Studies has shown that many of Nigeria’ s mega rich churches pay their pastors poor wages. According to an article by a popular and respected newspaper in Nigeria three years ago, the following are what is obtainable in the churches:
The Redeemed Christian Church of God
The RCCG is one of the country’ s biggest Pentecostal churches. It has a group of primary and secondary schools spread all over the country. The schools are Redeemer ’ s International School , Redeemer ’ s International Secondary School , Redeemer ’ s High School and Christ the Redeemer ’ s College . The church also owns Redeemer ’ s University , Haggai Mortgage Finance Bank, Lifeway Radio , Dove Media , Redemption Light Printing Press, hospitals, among others.
At the RCCG, newly ordained full – time pastors with National Diplomas are currently being paid N25,000 a month while their counterparts with a university degree receive N35 ,000 as their monthly salaries. In some RCCG churches with small congregations, parish pastors sometimes use personal funds every Sunday to run their local churches.
Accordingly, sources further explained that a full – time area pastor earns a minimum monthly salary of N40 , 000 while a full – time provincial pastor is entitled to a minimum monthly salary of N85 , 000 . According to the church ’ s structure , an area pastor is in charge of about five or six parishes while a provincial pastor is in charge of about 100 parishes or a state.
Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries
Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries is a prayer – themed ministry led by Dr . Daniel Olukoya . It has hundreds of branches in Nigeria and beyond . The church runs school groups , comprising Mountain Top Nursery and Primary schools , Mountain Top Secondary schools , Mountain Top University , a printing press, among others.
Clerics in the church’s branches averagely earned between N20,000 and N25,000 monthly. However pastors are also supported by benevolent church members. The salary is paid by the region under which the branch is with strict directive from the headquarters since the amount payable monthly is structured . But there are also few newly ordained ministers who assist pastors – in – charge at zones and regions during deliverance programmes . These set of ministers get about N15 , 000 monthly. A zonal pastor with the church in Abuja , who did not want to be named says the salary for his category was between N 40,000 and N 45,000.
“ There are other supports from the church in terms of education for our children . Since the church has a school , there is a provision for a certain percentage of the tuition fees to be waived for pastors ’ children. I have yet started to enjoy the privilege because my children are still young . When they start going to school , I will also benefit from it , ’’ he stated .
For pastors in the regional arms of the church , they get about N80,000 monthly according to a pastor in one of the church’s branches in Benin City , Edo State
The Living Faith Church Worldwide
Winners Chapel , one of the foremost and most popular Pentecostal churches in Nigeria has a chain of about 30 secondary schools and 50 primary schools and two universities , Covenant University and Landmark University . Owned by Bishop David Oyedepo , who is famed for owning a private jet , the church also owns one of the country’ s biggest and most sophisticated printing firms , Dominion Publishing House, Hebron Bottled Water , bottled water processing plant , a bakery , various restaurants and stores , among others.
A newly – ordained pastor outside Lagos in Winners Chapel receives N35,000 as monthly salary while new pastors in Lagos earn between N45,000 and N55, 000 . An area pastor with some years of experience collects N85,000 per month while a resident pastor ( state pastor) now collects N200,000 per month . Some area pastors explained that pastors could earn more depending on their years of experience.
Most pastors of the Believers LoveWorld , a.k.a Christ Embassy , owned by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome , are engaged on part- time basis while the few ones on full – time appointments are paid like other workers in the ministry.
A part- time pastor of the church in the Ikeja area of Lagos State and another one in the Bodija area of Ibadan , in Oyo State said that most of their full -time pastors are in the headquarters. They said a newly – ordained pastor earns about N 40,000 but that only the headquarters could provide further details.
Deeper Christian Life Ministry
Popularly called Deeper Life , the church was founded by Pastor William Kumuyi . Widely known for its strict conservativism, the church , in recent times , has embraced economic – empowerment and Christian prosperity themes, while not letting go of its conservatism . With millions of members and thousands of branches in Nigeria and other parts of the world , it owns Life Press Limited , Deeper Life Nursery and Primary School , Deeper Life High School , Anchor University , among others.
A top member of the church said that 95 per cent of its members in Lagos are part- time workers who receive no salary. He said, “ Most of the church ’ s full -time workers are not in Lagos . They have jobs so they don ’ t have to rely on church district members. The church encourages its pastors to work, so full time pastors are a rarity . The most the part- time pastors get is N5,000 for recharge cards monthly . ”
A long – time member of the church said , “Our pastors who are volunteer full – time pastors are not on the payroll of the church . The local church where they belong to may then decide to give them out of the offering but the tithe goes to the central ( unit ) . ”
The last category of pastors, he added , are those who are overseers and senior pastors and their salaries range from N2.5 m to N6 m per annum . ”
Perhaps the expenses of churches are many. Perhaps they believe that church members will take care of the clergy. Whichever, whatever, only God knows.