By Kehinde Ajose
Gone are those days when men of God must be dressed in cassocks or soutane before they can be considered as worthy to lead clerical activities in churches.
Now, it is a commonplace in Nigeria to see some of our pastors all styled-up on God’s pulpit like celebrities prepped up for a cover page of an entertainment magazine – wearing expensive leather footwear from Louis Vuitton; Fendi hoodie or sometimes it could be highly prized Gucci sneakers; expensive wristwatch brands like Pateck Philippe, Rolex, Tissot, among other accessories .
Here is the rundown of the proliferation of opulence in Nigerians churches: With the advent of Pentecostal churches came the need for clergymen to dress to reflect God’s glory.This flamboyance was perhaps activated by the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa who during his lifetime introduced the use of ‘Agbada’ on pulpits (big traditional garb or clothing commonly used in traditional parlance for ceremonies etc or by Royalty). The unconventional Benson Idahosa was highly condemned for that by conservative Christians.
In no particular order we take a look at Nigerian pastors who are known to wear designer outfits.
1. Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo
The senior pastor of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), located in Abuja is known for his inimitable sense of style. The handsome pastor has been in the news severally – there was a time he caused a stir on social media when a picture of him dressed in a $1280 (N465, 920) hoodie went viral.
Fatoyinbo is one of the few pastors in Nigeria who have switched up fashion style in the Christendom circle in Nigeria – one can clearly see the radiation of his fashion sense on every details in his church.
No doubt! When thinking of a beautifully packaged congregant or a richly adorned worship center to praise God in Nigeria, Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) will be one of the few churches that will make your list.
2. Bishop Tom Samson
The General Overseer of Christ Royal Family International Church, Lagos, Bishop Tom Samson, is not only known for having the gift of garb, the Bishop also has a huge taste when it comes to fashion.
Tom Samson loves to dress in glamorous suits that reminds you of a pop star, adorns himself in shiny neck chains and rides exotic cars like 2014 Rolls Royce Phantom.
The customised ‘toy’ was said to have been given the cleric by his members for the “impact”he had made in their lives and his contribution to the body of Christ.
3. Pastor Chris Oyakhilome
He is the President of the Believers Love World Incorporated, popularly known as Christ Embassy. The fashionable preacher who owns several businesses cannot be pushed aside when it comes to appearing in classy and expensive designer suits.
With his ever shinning Jheri curls, Oyakhilome’s looks reminds one of that same charming hairstyle which was rocked by pop star legend, Micheal Jackson.
On Sundays, once you get to Ojota area of Lagos which is not so far from the headquarters of Chris’ church, you would greeted by lots of shimmering-hairstyles mostly by those on their way to the gigantic church located in Oregun, Ikeja – this alone confirms the spread of the Jheri curls culture among his congregants.
4. Revd Chris Okotie
Flamboyant minister and founder of Household of God Ministries, Rev. Christopher Okotie is an epitome of style and panache. The pastor who owns several exotic cars including a Rolls Royce Range Rover, is one smooth talker, whose fashion sense is just as impeccable as his communication skills.
5. AYO ORITSEJAFOR:
Lover of anything ‘Gold’ accessories, Ayodele Joseph Oritsegbubemi Oritsejafor, known as Papa Ayo Oritsejafor, is the founding and Senior Pastor of Word of Life Bible Church, located in Warri, Nigeria. He became the National President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) on February 7, 2005, a position he held for five years.
Pastor Ayo Oritsejaforwho is very close to former President Goodluck Jonathan owns a jet with gold-plated interior.