A pastor is an ordained leader of a Christian congregation. A pastor has many duties than just delivering a message once in a week, as most of us think. He is responsible for bringing God’s word to the congregation entrusted to him. Apart from spending time praying and planning the sermons, pastors visit people in need, counsel those who are in need of physical or relationship advice, attend church meetings to determine the direction and future of the church and do much more.
Talking about the earnings of pastors, they are paid an annual salary by the church. This salary can vary but according to a report, the average annual salary of a pastor in 2016 was $45,740. The highest earning pastors get as much as $79,110 while some churches may be too poor to pay to the pastor. They are provided with other allowances like housing which add to the revenue they make. However, there are pastors who have managed to build up empires and net worth through public speaking, network TV shows, book publications and collection plate. If you ever wondered about the richest pastors in the world and their net worth, we present the top 10 list of the richest of these spiritual leaders and their assets.
Richest Pastors In The World
10. Billy Graham – Net Worth $25 Million
Once known as ‘America’s Pastor’, Billy Graham is one of the most popular and long-lived pastors on the Earth. He is a respected Southern Baptist minister and a best-selling author. He was among the first pastors to have acquired celebrity status in the 20th century.
Much of his popularity comes from hosting the annual Billy Graham Crusades from 1947-2005. According to estimates, 3.2 million people have accepted his invitation to accept Christ as their savior and 2.2 billion people have tuned into his television and radio broadcasts. Reports say that he has been heard preaching the most in the history of Christianity. Billy Graham had served as a spiritual advisor to many presidents and he actively participated in the Civil Rights movement, organized integrated crusades, invited Martin Luther King to preach at a revival and even bailed MLK Jr. out of jail.
9. Creflo Dollar – Net Worth $27 Million
The pastor having ‘Dollar’ in his name itself would obviously be on our list of the richest pastors! Renowned as a flashy American Minister, Creflo Dollar is the owner of a Rolls Royce, multiple million dollar estates and is recently given an F for the transparency of finances.
Dollar was arrested in 2013 for attacking his own daughter but was eventually released after agreeing to join anger management program. He, just like few other comrades on our list, preaches the ‘prosperity’ gospel. He runs multiple organizations including Creflo Dollar Ministries, Arrow Records, Creflo Dollar Ministerial Association and more. He is the founder and pastor of the non-denominational World Changers Church International based in GA. He has always been criticized for his teachings and lavish lifestyle. His quarterly international publication ‘CHANGE’ magazine has around 100,000 subscribers. He has also published numerous books and other literature.
8. E.A. Adeboye – Net Worth $39 Million
The Nigerian pastor E.A. Adeboye was ordained General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God as a successor of Papa Akindayomi after which he gained instant prominence. He gave up his job as a lecturer to work full time for God. The membership numbers of RCCG continues to grow in more than 100 countries. He had aimed to put a church within 5 minutes reach of every home in the world and he could do this for at least one country with 14000 branches in Nigeria.
He started with the task of translating sermons from the native language of the pastor to English. He then started organizing Bible Study meetings, revivals, crusades, outreaches and many other preaching programs which gained him immense popularity and fame. He has accumulated a net worth of about $39 million that makes him one of the richest pastors today in the world.
7. Joel Osteen – Net Worth $40 Million
An author, televangelist and pastor of the Houston’s Lakewood Church, Joel Osteen took over his father’s place despite having little formal religious training. He founded the television program of Lakewood and produced his father’s televised sermons for about 17 years. Since he took over as a pastor, the attendance of church has grown from 5000 to 43000. The broadcast has also grown to a great extent and can be today seen in 100 countries across the world.
The pastor’s teachings are often characterized as prosperity gospel. He lives in a $10.5 million mansion with his family. He says his focus is on the goodness of God and on leading an obedient life. He claims to be trying to teach biblical principles in a simple way. With an estimated net worth of about $40 million accumulated through television broadcasts and other activities, Joel Osteen is one of the richest pastors in the world.
6. Benny Hinn – Net Worth $42 Million
Born in Jaffa, Israel and raised in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, Benny Hinn is a televangelist converted to Pentecostalism in teenage. He got so much immersed in the Christian faith that his family was concerned. He dropped out from school and founded the Orlando Christian Centre in 1983 and started practicing his faith healing skills. He is known for hosting ‘Miracle Crusades’, the faith healing summits held in large stadiums in big cities and later broadcasted on television programs throughout the world.
Hinn has been accused of using church owned luxury items and lack of financial oversight on the boards of ministries which are often filled with friends and families of the televangelist. He owns many luxury possessions including a Gulfstream G4 jet.
5. Chris Oyakhilome – Net Worth $50 Million
A famous pastor of Lagos native, Chris Oyakhilome is the man behind the Christ Embassy aka Believer’s Love World Ministries that boasts more than 40,000 members most of whom are politicians and businessmen. This charismatic preacher was recently accused of a $35 million case of money laundering and was known to clear the funds from church to foreign bank accounts. Oyakhilome has diversified interests including magazines, newspapers, record label, local television station, satellite TV, real estate and hotels.
The LoveWorld TV Network is the first-ever Christina network to broadcast from Africa to the entire world 24×7. He even owns three television channels getting more than 2.5 million views every night event. As in 2017, the South African government is considering a warrant for the pastor’s arrest if he and the organizations he runs do not take actions to be more transparent financially.
4. Pat Robertson – Net Worth $100 Million
One of the most successful pastors in the world, Pat Robertson launched the Christian Broadcasting Network in Virginia which now broadcasts in more than 180 countries. He served as a Southern Baptist minister for several years before making a career as a media king and executive chairman.
Robertson hosts ‘The 700 Club’ flagship program of the Network he runs. After an unsuccessful presidential bid, Robertson founded the Christian Coalition for Christian rights that raise funds for conservative political candidates. He has also founded many companies dedicated to promoting Christian ideals. He is also the CEO and chancellor of Regent University as we know it today. With a net worth of about $100 million accumulated from all these ventures, Pat Robertson gets a place among the richest pastors of the world.
3. David Oyedepo – Net Worth $150 Million
The Nigerian pastor with an estimated net worth of about $150 million, David Oyedepo leads the single largest church in the world, Winner’s Chapel with 50000 seats. He has been enjoying a reputation as the richest pastor in Nigeria and the main founder of the Nigerian Christian Charismatic movement. He exercises control over churches in the 45 African nations and many more in the United States, United Kingdom, and Dubai.
Apart from expansion of churches, Oyedepo has involved actively in the outreach within the continent where the ministry aids in the development of schools, hospitals, and maternity homes. With such a success, two of his sons have taken up the same path by heading up the South African and London Winner’s Chapel divisions.
2. Bishop TD Jakes – Net Worth $150 Million
Renowned as the best preacher of America, Bishop Jakes has been featured on the cover page of TIME magazine. One of the wealthiest pastors in the world, Jakes lives in a $1,700,000 mansion. The preacher, writer, movie producer is the chief pastor of the Potter’s House, a non-denominational American mega church located in Dallas, Texas. He runs the Potter’s Touch TV program and can be seen on national broadcast stations.
Though Jakes makes a notable annual income as a pastor, most of his net worth comes from sales of his gospel music, books, and appearances. He was seen with Presidents Obama and Bush who commented on his faithful intentions and actions. TD Jakes is of Nigerian heritage which was proven when he went for DNA test for a PBS program.
1. Kenneth Copeland – Net Worth $760 Million
The pastor who is popular for leading the TV show and network ‘Believer’s Voice of Victory’, Kenneth Copeland is very near to being a billionaire. He runs the Copeland Ministries that owns a 1500 acre campus located at a half-hour drive from Fort Worth including a private airstrip, church, a $6 million church owned lakefront mansion, a hangar for the $17.5 million jet and other aircraft. Copeland is famous for his messages regarding abundance and prosperity.
He was a successful recording artist before converting to Christianity. His ‘Pledge of Love’ made to no. 17 in the top 40 Billboard hits of the year. Copeland lives in the church-owned mansion with his wife Gloria and audiences are invited here to sit around the table with the family.
Being wealthy is not a crime but with wealth comes big responsibilities and these pastors should remember that Jesus considered wealth as a God’s gift to be used for his service. You cannot serve both money and God at the same time.