Ghana is a predominantly Christian country with several churches and pastors who are perceived to be generally rich, with some of them living affluent lifestyles. While many have questioned these pastors over their source of income, the general response has been that they do not dip their hands into church coffers. Though they are not as affluent as their Nigerian counterparts, NEWS-ONE takes a peep into the wealthy lifestyles of some of the leading pastors in Ghana and try to compare which of them may be the wealthiest.
Sam Korankye Ankrah
Apostle General of the Royal House Chapel, Rev. Sam Nii Korankye Ankrah heads a thriving charismatic church that has its headquarters in Accra and a network of branches in many countries. The headquarters holds three services on Sundays, with each having close to 10,000 people in attendance. His children school abroad and he lives in a palace-like mansion at Sakaman Estates in Accra.
Among his fleet of cars NEWS-ONE has sighted include a Cadillac 4x4, a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, a Toyota Land Cruiser V8 and a Mercedes Benz ML.
He is on record to have explained his source of wealth as this: 'We are blessed and we cannot deny that. The blessing does not only come by means of money but it comes through people that follow us. For example, I have a club in my church called the Kings Club. It is made up of very high-profile people who are doing something in society. Now every month, I pray with them and let them know that God has placed them in their positions so that they can serve people and serve mankind and so on.
Say I have 500 people in the club and it is Christmas or my birthday or my wedding anniversary, by Ghanaian customs and traditions where we honor our fathers, how much do you expect these people to give me? I will not lie to you; say to the whole world that I say that by our position as men of God, we definitely attract blessings of which includes money, but for me it is the following and the people which is more important and the more we serve them, the more they show us kindness at the least opportunity. It is not calculated and intentional; we do not work out these things. It is simply traditional, cultural and humane.'
Ebenezer Adarkwa Yiadom
Prophet Ebenezer Adarkwa Opambour Yiadom is the leader of the Ebenezer Miracle Worship Center in Kumasi. He is on record to have the largest church building and largest congregation in the Ashanti Region, Ghana's most populated region.
His church auditorium takes a capacity of 18,000 and gets filled on Sundays, with people standing outside. The church also has branches in Sunyani, Accra, Tema, Takoradi and other parts of the country.
Rev. Sam Nii Korankye Ankrah
Opambour is the owner of Radio Mercury, a Kumasi-based private radio station and he would launch his private television station by the end of this year. He has also built a hundred-building estate which he has christened Island City.
In 2008, Opambour spoke of his wealth and denied that he charged money before he prayed for people: 'I have never done that before. It is never true. On Tuesdays I do counseling for free and I do not charge anybody. I will use your medium to challenge anybody that has ever given me money for consultation to come out and speak. On Wednesdays, we have another church service, during which offerings are paid just like any other church. We start from GH¢50 upwards. It is not compulsory and only for those who can afford.
'What happens is that we pray for all those who give offerings and I invite them to my house for counseling, after which I give each of them a bottle of anointing oil and give them divine directions on how to use them. We also give the oil to anybody who pays offering; even if it is GH¢1. I rather give money to my church members. It is true I have good cars because you do not expect me to walk on foot to do God's work, so as for cars I have got a lot of them; and very good ones of course. No one gets a good car and says he does not like it. I do not have a Hummer; I have never owned one. I have two Chryslers, about two of the latest models and other different types of good cars. It is also true I own a radio station.
'I bought Radio Mercury in Kumasi to do God's work; I bought the station, the entire building and the land on which the building is situated and paid cash for it. So I am not rich but very blessed by God and I do not lack any good thing. Mind you, I use my blessings to help those who do not have.'
Bishop Dag Heward-Mills is the overseer of the fast-growing church in Ghana, Lighthouse Chapel International, which has over 1,000 branches and is on every continent. Its headquarters in Ghana, the Qodesh, is undoubtedly the largest church building in Ghana.
Heward-Mills has written close to a hundred Christian books which serve as teaching and learning materials for his congregation worldwide. His source of wealth has been linked to his books but if we should go by the theory that pastors are paid through tithes, the congregation of his church alone should give a clue as to what lands in his bank account monthly.
Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams is known in many parts of the world as the 'Apostle of Strategic Prayer.' He is the General Overseer of Christian Action faith Ministries, with over 100 affiliate and branch churches located in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.
It is not for a joke that a private bank decided to open a branch on the premises of Duncan Williams' church. Indeed, the bank operates on Sundays to take care of church proceeds.
Papa Duncan has not hidden his good taste for affluence which can easily be noticed from his talk-of-the-town designer suits and flashy fleet of cars.
Bishop Charles Agyin Asare is the founder and presiding bishop of the Word Miracle Church International and his source of wealth has been linked to proceeds from the sale of his books. His church has some 300 plus branches in Ghana and other countries.