8 of the richest pastors and televangelists of 2024 – net worths, ranked: from T.D. Jakes to Joel Osteen and Kenneth Copeland, who have sizeable fortunes that they mostly prefer not to discuss | South China Morning Post - Easy Reader (2024)

8 of the richest pastors and televangelists of 2024 – net worths, ranked: from T.D. Jakes to Joel Osteen and Kenneth Copeland, who have sizeable fortunes that they mostly prefer not to discuss | South China Morning Post

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Advertisem*ntAdvertisem*ntAdvertisem*ntEntertainment8 of the richest pastors and televangelists of 2024 – net worths, ranked: from T.D. Jakes to Joel Osteen and Kenneth Copeland, who have sizeable fortunes that they mostly prefer not to discussSTORYLynn FarahApr 27 , 2024From Rick Warren and Joel Osteen to T.D. Jakes, these men of faith have sizeable fortunes, which they mostly don’t discuss. Photos: @lakewoodchurch, @bishopjakes, @pastorrickwarren/Instagram Wherever you live, whatever your beliefs, it’s clear that religion sells. If you have faith and a gift for communication, you can make millions from appearances, books, websites – you name it.

But the epicentre of faith-fired commerce is surely the US, where Christian pastors and “televangelists” have been a fixture for decades, their sermons and prayer meetings televised and streamed to millions, spreading their various versions of the gospel.

Their hefty fortunes often raise the question whether these famous clergymen are leading or fleecing the flock, with many critics slamming their practices and accusing them of using religion to fund lavish lifestyles.

Whichever is the case, these wealthy pastors are surely laughing all the way from the church to the bank. Let’s take a closer look at their net worths, with the help of Celebrity Net Worth and other sources.

8. T.D. Jakes, 66Estimated net worth: US$20 millionEarnestly posed images are T.D. Jakes’ signature on social media. Photo: @bishopjakes/Instagram As a bishop, author and filmmaker, T.D. Jakes is one of the veteran figures in the business of religion, according to Time. In 1996, he founded a non-denominational American megachurch called The Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas with a congregation of over 30,000 members.

He produces faith-based films and television shows that combine his religious ideologies and motivational messages with popular culture. He has also produced and released music under the Dexterity Sounds label that operates in collaboration with EMI Gospel Music. His album A Wing and a Prayer featured vocals by both Jakes and The Potter’s House Mass Choir, and won a Grammy in 2004 for best gospel choir or chorus Album.

Jeff Bezos and Bernard Arnault – the richest people in the world, compared7. Rick Warren, 70Estimated net worth: US$25 millionRick Warren (left) is among the most politically connected pastors, having spoken at Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration. Photo: @pastorrickwarren/Instagram Rick Warren is an author and evangelical Christian pastor who founded the Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, in 1980. Formerly part of the Southern Baptist Convention, “the nation’s largest Protestant denomination,” per Orange County Register, Saddleback was expelled for ordaining female pastors.

In 2008, the church made headlines when it hosted Barack Obama and John McCain for the Saddleback Civil Forum on The Presidency. Obama later asked Warren to speak at his 2009 inauguration.6. Creflo Dollar, 62Estimated net worth: US$30 millionWorld Changers Church International’s Creflo Dollar. Photo: @worldchangerschurch/Instagram Televangelist pastor Creflo Dollar is the founder of Christian non-denominational, Georgia-based ministry World Changers Church International. He is known for his controversial prosperity theologies that link financial success to divine favour, encouraging adherents to believe that donations will ultimately see them materially rewarded.

The appropriately named Dollar has been widely criticised for his extravagant lifestyle. Not surprisingly, he has constantly refused to publicly disclose details of his wealth, including during a 2007 investigation by the US Senate Finance Committee.

5. Andy Stanley, 65Estimated net worth: US$40 million-US$45 millionAndy Stanley has followed in his father’s footsteps in founding churches. Photo: @andy_stanley/Instagram Andy Stanley is the founder and senior pastor of multiple churches, including North Point Ministries, in the area around Atlanta, Georgia. He is also the son of the late Charles Stanley, who started the First Baptist Church of Atlanta. In addition to his churches, Stanley has also founded a Christian television network called North Point TV. Celebworth.net puts his net worth between US$40 million and US$45 million.

Who is Justin Bieber’s trendy but controversial pastor, Judah Smith?4. Steven Furtick Jr, 44Estimated net worth: US$60 millionSteven Furtick is already piling up the millions. Photo: @stevenfurtick/Instagram Not all televangelists are in their 60s or older. Meet founder and senior pastor of the Elevation Church, Steven Furtick. The New York Times bestselling author makes his millions through his work with the church, YouTube videos and book sales. Like others on this list, he refuses to talk about his wealth, though Elevation has clarified that Furtick’s salary is set by a board comprised of other megachurch pastors. The Success Bug estimates his net worth to be US$61 million.

3. Benny Hinn, 71Estimated net worth: US$60 millionBenny Hinn is famous for his “Miracle Crusades” and unlikely prophecies. Photo: @pastorbennyhinn/Instagram Israeli-born televangelist Benny Hinn is famous for his “Miracle Crusades”, faith-healing sermons held in large stadiums and broadcast on television.

He has famously made a number of prophecies over the years that have failed to come true, including the end of hom*osexuality in the US, and the end of the world in 1992 and 1999.

Like Dollar, Hinn faced the Senate Committee on Finance in 2007 and has also been challenged by Ministry Watch, an independent organisation that reviews the financial accountability and transparency of protestant ministries.

2. Joel Osteen, 61Estimated net worth: US$100 millionLakewood Church’s Joel Osteen. Photo: @lakewoodchurch/Instagram Preacher, televangelist and author Joel Osteen is best known for being the pastor of Lakewood Church, founded by his father in Houston, Texas. His church in Houston is an enormous former sports stadium with capacity for almost 17,000 people, so it’s no surprise he is one of religion’s wealthiest stars.

Osteen famously said he stopped taking a salary from the church in 2005, but hasn’t noticeably lacked for anything since, instead cashing in on book advances, royalties, speaking engagements and various merchandise deals.

Not just Tom Cruise – 13 celebrities who have been involved in Scientology1. Kenneth Copeland, 87Estimated net worth: US$300 millionKenneth Copeland, founder of Eagle Mountain International Church, former pilot and singer. Photo: @dufresneministries/Instagram Author, public speaker, televangelist and former pilot and singer Kenneth Copeland has undoubtedly turned religion into a hugely lucrative lifestyle. The founder of the Texas-based Eagle Mountain International Church has his sermons broadcast internationally and sold as books, DVDs and CDs. He has often come under scrutiny for his love for luxury, which includes a fleet of private jets and multiple mansions.

Millionaires and billionaires+ FOLLOW1These pastors’ churches include Eagle Mountain International Church, Lakewood Church, The Potter’s House, Saddleback Church, World Changers Church International, Elevation Church and North Point MinistriesAll the pastors on this list live in the US, a home to many huge Protestant churches that attract global television audiences – which pay for the multiple homes, luxury cars and private jets

8 of the richest pastors and televangelists of 2024 – net worths, ranked: from T.D. Jakes to Joel Osteen and Kenneth Copeland, who have sizeable fortunes that they mostly prefer not to discuss | South China Morning Post - Easy Reader (2024)
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