When you’re younger, you might choose your career based on how much you think you’ll earn (hopefully a lot). However, many people believe that life as a pastor won’t earn you the big bucks. Oh, how wrong they are…
Charles E. Blake
When it comes to an annual salary, Charles E. Blake definitely earns a little more than the average American – and when we say a little more, we mean A LOT more. In fact, this Californian pastor earns an incredible $900,000 a year!
If you’re not a religious person, there’s a high chance you’ve still heard of Richard Rossi (who hasn’t?) Rossi grew up in a musical family and rose to fame in the 1980s with the ‘Walker and Rossi’ folk rock band. After his incredibly successful stint in the musical world, Rossi set his sights higher and trained to be a healing evangelist. Now, he’s worth a whopping $1,000,000 (and if you can’t count the zeros, that’s one million!)
Charles Stanley is one of the most decorated pastors in the business. He began his career at the tender age of 14-years-old and has since earned the right to call himself a Master of Divinity, a Doctor of Theology AND the Master of Theology (although we don’t reckon he puts that on his passport). Stanley has been hugely successful in the church itself, and through his radio and TV shows. Because of this, he earns $126,931 a year (how very specific).
If you don’t recognize the name, you’ll definitely recognize the face (and the hair) of Janice Crouch. Janice was a pastor’s daughter and grew up in a world full of religion – so it was no surprise she eventually married a pastor herself. However, she wanted a piece of the action and was soon ordained into the ministry, before creating the famous Trinity Broadcasting Network. Before she died in 2016, her net worth was estimated at an incredible $50 million.
Jack Van Impe
When it comes to quoting Bible scripture, nobody does it quite like Jack Van Impe. The popular pastor first made an appearance on the Billy Graham Crusades, but soon founded Jack Van Impe Ministries with his wife, Rexella Mae Shelton (what a name) and its subsequent TV show. The show was eventually axed in 2011, but not before it rocked up a cool $2.5 million turnover. Because of that, Van Impe earns an annual salary of $150,000.
Paul Cain became a leading figure in the Voice of Healing Revival during the ‘40s and was one of the youngest ministers of all time at just 18-years-old (wowza). However, Cain soon became distressed with the blatant corruption within the church and decided to leave. Thankfully, he returned to the public eye in 1987 and has worked for the CIA (oo-er), as well as taking his place behind the pulpit in California. Now, he’s supposedly worth $1 million.
Of course, we all know Clifton Davis for his career as an actor and singer/songwriter (did you know he wrote a couple of the Jackson 5 smash hits?!), but he has also had a pretty successful career as a pastor. During his younger years, Davis attended Andrews University to study Theology, was awarded his Master of Divinity and was officially ordained in 1987. Now, he regularly appears on the Trinity Broadcasting Network and is worth a healthy $3 million.
Pat Robertson is one of the biggest names in the business, as he was the man and the brains behind the Christian Broadcasting Network, which is watched by millions of people each year. Because of this, he’s made a few million here and there. In fact, there are estimates that Robertson is worth anything between $200 million and $1 billion! With that kind of money, it’s no surprise he’s also entered the world of business (and done pretty well for himself).
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a net worth of $40 million? It’s fair to say you’d be pretty stoked. However, for Joel Osteen, this number is his reality. This pastor is not only one of the most popular pastors in America, but he’s also one of the most prominent pastors in the world. Although he practices in Lakewood Church in Houston, his preaching is recorded and broadcast across 100 countries. He doesn’t have the best rep though…
Considering Tony Campolo used to work as a spiritual advisor to Bill Clinton during his Presidency, you could say he was kind of a big deal. During his evangelical career, Campolo has created the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education (EAPE), has published numerous books and spends his time touring the country as a key speaker. All of this has led to an estimated net worth somewhere in the region of $4 million. Not bad at all.
Jesse Jackson is one of the most prominent names in the world of religion and civil rights. Alongside his run for presidential office, Jesse has been a leading figure in political activism and theology. Although he was officially ordained in 1968, he was awarded his Master of Divinity in 2000. He is now primarily a pastor and public speaker, gaining traction for his outspoken nature and his stance on civil rights. As if that wasn’t enough, he’s also worth an incredible $10 million!
John MacArthur began his evangelical career in the 1960s and has spent most of his time preaching in California. He soon became hugely popular and created the famous Grace To You radio broadcast. Since then, he has founded his own college and has written over 150 books (we’ve barely read 150 books!) Because of this; he has a net worth of around $12,485,467 and an annual salary of $160,000. Well, that’ll definitely keep you comfortable…
You might not recognize R.C Sproul, as he tends to shy away from the world of television (don’t blame him). Nevertheless, Sproul has built up a hugely successful brand around his name. In 1970, he established the Ligonier Ministries, which is now internationally recognized as a prolific religious program that offers conferences, college seminars, and radio stations. Although it has not been officially confirmed, it’s thought that R.C Sproul is worth a whopping $2 million.
Cindy Trimm was born and bred in Bermuda, before moving to the US to start her career in politics. However, Cindy began to wonder whether politics was her true calling, so entered the pulpit to use her voice and knowledge to lead sermons, and write chart-topping books for her fans across the world (and she has a lot of them). Nowadays, Cindy Trimm can be found at the Florida Embassy Worship Center and looking after her cool $15 million net worth.
Alongside his title of ‘pastor,’ Uebert Angel also calls himself a prophet (as you do) who has made a name for himself as the founder and leader of the Spirit Embassy Church. Much of his career has focused on healing, which has enticed millions of followers from across the world. Uebert has often been shrouded in scandal and has been the source of illicit claims, but he probably doesn’t care, considering he’s sitting on a $60 million fortune…
Ravi Zacharias was shown the light in desperate circumstances. After an attempt to take his own life, Ravi’s mother read him Bible scripture, which changed the course of his life. After this, the Indian native moved to Canada to study religion and was ordained soon after. Now, he works as a minister for the Ravi Zacharias International Ministries and has written numerous books and appeared on numerous radio programs – rocking up a cool $7.5 million net worth.
There’s a high chance you’ve probably heard of Pastor Ray McCauley before – probably because he’s always in the news for his lavish spending and his luxurious lifestyle. However, we’d probably splash the cash if our ministry was worth $30 million (yep!) In 1979, McCauley founded the Rhema Bible Church in South Africa, which has since taken off worldwide and amounted thousands of followers across the globe. When he’s not traveling the world and preaching, he’s also a keen bodybuilder. Wit-woo…
When it comes to splashing the cash, Kenneth Copeland knows how to do it right. His net worth of $760 million has gone towards a gorgeous lakeside mansion, his own personal airstrip (and of course a private jet to go with it) and the church itself. The church in question is the Charismatic Movement, which has thousands of followers across the globe. Although it has proved pretty controversial in the past, bad publicity is better than no publicity… right, Kenneth?
Leroy Jenkins is probably one of the most talked-about pastors in history. After a 12-year stint in prison, Jenkins maintained that he was a born-again Christian and set up the Leroy Jenkins Ministries. During this time, Jenkins hit the headlines for selling his counterfeit ‘Miracle Water’ (which was actually just full of nasty chemicals). Before his death, he was sitting on a nice $4 million net worth, which came from his Ministry, his book deal, his Gospel albums, and more.
There have always been stories and questions surrounding faith healers and their authenticity – especially Peter Popoff. Through his excitable, aggressive and energetic sermons, Popoff has supposedly cured his followers of heart conditions, paralysis, depression, and anxiety. However, he soon admitted that he was a fraud and disappeared for a while, before returning once more to ‘heal’ those who followed him. Despite his negative press, he’s still managed to rock up a net worth of $10 million and drive his collection of sports cars.
Chris Oyakhilome is a famous pastor from Nigeria that has since grown in popularity across the US in recent years. Chris first and foremost considers himself a healer and has even made the claim that he can personally rid someone of HIV through prayer alone. Of course, this hasn’t convinced many people (naturally), but he still has a devoted band of followers that have earned him, along with his various book publications, a nice $50 million net worth.
Unlike many of the other pastors on this list, this German pastor made his epic religious debut outside of America. After realizing at the age of 10-years-old that he wanted to a Minister, Bonnke began his preaching mission in Africa to small crowds. Soon, word of his teaching spread and he was facing sold-out venues and packed crowds. However, this seems to have done him good – considering he is now worth $4 million and has a rough annual salary of around $162,000.
We’d be very surprised if you’ve never heard of Al Sharpton before. The civil rights activist and pastor has been in the news more times that we can count for his outspoken ways and his personal plights. According to his own reports, Sharpton was ordained when he was just 9-years-old (although most people reject that claim) and has since appeared on radio and TV, earning him a net worth of around $5 million. However, that’s not including his debts and unpaid taxes. Oops.
Bishop T.D Jakes
Bishop T.D Jakes certainly knows how to use his cash – as when he’s not preaching; he can be found in his impressive $1.7 million mansion (we wouldn’t say no to that). Jakes is famous for the establishment of the famous Potters’ House ministry that reaches millions of people across the globe. It’s reported that Jakes is worth a whopping $150 million from his preaching, his various books, and his movies (he’s a producer, too!)
Ed Young Jr.
Although he grew up surrounded by religion, Ed Young Jr. didn’t always want to be a pastor. In fact, he attended Florida State University on a basketball scholarship before he realized his true career path. He was soon working for his father as an associate pastor, and has since grown his brand to include his very own television show on E! Ed Young Jr. has also written numerous books, which has earned him a ridiculous net worth of around $11 million.
We love it when a former TV star breaks away from Hollywood and turns to religion – and Growing Pains’ Kirk Cameron is one of the most famous to do so. After his ‘80s stint on TV, Cameron joined forces with a fellow minister to found The Way of the Master ministry. However, he hasn’t left his love for TV behind him and spends most of his time preaching through his television show which has earned him a cool $20 million net worth.
Although she’s not technically an American pastor, pastor Tshifhiwa Irene has definitely made an impression on American religion. This South African minister can be found in the pulpit of the Divine Truth World Restoration Services for World Peace by Jesus Christ (doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, does it?) which has been broadcast across the world, and has also helped her boost up her $35 million net worth. We will warn you though, some of her ‘healing’ videos are pretty graphic…
Before Robert Tilton, there was no televangelism. In fact, Tilton created the first ever religious infomercial in the history of television – so we have him to thank (or not). Throughout the ‘90s, his shows and commercials were played across 200 broadcasting companies across America, which was a blessing to some people (and some believed him to be exploitative). Nevertheless, his TV ventures earned him a good amount of money, and he is now worth a cool $50 million…
So far, we’ve yet to have a pastor who has surpassed the millions. Well, say a big hello to Edir Macedo, whose net worth is an incredible $1.1 billion! (Yep, with a B) During the 1970s, Macedo established the Pentecostal Universal Church of the Kingdom of God in Brazil, which is now one of the biggest ministries in the world. Each year, his church receives a whopping $2 billion in donations that go to the church – and Edir’s pocket.
Billy Graham is one of the most prestigious pastors on this list – because he is the only one who has worked with numerous Presidents of the United States as their spiritual advisor. Throughout his career, Graham has worked alongside the likes of Martin Luther King Jr. and has worked within the realm of TV and radio. His long career and connections with some of the best in the business has amounted to a whopping $25 million net worth.
Rick Warren is the pastor for one of the biggest ministries in the United States – the Saddleback Church in California. Warren has millions of followers across the globe and was a personal favorite of President Barack Obama. Throughout his career, he has built up an impressive $25 million net worth. However, unlike many of the pastors on this list, Warren sees little of it. Although he keeps 10% of his income for himself, he donates the remaining 90% to charities across the country.
Juanita Bynum definitely has a few strings to her bow. As well as being a popular televangelist, she is also a professional Gospel singer and actress (leave some talent for the rest of us, ey?) Alongside her role as pastor, Bynum is also an empowerment coach for churches and ministries across the country, and has written numerous books about the power of God. With all of this talent, it’s no surprise she’s worth an incredible $10 million. Not too shabby!
Of course, we all know the name, George Foreman. In fact, many of us have one in our kitchen. Alongside his career as a boxer and a kitchen appliance brand, George Foreman is also an ordained minister. Foreman turned to religion in 1977 after he nearly died, and decided to take a break from the world of fighting to help preach on the streets of Houston. Now, he’s worth a whopping $250 million. Imagine how many George Foreman grills you could buy…
It’s no surprise that Jimmy Swaggart is one the list of the richest pastors in the business – because he is one of the most popular pastors in the world. Swaggart was ordained during the 1950s and has since launched a hugely successful career through active church preaching, a radio show, and even a TV show. Unfortunately, he’s had a bit of a rough time of it (because of THOSE scandals), but at least he’s sitting on a cool $1.5 million. That’ll do.
Like many of the pastors on this list, preaching wasn’t the first career choice for David Oyedepo. In fact, David had a successful career in architecture before changing his path after a supposed 18-hour vision from God Himself. After this vision, pastor David created the Living Faith Church Worldwide and is now one of the richest men in the game. With a $150 million net worth, he owns not one… not two… not three… but FOUR private jets.