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Exploring the dynamics of Pastor Chris’ wife in their ministry

By AllNews Nigeria
April 10, 2024

In the annals of evangelical Christianity, the name Pastor Chris Oyakhilome remains a prominent figure, but behind the scenes of this influential persona, lies an individual whose role has often been overlooked - Pastor Chris' ex-wife, Anita. 

Shedding Light on Pastor Chris’ Ex-Wife

Their partnership and marriage once formed the backbone of a powerful ministry, but following their divorce in 2016, the dynamics shifted dramatically. Yet, the imprint of Pastor Chris Oyakhilome's ex-wife on their shared mission cannot be disregarded. In this article, we examine the life and contributions of Pastor Chris' ex-wife, shedding light on her journey and the lasting impact she had on their former ministry.

Who was Pastor Chris’ Wife?

Anita is the eldest of five children born to John Ebhodaghe and his Swiss wife. She studied English at the Edo State University, also known as Ambrose Alli University, where she crossed paths with Chris Oyakhilome, who was studying architecture at the same campus.

Chris was already a pastor having founded the Youth for Christ Fellowship, which became the Christ Embassy Church in 1987.

Guided by his vision, Christ Embassy, also known as LoveWorld Inc., rapidly expanded its influence, propelled by a mission to propagate the message of faith, love, and the transformative power of Christ.


After meeting Chris at the University campus, Anita enjoyed the spiritual lifestyle that the church offered and became a born-again Christian.

How Anita Adapted to Her Life as Pastor Chris’ Wife

Before their divorce in 2016, Pastor Chris' Anita played a pivotal role in their ministry, offering support and guidance alongside her husband. Her influence extended beyond the traditional roles often associated with a pastor's wife; she was a speaker, author, and advocate for various causes. Together, they formed a formidable team, shaping the ethos of their congregation and reaching millions with their message.

From the early days of their ministry, Pastor Chris' wife stood as a steadfast companion, offering unwavering support and guidance. Her presence was felt in every aspect of their outreach efforts, from counseling sessions to community initiatives. Beyond the pulpit, she played a crucial role in shaping the spiritual direction of their congregation, offering insights and perspectives that complement her husband's teachings.

Pastor Chris and Anita’s Family

The two were married in 1991 and had two children together.  Their first daughter Carissa Sharon was born in August 1993, and two years later Chris and Anita welcomed their second daughter, Charlene.

Both daughters were and still are involved in the Christ Embassy Church, Carissa in a more public role as a prominent gospel music writer and singer, known by her stage name CSO. She has made a major contribution to the LoveWorld Music and Arts Ministry (LMAM), headed by her famous aunt, Pastor Chris’ sister, Kathy Woghiren Oyakhilome.


Carissa married Ghanaian-born businessman Phillip Frimpong in October 2018 in a lavish wedding ceremony officiated by a close friend and colleague of Pastor Chris, Pastor Benny Hinn. The wedding was held in Lagos, Nigeria. 

The happily married couple welcomed their first child in April 2021, a daughter named Arielle Rachelle-Marise. 

Charlene is an entrepreneur, gospel minister, and the General Overseer of the Christ Embassy Church. She currently resides in London, United Kingdom where she pursues her business endeavours.

Life after the Divorce for Pastor Chris and His Ex-Wife

The marriage between Pastor Chris and his wife, Anita faced many challenges, and the cracks began to show early on. In 2014 the couple separated, and they officially divorced in 2016. 

The divorce of Pastor Chris and his wife Anita marked a significant turning point in their ministry. While Pastor Chris continued to lead the church, the absence of his ex-wife left a void that was deeply felt by congregants and followers alike. Her departure not only altered the dynamics within their congregation but also sparked conversations about the role of women in leadership positions within evangelical circles.


Despite the dissolution of their marriage, the impact of Pastor Chris' wife on their former ministry remains undeniable. Her contributions to the spiritual and social fabric of their congregation left an indelible mark that continues to resonate, even in her absence. While the circumstances of their divorce may have overshadowed her legacy for a time, her influence endures in the hearts and minds of those who were touched by her message of faith and compassion.

Anita played a crucial role in Christ Embassy as the Director of the International Office in the United Kingdom, handling the ministry's affairs. She also held a prominent position in the Central Executive Council, the church's governing body.

Speculation Surrounding Pastor Chris and His Wife’s Divorce

The shock and disappointment of the Ministry’s community surrounding Pastor Chris and Anita’s divorce started rumors and speculation. While their painful divorce was a private matter, the couple suggested that their visions were different for the future of the Church.

There has been speculation about how the geographical distance between them might have influenced their choice to divorce. Throughout their marriage, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome was primarily based in Nigeria, while his wife primarily lived in the United Kingdom. This physical distance could have added pressure to their relationship.

While Pastor Chris' ex-wife played a significant role in shaping the trajectory of their former ministry, Pastor Chris has continued with fervor and passion. As they navigate the aftermath of their separation and new lives as individual entities, her legacy serves as a reminder of the complexities of faith, love, and leadership within the realm of evangelical Christianity.


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