Pastor Chris Oyakhilome (universally known as Pastor Chris) is the founding president of Christ Embassy (aka Believers’ LoveWorld), an evangelical Christian ministry with headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria. His ministry is however more expansive and international in nature. It includes a healing school and a global daily devotional known as “Rhapsody of Realities”. But there are many other little known facts and tidbits about Pastor Chris. We bring you ten of the best ones in this in-depth look at the man and his ministry
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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of Christ Embassy
1. Pastor Chris is the most followed African personality on Twitter
Pastor Chris certainly knows the power of social media and he has already racked up over 1,316,000 followers on the social micro-blogging site: Twitter. According to Twitterholic.com, this ranks his account (@PastorChrisLive) first in Africa by followers and 1,268th in the world. Another interesting twitter fact about Pastor Chris is that, unlike other influential Twitter users such as Barack Obama who themselves follow thousands of other “Tweeps”, the Reverend does not follow a single person! By December 01, 2013; @PastorChrisLive had tweeted 1,356 updates.
2. Pastor Chris has his own social networking site called Yookos
As if being at the forefront of using mainstream social networking media to spread the Christian gospel wasn’t enough, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome owns and operates his own social media website known as Yookos.
3. Pastor Chris’ net worth is over $50 million
Pastor Chris Oyakhilome‘s net worth is estimated at around $50 million, according to Forbes. Oyakhilome’s interest are quite diverse from television, newspapers, publishing, a record label, hotels to real estate.
4. Pastor Chris was accused of money laundering in 2012
Last year, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome was at the center of a money laundering investigation in which he was accused of siphoning over $35 million from his church and stashing it in foreign accounts abroad. All through Pastor Chris denied that he had participated in any wrongdoing and finally the case was dismissed.
5. Pastor Chris’ TV station was the first TV channel to broadcast from Africa to a global audience on a 24 hour basis
Pastor Chris owns three television channels: LoveWorld TV, LoveWorld SAT and LoveWorld Plus. LoveWorld TV was the first television network based in Africa to broadcast out to a global audience on a 24 hour basis.
6.Pastor Chris’s faith healing claims have courted controversy
For some time now, Pastor Chris’ claims that he can use faith to heal medical conditions including HIV/AIDS have caused controversy and attracted widespread criticism all over the world. In 2011, South Africa’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banned the Christ Embassy church from airing claims of faith healing following a complaint filed by the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC). TAC claimed that Pastor Chris’ church used television and other media to spread false claims that people attending their services could be healed of various diseases including heart disease and HIV/AIDS. TAC even presented evidence that a woman who had been infected with an extreme variant of drug resistant TB stopped taking her medication after Christ Embassy church in Johannesburg convinced her that she had been cured. TAC say the woman died later and even infected her own children with the deadly disease.
7.Pastor Chris is a prolific author with a formidable sales machine
Chris Oyakhilome is a prolific author and a significant proportion of his personal fortune comes from book sales. This should be easy to see as he has a formidable sales machine at hand that many other inspirational book writers do not have. His well published healing and miracle meetings attract tens of thousands and this is where you will find his books, and inspirational messages in the form of audio CDs and DVDs on sale.
8.Chris Oyakhilome started his Christian ministry while still in university
Chris Oyakhilome was studying at Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma in Nigeria’s Edo state when he started the Believers’ Loveworld Fellowship which later became Believers Loveworld Inc, the global ministry with millions of followers and associates all around the world.
9. Pastor Chris’ wife, Anita is a partner in ministry and his extensive business interests too
Chris Oyakhilome is married to Anita and the couple have two daughters. Anita is the head of Christ Embassy church in London. However, she is also a partner in Pastor Chris’ vast business interests and investments. Gmobile Nigeria Limited is one of the myriad companies Pastor Chris is said to own through a complex system of proxies. The company is registered in a Caribbbean tax haven and Anita is listed as the majority shareholder.
10. In 2006, Pastor Chris bought a whole airline
Nigeria’s mega rich pastors are known to lead lavish lifestyles epitomized by shuttling about in private jets. In 2006 though, Pastor Chris did one better when he bought an airline and renamed it Skypower.