It’s yet another Easter celebration, the annual anniversary and celebration of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, the foundation on whom the Christian faith is built upon. Keeping to tradition, YNaija introduces you to persons, institutions and platforms who had in the year under review (Easter 2020 – Easter 2021) influenced the body of Christ in Nigeria greatly.
They comprise Ministers of the Gospel (both in the word and music), Performing Artistes and even social media influencers who use their platform(s) for kingdom expansion, especially in a year that the Church had to experience a ‘new normal.’
Dear reader, we present to you, the 2021 #YNaijaChurch100 – our 100 Most Influential Nigerians in Church list.
Pastor Jerry Eze
Jerry Eze is the Lead Pastor at Streams of Joy International Umuahia, a church poised to have a multi-ethnic membership reaching and crisscrossing all nations of the world. This ministry is truly focused on spreading the word of GOD to as many people as possible.
He experienced a huge rise in his fellowship last year after the introduction of the New Season Prophetic Prayers and Declaration (NSPPD), a praise, worship and prayer session that streams weekdays on YouTube. Apart from the thousands of testimonies that have emerged from this initiative, he was recently featured in an interview with BBC Africa, where he spoke on the tropes of his messaging. If you ever see the catchphrase “What GOD cannot do does not exist,” you have this minister to thank for coming up with that.
Rev. Fr. John Chinyere Oluoma
From trending occasionally on social media for some of his more than interesting opinions, to founding a social media network for Catholics called Wowcatholic, John Chinyere Oluoma is a reverend father who manages to stand out amongst an already impressive cast of authentic and inspired Catholic orators.
He is a priest under the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja and his very simple-to-understand and relatable teachings center majorly on Nation Building and developing moral habits.
‘Sought after’ best describes this gospel minister. He is a worship enthusiast who chooses to be reflective with the type of music he composes. Over the past year, he has seen a tremendous increase in his followership.
His ministry on YouTube pulls a number of anywhere between 250,000 to 2 million views, with one of his videos hitting a record 37 million views. On his Instagram page, you will find nuggets on the positive influence of Christianity. Everything about this man simply exemplifies his devotion and faith.
Releasing her hit song Capable GOD in 2020, which became popular amongst Christians, and recorded impressive numbers across streaming platforms, including over 5 million views on YouTube, this gospel singer reiterated her relevance in the gospel music scene.
The type of warm reception she received for this song is nothing new to Judikay. In 2019, she released a song More Than Gold which would receive massive airplay and was sang by almost every choir in the entire country.
Besides music, she uses her social media to spread the message of GOD, with a recently launched series “From this heart with Judikay.”
Temitope Baiyegun (Woli Arole)
Asides singing and preaching, there are other ways to spread the message of faith, but none more unorthodox than comedy. Woli Arole, an actor/comedian, has somehow found a way to bring a comedic edge to ministering.
He began with Instagram skits from where he grew to about 3 million followers across social media platforms. He hosted a number of IG chats during the pandemic that were impactful as well as engaging, and he continues to touch lives in diverse ways since then, including through philanthropy.
Very upbeat and energetic with his music, Testimony Jaga is what you would describe as an urban fuji gospel singer.
He currently is a burning sensation in the gospel music industry owing to his style of music and has collaborated on music and gospel event projects with the likes of comedian Akpororo, and Woli Arole. He’s also been involved in philanthropy, having hosted a free medical outreach program where free medical services were supplied to four communities in Lagos.
Bishop Wale Oke
This popular evangelist is the recently elected National President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN). As he mentioned, he has the mandate to draw 100 million souls to heaven – an ambitious goal which he seems to be chasing fervently.
Reverred as one of the ‘Fathers of the Faith in Nigeria (as they are popularly called),’ with sound teachings on the impact of one’s character and words in drawing souls to Christ. Bishop Wale Oke is the President and founder of Sword of the Spirit Ministries International, headquartered in Ibadan, Oyo. His ministry began over three decades ago and is still going strong.
With a good number of publications under his belt, Godman uses both his sermons and writings to spread the word of GOD. This is inclusive of his solid nuggets on romantic relationships and marriage lessons.
He is the founder of Elevation Church Nigeria, a Church that has over the last ten years, drawn a youthful crowd with impactful teachings that seem to resonate more with a young crowd. He is equally drawn to them, as they are to him and this was made more evident when he joined Nigerian youth last year on the streets in the march against police brutality – christened the #EndSARS protests.
Apart from leading socially responsible initiatives, TEC under the leadership of ‘Pgeeman,’ organises a powerful annual conference for pastors and church leaders called “Exponential” annually, amongst other events and outreach programs.
Emmanuel Iren and Laju Iren
Emmanuel Iren is the founder of Celebration Church International, a fairly young church that has now spread its reach across five cities, including in Canada and the United Kingdom.
This church amasses a crowd of young people and as such, his evangelism is geared towards the realities of the young Nigerian. His wife is no different from the demography which she also has an influence amongst. A bestselling author and also a writing coach who in 2020 alone, helped about a dozen of her clients publish their books. She is also a filmmaker, debuting her first movie, “Love is a Star” in April 2020.
Together they have built a congregation that is both fervent and very optimistic.
One of the household names in the Christian community, Pastor Nathaniel doesn’t need much of an intro. His extensive resume and contribution to gospel music is as impressive as it gets.
His euphonic and powerful voice is enough to send anyone into a worship frenzy. He began his musical career back in 2008, and since then there has been no slowing down for this artiste.
The musician behind the unforgettable gospel hit tracks Imela and Onise Iyanu, he is also the brain behind the Hallelujah Challenge, an event he streams on his Instagram page, where he is joined by other high-spirited believers for an hour-long worship session.
If this name sounds familiar that’s because Damilola is the son of Mike Abayomi Bamiloye, the famous drama Evangelist, founder and president of Mount Zion Faith Ministries – a film company that gained prominence in the 90s for its extensive library of religious and inspiring movies.
Following in his father’s footsteps, Damilola has also become somewhat of a force in the Christian community for his own productions. He actively made a couple of movies and TV projects in the past year including Abattoir, My Mother In-law 2, and High Calling – among a number of other inspired projects, all of course with powerful Christian messages.
Bishop Hassan Kukah
Bishop Hassan Kukah is currently the Catholic Archbishop of Sokoto. He expressly discusses issues of governance and the ideologies on a religious approach to leadership that can change the state of the country.
He recently sent a controversial letter to Nigeria’s president, disclosing his feelings about the state of affairs in the country, an action that is largely consistent with his person. His passion for administrative change comes as no surprise, as he once worked with the Nigerian government on electoral reforms back in 2007-2009, before he was appointed into the General Abdulsalami Abubakar-led National Peace Committee.
Last year, he was particularly vocal about insecurity issues facing Nigeria, and sent out a Christmas message that was completely void of the Christmas spirit, and sparked reactions nationwide. Rather than speak on the festivities and joy of the season, he used the opportunity to highlight reasons why Nigerians have very little to celebrate.
Bishop David Oyedepo
In 2020, Bishop David Oyedepo’s name was on the lips of people in the Christian community more than ever. He had a lot of influence on the Nigerian Christian community during the pandemic as he continued to speak for the Church, especially over the controversial signing into law of the amended Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) which changed government’s position on interference in church leadership.
He was equally vocal about the lockdown and how it was affecting those of the faith, who he argued should be free to fearlessly pursue their religion regardless of the challenges in their path. Asides his controversial opinions, he went ahead with the groundbreaking of ‘The Ark’ a 106,000-Church Auditorium in Canaan land, Ota, Ogun State.
The project on completion would see the present 50,000 seater Faith Tabernacle become an overflow facility at the Living Faith Church headquarter. He also came up big with donations last year, donating an ambulance and Personal Protective Gears (PPE) to the Ogun government, to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. He also donated relief packages to less privileged households in Ogun.
He is the Lead Pastor of David’s Christian Centre Lagos and the founder of Love, Dating and Marriage Ministries. As usual, he created a series of teachings last year on his YouTube page, where he spoke on how to nurture a successful relationship.
From the controversy over his hanging out with Grammy award-winning artiste, Burnaboy, who described him as his uncle, to churning out insightful perspectives on dating and marriage, it seemed like every time you opened any social media platform in the year under review (including your aunt’s WhatsApp story), this minister’s face pops up.
Together with his wife, they provide faith-based relationship counselling to their congregation and to a massive audience in the country.
In her young musical career, this artiste has badged into the hearts of Christians all over the nation. Her song “Excess worth” is a piece of art that is universally recognized regardless of religion. It has 63 million views on YouTube, making it one of the most streamed videos in Nigerian music, period. It doesn’t stop there, the number of views for her music video last year “Obinasom” is currently sitting on 14 million views and the one for “Chinedum” is at 23 million views. These numbers are indicative of the kind of influence and admiration she has attained in just five years of professional singing. Prior to releasing her first single in 2015, she had served as a choir girl, matter of fact she served in the choir from the tender age of 8, up until that point. She appeared in the music reality show Nigerian Idol in 2013, season 3 and won. She is also an actress and the recipient of numerous awards including Gospel Artiste of the year at the AFRIMMA Award, 2020.
Funke Felix-Adejumo goes by many titles including, minister, CEO, mentor, philanthropist and writer.
Under a number of initiatives including Grace Orphanage, Women on the Winning Edge, an initiative to raise confident and strong women who will build godly homes on the virtues of Christian teachings, as well as Another Chance Women Home, a safe space for victims of domestic violence, she continues to work on empowering women and her congregation at large.
She is the founder of the Funke Felix-Adejumo Foundation, her charity organisation and School of Finishing Touches (S.O.F.T.), a programme that prepares young couples for marriage.
Pastor E.A. Adeboye
Having celebrated his 79th birthday, it’s safe to say that Pastor E.A Adeboye is the Patriarch of the Christian Body in Nigeria. This is bolstered by the fact that in a media frenzy generation filled with numerous scandalous cases against popular figures, he managed to retain his father figure status by being scandal-free year-in, year-out.
Year 2021 marked 40 years since his ordination as General Overseer of the ubiquitous Redeemed Christian Church of God, now present in a record 192 nations. He was vocal about some sensitive issues last year, including the murder of Uwa, the shooting of innocent protesters at the Lekki Toll Plaza, Lagos and it goes without saying that he was in support of the #EndSARS movement last year.
‘Daddy G.O’ organised an outreach programme for those at the Kirikiri correctional facility, where he donated many gift items to the inmates. He also came up big with COVID-19 relief efforts, donating 11 intensive care units and medical supplies including ventilators in Lagos, Osun and Plateau, and food items to 4000 households in Lagos.
Dr. Timothy Godfrey
Tim Godfrey is one of the most recognisable gospel artists in the entire country. He recently dropped an album “Already Won,” a follow up to the album he released last year,” Fearless Worshp” right before the pandemic hit, which resonated well with fans of the gospel singer and the Christian community as a whole.
Late last year, he came out to march with the youths in the streets during the #EndSARS movement and during the pandemic, he had a number of social media interviews which were impactful and insightful.
Emmanuel Benjamin (Eben)
Emmanuel Benjamin, popularly known as Eben Kips Rocking is a gospel singer/songwriter.
The highly acclaimed award winning singer began his musical career in 2005 when he performed his hit song “Imarama” at a youth conference organised by his church, Christ Embassy. Since then, fans took a liking to him and his career has experienced a meteoric growth.
Till date, he remains relevant, especially with the release of his latest album, Victory, last year. In 2019, he organised his own concert which featured both Nigerian and American gospel singers.
He is a very sought-after music act within the Church, and has a massive following on social media.
From the tender age of ten, this gospel artiste found a love for music when he began learning how to play the guitar and how to vocalise. Roughly a decade later, he would become a very prominent voice in the Nigerian gospel scene.
He recently released a new album titled “The Gospel of The Kingdom,” and a number of music videos have followed including “Yah,” “To Know You” and “Your Goodness.” Dunsin has ministered on the same stage with notable musicians including Tasha Cobbs, Don Moen, Byron Cage, Sinach, Tasha Page-Lockhart, Frank Edwards, and Freke Umoh.
Preye is a gospel singer/songwriter and an international award winning gospel artiste, having won the award for ‘Best Gospel Music Video’ at the Best of African Gospel Music awards in Atlanta, USA in 2016.
Also the CEO of his own music label, New Script Music, you don’t mention top Nigerian gospel songs of all time without listing “Ebezina.” His style is a perfect blend of indigenous and contemporary sounds. Asides music he is also a philanthropist, having created an academic initiative for underprivileged kids, “Low Key” Scholarship Scheme.
He does prison and evangelism outreach and not too long ago, Odede launched a movement themed “The Move” with his first ever live recording concert in Ghana, alongside Tim Godfrey, Prosper Ochimana, Joe Mettle and Akesse Brempong.
Between going back and forth with Daddy freeze and gifting a corn seller 10,000 naira, Leke occasionally found his name on social media trends last year, but it’s his handling of his father’s public affairs that has impressed many.
It’s not easy being the personal assistant to one of the biggest names in the country, but so far, Leke Adeboye, son of the general overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God; Pastor E.A Adeboye, has been able to hold his own.
Asides his P.A job, he also has ideas of his own, including an initiative that influences youth culture called Pastors Seed Family, where he facilitates global conversations amongst young people about generational change and impact.
Dr. Paul Enenche
The Dr. in front of this minister’s name is no mere title, as he is an actual medical doctor turned full time minister.
The Senior Pastor of Dunamis International Gospel Centre was actively philanthropic throughout last year, donating relief packages for the less privilege during the lock-down. Because of his medical background, he understood the importance of the medical protocols put in place last year due to the virus outbreak and he, alongside his wife, donated medical supplies to the Nigerian government to help combat the spread.
He also led Abuja youths in a prayer walk during the #EndSARS march.
Amaka Okwuoha (Chioma Jesus)
Chioma Jesus is one of the biggest names in the Christian community who has been a top gospel act since as far back as 2003.
Her longevity and consistency is the reason why she is still in high demand for numerous Christian events in the country. She released the video of her hit song, Okenmuo which featured another big name artist, Mercy Chinwo last year, and has released another song this year, Imela Chineke to commemorate her 49th birthday.
She is a philanthropist as she uses her foundation “Chioma Jesus Charity Foundation” to aid the less privilege in society. She also recently donated bags of rice to her charity, as she recounted the days when she used to buy 2 cups of rice on credit.
Eezee Concept Global
Just knowing that this Record label is responsible for managing brands and big names like Mercy Chinwo, Minister GUC and Judikay, is enough to tip your hat towards this management outfit.
Eezee Concept Global is a label that has become arguably the biggest Christian record label in the entire country, and in the past year, they have properly managed projects for all three artists mentioned above.
The label is managed by Ezekiel Thankgod popularly known as EeZee Te. He too is a gospel artiste who released his first album back in 2006, established his record label in 2012, and has managed names like Preye Odede.
Pastor Poju Oyemade
Poju Oyemade is the Senior Pastor of The Covenant Nation, Lagos and Convener of the West African Faith Believers Convention (WAFBEC). A lot of his philosophy centers around faith and the power of the tongue. This year he launched 6 new centres for his church across Lagos and Ogun State.
Using his social media, he writes passionately on issues of doctrines and controversies in Christianity, described by many as timely interventions and hosts several online programmes with fellow ministers and Church leaders.
He was very consistent with this online series in 2020, and its videos can be found on YouTube. Other initiatives under his leadership at TCN include, International Conference for Pastors, Ministers, Leaders and Workers (ICPLMW), The Platform (a National Development conference) and Project WRAP (providing assistance to widows and families of deceased service personnel) amongst others.
It’s amazing to think that this man’s ministry which is now a global movement with churches in Africa, Europe and North America, began in the humble stables of his mother’s living room with a mere seven members.
He is now known as the man who founded the popular House on the Rock Church(es) and Convener of Africa’s largest Concert, The Experience.
Despite the lock-down last year, he was still able to put together a virtual edition of the Gospel Concert which was every bit as impactful as the 14 preceding editions. To cap it, The Metropolitan and his team made the unprecedented move of making the concert a global edition, as artistes were featured from almost all continents of the world.
Osinachi Egbu (Sinach)
If you are even a little bit familiar with gospel music in Nigeria then you, no doubt must be have heard the name Sinach.
She has been in the music industry for 3 decades now and some of her most notable songs include ‘I Know Who I Am,’ ‘Great Are you Lord,’ ‘Rejoice,’ ‘He did it Again,’ ‘Precious Jesus,’ and ‘The Name of Jesus.’ Her accomplishment over the years speak volumes but in 2020, this veteran singer hit a new milestone when she became the first African and arguably the first black person to rank at number one on the Christian Songwriters’ category of the USA Billboard, for her song ‘Way Maker.’
She was also listed as a performer at the Dove Awards 2020 where she bagged home, song of the year for Way Maker, and was nominated for both Worship Recorded song and Spanish Language Recorded Song of the Year.
Dr. Tony Rapu
Tony Rapu is a pastor with a burning passion for social reforms. A medical doctor, filmmaker, life coach and the Senior Pastor of the House of Freedom.
He believes in making the world a better place through positive actions regardless of how small, and he continues to exemplify this ideology using his foundation; Freedom Foundation, a faith based, non-profit organisation with a focus on tackling drug addiction and urban poverty.
Last year the progress he made with Michael, a street urchin who he took from the streets in a terribly destructive situation and gave a future, surfaced and the heartwarming recount gleaned a little bit of hope for those in similar situations. The video which trended all over social media reminded people that a little act of kindness can go a long way.
Bolaji Idowu’s ministry targets a core audience of young people with an emphasis on driving positive change in their lives.
His Church, Harvesters International Christian Centre (HICC) was also heavily engaged in philanthropic activities last year including a relief program that donated food to the less privileged during the COVID-19 lock-down.
With a BSc in Accounting from the University of Lagos, Pastor Bolaji teaches with dexterity in the areas of Business Process Regeneration, Kingdom Finance, as well as Creation and Implementation of Ideas. He also hosts a virtual morning prayer program on YouTube, Next Level Prayer, daily.
Nike Adeyemi is a minister and public speaker whose focus and goal is on empowering women and soliciting for a safer and better society. She is a global voice for love to nations.
She is also the founder of Real Woman Foundation, an initiative created to empower women and children via the Peace Villa shelter/rehab center for women and the Love Home Orphanage. Her messages and events are faith/love centric and her audience is far reaching, spanning past just Africa.
Host of ‘Real Woman with Nike Adeyemi,’ a global TV broadcast where she shares wisdom on various life issues, Pastor Adenike spares no expense in making sure women get the knowledge they need to liberate themselves from an oppressive society.
Her message of self-love and sufficiency has guided a number of women to be more independent and assertive in society. She also speaks on the subject of anxiety and depression and still serves as the Deputy Senior Pastor, Daystar Christian Centre, alongside her husband who is founder of the Church, Sam Adeyemi.
An author, life coach, and entrepreneur and interior designer, who has displayed a burning desire to uplift women in Africa. Some of her coaching initiatives include, The Purpose Room, an online course that helps train people in recognising their purpose, DiscipleShe, a course teaching women how to connect with GOD, and Recalibrate, a course teaching people how to connect their business to GOD’s plan.
She convenes the ‘Becoming conference’ an annual program focused on empowering women and made Mogulettes Africa’s 100 Most Inspiring Moguls in 2020.
Rev. Augustine Obiora Akubeze
This highly decorated Catholic priest is the Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Benin-City, and President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria.
Last year, he anchored a conference where the issue of insecurity against Christians at the hands of terrorist groups was addressed and also lent his voice to the #EndSARS protest, where he urged the government to listen to the youths, and warned against the use of force on innocent protesters.
He is a truly progressive priest with the desire to see Nigeria become more receptive to Christian teachings.
John Cardinal Onaiyekan
Not exactly a huge fan of the Nigerian government, you can always find a news headline of the Cardinal calling out the government and advocating for them to do better.
He actively speaks up against social injustice in the country and the harm bad governance is inflicting on the people. John Cardinal Onaiyekan is now an Archbishop Emeritus, and was Vice-President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
The former Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, retired from the post in 2019 after holding it for 25 years. Last year he consistently sparked conversations on bad governance and the shortcomings of the Buhari Administration. He also warned that before the next election, at the rate which Nigeria is going, the country might split up.
Rev. Mother Esther Abimbola Ajayi
Easily one of the most philanthropic person in the Christian community and the country as a whole, Rev. Mother Esther Abimbola Ajayi is the founder of Love of Christ Generation Church, a white garment church on Clapham Road, South East London. She recently donated a building to the Lagos State Police Command Special Protection Unit in Ikeja. She also donated items including sewing machines, bed bunks, computers, fans and more, to the Ministry of Youths and Social Development, Special Correctional Centre for Boys at Oregun, Ikeja. She donated to the construction of the edifice built in honor of St. Orimolade, who founded the Cherubim and Seraphim church. In 2019, she adopted an orange seller and in 2020 the transformation she had made to the boy’s life came to light.
Apostle Joshua Selman
He is the Founder of the Koinonia Eternity Network International (ENI), a congregation that has been experiencing a meteoric growth for a few years now.
Over the past year he has grown in popularity, and has been adding to his extensive portfolio by releasing over 2 dozen books. This feat comes as no surprise seeing as the Pastor is known to have been an avid student of the bible since his teenage years.
Koinonia which translates to Christian fellowship in Greek was founded early too, while he was in the university searching for meaning to his life.
Dele Osunmakinde describes himself as a philomath and a polymath, which speaks volumes to his love for knowledge, both in gaining and in spreading of it.
He not only teaches about spiritual growth but also financial growth, and health. He founded the Baptizing Church Abuja, after which he relinquished his leadership role in the Church to go found the Baptizing Church Lagos, which he now currently presides over. He is the brain behind Sphere of influence, an online learning platform with a number of courses on religion and finance.
Pastor Victor Adeyemi
He is the senior pastor of The Global Harvest Church, and he majorly focuses on teachings geared towards building healthy relationships.
He also founded the Victor Adeyemi Ministries, an outfit responsible for the philanthropic activities of his church, and hosting events. He actively spreads Christian tips and messages via his social media on attaining a healthy and religious life, particularly as a Nigerian.
When he granted the BBC an interview, Pastor Adeyemi responded responsibly to the COVID-19 crises, stating that churches must remain calm in reopening.
Dr. Sam Adeyemi
Senior Pastor of Daystar Christian Centre, Lagos, Nigeria, his ministry focuses on raising role models in society and building a better future, so it is no surprise that his congregation is largely young.
He was very active and vocal during the #EndSARS protests, for which he was wrongfully sued alongside other celebrities that showed solidarity with the movement. Months before this, Daystar under his leadership provided relief of N10,000 and foodstuff to majority of its membership to help them cope with the effects of the lockdown and they donated PPE to the Lagos State Government.
In same year he was appointed Member of the Forbes Coaching Council and won The Future Awards Africa Prize for Service to Young People.
Looking at this woman’s resume, you get the sense that she is a superwoman who can basically do it all. An architect, entrepreneur, philanthropist, public speaker, radio host and author, she has worked with big name brands like Access Bank, The Nigerian Stock Exchange and Coca-Cola.
As a public speaker, she majorly speaks on the things she is involved in, and in the process, drives to empower women. She made the Forbes Woman Africa Entrepreneur 2020. A lot of her coaching seems to be premeditated on the basis of the Christian faith.
She believes that GOD is the source of her wealth, and she doesn’t motivate without referencing her beliefs.
Founder and president of Believers’ Love World popularly known as Christ Embassy, Chris Oyakhilome was the centre-point of some interesting conversations last year.
These conversations rubbed some people off the wrong way, and had some others on board with his opinions. From his theories on 5G and how it is a tool of evil, to him condemning the Nigerian government on regulating church hours, to predicting when the rapture will happen, Pastor Chris seemed to have an answer to every question.
Yet, his bold proclamations have done nothing to deter his followers, if anything they seem more certain of their leader’s authority. His congregation spans America, Europe and Africa. His online programmes are said to draw around 5 billion viewers on record days. He is also very philanthropic with a number of initiatives under his foundation; the Chris Oyakhilome Foundation International. His church also hosts a number of empowerment programmes annually.
Somewhat of a radical with his opinions, Mathew Ashimolowo spoke up against fake pastors and harmful messages disguised as the word of GOD.
The founder of Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC) in London, was vocal about the pandemic and solicited compliance from his followers with the preventive protocols put in place by the government.
Weeks ago, he demonstrated taking responsibility by being one of the first influential Nigerians to take the COVID-19 vaccine. He was vocal and in support of the #EndSARS protests, signing the #EndSARS petition in London, for parliament to commence a hearing.
Bishop David Abioye leads a huge part of the Living Faith Church Worldwide in the capacity of Vice President, alongside founder and President of the church, Bishop Oyedepo.
He is one of the few pastors on this list that is truly orthodox. He preaches, and counsels his members, keeping away from controversies or negative media. He heads the second largest branch of the church, Living Faith Church, Goshen, Abuja at a capacity of 30,000 attendees in Abuja.
His message focuses on faith, prosperity, and signs and wonders. He was born into a Baptist family and later mentored under Bishop Oyedepo beginning from his NYSC days, so you can say he was destined for this path.
Pastor David Oyedepo Jnr
Pastor David Oyedepo Jnr is the first son of Bishop Oyedepo, the founder of Living Faith Church Worldwide, and currently serves as the resident pastor at Faith Tabernacle, Canaanland, Ota in Ogun state.
Formerly the Resident Pastor at Winners Chapel, London and Regional Pastor for the European network of Churches, he was called back to oversee activities of the church. He is known for his impactful teachings and he established the first Kingdom Heritage Model School of the commission outside Africa.
With a goal to attain a higher level of spiritual enlightenment, Victoria Orenze delved into the business of composing soothing and alleviating gospel songs.
Simply put, she uses her voice to breathe life into the message of salvation. Her songs continually receive warm receptions amongst fans and has garnered her a rather impressive following on social media. Debuting her first song with superstar, Nathaniel Bassey, her career since it began has been on an upsurge.
Yemi Davids is the Lead Pastor at Global Impact Church, a fast rising church in Nigeria with multiple expressions in Nigeria and the USA running multiple services every weekend.
Leveraging on social media, he created a series on his Instagram called Wisdom Reel last year, and as the name suggests, they are short clips of parts of his sermon where he makes a profound point on faith.
He also anchors another series on his IG called Midnight encounters.
Moses Bliss is a new gospel act who is already making strides in the Nigerian Christian community.
Since the success of his top charting songs “One Yes” and “Hail,” he has garnered a strong fan base including Pastor Chris Oyakhilome who have taken to his soft and silvery style of worship.
He took home the LIMA Awards Song of the Year 2020.
Pastor Chukwuemeka Odumeje
If this name is unfamiliar to you, perhaps you would be more acquainted with the name Indaboski Bahose.
Right in the heart of the pandemic, this pastor seemingly rose out of nowhere and had the whole country talking. His eccentric style of ministering, aggressive approach to healing, and his larger than life demeanor rallied a number of spectators to his side, all of which added to his growing popularity.
Last year he gathered a lot of fame for his eccentricity and by extension became an internet sensation. People couldn’t get enough of the pastor with some agreeing with his ways and others thinking he may be too excessive.
One thing is for sure though, the number of celebrities that came to see him, and the sheer number of his congregation, most of which are extremely devout, make it certain that Odumeje has become a force in the Christian world.
Not particularly a minister, Timi Dakolo however did something that brought so much joy to Christians across the country, he lent his dulcet voice to the edification of GOD, when he released a Christian anthem, “Everything you put your hand.”
The song that has become very popular amongst not just Christians but the general public. He has never been shy about his faith, but last year he showed just how devout he is, by releasing this song.
Apostle Johnson Suleman
The Senior Pastor and general overseer of Omega Fire Ministries International is a man who far too often is the center of a number of controversies, including being accused of adultery.
Others include healing COVID-19 patients if allowed into isolation centres, how he makes money by speaking in tongues, and who can forget when he said he bought his third private jet during the pandemic. His congregation has however, stayed true and they swear that the man’s heart is in the right place.
Prior to starting his own church in 2004, created to manifest people’s destiny, Apostle Johnson Suleman served as an assistant pastor in The Armor of God Church. He is a highly prophetic minister with a rather impressive list of prophecies.
Pastor Foluke Adeboye
Asides from the fact that she has her own identity as with other female Pastors, this pastor has a reputation of being rather generous.
During the #EndSARS protests, she sent food to the protesters marching on the streets, which she came under fire for. She is also the Convener of the Feast of Esther, a program for Female Leaders in Ministry, Wives of General Overseers and Church Senior Pastors. The event is in its 20th year and has a very high profile guest list each year.
She is the Founder of a number of Community Intervention Programmes one of the pillars of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, and the author of a few books including; Heaven in your home, The Mother-in Christ, The Seven Secrets of Great Achievers, This also shall pass, Can I cry out, and The Pastors’ Wives Manual.
Debola Deji-Kurunmi (DDK)
Debola Deji-Kurunmi is the President/ Founder at Deborah Initiative for Women.
Sometimes called the Firebrand Queen, she leads a 20,000+ strong community of female change makers who draw inspiration from her coaching. She has an aggressive followership and has mentored thousands of young men and women – many of whom have gone on to set up as leaders in ministry and the marketplace.
She was awarded the Motherland Awards 2021 award for Education and Coaching. Driven by core Christian values, she continues to inspire young people including via another initiative of hers: Kingdom Women Global alliance.
Pastor Morin Osunmakinde
Morin Osunmakinde sometimes referred to as PMO, Is the founder of BABES! Redefined; an interdenominational social media women’s group with the simple goal of empowering women and by extension, creating a domino effect of empowered women empowering other women around them.
The group already has 80,000 strong followerson Facebook and of course, boast of members across Nigeria and the world via outreach activities. A proud mother of three, she is married to Dele Osunmakinde, the overseer of The Baptizing Church, and together they have a goal of inspiring as many people as possible, on the sturdy foundation of Christian ideals.
Pastor Sola is the Senior Pastor at Household of David; a church whose ultimate goal is to spread the love of GOD to all corners of the globe.
Sola Osunmakinde is the convener of the popular annual Mercy Conference with high profile Speakers and Worship Ministers, and he also hosts an interesting and insightful Q&A program all year round called “Ask Pastor Sola” where he answers his members’ most troubling and nagging spirituality related questions.
He was the President of the Vessel of Honour Foundation for about 3 years at the University of Ibadan, and later became the President for the Assembly of Uni-Ibadan Christian Student Fellowship (AUCSF).
Asides the pandemic that obviously had a negative impact to some degree on basically everyone’s life, 2020 was a good year for this gospel singer.
He signed an endorsement deal with Unilever, released an EP and also took a major step in his music career with the launch of Salt Records, his own music label, which he unveiled on his birthday.
He released his first single back in 2009 ad debut studio album in 2014. Prior to owning a record label however, he was signed to Chocolate City and he has to his name, popular tracks like; “Always Pray for You,” “Why You Love Me” and “Always on My Mind.”
Starting from the humble beginnings of serving as a chorister to now being a music director, this minister’s 22-year journey so far has seen him not only rise in the ranks, but garner his own dedicated fan base.
It goes without saying that he has been a consistent and faithful musician with Live worship and teachings particularly during the pandemic.
In 2020, he released his second studio album titled “Spirit and Life,” which he dropped in September. He runs a worship series on his Instagram called Revelatory Worship.
Rotimi Akinfenwa popularly known as RotimiKeys is a multi-talented singer-songwriter and award winning producer who has been on the backend of some of the biggest gospel albums of the era.
He has worked with some notable gospel musicians including Mercy Chinwo as well as Nathaniel Bassey, and has also worked with mainstream artists like Yemi Alade and Banky W. RotimiKeys began his musical career at the tender age of 3, and by 10, he was already well versed with the drum and guitar.
By 2003, he officially began working in a studio, and by 2007, he branched into the marketing game, working for one of the biggest communication agencies in the country; Insight. Recently he worked with Flavor, Nathaniel Bassey, and he released a song of his own; “Life is beautiful.”
Creating arguably, one of the most popular Christian songs in Nigeria; “The Land is Green,” this veteran singer has seen nothing but an uphill drive in her musical career.
Famous for her “Spontaneous Worship Sessions” a praise and worship session which streams on her YouTube channel, TY Bello continues to remain in the minds of Nigerian Christians with this dynamic and invigorating programme.
TY Bello is not only a singer, but a song-writer, philanthropist and amazing photographer. She is a member of the Nigerian photography collective, Depth of Field, and she uses her photography to raise funds for orphans.
Anwuli and Ohis, popularly referred to as the Winlos or the Skit Couple, are an adorable pair who use skits and drama illustrations to pass powerful and priceless messages across.
They have dominated Christian drama touching on important issues particularly on marriage and love. Their goal is to inspire as many lives as they can reach using storytelling.
Some of the major projects they’ve been on in the past year include; Still Crazy, 12:45, and Reverse Fall, amongst their consistent slew of short films and skits. Their journey so far is made even more admirable to fathom when you realize that they met in Church, during drama practices.
Tola Omoniyi is the founder of Praiseworld Radio, a radio station dedicated to gospel hits. This radio station since its inception has grown to be arguably the number 1 online gospel radio station in Africa, which is touted on its official site.
Straying further into the world of digital broadcasting, he also launched his very own podcast; “Telling Bible Stories” which as he describes, is a platform he uses to deliver bible stories using today’s language in the most practical, inspiring, engaging and entertaining way.
Tola is also a singer and author, having published a book: The ABC of Podcasting.
Pastor Mildred Kingsley-Okonkwo
She leads at David’s Christian Centre, Lagos alongside her husband-Pastor, Kingsley Okonkwo.
Pastor Mildred is the founder of Just Us Girls Global Network, an initiative to help women combat some of the gender related challenges they may be faced with. Part of this is done through an annual conference.
She produces a couple of series on her YouTube channel where she mentors and converses with her followers on topics like, marriage, family, lessons from personal experiences and Christian life hacks. She also hosts a prayer session on her Instagram titled #PraywithPastorM or 3PMwithpm. She is a counselor at Love, Dating and Marriage Ministry, co-founded with her husband.
Tolu Odukoya-Ijogun is the first daughter of the late Pastor Bimbo Odukoya who was the brain behind the popular hit TV program “Single and Married.”
Following in her mother’s footsteps, she is a pastor at the Fountain of Life Church, pastored by her father. She is most notably a gospel artiste and Founder, Real Talk Women Initiative (RTWNI); an online fellowship platform for women.
She also holds themed prayer sessions on her Instagram and leads the Fountain Worship team. Tolu recently announced the release of her new EP; Eledumare, her debut music production. She is also into beauty influencing.
Tolulope Adejumo (aka Tolulope Solutions)
Tolulope Adejumo popularly referred to as Tolulope Solutions is as versatile as they come.
A popular YouTuber who touches on the topics of faith and lifestyle, she also vlogs about, family, business and healthy living all of which are centered around Christian teachings and beliefs.
She is also the CEO of her own company, TolulopeSolutions, which provides affordable ‘Asoebis’ worldwide.
Dr Nkechi Harry-Ngonadi
Ministering the word of GOD via a clothing line, is arguably the most unorthodox way of spreading the gospel of Christ, but that is what this woman’s vision is.
However, the idea comes full circle when you realise that the goal is to spread a culture of decent dressing amongst women found in the Christian community. Her clothing line hoists the slogan “Bringing Decency Back to Fashion.”
Known as Queen of “The War Room,” owing to the intense prayer and worship session she consistently holds on her Instagram, where she invites women to pray with her, she is a proud mother of two and a multiple award-winning fashion designer.
Emmanuel Dania is a pastor who to say the least, is very ‘political’ and passionate about social reform.
He is passionate about the state of affairs in the country, and continues to speak against irresponsible and corrupt governance. He currently chairs the Alliance for a New Nigeria (ANN), a political party founded as recently as 2017, with the ideals of pursuing progressive policies.
The party was registered and recognized by the Independent National Electoral commission in 2018 and had motivational speaker, Fela Durotoye as its presidential candidate in the 2019 general elections.
Onoriode Ebiere Ariyo known simply as Onos Ariyo is a Gospel Musician and the Host of Lifestyle Talkshow launched during the pandemic.
Once listed among the 100 Most Influential People in the world, this singer has also been the recipient of Female Artist of Excellence Award at the African Gospel Music Awards (AGMMA) in the UK.
She began her music career in 2010, and has since taken off. Her show on YouTube, Real Deal with Onos, is a talk show that captures touching stories of special individuals. In the year under review, she has gotten closer to her audience using this show and Instagram live sessions to illicit interest from the Christian community.
Abolaji David Banjoko (BeejaySax)
This gospel singer goes beyond just making music for the Body of Christ, there is a very noticeable emphasis on cheer and happiness he intends his music to create.
Born Abolaji David Banjoko, he adopted the name Beejay Sax because of his incredible skill at playing the Saxophone, which he began a professional career with, back in 2009 and has since experienced a high level of success. This includes collaborating with international acts like Sonnie Badu and Travis Greene.
Last year, asides releasing a single, he hosted music concerts during the pandemic and was called to play for workers and patients at the Isolation Centre in Lagos during the lockdown.
Simply put, to many, he is the godfather of Gospel Music in Nigeria and still manages to remain relevant, churning out hits even till this day.
He began making music professionally in 2004, releasing his debut album in the year and has since then, amassed accolades and awards, which are particularly numerous to count.
A music producer, heading his own record label, Zamar Entertainment, Okposo supported the youth during the #EndSARS protests, coming out to the streets to march and lent his voice. Till this day, he continues to perform in churches all over the world.
Ayo Ajewole (Woli Agba)
Ayo Ajewole also known as Woli Agba is an actor/comedian and singer who has gained popularity for his skits on Instagram.
These skits have afforded him a massive followership on social media and YouTube. For his content, he naturally portrays the head of IPM (Instagram Progressive Ministry), always draped in his all white gown and dances in a very funny manner.
His primary goal is to make people laugh, but somewhere in all his jokes are serious messages of faith, and/or reality.
Samson Uche Mogekwu is a gospel recording artist who has a rich and extensive portfolio. He is the man behind the generational hit song “Bianule.”
He has worked with big name artistes from across the world including Kenny Latimore, 2Baba, D’Banj, Faze and Donell Jones. He is also the recipient of numerous music awards.
He began his professional music career as far back as 1996, and till this day, churns out hits. He released two very popular songs last year, one of which he collaborated with Mercy Chinwo, and both of which have been streamed over a million times on YouTube.
The Spiritual Director of Adoration Ministry Enugu Nigeria (AMEN) is one of the most charismatic and outspoken preachers in the country.
Well known for his prophecies, bold stances, and criticism of the Nigerian government, he began as a catholic priest after being ordained in 1995. Very few people need no update on who this man is or the uproar he is capable of instigating.
He had a debacle last year for allegedly ordering his church members to attack a BBC reporter, which he denied. He continues to remain critical of the Nigerian government, calling the current administration a failure and demanding an apology. Such brazen demands are not unlike the man.
Tope Alabi is a gospel singer, film score composer and an actress. She turned 50 last year, but still remains a force in the gospel music scene. Sometimes referred to as Ore ti o common, and as Agbo Jesu, this veteran gospel artiste was also given the moniker, Queen of the Yoruba Language and her discography dates as far back as 2001.
She has a huge following on social media, the type only the biggest name artistes in the country can boast of and for the most part, enjoyed one of the most celebrated careers in Nigerian gospel music. She made headlines for a paternity scandal last year, to which her daughter defended her over a baseless accusation.
He is the head of The Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Revival Movement, one of the largest and most devout congregations in the country.
Chosen members are some of the most eccentric and religious Christians in Nigeria, and it’s thanks to this man’s style of ministry. He was born into a Catholic family, but branched out, after receiving a series of visions.
He founded the church in the mid-90s and since then this church has expanded rapidly.
Temitope Balogun Joshua is a televangelist, author, philanthropist and founder of The Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN); a church which believes in the miraculous power of Christ.
He runs his own TV station in Lagos; Emmanuel TV. He has a massive social media following and around 1.87 million subscribers on YouTube. His reach spans across Africa and into Latin America.
Coming from humble beginnings, T.B Joshua is now said to have a profound influence in African politics, with BBC once commending his influence on African leaders. His philanthropic contributions and relief efforts are too numerous to mention. Last year, he was vocal about the US election, and was also vocal about COVID-19 and the vaccine, urging his followers to take the approved vaccine.
He also hit a couple of social media milestones last year, hitting 500,000 followers on Instagram, and 5 million followers on Facebook.
Emmanuel Mobiyina Oshoffa
Emmanuel Oshoffa is the son of the Late Reverend Prophet Samuel Bilewou Joseph Oshoffa who was the founder of the Celestial Church of Christ worldwide (CCC). Emmanuel Oshoffa now sits as the head of the Church, after the Church’s Board of Trustees (BOT) selected him as “the chosen one” back in 2002, following a skirmish over who should occupy his father’s seat with the death of Reverend Phillip Ajose and Alexander Bada, his father’s direct succesor.
He was eventually made the head, but these skirmishes still exist as some factions don’t consider him the general overseer of the church. Regardless, he has done a good job of keeping the congregation afloat and CCC still remains one of the biggest white garment churches on the continent.
Last year, the church donated 25 million naira to the Lagos and Ogun state government to help curb the spread of the pandemic, a surprise to even members of the Celestial Church.
He is a brand strategy consultant and founder of his company, Adler Consulting, a creative consulting firm with branches in Nigeria and London.
He wrote the blueprint for Nigeria’s image management programme – the Heart of Africa project and was the Chief Consultant to the Federal Government on the project. He also has a foundation, the Leke Adler Foundation, which draws resources from his furniture design and photography, to fund orphanages.
An ardent speaker at both secular as well as church conferences, he has authored a lot of what he says is very faith based. Part of his mission, it would seem, is infuse business ideas with faith beliefs.
Apostle Arome Osayi
Apostle Arome Osayi is the founder of Remnant Christian Network. This pastor’s life changed for the better at the young age of 7 when he attended a Sunday school class and afterwards, decided to give his life to Christ.
He heads a constantly growing ministry with a 3,000-capacity auditorium, a hospital, TV Station, and hostel facilities for just Christians to come to pray to God.
His refusal to leave Makurdi to chase after a larger congregation is truly admirable, as he has stated his dedication to the people of that state. He hosts a number of online programs, readily available on the Church’s site and on YouTube.
Pastor Charles Osazuwa
He is the founder and lead Pastor at Rock of Ages Church Assembly International (RACAi) in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria. His teachings center around self-betterment, and how to take faith based proactive steps in gaining control over one’s life.
He also believes in prosperity of the believer and he is quoted to have said that it is a sin to live in a rented apartment. The rationale behind the statement being that, tenants serve their landlord and the only one that should be served is GOD. His goal is to lead a congregation jam-packed with winners.
Most significantly also, RACAi with a large percentage of youth membership organises massive programmes with huge impact on the city almost every other month; pulling heavy weights in the Gospel Ministry from across the country to the Obe Headquarters of the church.
This is a Christian online platform that aims at bringing more believers to the body of Christ by translating Biblical text to a more relatable language in Nigeria.
Their choice of communication is pigeon English and this platform takes Bible verses and interpret them as best as possible to a language almost every Nigerian can understand. They also animate Biblical events, which of course is dubbed in ‘broken English.’
Pastor David Ibiyeomie
He is the Senior Pastor at Salvation Ministries. Interestingly, he was one of the pastors who was able to coerce controversial radio broadcaster, Ifedayo Olarinde popularly known as Daddy Freeze into tendering an apology to Bishop Oyedepo (Papa) whom Freeze had insulted.
The Pastor famously quoted that he cannot be alive and watch Freeze insult Papa, but he is only one of three most popular pastors referred to as the Sons of the Prophet (referring to Papa). They are honorary members pertaining to any event put together by Living Faith Church.
He also runs an NGO; David Ibiyeomie Foundation and the Salvation Ministries is currently undertaking a 130,000 seater Auditorium known as the “Finger of God.”
Pastor Korede Komaiya
Pastor Korede Komaiya, usually referred to as Pastor KK, is the Senior Pastor of The Master’s Place International Church. His ultimate goal like every other inspired man of GOD is to win souls for Christ, but an underlying objective within this goal is to rebuild and restore some of our lost humanity.
He recently expanded his congregation by building ten new satellite churches. Besides wanting to restore humanity, this pastor is also an avid believer in prosperity, so a key part of his sermons is motivating his congregation to improve themselves and set out boldly to accomplish their goals.
Overseeing one of the biggest religious assemblies in the country, this popular figure is the founder and General Superintendent of the illustrious Deeper Christian Life Ministry.
After enjoying a successful academic life, this pastor had an epiphany to give that life to Christ, doing away with the ideas of atheism that had been instilled in him from secondary school. Since beginning his ministry as a math teacher with a mere 15 people in 1973, Williams Folorunsho Kumuyi has seen an astronomical increase in the number of his followers.
Today he boasts of an estimated 800,000 followers across 5000 churches in Nigeria alone and they have become a force in the Christian community. He also came under mild criticism last year following the controversy on the sexual violation and abuse of a young student within one of the ministry’s colleges for not speaking up.
For the most part however, this pastor/author has done a good job in leading this massive church, which was also very generous during the lock-down, donating relief materials to both the Lagos and Ogun state governments.
He is the only son of the Late preacher, Archbishop Benson Idahosa, and he now oversees a huge part of the Church of God Mission International headquartered at the Faith Arena, Benin City.
Although under the leadership of his mother, Margaret Benson-Idahosa. Bishop FEB and his team continue to do much in making the church attractive to young people who is mostly seen with. Faith Emmanuel Benson Idahosa is also the President of the Benson Idahosa University, and when he is not running the day-to-day affairs of this institution of higher learning, he is busy being a financial coach.
Using Biblical inspired teachings, this Bishop who is down-to-earth coaches his followers on how to live a fulfilling, purposeful, and successful life. His goal is to facilitate positive change in the country and he does this by inspiring one person at a time.
Popularly known as the Common Sense Guru, this Harvard graduate is in the business of inspiring and motivating his followers.
A life coach who specialises in matters of relationship, finance and leadership, he is also a bestselling author, having published over 50 books. He is the CEO of his own company; Common Sense Group, an investment firm with stakes in real estate, oil and gas, tourism and more.
Apostle Olumide Emmanuel is the President of the Truth of Calvary Ministries globally and oversees a network of churches which includes Calvary Bible Church (CBC), The Empowerment Assembly (TEA), The Glorious Church International (TGCI), Common Sense Assembly (CSA), The Nest Church (TNC) and is also President of the Ministers Forum International (MFI).
Last year, he took a lot of his coaching to Instagram live, hinting his followers on money hacks and real estate knowledge he used to succeed.
ArchBishop Henry Chukwudum Ndukuba
Archbishop Henry Chukwudum Ndukuba is the Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of the Church of Nigeria, a position he was afforded in 2019.
He officially took seat last year, making him the 5th Archbishop Metropolitan and Primate of the Church of Nigeria. However, he was assured even at the tender age of four, that this was a position he would someday attain. This is an amazing accomplishment considering that he started from being a choir boy.
The Archbishop was recently in the news for a comment he made towards the LGBTQ community and the Anglican Churc (Diocese of Lagos) donated N5 million naira to COVID-19 relief efforts, alongside 500 bags of rice, garri, sugar, noodles, beverages, sanitizers and other medical kits.
Dr. Samuel Chukwuemeka Kanu Uche
Dr. Samuel Chukwuemeka Kanu Uche is the Prelate of the Methodist Church, who has had an illustrious religious career dating back to 1976.
Since then he has served in the capacity of Presbyter of Kano Circuit, where he fought against tribal intolerance and won. He was also the Treasurer, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kano. He had a stint as Area Patron of Scripture Union, Imo State (2003 – 2008), Grand Patron, Methodist Campus Fellowship, and the list goes on.
He is a very accomplished man of God, and considered one of the most notable religious fathers in the country.
Pastor Damilola Oluwatoyinbo
With the acronym; Kingdom Influencers in Nations, Generations and Systems (KINGS), it’s easy to tell what this man’s ministry hopes to achieve, but for clarification, it has so much to do with influencing the world with leaders or as they put it, kingdom influencers.
Pastor Dami Oluwatoyinbo or PDams as is fondly called by his followers, is the Lead Pastor at Kings Connected and his teachings center around wealth and family, and how to blend the two perfectly.
He holds a lot of sessions online, and has employed the use of social media to spread his ideals to his followers. He is a fairly young and hip pastor who infuses a lot of fun elements and youth relatability to his ministry.
Faith Abiola Oyedepo
Faith Abiola Oyedepo: is the wife of Bishop David Oyedepo, founder of the Living Faith Church Worldwide. They have been married for over 35 years and since then, she has been an important piece in the growth and success of the church.
With a mandate to liberate the oppressed she is a strong advocate for reinforcing core Christian family values, contributes heavily to the ministry by teaching on motherhood, being a good Christian wife, and establishing a successful family.
She is the author of numerous books, all of which speak on family relationships and marriage and runs her own foundation; The Faith Oyedepo Foundation, which involves itself in outreach programs, including medical and village outreaches, as well as school and street outreaches.
Allison and Hilda Hyacintho
With most religious marriage coaches having the goal of helping married couples build a healthy relationship, these counsellors help single ladies lead healthy Christian relationships.
Allison Hyacintho is a writer, marriage coach and counselor. His teachings are centered around how to navigate a relationship no matter how seemingly imperfect and Hilda Hyacintho, his wife is not too far off. Together, they make up the relationship coaching duo called The Cinthos and enjoy massive followership, especially on Facebook.
Samson Olasupo Ayokunle
Reverend Samson Olasupo Ayokunle is a pastor, teacher and sociologist, author, and currently the 7th National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), elected in June 2016.
Elected the 6th General Secretary (now President) of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, he began as a preacher at the Estate Baptist Church, Oyo State, back in 1992.
He holds progressive views and has done a good job so far in leading the umbrella body of Nigerian Christians. From his insistence on voting, to siding with youths during the #EndSARS movement, he does a lot in exemplary leadership.
Alfred Adewale Martins
Ordained Archbishop in 2012, Bishop Adewale Martins stands as the Catholic Archbishop of the Lagos Archdiocese.
Known to have a lot of progressive and empathetic ideas, he speaks up against rape, calls out the government on irresponsibility and demand they do better. He had in 2020 urged the government to continue observing safety protocols as long as it takes, spoke against the Lekki Toll Gate Shootings, and has done an exceptional job overseeing the Catholic Church in Lagos.
Whenever the Archbishop speaks or makes a public declaration, it reaches for the humanity everyone and this includes calling for initiatives that relieve the less privileged in society. He is also praised for his handling of COVID-19 protocols in the Lagos Catholic body, considering that Lagos is the epicentre of the pandemic in Nigeria.
Ada Ehi is a gospel recording artist, and performing artist who began singing, professionally in 2009.
For her, it’s been an amazing ride and 11 years into the ministry, she continues to rise in popularity with a massive following on social media, and a devout fan base. Last year she released “Congratulations” a hit song which has quickly become a fan favorite, with its music video garnering over 3 million views on YouTube since its release in January 2021.
She also released “Fix My Eyes on You” which featured gospel powerhouse, Sinach, and she has six studio albums to her name; including the 2020 album “Born of God.” In 2019, “Only You” by Ada Ehi was also listed as one of the 20 most viewed Songs of the decade from Nigeria.
Adeyinka Alaseyori is a performing artiste and gospel music minister with an upbeat indigenous fuji music style.
She is verified on Instagram and a video of her doing the Leg Work during a praise and worship session recently surfaced and went viral on social media.
She seems to exude a youth like vibe, and you can barely see a picture or video of her without her beautiful wide smile. She released an album last year; “Arojinle” which did quite well.
Street Church is a Christian influencer platform on social media that translates bible verses into Nigerian pidgin using satire and relatability. They do this using commentary, street slangs and lingo.
Translating this text from the bible in a way young pop culture oriented kids would giggle to and relate to has earned them massive popularity in the last few months, and it would appear that they only just started what will be a meteoric rise.
Bowoto Jephthah Tanimola, popularly known as Akpororo is a standup comedian, singer and actor.
Despite being mainstream, he does a lot of religious related material for his standup, and when he sings it’s usually a rendition of a popular Christian song, or an original gospel track, including last year’s collaboration with Testimony Jaga, a fuji gospel artiste, on a song.
He began his comedy career just trying to get some recognition via comedy contests, and he participated in AY’s Open Mic Challenge in 2009, coming second in his first attempt and winning the competition eventually. He would rise to fame in 2013, performing at a BasketMouth show. Nowadays he has his own stand-up comedy event, Akpororo vs Akpororo, which is one of the biggest comedy shows in the country.
He is President of Sexual Purity Academy (SPA), a commission with the goal of spreading sexual purity amongst the people of GOD.
Pioneer missionary for Charismatic Renewal Ministries in Ghana for over ten years, he is first a movie producer/director who creates faith-based movies and has an affiliation with Mount Zion Movies.
Between last year and now, he has produced and directed a number of movie/TV series projects. He has over 20 publications under his belt and is also the founder of Parables Film Productions, his own movie production company.
Church Gist is Nigeria’s most prominent church blog on social media, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and its own website.
Leke Beecroft, founder of the platform noted that he wanted to create a reliable source for Christians to be updated on recent activities and events going on in the Christian society, leading him to launch the platform in 2014, after finding direction with what he wanted to do with his life.
The platform now has about 3.5 million readers, and thousands of visitors daily. Around 600,000 people follow the page on Facebook, and 77.5k people on Instagram.
Ifeoluwa Orisakahunsi (gospelfimsng)
A big part of the movie industry are the critics and bloggers who bring the proper attention to a movie, aside the attention that is generated from paid marketing.
The importance of those who shed light on an upcoming movie, or review a movie currently showing cannot be overstated. Sadly, there are too few of these for the Christian movie category. Ifeoluwa Orisakahunsi is a movie blogger who sought after filling this gap.
He runs, Gospel Fims Nigeria, a gospel movie blog which reports news on gospel films on social media and a dedicated gospel film site. He also uses this platform to follow up on major players in the gospel movie industry and basically blogs about gospel film actors, directors and producers, and their projects.
Dr. Daniel Olukoya
Dr. Daniel Olukoya is the founder of the very popular Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM). He founded this Church as far back as 1989, and has since held the fort down.
The church takes an aggressive stance against evil spiritual practices and emphasizes deliverance from demonic forces. A modus operandi that turned his ‘living room church’ to the massive congregation that he leads today. People kept pouring in seeking liberation from spiritual attacks, and in no time the church garnered hundreds of thousands of members.
The church was subject to an ugly scandal last year, following a legal proceeding to which Dr. Daniel Olukoya was awarded 500-million-naira compensation from UK-based blogger, Maureen Badebo who had allegedly spread false information about the pastor.
Disruption aside, Daniel Olukoya sponsored a grassroots football competition last year tagged the Dr. D. K. Olukoya Dominion Cup which awarded 1 million naira to the winners, as well as 750,000 naira and 500,000 naira to the first and second runner-up respectively.
Under his leadership, the MFM runs a successful football club in Nigeria’s premier league and in 2020, donated an ambulance and relief packages to his home state; Ondo, during the thick of the pandemic. He serves as a counselor, writer and mentor, when he is not at the pulpit.
Born into a Muslim family, this pastor converted to Christianity and then rose in the ranks of a few denominations before founding the Citadel Global Community Church; formerly known as Latter Rain Assembly.
He oversees Global Apostolic Impact Network (GAIN) – a network of churches, ministries and kingdom businesses. Prior to this, he had served as pastor in Deeper Life Bible Church, before heading over to the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG).
Pastor Bakare was the running mate to then presidential candidate of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Muhammadu Buhari in the 2011 general election, and has expressed interest in running for presidency soon.
A very influential and respected voice in the Christian community, he spoke about the #EndSARS movement last year in support of the youths, donated three of his church’s buildings to the Lagos and Ogun State governments as isolation centres. His regular State of the Nation addresses also provides thought leadership for the country.
To come up with these 100 influential Christians, Ayo Mario-Ese came on board as a Juror.
Ayo Mairo-Ese (nee Thompson)
Ayo is a multiple award-winning Broadcaster, Event Compere and Public Speaker. She is the co-host of the widely acclaimed breakfast show on Smooth 98.1FM ‘Smooth Breakfast”.
In 2016, Ayo won The Future Awards Africa Prize for On Air Personality of the year (Radio), the ELOY award for TV Presenter of the year and the 19ROM (Role Model) Awards for TV Presenter of the year.
As an Event Host, Ayo has hosted big-budget events and productions including the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) Awards, Access Bank / Diamond Bank Brand Identity Launch, Annual UBA CEO Awards, Stanbic IBTC’s Arts and The Acts Event (for High Networth Clients), Arise Women’s Conference, Stanbic IBTC Young Leadership Series and the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Awards.
She is an Ambassador at War Against Rape initiative and Founder of Praying Women Circle (PWC).
For Chinedu Okafor, its all about making an impact with words, creating a profound impression on the audience with the intended narrative.