You Won’t Believe How Much the Richest Pastors in the World Are Worth
For better or worse, it’s hard to argue that religion is big business these days. From films to books to radio programs to TV shows, it’s never been easier to spread gospel around the world — and it’s never been more lucrative. How much money are we talking about, exactly? We’ve rounded up the 35 wealthiest pastors in the world to give you some idea. These religious figures from every corner of the globe are filthy rich, and their net worths are sure to make your jaw drop.
How do you feel about pastors making this much money? Let us know on Facebook, and make sure to SHARE this compilation with your friends.
35. Christopher Ogheneborie Okotie – Net Worth $3 Million
Pastor Chris Okotie, as he is commonly called, is a Nigerian televangelist from Ethiopia. He is the pastor of the Household of God Church International Ministries, which is a Pentecostal congregation in Lagos. Pastor Okotie is also a politician; with ambitions of becoming President of Nigeria, he instead became President of the “Fresh Democratic Party” in 2011. He’s written several books. The Last Outcast was a bestseller in 2001.
Joyce Meyer – Net Worth $8 Million
Pauline Joyce Hutchison, from St. Louis, is one of the most popular female preachers in the world. Pastor Joyce is a charismatic Christian author who made Time magazine’s list of the “25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America.” Meyer and her husband, Dave, launched a television ministry, Enjoying Everyday Life. Pastor Meyer is also the founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, which “is dedicated to sharing God’s love and the life-changing message of the Bible with the world through TV, radio, various media productions, [and] live conferences,” according to her website. Her ministry provides her with a $10 million jet, several homes that cost up to $2 million each, and a $107,000 silver Mercedes sedan, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
33. Juanita Bynum – Net Worth $10 Million
Pastor Juanita Bynum hails from Chicago. She is the president of Bynum Ministries and the CEO of Juanita Bynum International, with headquarters in Garden City, New York. Her message, “live it loud and live it strong,” comes across to her followers. She is also a gospel singer who got rave reviews for her album Piece of My Passion in 2007. She is the author of The Threshing Floor, and is also a televangelist. Her annual event, the Women Weapons of Power Conference, began in 2006. Her wealth mainly comes from ticket sales for her sermons, which air regularly on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. Her audio books, CDs, and recordings of her sermons also bring in a considerable amount of revenue.
32. Matthew Ashimolowo – Net Worth $10 Million
Nigerian pastor Matthew Ashimolowo is the senior pastor at the Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC) in London, where he reportedly earns £100,000 annually. He hosts the radio program Winning Ways, which is syndicated in London and Amsterdam. The television equivalent broadcasts in Nigeria, Ghana, and Zimbabwe on the Trinity Broadcasting Network, and in Europe on GOD TV and the Inspirational Network. The majority of his millions comes from selling Christian literature and documentaries from his media company, Matthew Ashimolowo Media.
31. Temitope Balogun Joshua – Net Worth $15 Million
Temitope Balogun Joshua, known as Pastor T.B. Joshua, founded The Synagogue Church of All Nations in Nigeria, where he runs renowned healing sessions (some of them exorcisms). The church has its own television channel, Emmanuel TV, which broadcasts Joshua’s sermons and delivers his alleged miracles to millions. He has a huge social media presence – his YouTube videos have been watched more than 240 million times.
30. Rick Warren – Net Worth $25 Million
Rick Warren is an American author and evangelical Christian pastor from San Jose, California. His father was a Baptist minister, so he knew early on that he was destined to follow in his footsteps. He founded his high school’s first Christian club. Warren is the founder and senior pastor of Saddle Back Church, a megachurch in Lake Forest, California. Warren preaches a “five-point plan” to bring global harmony to the world by helping the needy and sick and promoting education. His riches derive from the sales of many Christian books, most notably The Purpose Driven Life, which has sold more than 30 million copies.
29. Billy Graham (Deceased) – Net Worth $25 Million
The late Billy Graham died at the age of 99 in 2018. The New York Times named him the unofficial “national clergyman,” and he preached for decades. Pastor Billy was among the most influential Christian leaders of the 20th century. Graham was known for hosting the annual Billy Graham Crusades, from 1947-2005, with an estimated 3.2 million people who agreed to “accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior.” His radio and TV broadcasts had a faithful audience of 2.2 million. Pastor Billy provided spiritual counsel for U.S presidents throughout his career, from Harry S. Truman to Barack Obama. He left behind a fortune of real estate holdings and book royalties.
28. Creflo Dollar – Net Worth $27 Million
Creflo Augustus Dollar, Jr. hails from Georgia, where he founded the non-denominational World Changers Church International. Pastor Dollar helms the Creflo Dollar Ministerial Association, Creflo Dollar Ministries, and Arrow Records. He held his first sermon in an elementary school cafeteria in 1986. He preaches to a congregation of 30,000 members, and an estimated $69 million in revenue is brought in through cash collections. His prosperity, gospel-style teachings are manifested in his own lavish lifestyle. He owns two Rolls-Royces, a private jet, and three multimillion dollar homes.
27. Ray McCauley – Net Worth $28 Million
Ray McCauley is a South African religious leader. He is the senior pastor of Rhema Bible Church, which has its own television station, Rhema TV. Rhema TV broadcasts his sermons on A New Day With Pastor Ray. Paster McCauley is president of the International Federation of Christian Churches and the co-chair of the National Interfaith Council of South Africa. He is an author, televangelist, and a former bodybuilding champion.
26. Enoch Adeboye – Net Worth $39 Million
Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, affectionately called Daddy GO, is from Nigeria. He is the general overseer of the Redeemed Christian Churches of God, where as a pastor he earns $2 million in revenue per year, according to Forbes. He also owns a gospel television station named Dove TV, which airs his sermons and other church programs. A $65 million Gulfstream G550 private jet and several houses are among his prized assets.
25. Joel Osteen – Net Worth $40 Million
Joel Osteen is a New York Times best-selling author and the senior pastor of Lakewood Church, the largest Protestant church in America. Based in Houston, he founded Lakewood’s television program and produced his father’s televised sermons for 17 years until his death. With his movie star looks, he took over as host. His TV sermons have an audience of over 20 million monthly viewers. Sirius XM even had him guest host his own talk show, Joel Osteen Live. Osteen focuses “more on the goodness of God and on living an obedient life rather than on sin.” His biblical teachings emphasize the power of love and prosperity. Some of that can be seen in his $10.5 million home.
24. Benny Hinn – Net Worth $42 Million
Toufik Benedictus, better known as Benny Hinn, was born in Israel and raised Orthodox. As a teenager in Toronto he found his calling and converted to Pentecostalism. Soon after, he began to hold healing services known as Miracle Crusades through the Orlando Christian Center, where he professed his faith-healing abilities. Allegedly, Benny has healed people with deafness, blindness, AIDS, cancer, and other diseases. His services are broadcast worldwide on his television program, This Is Your Day, on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. He has been accused of shady financial dealings but remains extremely popular with his followers. Among his many luxury assets, he owns a Gulfstream G4 jet.
23. Chris Oyakhilome – Net Worth $50 Million
Chris Oyakhilome is the founder and president of Believers’ Loveworld Incorporated, a Bible-based Christian ministry in Lagos. Pastor Chris claims that his inspirational faith will heal any illness, including AIDS. The pastor has gained immense wealth through the different branches run by his ministry, such as the Healing School, the Rhapsody of Realities, the Loveworld book series, and the NGO Inner City Missions for Children. His ministry also owns three Christian TV channels featuring faith healing and miracle programs.
22. Uebert Angel – Net Worth $60 Million
Uebert Angel, a clergyman from Zimbabwe, is the founder of Spirit Embassy, which was renamed the Good News Church. Pastor Angel is the founder and CEO of the Angel Organization. He founded Club Millionaire Limited, described by Forbes as “providing services to the cash-rich but time-poor individuals around the globe.” He also founded The Millionaire Academy, which mentors people to become successful in business. According to Nehanda Radio, his hard work has paid off. The pastor owns a Lamborghini, a Black Badge Rolls-Royce, a Mercedes Coupe, and a mansion in England. The mansion has a 14-acre private garden surrounded by three lakes that house rare fish.
21. Pat Robertson – Net Worth $100 Million
Marion Gordon “Pat” Robertson served as a Southern Baptist minister in Virginia before becoming a media mogul and executive chairman. Pastor Robertson hosts The 700 Club, the flagship program of the Christian Broadcasting Network, which he launched in 1960. After his unsuccessful bid for President of the United States, Robertson founded the Christian Coalition, a Christian right organization that raises money for conservative political candidates. He is the founder, CEO, and chancellor of Regent University. He also established the American Center for Law & Justice, a major public interest law firm headquartered in Washington, D.C.
20. Emmanuel Makandiwa – Net Worth $100 Million
Emmanuel Makandiwa is a preacher from Zimbabwe who founded the United Family International megachurch. He founded the Apostolic Faith Mission, where his controversial prophecies and miracle cures – among them HIV — challenge religious philosophy. He owns Christ TV, which broadcasts the major events and sermons in his ministry. He owns a luxurious house and a private jet.
19. Ayo Oritsejafor – Net Worth $120 Million
Ayodele Joseph Oritsegbubemi Oritsejafor, known as Papa Ayo Oritsejafor, is the founder and senior pastor of Word of Life Bible Church in Nigeria. He was the National President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria for five years. He was also elected President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, which is considered the top office for Christians in the country. Oritsejafor owns the media conglomerate African Broadcasting Network, which is an international satellite Christian television station. It broadcasts the gospel of Christ from Africa to the rest of the world. It is currently seen in 75 countries worldwide and online via WebTV.
18. Thomas Dexter Jakes – Net Worth $150 Million
Thomas Dexter Jakes, aka Bishop TD Jakes, is the head of The Potter’s House, a non-denominational American megachurch in Dallas. Potter’s Touch TV program broadcasts his services and sermons. Regarded by many as America’s best preacher, the pastor is also a successful filmmaker. Some of the movies he’s produced include Heaven Is for Real, Winnie Mandela, and Miracles from Heaven. Jakes lives in a $1.7 million mansion and has been featured on the cover of Time magazine. A part of his fortune also comes from the sales of his gospel music and books.
17. David Oyedepo – Net Worth $150 Million
Bishop David Oyedepo, from Nigeria, is the head of the world’s largest church, Winners’ Chapel, and the founder of the Nigerian Christian Charismatic movement. Oyedepo founded the Living Faith Outreach Ministry in 1981, which has evolved into one of the largest congregations in Africa. The pastor’s church also owns Dominion Publishing House, which has released a number of inspirational books and magazines. His wealth is generated from his many assets, which includes two universities, his publishing empire, and a water producing company called Hebron. Oyedepo owns houses in the UK and the U.S., as well as four private jets.
16. Kenneth Copeland – Net Worth $760 Million
Pastor Kenneth Max Copeland hails from Lubbock, Texas. He is the founder and owner of Kenneth Copeland Ministries, located on an estate of more than 1,500 acres, equipped with a church, a private airstrip, and a hangar for the ministry’s $17.5 million jet and other aircraft. A televangelist, he hosts a live television show called Kenneth Copeland and You. Pastor Copeland has seven ministry offices around the world to spread his beliefs through a variety of channels. Those channels include television program Believer’s Voice of Victory, radio broadcasts, a podcast, a magazine, a ton of books and various social media platforms, to name a few.
15. Jesse Duplantis – Net Worth $40 Million
Jesse Duplantis is founder of Jesse Duplantis Ministries (JDM), which has an international headquarters in America, as well as branches in the United Kingdom and Australia. In 1997, Duplantis and his wife Cathy founded Covenant Church, a local outreach of JDM. Recently, Duplantis has been scrutinized for his use of private jets to travel the world. Duplantis has suggested that commercial planes were full of “demons,” and defended his use of private jets saying that if Jesus were alive today, he would do the same to travel the world preaching the gospel. Duplantis is said to be worth an estimated $40 million.
14. Jim Bakker – $500,000
Jim Bakker was once one of the most successful televangelists, but convictions of fraud, a sexual assault allegation (which he covered-up illegally), and conspiracy charges brought Bakker back down to Earth. At one point, he was estimated to be worth from $5 to $10 million. Bakker would eventually serve almost five years in prison, but a letter-writing campaign spearheaded by Bakker’s son and celebrity lawyer Alan Dershowitz helped Bakker avoid further time behind bars. Bakker is estimated to be worth just $500,000 today. Bakker continues to be outspoken and claimed in August 2017 that if Donald Trump were impeached from office, it would incite a second Civil War in America.
13. Jimmy Swaggert – $10 Million
Jimmy Swaggert is an American Pentecostal pastor who began his TV ministry in 1971 and is broadcast in 105 countries across the world. Swaggert was exposed for allegedly having sexual relations with several prostitutes in the late 1980s and early 1990s (in 1991 Swaggert’s car was stopped by police with a prostitute in the passenger seat). Swaggert gave a now-famous “I have sinned!” speech in front of his congregation and TV audience in February 1988. The results of the allegations ultimately led Swaggert to be defrocked by the Assemblies of God. Swaggert’s media empire has lived on and it is estimated he has a net worth of $10 million.
12. Paula White – $5 Million
Paula White is one of the leading American preachers of the prosperity gospel, which holds that financial blessing and physical well-being are the will of God, and that donations to religious causes will increase one’s material wealth. White has been accused of being a charlatan and heretic by Southern Baptist theologian Russell D. Moore. Further allegations of heresy were leveled at White by Christian author Erick Erickson, who shared a video of White assenting to the viewpoint that Jesus was not the only son of God. White is estimated to be worth $5 million.
11. Herbert W. Armstrong (Deceased) – $60 Million
Herbert W. Armstrong was the founder of the Radio Church of God, which incorporated in 1933, and later became Worldwide Church of God. Armstrong also started Ambassador College in 1947. Armstrong is credited as being one of the early pioneers of radio- and tele-evangelism. But Armstrong’s alleged greed caused a rift within the family, with Armstrong’s son Garner saying his dad and church officials had spent “millions of the church’s estimated $60 million annual income on personal expenses,” according to the New York Times obituary for Armstrong. After Armstrong’s death, the church rewrote its doctrines and rejected Armstrong’s later-in-life teachings as “aberrant.”
10. Peter Popoff – $10 Million
Peter Popoff is a German-born televangelist and faith healer…and con man. In 1986, Popoff was found to be using an earpiece where his wife told him the names, addresses, and ailments of audience members of his church. Popoff claimed that God had spoken to him with the audience member’s personal information so that Popoff could “cure” them. The next year he went bankrupt, but has sprung back up multiple times in the decades since. His latest scam is selling “Miracle Spring Water” on late-night infomercials, where he refers to himself as a prophet. Still, he’s managed to swindle plenty of people and some estimates put his net worth around $10 million.
9. Ray McCauley – $30 Million
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Ray McCauley grew up with an interest in bodybuilding, and actually finished third in the Mr. Universe competition in 1974. But it was his love of God that overcame all and McCauley would eventually go on to become the senior paster of the Rhema Bible Church and president of the International Federation of Christian Churches. McCauley is said to be worth in the $28 to $30 million dollar range, according to varying reports.
8. Jamal Bryant – $20 Million
For years, Pastor Jamal Bryant led the congregation at Empowerment Temple AME Church in Baltimore, but left in 2018 when he was offered the senior pastor position at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta. The former high school dropout, who would eventually go back to school and attend Morehouse College and Duke University, was reportedly offered a hefty sum to take the pastor position in Atlanta. Estimates wildly differ on Bryant’s current net worth. Some reports claim he makes a (relatively speaking) modest $1 million a year, and other reports claim he has a total net worth of $20 million.
7. John Hagee – $5 Million
Born April 12, 1940, John Hagee is the founder and senior pastor of Cornerstone Church, a megachurch located in San Antonio, Texas. Hagee is also the founder and national chairman of Christians United for Israel, a Christian-Zionist organization. Hagee’s Cornerstone Church, a 5,000-seat sanctuary, was first opened in 1987. Today, it’s estimated that Hagee has a net worth of $5 million.
6. Noel Jones – $5 Million
Bishop Noel Jones has some high connections. Born in Jamaica, Jones is the brother of actress, model, and singer Grace Jones. Jones reportedly heard his calling to the ministry at the age of 19 and received a theological Bachelor’s degree from Aenon Bible College. By age 26, he was a pastor in Texas. In 1994, Jones became bishop of the Greater Bethany Community Church in Los Angeles. At the time it had 1,000 congregates. It has since grown to an astounding 17,000 members. Jones is estimated to have a net worth of $5 million these days.
5. Louis Farrakhan – $3 Million
Louis Eugene Walcott, known now as Louis Farrakhan, was born in the Bronx in 1933. He received the name Farrakhan after converting to the religion of Islam in 1955. The American minister eventually became the leader of the Nation of Islam (NOI) religious group, which the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as a black nationalist and black supremacist group and promotes an anti-white theology. The Anti-Defamation League has described Farrakhan’s preaching as antisemitic. Farrakhan disputes all those characterizations. The latest estimates say Farrakhan has a net worth around $3 million.
4. Franklin Graham – $10 Million
Franklin Graham is the son of the famed evangelist Billy Graham and inherited much of the elder Graham’s vast fortune. Franklin is the president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief organization. Graham has come under increased scrutiny in recent years for his anti-Muslim viewpoints, falsely claiming that Islam is “a religion of hatred. It’s a religion of war.” Graham also supports the pseudo-science “conversion therapy,” which claims to be able to change a person’s sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual. Graham has an estimated net worth of $10 million.
3. Richard Rossi – $1 Million
Richard Rossi has perhaps the most wild backstory of all pastors on this list. Rossi became a minister in the Pittsburgh area in the 1980s, but in 1994, he was accused of the attempted murder of his wife Sherrie Lynn, who was discovered on the side of a highway with her skull caved in. After initially accusing Rossi (who repeatedly changed his story) of the attack, Lynn eventually changed her story and the murder charges were dropped. Rossi did however plead no contest to second-degree aggravated assault charges and served 96 days in jail. Rossi eventually moved to Hollywood and became a sort of “pastor for the stars” and even appeared in several films, as well as writing a book and screenplays. Rossi has launched a support group that helps combat fentanyl addiction, as well as participates in fundraising events to help the homeless in Los Angeles. Rossi has a net worth of $1 million, reportedly.
2. Kirk Cameron – $20 Million
Kirk Cameron is most famous for his acting career in the 1980s and early 1990s, but a switch to a born-again Christian strained his relationships in Hollywood and Cameron mostly left the profession behind. Cameron admitted his turn to a more devout life was “inadvertently hurtful to the cast.” Cameron now runs The Way of the Master, which is an evangelical Christian ministry he co-founded with fellow evangelist Ray Comfort. Cameron has most recently used his faith to promote Christian ideology in a series of theatrical films, so he hasn’t quite given up the spotlight. Cameron is estimated to have a net worth of $20 million.
1. Paul Cain (Deceased) – $1 Million
Anna Cain was pregnant with Paul while suffering from cancer and tuberculosis, and was not expected to survive. However, she reportedly had an “angelic” visitation and miraculously was cured. This caused Anna to believe Paul was being called to preach and Cain eventually led ministries with attendance above 30,000 people. But Cain felt the immense wealth of other ministers (such as Billy Graham) had corrupted the movement with greed. In 1994, Cain publicly acknowledged he “struggled” with homosexuality and alcoholism. He kept a low profile for many years, but began more public speaking engagements in 2007. He passed away in February 2019 with a relatively modest net worth of $1 million.