According to an exclusive report by SaharaReporters, one of the pastors of the Living Faith Church Worldwide, who was recently dismissed, has explained how some of his colleagues were sending fake church attendance figures and church offerings to the state headquarters so as to keep their jobs – a practice which some of them could not do.
The pastor, in his account obtained by SaharaReporters, stated that the pastors who indulged in the act had a parley with some of the senior church ministers, who deducted part of their (the pastors’) salaries and remitted back to the church as offerings of the non-existent congregation.
The pastor, who did not want to mention his name to avoid victimisation, added that the practice was called “wisdom” since the founder, Bishop David Oyedepo, was not able to go round and ascertain the authenticity of the figures and offerings being entered into the records.
He said, “Well, they (Living Faith) planted over 10,000 churches before the end of 2020 and they celebrated it. After this were the different issues of no church hall and other necessary materials for the pastors to work. But some senior Pastors keep telling lies that we (the employed pastors) should be patient with them.
“While this was going on, we must send reports of the churches to the headquarters through the area church. This was so that they would believe the church existed. Now, guess what number a pastor without church hall would send.
“But wisdom was what the senior pastors were asking us to use because, Oyedepo could not be everywhere to check. What wisdom was that? Send good figure as the number of the attendance of your assembly; then put money to it from your salary. At the end of the month, half of the money you put would still be paid back to you to support the church you claimed existed. Nobody would ask you how you spend it and all your needs will be attended to quickly from the state headquarters.
“They call it father and son relationship in the Winners family. It is not by mouth but by envelopes that have cash inside. All these were what we were facing; no church hall and other things but attendance must prove that the church was growing.
“Those of us who could not do that were called lazy, fools, unfruitful, and so on.”
SaharaReporters had on Friday reported that the pastors said they were being a net salary of only N38,000 as against the over N150,000 being rumoured in some quarters.