Bishop Ayodele Joseph Oritsejafor, popularly known as Papa Ayo runs an empire worth N120 billion.
From a humble beginning of a classroom to a warehouse, he has grown his ministry, Word of Life Bible Church, Warri, Delta State, to an ultra modern 35,000 seater church auditorium which is one of the largest in the world. This structure can also seat 17,000 children and a conference centre sitting over 5,000 people. This indeed is one of the biggest church buildings in the world because it has actually sat over a 100,000 people during their crusades.
The multi-billion empire is worth about N10billion with all the ultramodern equipment therein.
In view of the apostolic call upon Papa Ayo, his ministry acts as a covering to several ministries in Africa, Europe and America. Thus, he is one of the most sought after ministers in Nigeria across the globe for preaching and other ministerial engagements.
He is adjudged one of the highest paid pastors. He is usually paid honorarium by his hosts. The renowned evangelist who has spent over 40 years in ministry and is also the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria pockets as much as N600 million annually from honoraria. Due to the high demand for him, Papa Ayo described himself as a very ‘busy man’ and that the power of God in him and his miraculous exploits at crusades abroad have earned him recognition worldwide.
To prove that fame and wealth follows him everywhere, he was quoted to have said, “There is an island called Polo Rud in the USA. Whenever I go there, they receive me like a president. They have a governor in the Island and he attends ‘all my services’. People respect Nigeria because of some of us who preach the gospel”.
As a keynote speaker, he has ministered in crusades of well over two million people. He ministers in international and local conferences and seminars which have taken him to well over 100 countries and every continent of the world. That partly informed the acquisition of a Bombardier Jet gift he got while celebrating his 40th anniversary in the ministry. The jet was presented to him at the church headquarters in Warri on the occasion of his 40th year of ministration.
The 10-seater Bombadier Challenger jet, marked N431CB, is an updated version of 194 series, and it is now worth over N8 billion.
The aircraft which has a range of 3,900 nautical miles, is also said to have a full enclosed lavatory and a flight attendant for additional comfort.
The luxury and spacious cabin of the Challenger 601 is perfect to conduct meetings or simply relax. With this gift, the charismatic pastor has joined the league of men of God who have acquired private jets.
Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor was surely in a joyous mood few months back as he officially laid the foundation of his multi-billion naira private university project called Eagle Heights University. Checks revealed that the project was launched on Tuesday, June 3, 2014, at Omadino in Warri, Delta state. The university which will gulp over N3 billion was commissioned by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Information at our disposal disclosed that the university sits on over 20 acres of land and will include faculty buildings, lecture theatres, hostels, halls, admin buildings, sports centre, amongst others. We reliably gathered that fund is not an issue for the project as the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) president and founder of Word of Life Bible Church, Pastor Oritsejafor is blessed with the capital through his partners, connections and ministries.
Our source squealed that the first phase of the project will be concluded before the first quarter of 2015. The project is being handled by a foreign contractor and designed by a foreign architect whose identity is still under wraps. And the university’s billboard has already been erected on the site.
Papa Ayo has several millionaires under his mentorship, both within his ministry and outside. At least, among the two million worshippers under his ministries directly and indirectly, about 100,000 of them are millionaires and very few billionaires. If 10,000 of them pay a tithe of N100,000 monthly, that will amount to about N52 billion annually. And when 100,000 of his worshippers pay an offerings of N1,000 weekly during service, that will be an average of N5.2 billion annually. That’s aside an estimated N5 billion he picks as donations annually.
In 1980, he started the regular and popular television programme tagged, Hour of Deliverance, and its aired in many local and international television and satellite stations. He was the first to launch a miracle crusade (Lagos Miracle Crusade) from Africa to the whole world via satellite in 1987 with Evangelist Joe Martins.
Consequently, he acquired his own satellite television called African Broadcasting Network (ABN). The station has a viewing audience of over 60 million in Europe and Africa.
According to the church’s spokesman, “Through these television programmes, we reach out to millions of people weekly with the undiluted word of God”.
The running cost, we gathered, was N20 million monthly which is about N240 million annually.
As a prolific writer and speaker, he has authored several books and tapes periodically which are always in high demand. He rakes in several millions monthly via this.
To prove that he is highly blessed, he established Eagle Flight Microfinance Bank Limited. His wife, Helen, runs the multi-million naira project.
And his success also reflects in his dress sense. For a leader of the Christian faith, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, sure shows how to shine in flamboyant and extravagant ensembles!
The robes of the President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) are statements in affectation and flash.
From head to toe, usually dressed in one colour, Pastor Oritsejafor glitters and shines. And with his long necklace and crucifix, the picture of a man at home with himself is complete. With his walking stick, the image of an influential man can be glimpsed from kilometers away. From long tunics to oriental-like jackets, the leader of the faithful loves showy attires.
In 1972, it was said that the Lord miraculously delivered him during a crusade. Almost immediately, he felt the call of God and enrolled in the New Covenant Bible Institute, Benin City, Nigeria.
While in college, he saw a vision of himself preaching to thousands of people with great power and authority and he was said to have heard the Lord saying, Take my Word to the World. His anointed messages have brought salvation, deliverance, revival, healing and outstanding miracles to millions across the world. Pastor Oritsejafor is currently the National President, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN).
Pastor Ayo is happily married and resides in Warri, Delta state Nigeria, with his dear wife, Helen, and three kids. Helen Oritsejafor is the President General of the Daughters of Sarah Fellowship and Mama Helen and You, a regular talk show on ABN Africa.