faith Academy.

The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), the agency in charge of business registration in Nigeria, confirmed the registration of Dominion Air with David Oyedepo as its chairman.

Not surprisingly, this hasn’t come without setting its fair share of tongues wagging, as people have begun to speak out against it. “Pastor Oyedepo by his choice of businesses has severally demonstrated a disconnect between himself and hundreds of thousands of poor Christians who he claimed to have come to deliver.” said Lawrence Ofili of the Save Nigeria Group. “About 90 percent of public schools in this country were built by early Christian missionaries; today Oyedepo has Covenant University but it is for children of millionaires.”

The Save Nigeria Group was founded by Pastor Tunde Bakare, who has been critical of Bishop Oyedepo’s ministry in the past.

“Even with the high school called Faith Academy, I am aware that most children in his congregation dream to be educated there but their parents who probably pay tithes and offerings cannot afford the school fees,” Ofili continued. “His Faith Tabernacle accommodates 50,000 worshippers every Sunday; how many of them are going to fly Dominion Air? Honestly this project is not for the poor. He should have settled for mechanised farming to engage unemployed men and women.

Is this valid criticism? Does the bishop have a duty to run businesses for the poor and unemployed?

UPDATE: Representatives of SNG have indicated that Mr. Ofili is a member of a faction. Mr. Ofili, known as a founding member of the group, however spoke to press as representative of the group.

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Comments (59)

  1. Take out the religion from the undertone of this write up, and suddenly, everyone begins to think rationally. it becomes a clear case of leadership with little accountability to the people. Just read the achievement of the Norwegian Sovereign wealth fund and even the americans are marveled by it. it stems from old saxon customs of accountability.
    So back to the point – As long as the revelation must be personal, all these views on religion will continue. Be it Imams, Pastors, Rabbis, etc, its tough to see much reason for same occurrences. The most beautiful invention of the last 500 years after printing is the doctrine of separation of church from state. It allowed Europe to think and Middle east still can’t. Religions runs so deep in people that they just get upset when u are not on their side. They raise all kinds of cliches to propagate and defend themselves such as ‘do not criticize the Imams, pastors and Rabbis because you didnt call them’. Let who called them deal with them. but they, them came to the people abi? You are willing to think constructively and scientifically as a doctor, engineer, scientist, etc but sit on ur brain with obvious gaps in reasoning just becos u take a religious position. look everywhere and see what its causing? If you have one devout muslim and one devout christian, by their doctrines only, one of them is headed for the place he doesn’t want to go – HELL. No cure for AIDS, Cancer, etc would come from the walls of these religions but in less then 50 years, those in the labs of Europe, U.S. and south korea would crack it. lets wake up. extraordinary claims must be defending with extraordinary proofs (- carl sagan). If statements made without proofs, they can be dismissed without proofs.

  2. Why don't these jealous idiots go and set up farms and factories to employ the poor. Or did members of winners chapel made any complaints to you. I'm sure it is this morbid jealousy which is causing people like Tunde Bakare and his ilks sleepless nights that would soon terminate them. Who would not be jealous. A man came from the North to Lagos with a God-given mission and started his mission with less than 200 people in your presence (you that have been in Lagos for donkey years) and before you closed and opened your eyes hundreds of thousands of people are thronging to hear him. If it were you wont you be jealous?

  3. Let God be d judge.only He knows His true followers. However,in my opinion,no man of God should criticize or judge another man of God.he should knw better.

  4. @Agnes, LOL….nice 1.

    Oyedepo is my man for life….for life…

    God bless you, Agnes!

  5. It looks like sng don't have a life and are running out of ideas on how to while away idle time

  6. there were neva b in d bible where God said pastor shd nt v biz venture. i bliv Bishop his using dat too to propagate d kingdom. stop critising pastors so dat u wil nt b judge

  7. They see themselves doing the same thing…..they are propelled by the money. They all wish to have the same money Oyedepo have.

  8. Pls friends

    I will like you guys to watch your words about men of God.

    1. You were not there when GOD called them.

    2. You are not called to judge anybody talk more of pastors.

    If we would work in love according to 1 cor 13 …. Love don‘t speak evil.

    Pls stop all wrong word we use against each other.

  9. No matter what man does, good or bad, man will always have a negative opinion about it because our lives are always subject to criticism. But remember what the bible says in Matthew 10:41 (he that recieveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall recvieve a prophet’s reward). And let’s also remember those 42 children who mocked Elijah and were consumed in 2 Kings 2:23-24. Also when God told Noah to build an arch, there came all manner of opinions, at leats we all saw what happened in the end. True, we all have rights to opinion but let’s all be careful in all we speak regarding things that pertain to God. If the church of God is becoming prosperous and successful in all arms in which the government has failed the people, then who are we to question the proofs of the move of God? We are most concerned about the things we see, it is not everyone that gives to charity in the open, some even do so anonymously. So what are we talking about? Criticising men of God who live a life of giving. Not even any of us can count the number of lives that the giving lifestyle of most ministries have touched, not to talk of the number of souls won into the kingdom of God (which is paramount to every gospel mission) since coming into being (the early days when the financial capability of most ministries were not forth coming) and now that the church of christ is breaking new grounds, we’re all crying foul, making negative comments about what God has already prophesied about the end time church. Once again, pls let’s all watch how we criticize the move of God.

  10. eseosa am sure u r not under any form of compulsion to attend winners chapel. if u think the message is faulty its better u stop just as the Bishop always warns. u just might be wasting ur limited resources going where u know the gospel is not being preached.

  11. And what church does the discerningxtian goes to, Christ embassy?

  12. @agnes it is obvious that u have a bone to pick with Pastor Tunde Bakare and I would caution that u do so lightly….

    1. @Newton: It is obvious that Tunde Bakare has a bone to pick with Oyedepo. I would advise him to thread lightly. Nonsense!

  13. Why are people so angered about Pastor Bakare? Even when his name is not mentioned? Nigerians, when you will you grow up?

    1. @LUgard: When will Tunde Bakare grow up and face his ministry and his new hobby aka politics? When will he realise that he is a failure and has no moral standing to critisize or advise people who are more successful than he is?

  14. I appreciate the attempts at damage control by those who say that Tunde Bakare's name is not in the article, bla bla bla.

    YNaija is not stupid. This statement came from Tunde Bakare's Save Nigeria Group and there has been no difference between Tunde Bakare and Save Nigeria Group in the history of the organisation's existence. During Ojota protest there wasn't. Suddenly, because he has misstepped, you try to make a fall guy out of the Secretary General of SNG who spoke on behalf of the organisation and his boss, Tunde Bakare.

    Back to Tunde Bakare. Latter Rain Assembly has been around as long as Winner's Chapel. Let him show us the schools Latter Rain has built for poor members to attend for free? Let Tunde Bakare point to one poverty alleviation programme Latter Rain Assembly has put in place – do they own a mission hospital that offers free health care to the poor, or do they own an orphanage?

    You, the silly never-do-well critic called Tunde Bakare, whose venture into politics ended disastrously with the killing of youth corpers in the North, who admitted yourself to slapping your own wife, who can't point to a single protege in ministry or politics, who used to send out fake prophecies that never came to pass, you have the nerve to criticize a successful person who has done phenomenal things just because of a three decade old bitterness over who Enoch Adeboye preferred among his sons. Some nerve!

  15. you are so on point ! i don't get that guy ……a damaged soul indeed, slapping ur wife in public!!!! damaged souls try to drag others to their point of 'damagededness'

  16. The poor can always benefit from the profits made from Dominion Airline. If Jesus is in this world now, he wont walk from Jerusalem to America. Lets always discuss issues and not sentiments and emotions, People should stop criticizing this man of God but ask themselves what they have contributed to developing the Country. God will help us all.

  17. When I grow up, I wanna be a pastor dats all I got 2 say.

  18. Its preposterous! I wonder how he sleeps at night! 4 jets n now an airline???

  19. You guys should get a life…

  20. Guys…lets stop all dis sentimental attacks..The publication is the personal opinion of a member of SNG, not an official position of the SNG…Why is there now a sudden attack on the person of Tunde Bakare?….Pls Lets talk on the issue itself and drop aside every other form of sentiments.

  21. agnes, kindly read the story properly before commenting. The story has nothing to do with Tunde Bakare, please!

  22. I think the publisher of this story shouldhave clarified whether the person mentioned was speaking in his personal capacity or expressing the position of the Save Nigeria Group. In the absence of this, this might well be regarded as a misrepresentation of facts. The fact that a member of an organisation says something does not necessarily mean s/he is speaking for the organisation, and the reference to Tunde Bakare is totally out of place.

  23. Worship thou God and not thou pastor lord jesus lived 4 33years preaching and helping d poor will oyedepor use all 4 jets same time if he keeps saying empowerment I wonder who his empowering the rich or the poor let's not b sentiment..how many does TB joshua has but look @ what his doing..servants become masters as sheeps become shepherd.typical naija situation God has a lot 2 judge on d last day o

  24. Its rather unfortunate that we live in a country where people are so easily fooled and brain washed under the disguise of RELIGION… We all have a brain somewhere up there in our heads its time we start using it… Pastors and imams are human beings like us, they are not supernatural beings..

  25. When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith upon the earth? Clearly, he will find all the comments we leave here, he will find rabble rousers and maybe SNG and Dominion Airlines and mighty mighty men and women of God (the MOGs and the WOGs). But I hope He finds some modicum of faith, and have mercy on me…I AM TRAYVON.. And for those who can't ever remember what it feels like to be poor, I need to remind you that you will always have the poor walk this earth…even in the UK and US and WHAT YOU DO WITH THE POOR, TO THEM AND FOR THEM will tell on your account with GOD…God bless y'all.. I AM TRAYVON …. http://www.change.org/petitions/prosecute-the-kil

  26. As Maha rightly said, IGNORANCE is a very deadly disease. Is that that so many fools who commented can't read or can read but not comprehend? The writer of this article also has no right to drag Bakare into this messy affair. Some other guy asked a questio on Oyedepo's business ventures but xos Bakare's. Name was featured, a bunch of ignoramus started to insult him. Pls re the article and understand the meat of it instead of displaying your ignorance & stupidity

  27. **I AM TRAYVON**

    Like all of us…they answer to GOD…we can't miss this..it's called judgement!

    **I AM TRAYVON**

  28. **I AM TRAYVON** I was going to make that observation..this must be the same Lawrence Ofili who took out a full page advertorial to discredit Tunde Bakare during the January demonstrations. I wonder how pages like these turn as credible. (How credible..YNaija? On the Airlines business, it is a welcome development. About describing Tunde Bakare as failed by faceless folks, you're still falling for the same stunt you express loathing. **I AM TRAYVON**

  29. The headline of this article attributes the quote to Save Nigeria Group FOUNDED by Tunde Bakare. In fact, Lawrence Ofili was MENTIONED as the one who MADE the comments and not TUNDE BAKARE.

    I'm appalled at the kind of Christians and Christianity that exists today. Some so-called Christians on this thread did not read through but decided to "fight for" Bishop Oyedepo by attacking Tunde Bakare who didn't make the comments?

    What kind of Christianity are we practicing? Small wonder why Jesus feared he might not find TRUE believers when he returns. We need to be like Berea Christians who didn't swallow the words of the apostles hook, line, and sinker but "tested" and "tried" the words they heard. God Himself said, "Try me, put me to test". Yes, be discipled but we're not expected to be disciples for life.

    The truth I perceive here is that most of those arguing for or against a man of God have done so intentionally to avoid the REAL questions raised by Mr. Ofili. But the answers are not for us to answer. Selah

  30. There are two major ways of helping the poor. You can help physically or mentally. I believe the bishop is helping mentally. If Convenant University is the best but most expensive and you desire same for wards you can call on God for assistance and you have it by faith. The Bible is clear. Tithes and offering are for men of God are entitle to how they spend it. If our Lord came in our time would He have used a car or a donkey. Most of those advocating for the poor are hypocrites who just want to critisize another no love in their heart. If they see the poor they would say 'go and work'. Happy Sunday to you all.

  31. Ok. A man of God should cater for his church and not be involved in private business. But has Oyedepo ever called himself a full time pastor? What sense would it make to leave jets lying idle while still paying hangar fees and all? Does it not make sense to start a business that would create jobs instead?

    Can Oyedepo's members afford his school and airlines? My answer is are his staff not mostly Winners members?

    Do we mean capitalism is against the tenets of Christianity? Did. Peter and all not keep their jobs as fishermen even after Jesus had called them to follow him as disciples?

    If God is such a poor God, how come Abraham,Job,Solomon,David and others were so affluent?

    Here's my own take. A man has decided to open an airline, as long as he meets and keep to all proper regulations, I can only wish him well and appreciate the jobs that will be created.

  32. hmmm… Nawa o… Churches don turn buisines ventures. How does owning an airline promote evangelism? Nonsense… Souls of men(poor) are perishin and … Mtcheew… I dey vex self. Abi da airline na free ni? PTB and SNG are two different entities. Anointing is not by size of congregation. Pst T.B Joshua for example is also rich, but he is more concerned about lost souls and people's well being. Lets not be sentimental in our comments please.

  33. For those of u criticising bakare…Read between lines.. Or u get someone to interpret dis article for u.. Bakare's name was never mentioned in dis article neither was he d one who made dis statement.. they say poverty is a disease but there's one more deadlier than poverty, its called IGNORANCE.. I'm nobody to judge..leave for God to do! But jst before dat moral ethics needs to be applied. My own comment on dis article is in ECCLESIASTES chpt 1 vs 2, and chpter 4:1-16.

  34. well,all comments above are right , but one thing we should all try and know was, how many bussinesses does Jesus himself had ? if all this money from bishop oyedepo was not church money why didn't he start all dis bussiness before the church . let's stop worshipping pastors in Nigeria and say when something is wrong ,we all know how to talk and condem politicians for doing Wrong but when its pastors or imams they suddenly becomes "man of God" .most of the people paying tithe in the church can not afford to send their children to the church school and yet some pple can boast here and attack pastor Tunde bakare. We all better wake up before Nigerians lives are been mortgaged in every corner .

  35. We need to ask ourselves,in as much as SNG has no business in what a man of God does,we have living faith churches scattered everywhere in nigeria especially in villages and these people pay their tithes and offering even when they cannot afford three square meal everyday much more sending their kids to expensive secondary schools and univerisities.How are they(poor people)benefiting from all these multi-million coperation,are their children on scholarship in papa's university?Yet they pray,struggle and suffer only for the rich in the church to benefit and keep getting richer.God help us all in Nigeria

  36. One thing is clear..Bakare's name was only used 2 market this

    article..but oyedepo/bakare feud apart..oyedepo's airline investment n lifestyle might not be wrong religiously but morally it is very unfair. How can people pay tithe/offering/first fruit/special offering/development levy etc and yet ur businesses will not have impact in their lives..Greed rules d world i swear

  37. Errrrm!!!!! I av a question wen an airline is being  wat part of it should help d poor or d rich ohhh d planes or jets should be carring cassava from village to village…..buhahahahahaha dis argument is invalid but as usual its Davis Oyedepo even wen he sneezes he makes d news!!!!! Its not his Fault is by Default

  38. I just want to say this website should note what people say-

    Someone posted that Tunde Bakare slapped his wife in church and called him a failed pastor and politician.

    Please post with correct information and I don't knw why everyone has chosen to attack Tunde Bakare for the opinion of the secretary of a group he founded. Everybody has a right to their opinion just as anyone has a right to any business as far as it is nt illegal. Post with caution, ethics and moral

  39. Anyone worth the name of the Lord should know that the same God who instituted tithes also spelt out what it must be used for; the Stranger, Levite, Orphan and Widows. God specifically mentioned that these people have no inheritance in the land of Israel. If any church must collect tithes in the name of God's commandment, then they must use it in no less manner than He has prescribed.

  40. I couldn't care less about Tunde Bakare. Or SNG for that matter. I attend Winners Chapel and I absolutely agree with this article. Let's stop fooling ourselves and open our eyes. Our churches are no longer places to preach the gospel but to preach prosperity and are now booming business ventures! Let's call a spade, a spade abeg!

  41. It has all been said. Many of us just like our parents attended mission schools. Many were also given birth to at mission hospital. It sounds funny that majority of the congregation cannot afford what ought to provided by the church as welfare . The whole essence of tithe which brings in a higher chunk of this money is to take care of the needy. Yet the needy has taken the back seat. God will help us. And for those castigating TB. He was not mentioned here. The statement was credited to Lawrence Ofili. Why not face him if we think what he has said is not true ! He merely asked a question and nobody has provided any answer.

  42. Pingback: State of the Nation - Page 599 - StockMarketNigeria.com Forums

  43. Oyedepo- the artful 'bishop'. Rather sad his horde of peurile followers are blind to his foxy methods- same delusional streak that runs in d marrows of millions of 'spirit-filled' Nigerian 'Christians'.. Y'all should get a life! #discerningxtian

  44. Pastor Bakare has every right in the world to choose between being a lawyer and a pastor,it is ridiculous that a Christian would derive pleasure running other more renowned christians down,Christ would have expected our dearly beloved Bakare to approach his senior in the ministry in humility to point out his disdain for the airline project.Why do we make other peoples business our business,why do we use panadol for someone else's headache,are pastor Oyedepo's congregation complaining the cannot afford covenant or Dominion airline,let's stop crying more than the bereft and remove the telephone pole in our own eyes before trying to pick out the tooth pick in our brother's eye.

  45. SMH. Wat does tunde bakare knw? Blah blah blah. Pastor oyedepo is a man of God, he deserve 2 live good, owns 4 private jets,elite university and secondary school. Several other businesses. With the money his church members pay him. Most of whom can't afford dis. But hey. If his followers r cool with it who cares. Its not my money. I just can't stop SMH. Like criosly.are pple dis blind? WTF

  46. Nowhere in the report was Tunde Bakare's name mentioned, at the same time Bishop Oyedepo has no bussiness starting a bussiness for anyone's sake whether rich or poor,his job as a minister is to empower his congregation in every way possible.Neither men owe apology to anyone for their actions let them answer to God.

  47. Why nt talk abt d real issue than beating up SNG. Some of us were products of missionary schl. What kinda business is dis man running. Nigerians or blacks in general r fond of allowing ppl to think for them. D whiteman gave us d bible n takeaway our lands n children. Now its d same kind of oppression.

    Who do u think is better a man who has 10,000 n gave a tithe of 1000 or anoda who has 1 billion n gave a tithe of 1million naira. Pls let's call a spade a spade. Even the bible said we should test all faith. It was also recorded that d spirit of darkness will manifest itself as d spirit of light to deceive even d elect.

    The whiteman says if some1 oppresses u, leave d matter to God to use us. Now d pastors use, 'touch not my anointed n do my prophet no harm'. Silly isn't it.

  48. Lawrence Ofili of the Save Nigeria Group? Really?

    Isn't this the same Ofili of the so-called break-away faction?

    Y, why didn't do your research well? You've now made this about Bakare.

    You should correct the facts. And those who're quoting 100/110, chill.

  49. We have to look at this issue objectively, is the airline registered as Bishop Oyedepo's business or church's business? If it is church, then it will serve as an arm of evangelism, but if it is the former, then in my own opinion, there is something wrong somewhere, the bishop as a shepard has a responsibilty to take care of his flock, is owning an airline going to do that? Think of what that huge amount will do if channelled into the welfare department of the church. Sometimes I just wish I'm an atheist. Modern slavery in guise of serving God

  50. U all nid to ask urself aw Jesus lived when he was alive. We av some many educated nigerias dis days yet reasonin seems to b diminishin every now n den. To me d message is clear,pastors n imams r our problems in dis country. Dere is huge disconnect btw dere actions n d book in which dey preach from. Those castigating SNG shld continue,it only shows dt aside financial corruptionn rockin dis country,moral corruption is more cancerous dn that!!

  51. One thing all the comments here have in common is blind sentiment. You do not want the truth. By the way, is your respect for Oyedepo and disdain for Bakare based on how much anointing they have or is it just the money? Think very carefully about this and be honest.

  52. I think Tunde Bakare is a confused human being. He does not really not know what he want out of life. What has he achived with his many years of criticism? Insteaad of him to run and celebrate Bishop Oyedepo for the laudable achievements, he is going aboout talking trash.

  53. Save Nigeria Group? Isn't that a political association? What do they have doing with criticising a church or a pastor.

    In any case, SNG has to update it's records. Faith Tabernacle has 180,000 worshippers every Sunday. Winners in Nigeria has over 1,000,000 members. Tunde

    Bakare, eat your heart out! How many members does your poorly led Latter Rain Assemby have? 110?

  54. Oh bullocks! Tunde Bakare should go and sit down with his bad belle and jealousy. Tunde Bakare has tried for more than 20 years to take down Oyedepo. He's devoted entire TV programmes to discrediting Oyedepo, going as far as burning Oyedepo's books on TV and urging people to stay away from Living Faith. What was the outcome?

    Oyedepo's ministry has become a multi-billion Naira global organisation. Where is Bakare's? A one branch church operating out of a ramshakled warehouse and can bearly count 100 dedicated members.

    Tunde Bakare should be ashamed of himself. He is a failed pastor, he is a failed politician. He is a failed husband – slapping his own wife in the church. He is a damaged soul. And damaged people hurt other people.

    1. i think you are a typical Nigerian diverting from the issues and focusing on personalities. i followed keenly the PTB & Oyedapo saga. your views are incorrect. yes he burnt the book publicly but listen to his reasons. A failed husband? he is not divorced so how do you interpret "failed"

  55. Honestly speaking, I don't think it is anybody's business whatever business or however a man chooses to spend his money. Just remember he his an anointed of God and maybe it is the next directive from God to him.

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