There has been great controversy over the recent boom of megachurch pastors and the wealth they have been able to accumulate with the rise of their church. Many of them preach a message of prosperity that tells listeners that God wants them to be rich and it looks like they all practice what they preach. They make six figure salaries and live in million dollar mansions. Here is a list of ten pastors that live celebrity lifestyles.
10. Creflo Dollar
Megachurch pastor, Creflo Dollar, serves as the pastor for World Changers Church International in an Atlanta suburb as well as in New York and he leads Creflo Dollar Ministries. Dollar does not lead a simple lifestyle as it appears he loves his material possessions, sending out the message to parishioners “God does not want you to be poor”. The World Changers Church International, New York brings in $345,000 a month alone. Dollar has denied commenting on his salary. However, he is estimated to have a net worth of $27 million and he does own a mansion in Atlanta as well as a $2.4 million apartment in New York and his primary means of travel is a Rolls Royce when he’s not in his Lear jet.
9. Kenneth Copeland
Prosperity preacher, Kenneth Copeland has been preaching the gospel for over 40 years and he has the lifestyle to prove it. Copeland resides in a $6 million, 18,000 square foot home on the outskirts of Ft. Worth, Texas. The home comes equipped with water views and a boat house. Copeland or the church as he claims, also owns a $20 million Cessna Citation jet, which is known to be one of the fastest private jets. The Cessna Citation is just one of the many planes that are “owned by the church.” Copeland’s collection of planes sits at the Kenneth Copeland Airport that is located right next to his church.
8. Benny Hinn
Popular televangelist, Benny Hinn has been making the rounds at his “miracle crusades” since the late eighties. Hinn has published several books and is used to being in the headlines, not only for his fabrications of the truth, but for his extravagant lifestyle. In 2009, Hinn told ABC News that his ministry collected $100 million a year and that his salary was a little over $500,000. It has also been reported that Hinn’s ministry pays $112,000 per month for the lease of a Gulfstream III jet. Hinn has made sure to share the wealth with his close family members by including his wife, daughter and son-in-law on the payroll, each making $166,000, $65,000 and $90,000 per year.
7. Ed Young
Ed Young is the senior pastor of Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas and is the author of 14 books. His most recent is Sexperiment, which was written to help couples reach long lasting intimacy. Young has stirred up quite the controversy with reaching great heights in success. It has been reported that Young has lost his sense of accountability and is frivolously spending in order to maintain a lavish lifestyle. He receives a $1 million annual salary and a $240,000 a year parsonage allowance. Young lives in a $1.5 million estate on Lake Grapevine and travels around in an $8.4 million Falcon 50 private jet.
6. T.D. Jakes
Holding the title of “America’s Best Preacher” by Time magazine, T.D. Jakes serves as senior pastor of The Potter’s House, which is a global humanitarian organization as well as a 30,000 member church. Jakes is also an author of over a dozen books and a movie producer with eight films under his belt. It has been reported that Jakes enjoys the finer things in life with his plane and his $1,700,000 mansion. Jakes told Oprah in an interview that he believes God lets one’s cup runneth over and that the only thing that matters to the clergy when it comes to financial issues is how the money was made.
5. Joel Osteen
Lakewood Church’s pastor, Joel Osteen tells his congregation on a weekly basis that “God wants you to prosper” and it appears as if Osteen is doing just that. After Osteen signed his first book deal, he stopped receiving his annual salary of $200,000 from Lakewood Church. He was able to do this since his book deals have been very lucrative for him. His second book deal brought him $13 million. Osteen and his family have moved up from the simple life since he has reached such great success. In 2010, the pastor moved from his Tanglewood residence that was worth $2.9 million to a new mansion in the River Oaks community of Houston that is worth $10.5 million. Osteen has an estimated net worth of $40 million.
4. Steven Furtick
Steven Furtick is the head pastor of Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. He can be characterized as being a megachurch leader since his congregation reaches over 14,000 on a weekend. Elevation Church is able to bring in around $400,000 each weekend in donations alone and has prided itself on the fact that is has given more than $10 million to nonprofit organizations. Despite such generosity, Furtick has come under fire with the recent building of his 16,000 square foot house that has reached a total cost of more than $1.7 million. Furtick has made statements that he used funds from his two book deals in order to build his new home. However, it is quite suspicious since all Elevation Church volunteers or employees have to sign a confidentiality agreement swearing them to secrecy about any of the church’s finances.
3. Charles Blake
Charles Blake is the leader of West Angeles Church of God in Christ in West Los Angeles, California. Blake’s church has been known to be the church to the stars with celebrities such as Denzel Washington, Stevie Wonder and Angela Bassett often seen in attendance. The cathedral itself is worth over $65 million and has a membership of 25,000 people. Blake has been named as one of the most influential people of Los Angeles and has founded an international outreach ministry called Save Africa’s Children. It has been reported that Blake brings in $227,750 annually for his position as bishop. He believes this is a fair amount since for many years he and his wife used to be grossly underpaid for their work in the church.
2. John Hagee
Paster John Hagee leads Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas which has more than 20,000 members and he is the founder and president of John Hagee Ministries. He is the author of more than 20 books and in 2004 Hagee held the title of being the highest paid nonprofit executive in San Antonio by bringing in $1 million a year. John Hagee Ministries has given away more than $80 million toward humanitarian causes in Israel. In 2000 it was reported that Hagee’s Trust purchased a $5.5 million ranch in Brackettville, Texas. The property not only contains the LaFonda Ranch, but it also has its own private airstrip.
1. Pat Robertson
Famous televangelist, Pat Robertson got his start back in 1960 when he started the first Christian television network, the Christian Broadcasting Network Inc. Since then he has dabbled in many other ventures that includes Regent University, Operation Blessing International Relief and Development Corporation and International Family Entertainment Inc. Robertson sold International Family Entertainment Inc. in 1997 for $1.9 billion. He is said to have a net worth of $30 million which isn’t surprising with assets like these. Robertson has also made headlines with his ownership of African Development Company, Ltd., which is a diamond mining operation. There was speculation that Robertson was using charity funds that were supposed to go towards medical supplies for his various diamond mining projects.