Leadership and Power in the Pentecostal Movement: Selected Case Studies
In a continent like Africa, ravaged by poverty and its attendant social dislocations, Christian religious leaders are intensely interested in demonstrable charismatic power. In particular, Nigeria boasts mammoth ecclesiastical organizations with strong leadership and power structures leading to increasing visibility in the political and economic life of the nation. What could account for the explosive growth of Pentecostalism in Africa, particularly in Nigeria? Is there a nexus between religion and politics that could have served as an impetus? In this chapter, Ojewole and Ehioghae examine the leadership and power structures of selected Churches of Nigerian origin but with global presence, namely the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Winners’ Chapel (aka Living Faith Church Worldwide), and the Synagogue Church of all Nations. The chapter then interrogates the types and extents of leadership and power exercised by their Pentecostal leaders (ecclesiastical, personal or political, or a hybrid).