Top 10 Most Powerful Pastors in Nigeria (2024)

Nigeria is a very religious country. Among the over 200 million people living there, more than 95 million are Christians. The large number of Christians has made some pastors extremely powerful and influential.

Some churches in Nigeria have millions of members who go to worship services every week. The pastors lead very huge congregations of passionate followers. Some of these pastors also own schools, universities and businesses. Others have close connections with powerful politicians.

pastors in Nigeria

These celebrity pastors have a big influence not just on religious matters but also on economic and political issues in the country. Their opinions shape how common Nigerians think about many things in society. Some of them command so much respect that presidents and leaders have to listen when they speak.

In 2024, these ten pastors have emerged among the most powerful men of God in Nigeria based on their mega churches, massive followership, money, business empires and political ties. Millions look up to them for guidance in every aspect of life from faith to finance and even governance.

This article looks at the top ten most influential Christian pastors in Nigeria as of the year 2024.

TOP 10 MOST POWERFUL PASTORS IN NIGERIA (2024)

The following are ten of the most powerful pastors in the country:

PASTOR ENOCH ADEBOYE

Pastor Enoch Adeboye has been the General Overseer of The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) since 1981. Under his leadership, RCCG has grown to become a global megachurch with millions of followers across over 198 countries. In Nigeria alone, the church boasts of tens of thousands of branches and millions of members.

Adeboye is revered in government circles and has ready access to the presidency. He continues to exert considerable spiritual and moral influence on Nigerian society through his inspirational preaching and teachings.

PASTOR WILLIAMS KUMUYI

The founder and General Superintendent of Deeper Life Bible Church, Pastor Williams Kumuyi is a highly respected pentecostal preacher.

His church may not be as large as RCCG or Winners Chapel, but it has an abundance of devoted middle-class professionals who obey his teachings to the letter.

Kumuyi commands total obedience and loyalty from his congregation, from top politicians to executives who eagerly vie for front row seating during his teachings and crusades across Nigeria and beyond. He thus wields immense authority over all cadres of society.

BISHOP DAVID OYEDEPO

As founder of Winners Chapel (Living Faith Church Worldwide), David Oyedepo is one of the richest and most powerful pastors in Nigeria.

Oyedepo claims to have over 10 million followers across Nigeria and 45 African nations. His 50,000 seater Faith Tabernacle, affiliated Covenant University and other investments give him major socio-economic leverage.

Presidential candidates still desperately seek his open endorsement and he has forged ties with various state governors.

All these ensure he retains massive political influence. His Winners Satellite Fellowship program also continues to extend his reach across Nigeria and globally.

LATE PROPHET T.B. JOSHUA

T.B. Joshua remains powerful and controversial even in death. His church, The Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) attracts over 15,000 international visitors weekly and receives millions more through Emmanuel TV.

He pioneered the concept of “spiritual water” and “anointed wristbands” which millions of Nigerians still wear for healing and protection.

SCOAN currently has branches across Lagos and several other states, with millions of ardent followers. The church remains very influential under its new leadership headed by Joshua’s wife, Evelyn.

PASTOR SAM ADEYEMI

Heading one of the fastest growing pentecostal churches in Africa, Pastor Sam Adeyemi has built a devoted youth congregation of over 10,000 members at Daystar Christian Centre in Lagos through his hip preaching style and social media savvy.

Adeyemi is also a regular commentator on social, economic and political issues on mainstream media channels like CNN, BBC, Sky News and Al Jazeera.

His huge online influence across Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook significantly aids his fame and power across Nigeria, especially among young urban populations.

PASTOR PAUL ADEFARASIN

The Senior Pastor of House on the Rock Church, Paul Adefarasin has over time built a vast network of satellite branches across major Nigerian cities and internationally.

With slick services beamed across television and digital media, Adefarasin appeals greatly to upper middle class working professionals in Nigeria.

As polls have confirmed him the most influential pastor in Abuja, he also has direct access to top politicians whom he frequently brokers peace deals with. His cosmopolitan congregation gives him leverage across ethnic and regional divides.

PASTOR POJU OYEMADE

Founder of The Covenant Nation, Poju Oyemade’s social media popularity rivals that of music superstars across Africa.

His revolutionary messages on redefining cultural constraints in Christianity have earned him millions of online followers.

Poju vast online empire gives him serious sway among digitally savvy youth populations who are shaping new cultural trends in Nigeria.

PASTOR MATTHEW ASHIMOLOWO

Matthew Ashimolowo’s Kingsway International Christian Center (KICC) in Lagos attracts over 12,000 attendees every Sunday. His Western style of preaching and global outlook resonates greatly with Nigeria’s middle class urban populations.

Beyond the large home branch, KICC has over 300 affiliate and satellite branches across Nigeria, the UK, Europe, US, Caribbean and Africa making it a powerful global denomination.

Ashimolowo’s capacity to adapt Christianity to progressive 21st century cultural contexts continues to expand his influence in Nigeria and beyond.

PASTOR TUNDE BAKARE

As founder of The Citadel Global Church, Tunde Bakare commands particular influence among Nigeria’s educated elite, media practitioners and student unions whom he frequently addresses on national issues.

Bakare was himself a vice presidential candidate in 2011 and still retains significant political leverage especially in the Southwest region.

PASTOR CHRIS OKOTIE

A pioneer prosperity pastor, Chris Okotie runs the Household of God Church which mainly consists of Nollywood celebrities, musicians and society elites.

A seasoned politician and former presidential candidate, Okotie maintains important ties with powerful individuals across party lines. His Justice Party continues to offer him a platform to influence political developments in the country.

CONCLUSION

The top pastors in Nigeria are very influential. Their large churches and followers give them power.

They influence many people’s values, culture and politics. Millions of Nigerians listen to what these strong pastors say.

To stay powerful, these pastors must keep getting more followers. They need to make sure they connect to younger generations.

But currently, these 10 pastors have the most control over Nigeria through their big churches.

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Oluchi Chukwu

Oluchi is a seasoned Information blogger, content developer and the editor of Nigerian Queries. She is a tech enthusiast who loves reading, writing and research

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