Bishop David Oyedepo Vs George Adjeman: Ghanaian Pastor Who Rebelled Against Winners Chapel For 19 Years Loses Court Case
Bishop David Oyedepo and the 19-Year Battle for Righteousness in Ghana
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. – Ephesians 6:12
The atmosphere is one of deep introspection and celebration as the spiritual leader of the Living Faith Church Worldwide, widely recognized as Winners Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo, marks his 69th birthday. A milestone that has coincided with a divine victory after an almost two-decade-long legal struggle in the Ghanaian courts against another cleric, Bishop George Adjeman.
Looking back at the landscape of Christendom in Ghana, the church has been no stranger to trials. The recent Supreme Court judgment in favor of Oyedepo, the church, and the body of Christ at large is an affirmation that God’s plans, though may tarry, will eventually come to fruition.
Bridging The Divide: The Historical Genesis
Bishop Oyedepo and Adjeman’s relationship was, for years, emblematic of the spiritual father-son dynamic prevalent within Christianity. The Ghanaian-born Adjeman, once a beacon of faithfulness and dedication, had risen through the ranks in Winners Chapel, making history as the only non-Nigerian to be ordained as a bishop in the church. The Living Faith Church, in a strategic move to strengthen the growth of the gospel in Ghana, had transferred Adjeman in 2002, giving him the monumental responsibility of overseeing 14 churches spread throughout the nation.
However, as is often the case in life and ministry, challenges arose. As governments evolve and regulations change, churches in Ghana were tasked with re-registering under new company guidelines. Here, Adjeman took steps that would alter the course of church history in the region, registering the church under his name and notably excluding the Nigerian trustees. This act of going solo was unbeknownst to Oyedepo and the Nigerian headquarters. It was a quiet move, one that would lay the groundwork for disputes and contentions in the future.
The Battle of Spiritual Allegiance
The spiritual and administrative dissonance reached its peak in 2004. Following Adjeman’s cease in the monthly remittance of church income back to the Nigerian headquarters—a longstanding practice aimed at funding the broader mission of the church—he justified his actions by portraying it as an act of national loyalty, implying that it was unjust for a Ghanaian church to send its earnings to Nigeria. The waters were muddied. On one hand, there was the perspective that believed in the universality of the church, supporting the practice of remitting funds to support global mission efforts, while on the other, there was the belief in national autonomy.
The Ghanaian Christian Community Responds
The Ghanaian Pentecostal Fellowship (GPF) became a mediator, urging Adjeman to respect the foundational investment from Nigeria and step down from the seized properties of Winners Chapel. While they were in this spiritual quagmire, Winners Chapel International acted fast to establish a new place of worship. The church’s factions became delineated: Oyedepo’s faction as the Oyedepo original body, and Adjeman’s as Winners Chapel Ghana.
A 19-year legal odyssey had begun, putting to the test the strength and resilience of the church, the longest in Ghana’s judicial history.
Reconciliation, Repentance, and Redemption
Throughout the tumult, there were moments when hope for reconciliation shone through. At one point, guided by the elders of the church and the GPF, Oyedepo offered a generous severance package to Adjeman, hoping it would pave a path for amicability. However, a series of turnarounds by Adjeman, influenced by various factors, saw this chance at reconciliation diminish.
But as the scriptures remind us, God’s timing is perfect. The recent Supreme Court judgment has brought clarity to the situation, granting justice to the Oyedepo-led Winners Chapel and affirming the importance of righteousness, transparency, and divine guidance in the face of trials.
The journey, rife with lessons and challenges, concludes with Winners Chapel International’s growth to over 250 churches in Ghana, with the vision for a university on the horizon. The story serves as a testament that with faith, patience, and unwavering trust in God, the righteous will always emerge victorious.
”And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9.