The earlier notion that pastors have to give up their earthly possessions and focus on performing religious services, directing church operations, providing spiritual counselling etc, no longer holds.
With the evolution of technology, the church as we know it today has soared beyond gathering one’s bible in the armpit in search of members for fellowship.
Televangelism has been the norm of the day with notable pastors able to reach their audience and beyond through their own TVs and other social media platforms, hence generating lots of revenue.
One can ascertain that Pastors today are among the wealthiest people in the world, owning properties in millions, mansions, fleets of cars and mansions.
Unitedshowbiz.com.gh list of the ten richest pastors in the United States of America and their net worth
Joyce Meyer: $8 million
Joyce Meyer is one of the most influential charismatic Christian speakers and authors, ranking 17th on the list of “25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America” according to TIME magazine.
Joyce Meyer became a staunch Christian after enduring the ordeal of being s******y abused as a child. She started with bible teaching classes which later got broadcasted.
In 1985, “Life in the Word”, a ministry by Meyer was formed and she began airing a weekly TV show, Enjoying Everyday life in 2003.
In 2004, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch detailed her assets duly paid for by the ministry as $10million jet, several homes costing $2million each, a $107,000 silver Mercedes sedan.
She responds to critics by saying there is no apology in blessing
Franklin Graham: $10 million
Franklin Graham is the son of the well-known pastor, Billy Graham. He is known to have only converted to Christianity at age 22 to take over the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, of which he is currently the CEO.
The younger Graham has been a centre for criticism after making remakes about Islam being “a very e**l and wicked religion” in September 2001 and later called for unity behind President-Elect Biden, following an attack on U.S Capitol on January 6.
Having authored many books and frequently taken part in notable Christian revivals, his net worth is estimated at $10 million
T.D Jakes: $20 million
He is the founder of Potter’s house, a non-denominational megachurch based in Dallas, Texas. Born as Thomas Dexter Jakes Sr., he became a pastor at 25, where he started preaching at the Greater Emmanuel Temple of Faith, West Virginia.
He also founded TDJ Enterprises for his books and films. Some of his award-winning albums include A Wing and a prayer, which made it to Grammy’s. His sermons can be seen on Trinity Broadcasting Network and other religious channels
Jake has made great strides as an evangelist, speaking at the inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2009, accompanying President George W. Bush to areas affected by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
He revealed to Oprah in 2012 that he draws the income from his megachurch as well his books and movies.
Rick Warren: $25 million
The founder of America’s eighth-largest church and one of the best-selling authors, Rick Warren, is notably one of the richest pastors in America. The Saddleback Church was founded in Lake Forest, CA, in 1980 has over 20,000 attendees.
Amazon, reports that the author of the well-known book, The Purpose Driven Life has sold about 35 million copies of the book since its release in 2002.
His philosophy is to bring global harmony, promote education and help the poor and sick. He and his wife live on 10 per cent of their income and donate the rest to charity
Warren once revealed in an interview that, he still drove his 12-year-old Ford, lived in the same house for 22 years, neither owns a boat or jet and bought his watch at Wal-Mart.
Billy Graham: $25 million
Billy Graham, a Southern Baptist minister, became one of the first pastors to reach celebrity status. He founded the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in 1950.
He gained popularity as his sermon was broadcasted o many radio and TV stations around the country.
He served as a spiritual advisor to presidents Richard Nixon and Dwight Eisenhower and preached alongside Martin Luther King Jr.
Prior to his death in February 2018, It was estimated that 3.2 million people accepted his invitation to Christ during his crusades and 2.2 billion people have tuned into his radio and TV broadcast.
He wrote 33 books, some of which became best sellers.
Creflo Dollar: $27 million
Creflo Augustus Dollar, Jr. is the pastor and founder of the non-denominational World Changers Church International based in College Park, GA, a suburb of Atlanta
Raised in the Baptist church, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in education from West Georgia College in Carrollton before holding his first sermon in an elementary school cafeteria.
Creflo Dollar, who is a televangelist has amassed some riches. Being at the helm of a number of organizations; Creflo Dollar Ministerial Association, Creflo Dollar Ministries, and Arrow Records, he made a revenue of $69 million in 2007through gross cash collections.
In 2015, they went into a backlash when they planned on buying a $65 million private jet but they picked up and bought it anyway. He currently owns two Rolls-Royce, a private jet and three million dollars homes
Benny Hinn: $60 million
His well-known church, Orlando Christian centre Church was founded in 1983 and began holding his healing services.
Born as Toufik Benedictus “Benny” Hinn in Jaffa, Israel, he was raised in the Eastern Orthodox tradition. He later converted to Pentecostalism as a teenager in Toronto and became fully immersed in it.
Best known for his “Miracle Crusades” or faith healing summits, which are held in stadiums around various countries and also his TV program, This Is Your Day.
He has been scrutinized for the personal use of church-owned luxury, and he was investigated together with five other televangelists in 2007 by the Senate Finance Committee.
Joel Osteen: $100 million
The senior pastor of Lakewood Church, the largest protestant church in America and the best-selling author had spent much of his career behind the scene. He founded Lakewood’s television program and produced his father’s sermons for 17 years, after his father’s death
Today, the church is estimated to have about 50,000 attendees with more people watching his podcast daily.
Osteen’s book, Your Best Life Now, was on the New York Times Bestseller for 200 weeks. Revenues generated from his public speaking fees and church collections amount to $55 million per annum.
Marion Gordon “Pat” Robertson, son of U.S Senator A. Willis Robertson, is a televangelist of the Southern Baptist with Charismatic Ideology. He unsuccessfully run for the US presidency in 1988.
Founded the Christian Coalition, a Christian Right Organization which raises money for conservative political candidates, he is also the founder of Regent University.
His broadcasting network, Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), has rights in 180 countries in 71 languages. The flagship show; The 700 club, of which he is the host airs daily, featuring news, live guests, music and testimonies oriented around the Christian lifestyle
Kenneth Copeland: $300 – $750 million
Copeland is the leader of the “Believer’s Voice of Victory” TV show and network. He is a giant within the Word of Faith branch of Pentecostalism.
He currently heads Kenneth Copeland Ministries and delivers sermons through TV, books, DVDs and CDs. His preaching evolves around prosperity and abundance.
Kenneth Copeland Ministries operates on a 1,500-acre campus near Fort Worth, TX, equipped with a church, a private airstrip, and a hangar for the ministry’s $17.5 million jet and other aircraft.