Chris Oyakhilome; Television evangelist and charismatic pastor of Believers Love World. Oyakhilome hails from Ewu in Edo State. His father, Joseph Oyakhilome who became late in 2009 was an elder in the Assemblies of God Church in Benin. Chris, born December 7, 1963 was brought up in a strict Christian home and he became a born-again Christian at the age of nine. His ministry started while he was a young undergraduate at the Bendel State University, Ekpoma (now Ambrose Ali University) where he studied architecture. Since he graduated in 1987, he has devoted much attention towards making Christ Embassy, the church he founded, one of the fastest growing Pentecostal churches in Nigeria. Oyakhilome’s visit to Temitope Joshua, founder of Synagogue Church of All Nations in 2002 drew the criticism of some colleagues in the Nigerian Pentecostal churches who had reservations for Joshua.
Apart from his ability to preach the gospel with panache, Oyakhilome has the mastery of the airwaves. For many years, his telecasts was of the utmost technical quality. Before his popular television programme, Atmosphere for Miracles, was rested on the orders of the National Broadcasting Commission NBC, it was a major delight to many Christian viewers. Oyakhilome is also the author of many books. Some of his most popular books are None of these Diseases and Rhapsody of Realities, which he co-authored with his wife. The journal which is considered a companion to the bible has been published in 84 languages since 2004 with print run at almost five million[i]. Oyakhilome’s Atmosphere For Miracles which ran seven days a week, on about 20 TV stations in the country was challenged by the National Broadcasting Council clampdown on the broadcasting of miracles[ii]. Even with the NBC ban, Oyakhilome still retained his slots, replacing the ATM with Teaching Programme and LoveWorld. The ATM continued to run, twice a week, on Ghana’s Metro TV and throughout the week on LoveWorld Christian Network, a satellite channel owned by Oyakhilome. It also runs on TBN in South Africa[iii]. Most of the church programmes are financed by Oyakhilome’s partners all over the world who donate money to enhance the work of the ministry. Oyakhilome and his wife who divorced in 2014 have two daughters – Sharon and Chariene
[i] Newswatch March 29, 2010
[ii] Newswatch April 19, 2014
[iii] The News June 19, 2006