Nigeria is a highly religious country. For Christians, church business is a lucrative one. Many churches in Nigeria have become some sort of refuge for people who go there for different reasons. There are those who genuinely want to seek God. And then, there are those who are just looking for miracles to solve their problems. Either way, the churches are there for them and will do everything necessary to make their members to keep coming back. For new members, there is something called follow-up. It means when church workers continue to keep in touch with a new member with the aim of ensuring that the person will become a member of the church.
Meanwhile, here are the top 20 biggest churches in Nigeria and their founders:
1. The Catholic Church
The Catholic Church is the oldest and biggest church in Nigeria. The church has branches in almost every city of the country. Its headquarters is in Rome where the Pope, the head of the church, resides. Augustine Obiora Akubeze, Archbishop of Benin city, is the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN).
2. The Church of Nigeria, Anglican communion
If there is a church that closely competes with the Catholic Church in terms of size and numbers, it’s the Anglican church. Founded by the Church of England, the Anglican Church Mission Society (CMS) as it was called then, came to Nigeria in 1841 through the British First Niger Expedition led by Rev. J.F. Schön. Samuel Ajayi Crowther became Nigeria’s first African Anglican bishop in 1864. Today, the Anglican church has grown to command millions of members in Nigeria. Like the Catholic church, Anglican has many branches all over the country. Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh is the current Primate of the church in Nigeria.
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3. The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG)
When it comes to pentecostal churches, the Redeemed Christian Church of God arguably ranks as the biggest church in Nigeria. Founded in 1952 by Rev Josiah Akindayomi, the current General Overseer is Pastor Enoch Adeboye. RCCG boasts of the largest pentecostal members and also one of the highest auditoriums in Nigeria. The crusades are well known, especially at the RCCG camp located along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. The church has several branches in Nigeria and beyond.
4. Living Faith Church Worldwide
Also known as Winners Chapel International, the Living Faith Church boasts millions of members worldwide. Founded in 1983 by the church’s General Overseer Bishop David Oyedepo, he is currently the richest pastor in the world. The church headquarters known as Canaanland is located at Ota, Ogun State. Like RCCG, Winners has its own camp in Canaanland on a land of over 10,500 acres. Canaanland auditorium is the second largest church in Nigeria, that can accommodate up to 50,000 worshipers at once. The church also has several branches in Nigeria and beyond.
5. Christ Embassy
Christ Embassy is also known as Love World. The church was founded by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome in 1990. He is also one of the richest pastors in Nigeria. The church headquarters is located in Lagos and boasts of very large members. Christ Embassy is known for promoting some of the best gospel artists in Nigeria such as Sinach, Frank Edwards, Eben among others. The church also has several branches in Nigeria and beyond.
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6. Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministry (MFM)
MFM was founded by Dr. Daniel Olukoya in 1989. The church has a prayer camp popularly known as “Prayer City” in Ogun State, along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, which can contain over 250,000 worshipers at once. Members are known for their “aggressive” prayers which usually end with “die by fire!” MFM has many branches in Nigeria and worldwide.
7. The Apostolic Church (TAC)
TAC is one of the oldest churches in Nigeria. The church was founded in 1931 by Gabriel Olutola. The church has millions of members and keeps growing continuously. TAC has a camp in Ketu, Lagos State, which was reportedly completed after 25 years. The camp auditorium can accommodate over 100,000 worshippers. TAC also has branches in Nigeria and worldwide.
8. Deeper Life Bible Church
The Deeper Life Bible Church was founded by Pastor William Folorunsho Kumuyi in 1973. The church boasts thousands of members all over the country. Members are known for their conservative way of life. The church camp is located at Gbagada, Lagos State, and can accommodate over 30,000 worshippers. The parking space is enough for over 200 cars.
9. Dunamis church
The Dunamis Church was founded by Dr. Paul Idoko Enenche and his wife Dr. Becky Enenche. The church has large members all over Nigeria. Dunamis church has the biggest church in Nigeria with a 100,000 capacity. It is called Glory Dome.
10. Synagogue Church of all Nations
The Synagogue Church of all Nations was founded by Prophet T.B. Joshua who was the General Overseer until his demise in 2020. He was also the owner of Emmanuel TV and one of the most popular pastors in the world. The church, which is located in Ikotun, Lagos State, is popular for its many miracles and healing.
11. Daystar Christian Centre
Pastor Samuel Adeyemi founded the Daystar Christian Centre in 1995. The church is not just a church for worshippers but also a centre for bringing up leaders in Christ. The pastor also engages in motivational speaking on television. Daystar is one of the fastest growing new generation churches in Nigeria.
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12. Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA)
The Commonwealth of Zion Assembly popularly known as COZA is a new generation church that was founded by Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo in 1999. The church has branches in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Lagos, and Ilorin. It is also a favorite to the youths who make up most of the population of the church.
13. Fountain of Life Church
The Fountain of Life Church was founded by Pastor Taiwo Odukoya and his late wife Pastor Mrs. Bimbo Odukoya in 1994. The church is popularly known for focusing on the single and married.
14. Cherubim and Seraphim
When we think of white garment churches, we often think of the Cherubim and Seraphim. Founded in 1925 by Moses Orimolade Tuno, the church is one of the oldest churches in Nigeria. With estimated worshippers of 5 million worldwide, Cherubim and Seraphim now has other churches that broke away from it.
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15. The Christ Apostolic Church (CAC)
CAC is known to be the first Aladura Pentecostal Church in Nigeria. It was founded in 1941 by Joseph Ayo Babalola. Pastor A.O. Akinosun is the current General Overseer. However, there are many factions with many leaders of the church.
16. Methodist Church of Nigeria
The Methodist Church is one of the oldest churches in Nigeria. Founded by British missionaries in 1842, the church has developed from just a Wesleyan Methodist to one of the largest churches in Nigeria. Dr. Samuel Chukwuemeka Uche is the current Prelate of Methodist Church, Nigeria.
17. Salvation Ministries
The Salvation Ministries was founded by David Ibiyeomie in 1997. He is also the General Overseer of the church. The church headquarters is located in Port Harcourt and also has a television ministry that began in 2001. Word Of Life Bible Institute is the training college established by the church.
18. The Lord’s Chosen
Founded by Lazarus Muoka in 2002, the Lord’s Chosen broke away from the Catholic church and was established with just a few people. Today, the church has thousands of worshippers with many branches all over the country.
19. Celestial Church of Christ (CCC)
This is another popular white garment church in Nigeria. Founded in Port-Novo, Benin Republic in 1947 by Samuel Bilewu Joseph Oshoffa, the church spread through French West Africa and came to Nigeria. Today, it is one of the biggest churches in Nigeria. Reverend Olatoso Matthew Oshoffa, the 20th child of the late founder, is the new General Overseer amid a leadership tussle in the church.
20. Nigerian Baptist Convention
This is the second largest Baptist convention that is affiliated with the Baptist World Alliance. It was founded in 1850 by the Southern Baptist Convent missionaries. Today, it is one of the biggest churches in Nigeria.