Whether we like it or not, religion is one of the biggest businesses in the world today. Using the tools modern society has at its disposal, religious leaders can spread the word of God using radio, television, books, and even the internet. Some pastors have even managed to make millions while doing so.
The average pastor in America earns under $50,000 a year. However, some men and women of God are raking in the riches, proving that even religious creed can turn to greed. Here’s a list of the 37 wealthiest pastors in the world and how much they’re worth.
Joyce Meyer is a female Charismatic Christian from St. Louis. Considered among the most famous women pastors, Joyce was featured in Time magazine’s “25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America” list in 2005. The charismatic author and Dave, her spouse, are the owners of “Enjoying Everyday Life,” a tv ministry.
The couple also owns “Joyce Meyer Ministries,” through which they spread “God’s love” as well as the “life-changing message of the Bible,” using radio, tv, and the internet. Meyer has a 10-million-dollar airplane at her disposal, owns a couple of 2-million-dollar homes, and drives a silver Mercedes-Benz.
Matthew Ashimolowo is a Nigerian pastor. The clergyman works at the Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC) as the senior pastor. The center is based in London, although he also preaches on his radio and tv show “Winning Ways,” which airs in London, Amsterdam, Nigeria, Ghana, and Zimbabwe.
Ashimolowo is estimated to be worth between $6–10 million. He makes £100,000 a year at KICC. However, Matthew’s Christian literature and documentaries are his primary source of income, as he also owns the media company that produces them, which is called Matthew Ashimolowo media.
Temitope Balogun Joshua, aka Pastor T.B. Joshua, was a Nigerian pastor who passed away in June 2021. T.B. was the founder of The Synagogue Church of All Nations in Nigeria. T.B. also lead sermons from his YouTube channel, Emmanuel TV. The channel has over a million subscribers, and his videos have over 240 million views.
Joshua was revered for his alleged healings, miracles, prophecies, and exorcisms. The pastor had a considerable social media presence and was mourned by millions. T.B. was worth around $10 million when he died and has spent around $20 million on humanitarian work.
Richard Duane Warren is an author and Baptist evangelical Christian pastor based in San Jose, California. His dad was also a Baptist minister, and Rick was eager to follow in his footsteps, forming a Christian club at his high school. As an adult, he founded Saddle Back Church, where he is senior pastor.
Saddle Back is an evangelical megachurch where Warren holds sermons. Estimated at around $25 million, Rick made his money authoring books about religion, like “The Purpose Driven Life.” He has sold over 30 million copies and continues to preach his five-point plan for global harmony.
Among the most influential pastors of the 20th century, Billy Graham passed away in 2018 at age 99. Billy was called the “unofficial national clergyman” by the N.Y. Times. Known for his religious “Crusades,” that he hosted every year from 1947 to 2005, Graham was responsible for over 3.2 million people accepting Jesus as their Lord and savior.
His sermons were broadcasted on tv and radio, and he had over 210 million followers. Graham was the spiritual counselor of all the U.S presidents, from Harry S. Truman to Barack Obama. The famous televangelist left behind assets of approximately $25 million.
Pastor Creflo Dollar is the founder of the nondenominational World Changers Church International in College Park, Georgia. Dollar also leads Creflo Dollar Ministries, the Creflo Dollar Ministerial Association, and Arrow Records. He formed his congregation in 1986, starting small with only six attendants at his first sermon.
Today his sermons are attended by around 30,000 congregants. Dollar’s church brings in approximately $70 million in cash revenue. Dollar is famous for preaching about the gospel of wealth, which regards his two Rolls-Royces, private jet, and three mansions as a blessing from God. He is estimated to be worth around $27 million.
Pastor Ray McCauley is a religious leader from South Africa. He was Mr. South Africa and a bodybuilding champion before becoming the senior pastor at Rhema Bible Church. Not only that, but he’s also the president of the International Federation of Christian Churches and co-chair of the National Interfaith Council in South Africa.
McCauley’s church runs a television station that airs his sermons daily on the show “A New Day with Pastor Ray.” Ray is also an author of numerous theology books such as “Our God is an Awesome God.” He is estimated to be worth around $28 million.
Enoch Adejare Adeboye is an influential Nigerian pastor. He acts as general overseer of the Redeemed Christian Churches of God. Enoch works there as a pastor earning around $2 million a year. Aside from preaching, Adeboye was also a professor of mathematics at the University of Lagos.
The Redeemed Christian Church of God became popular under Adeboye and now has branches in 196 countries. Adeboye owns a station called Dove TV, on which his sermons air daily. Worth around $39 million, Enoch has a private plane and many homes. He’s considered among the 50 most powerful people in the world.
Joel Scott Osteen is the senior pastor of the largest Protestant church in America, Lakewood Church, founded by his father. The New York Times best-selling author lives and preaches in Houston. Osteen is the founder of his church’s television program and gives on-air sermons to over 20 million worldwide viewers monthly.
He also produced and aired his father’s sermons until his death. He is estimated to be worth around $40 million and emphasizes the power of prosperity and love in his teachings. Osteen claims that he takes no salary from the church, and his income is solely from book sales.
Although he is better known as an American civil rights activist and television personality, Alfred Sharpton is a Baptist minister. Al formed the charitable organization NAN and has run for elected office many times, though he’s never won. Sharpton has appeared in various films and tv shows and hosts MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation.”
Sharpton receives a yearly salary of $241,000 from NAN and is currently estimated to have a net worth of $2 Million. Aside from being an influential Civil Rights leader, Reverend Sharpton was the youth director for Shirley Chisholm’s presidential campaign and was James Brown’s tour manager for seven years.
Pastor Juanita Bynum is from Chicago and is known for her career as a gospel singer. She is CEO of Juanita Bynum International and president of Bynum Ministries. According to The N.Y. Times, Juanita is the most prominent black female televangelist in America.
Bynum is also the bestselling author of “The Threshing Floor: How to Know Without a Doubt That God Hears Your Every Prayer.” Juanita’s net worth stands at an estimated $10 million, which she has accrued mainly through selling tickets for her gospels shows and sermons, which also air on the Trinity Broadcasting Network.
Toufik Benedictus Hinn, or Benny Hinn, was born in Jaffa and raised in the Greek Orthodox tradition. In 1967, his family moved to Toronto, Canada, where he converted to Born-Again Christianity. Founder of the Orlando Christian Center, he holds “Miracle Crusades,” where he allegedly acts as a holy conduit for healings.
His sermons and healings are aired globally on his tv show, “This Is Your Day,” on Trinity Broadcasting Network. Despite the many accusations calling him out as a fraud, he maintains a massive following. Hinn is estimated to be worth $60 million and owns two multi-million-dollar mansions.
Chris Oyakhilome, aka Pastor Chris, is a Nigerian pastor. He founded and is president of Loveworld Incorporated or Christ Embassy, a bible-based ministry based in Lagos, Nigeria. Chris has claimed that faith can heal any disease, including HIV/AIDS. He has an estimated net worth of $50 million.
Pastor Chris has amassed his insane wealth through his ministry, with enterprises like the Loveworld book series, the Christ Embassy Healing School, and the Rhapsody of Realities. Christ Embassy owns three T.V. channels that broadcast Christian content, such as faith healing and sermons. He owns the cable channel LoveWorld USA with Benny Hinn.
Uebert Angel is a Charismatic Evangelical pastor from Zimbabwe. He founded Spirit Embassy, which is now called Good News Church. He is also CEO and founder of The Angel Organization. Angel founded another organization called Club Millionaire Limited, which provides “services to the cash-rich but time-poor individuals around the globe.”
He is nicknamed Prophet Angel and has a net worth of approximately $60 million. Angel is one of the ten richest pastors in Africa and owns ten luxury vehicles and a U.K. mansion worth $4 million, surrounded by 14 acres of land with three lakes full of expensive fish.
Marion Gordon Robertson, known as Pat, is a Southern Baptist minister and televangelist from Virginia. He is known for being a media mogul. Pastor Robertson founded the Christian Broadcasting Network in 1960 and is also the founder of Fox Family. Pat’s net worth is estimated at $100 million.
In 1988 he ran to be the Republican candidate for President of the United States but was unsuccessful. Later Robertson created the Christian Coalition, a right-wing organization that raises funds for conservative politicians and candidates. Robertson also founded Regent University, a private Christian university, where he is Chancellor.
Emmanuel Makandiwa is a Zimbabwean preacher responsible for founding the United Family International megachurch. He is often referred to a Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa. Emmanuel is also the founder of The Apostolic Faith Mission. He is considered very controversial and alleges to be a prophet and miracle healer.
He is the owner of Christ TV, which airs his megachurch’s sermons, along with other religious events and content. With an estimated net worth of $150 million, he has received criticism for living such a lavish lifestyle. He has a multi-million-dollar home and many luxury vehicles.
Ayodele Joseph Oritsegbubemi Oritsejafor, aka Papa Ayo Oritsejafor, is the senior pastor and founder of the Word of Life Bible Church in Nigeria. For five years, Papa Ayo also acted as National President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria. He is now President of the Christian Association of Nigeria.
Oritsejafor is the owner of the African Broadcasting Network, a Christian television station that airs internationally. Ayo believes in leading by example and is known for his philanthropic work. However, the pastor still manages to hold assets nearing an estimated $15 million.
Bishop Thomas Dexter Jakes, known as T.D. Jakes, is the pastor of Dallas, Texas, church, The Potter’s House. Potter’s House is a nondenominational American megachurch with a tv channel called The Potter’s Touch that airs Jakes sermons. T.D. is loved by many and even called America’s best preacher.
Aside from preaching, the pastor is also a writer and a filmmaker. He has a net worth of approximately $20 million from his writing, gospel singing, and producing films like “Heaven Is for Real.” Jakes owns a $1.7 million mansion and has won a Grammy for one of his albums.
Less a pastor and more a spiritual leader, Walter Mercado was a Puerto Rican astrologer with a devoted following. Mercado was a tv personality and had numerous astrology shows, on which he shared predictions and horoscopes. Also known as Shanti Ananda, Walter was gender non-conforming.
Walter considered himself to be androgynous and would wear extravagant robes and crazy costumes on his television shows. His capes and costumes were sold in auctions, and he was estimated to have around $5 million in assets at the time of his death in 2019.
Bishop David Oyedepo is head of Winners’ Chapel, a megachurch in Nigeria. He is the founder of the Nigerian Christian Charismatic movement. In 1981, Oyedepo started the Living Faith Outreach Ministry, which has since grown into one of the biggest congregations in the continent. Oyedepo has a net worth of over $150 million.
The bishop’s church owns Dominion Publishing House, and he holds many other assets. He is Chancellor of two universities and has 10,000 churches worldwide. The wealthiest preacher in all of Nigeria, it is no surprise that Oyedepo has multiple U.K. and U.S. homes and four private jets.
Kenneth Copeland is a Charismatic Evangelical pastor from Lubbock, Texas. He and his wife own Kenneth Copeland Ministries in Fort Worth. KCM has a tv channel called Believer’s Voice of Victory Network that airs Copelands tv show daily. Kenneth’s net worth is unknown, although estimated at somewhere between $300-760 million.
Pastor Copland has attracted much controversy throughout his career because of the great wealth he’s accumulated, most of which was donated to him by his followers. Copeland claimed to heal his viewers from Covid 19 and asked congregates to keep contributing to his church even if they lost their jobs.
Jesse Duplantis is a Charismatic evangelical preacher from New Orleans, Louisiana. He’s the founder of Jesse Duplantis Ministries, which has branches in three continents. He and his wife Cathy started Covenant Church in 1997. Duplantis has also authored more than ten books.
Jesse Duplantis is worth approximately $40 million and was recently criticized for flying in a private plane. His ministry had already used donations to buy three private jets. To this, he answered that commercial planes are full of “demons” and said that Jesus would also fly a private jet if he were alive today.
Jim Bakker is an evangelical minister known for his television program The PTL Club, which he hosted with his wife, Tammy. Jim and Tammy also developed a Christian theme park called Heritage USA, which is now closed. In the 80s, he was convicted of fraud and sexual assault.
In his heyday, Bakker was worth between $5 and 10 million; however, today, after five years in jail, he’s worth around $500,000. Bakker’s son, lawyer Alan Dershowitz, helped to get his father released from prison early. These days he’s back on T.V. with a biblical prophecy show called The Jim Bakker Show.
Jimmy Swaggert is a Pentecostal, evangelical preacher from Louisiana. He started his successful televised ministry in the early 1970s, and as of now, they air daily in 105 nations worldwide. Jimmy owns SonLife Broadcasting Network and has a net worth of around $10 million.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Swaggert was involved in several scandals with sex workers and was defrocked by the organization- Assemblies of God. Jimmy stepped down as head minister for a while but since has made a comeback. Nevertheless, the scandal forced his ministry became nondenominational and his following to become smaller.
Paula White is among America’s leading preachers of the prosperity gospel. She is also an author and senior pastor at New Destiny Christian Church in Florida and Without Walls International Church. Since 2001, White has been preaching on television on her show Paula White Today.
Paula White has been personal minister to former president Donald Trump since 2002. She served as his spiritual advisor while Trump was in office and held prayer circles in the Oval Office. White claimed that Trump’s political opponents “operate in sorcery and witchcraft.” She has been called a heretic by many conservative Christians.
Herbert W. Armstrong was among the first evangelists to preach on television and founded the Radio Church of God (now called the Worldwide Church of God) in 1934. He was such an influential pastor that his doctrines are referred to as Armstrongism. Herbert founded Ambassador College in 1947.
His son accused Armstrong of using “millions of the church’s estimated $60 million annual income on personal expenses.” After he died, his church rejected many of his teachings and rewrote his doctrines. When he passed away, Herbert was estimated to be worth around $50 million.
German-born Peter Popoff is an American televangelist and alleged faith healer. In the mid-1980s, Popoff was caught using an earpiece during his sermon. His wife was telling him names, addresses, and ailments of audience members of his church so that he could con the audience into believing he was clairvoyant and he would heal them.
After the scandal, Popoff went bankrupt, although he has since made his money back and is estimated at around $10 million. In the early 2000s, he sold water on infomercials, claiming the beverage was “Miracle Spring Water” and that he is a prophet.
Jamal Bryant is a pastor and author from Massachusetts. He is a third-generation pastor; both his father and grandfather were AME bishops. Bryant was senior pastor of the Empowerment Temple AME Church in Maryland, but in 2018 left to become the senior pastor at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Georgia.
Bryant was married to Real Housewives star Gizelle Bryant, and he has five daughters. He and Gizelle divorced in 2009, but in 2019 they reconnected, only to call it quits again in 2021. His net worth is unknown, although estimated at around $500,000 since his divorce settlement.
John Charles Hagee is an evangelical pastor. He founded and is senior pastor of San Antonio, Texas megachurch- The Cornerstone Church. John also founded the organization Christians United for Israel and is a radical Christian-Zionist. Founder of John Hagee Ministries, he gives televised sermons daily aired in the U.S. and Canada.
Hagee is a very vocal supporter of Israel and has donated large sums of money to Zionist organizations. However, he has also been criticized for antisemitic, anti-Catholic, and anti-Islamic rhetoric, even claiming that the antichrist will be “part-Jewish” and “homosexual.” John has a net worth of approximately $5 million.
Bishop Noel Jones is a Pentecostal preacher and senior pastor at the City of Refuge Church in California. Noel is the brother of Grace Jones, the famous Jamaican American model, and singer. At age 19, Jones decided that ministry was his calling and studied theology at Aenon Bible College.
In the 90s, Jones became bishop of the Greater Bethany Community Church in LA., renamed The City of Refuge after growing from a congregation of 1,000 to 17,000. Noel’s church choir released a gospel album that reached #1 on the gospel charts in 2007. He is worth around $5 million.
Louis Farrakhan, born Louis Eugene Walcott, is the current leader of the Nation of Islam (NOI). Born in the Bronx, Louis was a professional musician and converted to Islam in 1955. He was appointed National Representative of the NOI by Elijah Muhammad.
Farrakhan was mentored by Malcolm X until his assassination and became a minister of the NOI under his tutelage. The NOI has been criticized as a black supremacist, anti-Semitic and anti-white organization, but Farrakhan rejects these claims. He is estimated to be worth around $5 million. He owns and lives in one of Elijah Muhammad’s mansions.
William Franklin Graham is the son of Billy Graham, who also made our list. Franklin inherited most of his father’s fortune, giving him a net worth of around $10 million. He also inherited the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, both of which he is president. Franklin is known for his evangelism and missionary work.
Graham receives full-time salaries from both of his organizations and has been highly criticized for his greed. He also holds frequent Christian Revivals. Graham is highly vocal politically and has shown support for conversion therapy, the Iraq War, and Donald Trump.
Richard Rossi is a former evangelical pastor and currently a filmmaker, actor, and talk radio host. However, the real crazy thing about Rossi is his past. Rossi began preaching in the 1980s in Pennsylvania. However, in 1994, Richard was accused of attempting to murder his wife, Sherrie Lynn, who was found with a head injury near the highway.
Sherrie dropped the attempted murder charges, and Rossi instead pled guilty to second-degree aggravated assault and went to jail for three months. Later, Richard became pastor for the stars and started making movies. Rossi is reported to be worth around $1 million.
Kirk Cameron is more famous for being a Hollywood actor in the 80s and 90s than for his work as a minister. He is well-known for acting in the show Growing Pains. Kirk became a Born-Again Christian and began refusing to do any “inappropriate” scenes on the show.
He eventually quit acting to live a more devout life. Nowadays, he co-owns an evangelical Christian ministry called The Way of the Master with fellow pastor Ray Comfort. Kirk also co-hosts a tv series with the same name. Cameron has been reported to have a net worth of something between $10-20 million.
The late Paul Cain was born in Texas in 1929. His mother, Anna Cain, believed that he was destined to preach because she received a “visitation” during her pregnancy and was miraculously healed from cancer and tuberculosis. From an early age, Cain’s sermons drew large crowds.
Paul believed that other famous pastors like Billy Graham had corrupted the movement and were greedy frauds. In 1994, Cain was accused of alcoholism and homosexuality, which he only admitted to in 2007. Cain passed away in 2019 and was estimated to be worth no more than $1 million.
Nikole Mitchell was a Baptist pastor who later quit the church and became a Life Coach and a stripper. She gave her final sermon in 2017 after having a revelation that made her realize everything she had believed was wrong. After going to an LGBT+ theatre night, she understood that she is bisexual and pansexual.
Nikole’s net worth is estimated to be between $1-3 million. She makes her money as a model on OnlyFans, sharing nude photographs for money and as a life coach helping people become more self-confident. She makes a reported $100k a month in her new career.