|Founder||Bishop David Oyedepo|
|Origin||1981 Lagos, Nigeria|
Winners' Chapel (also known as Living Faith Church Worldwide) is a megachurch founded by Bishop David Oyedepo in 1981. The Church has since become a global network of churches with congregations in 34 countries.
The beginnings of the church can be traced back to May 1981 when David Oyedepo claimed to have had an 18 hour vision from God. In this vision God spoke to him saying, "Now the hour has come to liberate the world from all oppressions of the devil, through the preaching of the Word of faith; and I am sending you to undertake this task". Two years later the church was formed with four members.
The international headquarters of Winners Chapel is called Faith Tabernacle. It covers about 70 acres (280,000 m2) and is built inside an over 10,500-acre (42 km2) church complex called Canaanland, the international headquarters of the ministry in Ota, a suburb of Lagos. The building took 12 months to be completed. The foundation laying took place on August 29, 1998. The dedication of the building took place on September 19, 1999 with 97,800 people in attendance. The structure is purported to have been built without any debts and within a year of work beginning.
Faith Tabernacle as from 1999-2008 was the largest church building in the world. It has a seating capacity of 50,400 people and an outside overflow capacity of over 250,000, with four services every Sunday. Cannanland was procured in 1998 and was initially 560 acres (2.3 km2). Presently it is over 10,500 acres (42 km2) and will take about 120 km to navigate around it.
The Church is founded upon twelve core emphases as follows:
- FAITH (1 John 5:4; Eph. 6:16)
- THE WORD (John 1:1-12; Heb. 1:3)
- SIGNS AND WONDERS (Ps. 82:5-7; John 3:8)
- THE HOLY SPIRIT (Acts 1:1-8; Isaiah 10:27)
- PROSPERITY (3 John 2; Ps. 35:27; Zech. 1:17)
- PRAYER (1 John 5:14)
- HEALING (Isaiah 53:3-4; Jer. 8:22; Matt. 8:17)
- WISDOM (Prov. 24:3-4, Isaiah 33:6)
- SUCCESS (Joshua 1:8-10)
- VISION (Prov. 29:18, Jer. 29:11)
- CONSECRATION (Hebrews12:14; 2Tim. 2:19)
- PRAISE (2 Chro. 20:20-22; Ps. 67:1-7; 149:1-9)
The theological position of the church is Pentecostal.
Dominion Publishing House
Many educational institutions are linked to Winner's Chapel, including Covenant University, Landmark University,Faith Academy and Kingdom Heritage Model School. In addition there is a ministry training college called The Word of Faith Bible Institute.
Every year in December, the church hosts a global event called Shiloh. The purpose of the event is to usher the visitation of God to his people. As of 2012, there were millions in count of the attendance in all the locations and the church website also experienced a huge hit. The event holds mostly first week in the month of December.
Criticism and Controversy
Critics have accused Winner's Chapel of adopting a health, wealth, prosperity gospel that is contrary to biblical teaching. Oyedepo himself engages in healing ministry and Forbes estimates his worth at $150 million, also reporting that in March 2011, Oyedepo purchased for $30 million a Gulfstream V jet aircraft.
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