Most influential pastors in the world: Who are they? (Updated 2023)

Most influential pastors in the world: Who are they? (Updated 2023)

It is not a great secret that religion plays an essential part in our lives, and the African continent takes leading positions in ranking the most influential pastors in the world. Who are these famous men and women of God? Check out our list below.

Most influential pastors in the world
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Source: UGC

Who are the most famous pastors in 2023? Find out all about them in the list below.

Top 10 most influential pastors in the world

Go through this list and find the names of the most famous and powerful pastors in the world.

10. Tshifhiwa Irene

most influential pastors in the world
Irene preaching. Photo: @NewsAward
Source: Twitter

Tshifhiwa Irene was one of the most powerful women pastors until her demise in 2018. She was a very popular televangelist from Venda, the province of Limpopo, South Africa. Her career started in the Christian Worship Centre (CWC), Maniini Thohoyandou in Venda.

When she grew up, she continued following her beliefs, and in 1990, she led prayer groups. She was married but had no children.

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Between 1990 – 2001, she worked for Standard Bank of South Africa. Soon, she left the bank and started working under the CWC.

Pastor Tshifhiwa Irene owned a church in Venda, South Africa and was the World Restoration Service for World Peace leader by Jesus Christ. She was one of the most influential female pastors during her time.

9. Joel Scott Osteen

Most influential pastors in the world
Joel Osteen on Monday, October 1, 2018. Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Joel Osteen cannot miss in any list of powerful pastors. He is one of the most popular pastors in the USA. He is a televangelist and the author of numerous Christian books, which more than 7 million readers worldwide in more than 100 countries.

He was born in Houston, Texas, in the family of a pastor with five more children. For his primary education, he went to Humble High School. After that, he studied radio and television communications at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma (which he soon left without getting a degree).

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Returning to Houston in 1982, he created a TV program to translate his father’s sermons. Seventeen years later, in 1999, Joel had to cope with his fear inside and hold a full-length sermon at Lakewood Church after his father unexpectedly died from a heart attack. After he started preaching regularly, the number of people coming to his church increased.

Osteen emphasizes the power of a positive attitude and love. He says one should concentrate more on God’s goodness rather than on sins. Osteen is famous not only in his occupation but also as an author of the book “Your Best Life Now", which was published in 2004 and soon became a best seller.

When Joel Scott Osteen spoke about his attitude toward his prosperity, his opinion was that “prosperity” seemed to be God’s wish to bless people. For him, this notion would never be connected with money because he had never prayed for it.

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8. Toufik Benedictus Hinn

Most influential pastors in the world
A photo of Benny Hinn from his Twitter page. Photo: @Benny_Hinn
Source: Twitter

He is mostly known as “Benny Hinn”. He is also a televangelist of Israeli origin. People love him thanks to "Miracle Crusades" – a faith healing summit usually held in a stadium and translated worldwide.

Hinn originally comes from Jaffa, but the Arab-Israel War made his family move to Toronto, Ontario, Canada. When he was a young boy, he showed a great interest in religion.

One of the most memorable events he was present at was a “miracle service” by the evangelist Kathryn Kuhlman in Pittsburgh. He had never met her before, but he couldn’t miss listening to her “healing services”.

In 1983, he went to Orlando, a city where he founded the Orlando Christian Center. He thought himself to be a man, appointed by God, whose main mission was to conduct healing in his church. Soon he started to hold his “Miracle Crusaders” in a large stadium.

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He is also an author of Christian books.

7. Chris Oyakhilome

famous pastors in 2021
Chris Oyakhilome preaching. Photo: @pastorchris.oyakhilome
Source: Instagram

Oyakhilome is the founder of the Christ Embassy and is widely known as “Pastor Chris”. His sermons are translated into 143 languages and attract more than 40,000 faithful people to his church. His church now includes politicians and entrepreneurs. He is one of those famous Nigerian pastors with thousands of followers worldwide.

Chris became well-known thanks to many healings, his philanthropic work (including helping the poor), and a high level of spiritual development.

One can describe him as a speaker who can motivate people through clear and wise messages of hope.

Chris is the author of the daily devotional “Rhapsody of Realities”, which is now distributed globally.

6. Prophet Uebert Angel

famous pastors in 2021
Prophet Uebert Angel at a photoshoot. Photo: @KMushaku
Source: Twitter

He is a British Zimbabwean spiritual leader and a business person. This intelligent person became famous thanks to the activities of the Spirit Embassy, an organization he founded and leads. His name is a synonym for “miracle”: wonders, healings, and signs of divine nature.

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His original name is Uebert Angel Mudzanire. He is from Masvingo, Zimbabwe. Due to some life matters, he left his homeland for Manchester, England.

In 2007, he created the Spirit Embassy ministry there. A few years later, this ministry was re-named “Good News Church”.

The social side of his life is as busy as the spiritual one:

  • he launched such projects as Miracle TV and Good News TV;
  • he is the founder of the Osborn Institute of Theology;
  • he created Club Millionaire Limited, specializing in concierge services in Britain;
  • he also established Sam Barkeley Construction and the Angel Organisation;
  • he founded The Millionaire Academy (to tell people how to run the business on their own);
  • Uebert Angel and his wife pay much attention to charity projects in Africa and Asia. To help poor children get scholarships, they founded Uebert Angel Foundation. Their Free Earth Humanitarian Organisation helps poor people satisfy their daily needs.

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5. Bishop Ayo Oritsejafor

famous pastors in 2021
Bishop Ayo holding his chin. Photo: @Royalty86771
Source: Twitter

Ayo Oritsejafor has invested in transportation, banking, real estate, and the media. He owns the International Christian channel (African Broadcasting Network).

Ayodele Joseph Oritsegbubemi Oritsejafor, who is known as “Papa Ayo Oritsejafor”, was born in Delta State, Nigeria. His mother was a strict Christian and asked God to give her a child.

When he was born, he did not speak until the age of five. It was strange because even doctors didn’t know the reason for his muteness. Finally, when he started to speak, his language was clear and right (as if compared with a child of the same age).

When he grew up, he was elected to be president of the CAN. He vigorously defended quality, freedom rights and the church's existence in Nigeria. Ayodele has received several awards for his humanitarian initiatives and actions aimed at peace. He has also released many books about the church's power and faith.

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4. Marion Gordon “Pat” Robertson

Most influential pastors in the world
American religious leader Pat Robertson speaks at a press conference, 28 November 2001, in Beijing. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Pat Robertson is an American media mogul, politician, and executive chairman. You may know him as the host of “The 700 Club” – the leading program of the Christian Broadcasting Network. Robertson launched it in 1960.

In 1988, he founded the Christian Coalition. A significant number of organizations arose under his promotion of conservative Christian ideals. He is the founder, chancellor, and CEO of Regent University and the American Center for Law & Justice.

He comes from Lexington, Virginia. How did Robertson get the name “Pat”? The answer is rather easy. He had a brother who liked patting his cheeks (when he was a baby), saying “pat, pat, pat”.

He attended Washington and Lee University and joined the Marine Corps. In 1960, Robertson started the Christian Broadcasting Network, which is now seen in more than 180 countries and broadcast in 71 languages. He has released many books, but the best-selling one is “The New World Order” (1991).

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Robertson is also a businessman who owns companies all around the world.

3. Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye

famous pastors
Enoch Adejare relaxes. Photo: @nairawall
Source: Twitter

Pastor E. A. Adeboye belongs to the Redeemed Christian Church of God. He was born in the village of Ifewara, Osun State, Nigeria. His family was rather poor and included parents and four children.

Enoch showed a great desire for education, but they didn’t have enough money. Sooner or later, he persuaded his father to sell a goat to make money for his studies.

At school, he was keen on science and mathematics. Later, he got a Bachelors's (BSc.) degree in Mathematics at the University of Nigeria, and a Masters's (MSc.) Degree in Hydrodynamics and a Doctorate Degree (Ph. D.) in Applied Mathematics at the University of Lagos.

Enoch Adejare Adeboye’s career began as a lecturer of Math at the universities of Lagos and Ilorin.

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In 1973, he decided to devote his activity to religion, got involved in the church and started spreading the gospel. Later, he was formally anointed as pastor. His duties at Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) included the translation of sermons into English. He also organised Bible Study gatherings, Revivals, Crusades, evangelistic programs and Outreach.

After the death of Papa Akindayomi, he took over the leadership at the church. At the same time, he was giving lectures at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. Soon, he gave up teaching and ultimately got engaged with the church.

2. Bishop David O. Oyedepo

famous pastors in 2021
Bishop David preaching. Photo: @pmnewsnigeria
Source: Twitter

David O. Oyedepo is currently the president of the World Mission Agency Incorporated (WMA) and Christian Ministry Organization.

He was born in Osogbo, Nigeria, in a multi-national family. He was raised by his grandmother, who taught him to pray and other vital things in life.

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At school, the abilities of this young pupil surprised his teacher, Betty Lasher. He studied architecture at the Kwara State Polytechnic and worked with the Federal Ministry of Housing in Ilorin. He also got a PhD in Human Development at Honolulu University, the USA.

He also found three universities without any state assistance: Crown University at Calabar, Covenant University in Ota, and Landmark University at Omu Aran.

1n 1983, his wife, at the age of 22, decided to join the church and became a pastor. All the teachings managed by Oyedepo belong to the so-called “World of Faith Movement”. He criticizes corruption and poor leadership in the government of Africa. Among the most famous books by David are: “Possessing your Possession”, ” Born to Win”, and “Pillars of Faith”.

Currently, he is the head of the Living Faith Tabernacle in Ota. This church is said to be the biggest church auditorium in the world.

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1. Kenneth Max Copeland

Most influential pastors in the world
Kenneth Max Copeland smiles for the camera. Photo: @stevia_nutrient
Source: Twitter

Kenneth Max Copeland is the most popular pastor in the world and the first in the list of the most powerful pastors in the world. He is a public speaker, an American author, a musician, and a televangelist whose main aim is to help people and change their lives through the power of God’s Word. His Texas-based Kenneth Copeland Ministries (KCM) specializes in biblical teaching.

Kenneth was born in Lubbock, Texas. His childhood was full of dreams about becoming a pilot. In 1967, he entered Oral Roberts University, where he became a chauffeur and pilot.

Currently, he is the leader of “Believer’s Voice of Victory.” His Ministries operate on a 1,500-acre campus, including various facilities for the community.

The most influential pastors in the world are perfect examples of how the power of faith does miracles. Honest belief made them find the right way in life, become stronger and help others get complete healing. May God continue blessing these powerful people.

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READ ALSO: Pastor Chris Oyakhilome biography recently reported about the life of Pastor Chris Oyakhilome. He is a Nigerian pastor, television host, author, and the President of Believers’ LoveWorld Incorporated, also known as Christ Embassy International.

Pastor Chris Oyakhilome's messages have helped thousands of Nigerians to find their way to God. But who is he, apart from being a pastor? Find out by reading this Pastor Chris Oyakhilome biography by


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