When you think about pastors, chances are you first think about demure figures who choose to live a humble, simple life, but you may not realize that some of the richest pastors in the world have millions of dollars to their names.
Most pastors don’t make that much money. According to Salary.com, the average pastor makes anywhere from $87,081 to $120,084. This is no doubt a livable sum, but pastors of smaller churches often make less and the majority of pastors won’t be wealthy. However, pastors have the opportunity to make much more than their base salaries.
You may be wondering how a pastor can make so much money; well, the richest religions and their pastors can bring in lots of money because pastors don’t just address their congregations and lead their churches. As Church Fuel points out, they also can earn money from counseling, motivational speaking, book writing, affiliate marketing, or starting a personal business. Thus, there’s no limit to how much a pastor can achieve.
While many of the top 20 richest pastors still maintain their modest dispositions and try to stay spiritually connected, that doesn’t mean they can’t earn some big bucks. Read more to see how pastors can earn tons of money. Here are the huge figures who have become the richest pastors in the world and have amassed staggering net worths.
There are so many pastors around the world that compiling a list of the 20 richest pastors takes a lot of patience and processing tons of information to find the most relevant facts available. Fortunately, we’ve done all the hard work to offer the most comprehensive list available. We want to be transparent about our approach to help readers understand the precision and care we have used.
We began the process by creating a list of some of the most prominent pastors around the world. We were then able to begin the research process to narrow down our list and shape it based on financial estimations. To get the best info possible, we use a range of sources and acknowledge that most wealthy people have diverse holdings, so rather than just having one income source, we have to look to various pursuits they may use to invest their money to make more money.
- Public records and websites offer invaluable information; government data, public filings, and relevant news reports or statistics can give us a better, sometimes exact, record of financial information and trends.
- Comparative value asset allows us to estimate what certain assets may be worth, even if there are no publicly available records on these assets. When exact numbers are available, we use those, but sometimes, we must estimate based on similar information that we do have available.
- Using insider information or self-disclosure from people on the list, we can further clarify the information. Quotes usually don’t give specifics, but they can add clues to what sort of ventures a figure may be earning from.
- Academic or government studies are also used when necessary to add insight into the figures and their industry.
- Mathematical equations and formulas are infused throughout the process to calculate net worths that reflect both the quantitative and qualitative data we have collected.
This strenuous methodology means that each figure has been carefully considered. Additionally, as new information emerges, we work to update our list and adjust to reflect the most current wealth figure of the wealthiest pastors in the world.
20. Joseph Prince Net Worth – $5 million
Joseph is a pastor from Singapore. He serves as a senior pastor of the New Creation Church in Singapore, one of the largest in Asia. Besides pastoring, he hosts a television program called “Destined to Reign,” which airs in 150 countries. He has also managed to publish two bestsellers. One of his books was even considered one of Christian Retailing’s “Top 100 Books.”
Some popular books by Joesph Prince include:
- Destined to Reign
- Eat Your Way to Life and Health
- The Healing Power of the Holy Communion
- Healing Scriptures
- Unmerited Favor
- The Prayer of Protection
- Grace Revolution
- The Power of Right Believing
19. T.D. Jakes Net Worth – $20 million
He is an American bishop, filmmaker, and author. Jakes is the bishop of a non-denominational megachurch called the Potter’s House. In 1981, he became the pastor of the Greater Emanuel Temple of Faith. A few years later, he joined another church called Higher Ground Always Abounding Assemblies, where his congregation gradually grew. Before moving to the Potter’s House in 1996, he set up a publishing firm that published his books in 1995. Jakes spends most of his fortune on jewelry, houses, and cars.
Although wealthy, Jakes has not forgotten his call to help people. Jakes is known for his charitable work, especially in his work empowering black people. One example of Jakes’ work is his initiative with his daughter Sarah Jakes Robert, which seeks to empower Black businesswomen.
18. Rick Warren Net Worth – $25 million
Rick is an American pastor and author. He became interested in pastoring at 19. Later, he cofounded his church with his wife called Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. The church is the eighth largest in the United States. Besides being a pastor, he has also written famous books titled “The Purpose Driven Church” and “The Purpose Driven Life.” These books highlight what his church stands for and have been standouts in self-help and faith circles for many years.
17. Creflo Dollar Net Worth – $27 million
Creflo is an American Word of Faith teacher, pastor, and founder of the non-denominational church called the World Changers Church International. Most of his earnings have been through his ministries.
Besides preaching, he is also a publisher. For instance, he publishes a quarterly magazine called Change, a bimonthly resource newsletter called The Max, and several books. The pastor has been lampooned for his prosperity theology and his luxurious lifestyle. He owns a 2.5 million dollar home in Manhattan, a private jet, two Rolls-Royce, and a million-dollar home in Atlanta.
16. Ray McCauley Net Worth – $29 million
Ray McCauley is a South African religious leader and author. Currently, he is a senior pastor at Rhema Bible Church and the president of the International Federation of Christian Churches (IFCC).
When Ray opened a branch of Rhema Bible Church in his parents’ home, only 13 people would attend his service. However, as the number of his audience grew, he changed the venue of his ministry several times. Due to the high number of attendees in his church, his ministry remains his primary source of income.
15. Enoch Adeboye Net Worth – $39 million
He is a Nigerian pastor and the general overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God. Initially, he worked at the church as an interpreter before being ordained as a pastor. The church has several branches in Nigeria and the rest of the world, significantly contributing to his massive earnings.
With the proceeds, he started his gospel television station called Dove TV and a university called Redeemer’s University. The pastor now owns a bulletproof Rolls-Royce Phantom, a $65 million G550 luxury jet, a Land Rover Discovery, and a Mercedes-Benz Gelandewagen.
He has faced some controversy after taking a side in the Israel-Hamas conflict while also not taking any sides in tensions in Nigeria. Despite these criticisms, he has strived to focus on his mission and role in the church.
14. Benny Hinn Net Worth – $40 million
Benny is an Israeli speaker and televangelist. He is known for his association with The World Healing Center Church. He rose to fame in the late 1980s when he debuted his faith and revival meeting summits called “Miracle Crusades.” Besides the summits, he ran his Christian television program called “This Is Your Day.” Ultimately, the television show made him rich in the 1990s since it quickly became popular worldwide. With his newfound fame, he decided to write books, and they have also largely contributed to his wealth.
He hasn’t been beloved by all. He notably received criticism from Pastor Greg Locke for being a “false prophet,” but Locke has since made amends for his past insults. Benny Hinn has remained resilient even in the face of criticism.
13. Andy Stanley – $45 million
Born Charlies Andrew Stanley, Andrew Stanley is the founder and chief pastor of the nondenominational ministries, North Point Ministries, which he based in Alpharetta Georgia. Andy Stanley inherited his excitement for religious leadership by learning from his father, Charles Stanley, who was a pastor at the First Baptist Church of Atlanta and found In Touch Ministries.
One of Stanley’s main ventures is as an author. He has written over 20 books. Some of his popular books include:
- Better Decisions, Fewer Regrets
- Sex & Dating
- Deep & Wide
- How to be Rich
- Next Generation Leader
- The New Rules for Love
If a collection of books isn’t enough, Stanley started a TV program, Your Move with Andy Stanley, which began in 2012 and further spread his mission. It’s no wonder he has been called one of the most influential pastors in the United States.
12. Jesse Duplantis Net Worth – $50 million
Jesse Duplantis is a minister of the Covenant Church. He preached his first sermon in 1976 when he was introduced to TBN by John Hagee. Later, he would become a full-time evangelist in 1978. His sermons are popular worldwide due to his sense of humor in his teachings.
In 2018, he controversially asked his audience to donate money to purchase a private jet worth $54 million. According to Christian Post, he claimed he would use the jet to spread the gospel worldwide. However, he already owned three jets by that time, which further befuddled his followers. Despite the controversy, he is still financially benefiting from his spiritual leadership and business ventures.
11. Paul Adefarasin Net Worth – $50 million
Paul was born into a wealthy family in Nigeria. Initially, he used his father’s wealth to fuel his drug addiction, but he transformed his life before he could spiral any further. In 1994, he was saved and gave up his drug addiction.
Following his conversion, he enrolled for a diploma in Christian Ministry. With his theological knowledge, he was able to start his ministry called The House on the Rock. The church has over 77 parishes in Africa and Europe. Besides pastoring, he earns as an author and a host of a television program called “Something Is About to Happen.”
10. Uebert Angel Net Worth – $60 million
Uebert is a British-Zimbabwean charismatic evangelical preacher and founder of Spirit Embassy in the United Kingdom. Though he acts as a preacher, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t had some scandals and hardships along the way.
As a Zimbabwe ambassador, he has come under fire for allegedly smuggling gold. Such crimes have smudged his reputation, but this controversy is far from his first. He has also been accused of other financial crimes. It is unclear how these scandals will impact his net worth.
Before becoming a pastor, he was already rich from his numerous business activities. For instance, he founded Club Millionaire Limited, which provided concierge services in Britain and engaged in the real estate business. With his earnings, he was able to start the Uebert Angel Foundation. The foundation provides scholarships to poor students. He also started another charity organization called Free Earth Humanitarian Organization. The organization generally helps underprivileged people meet their needs.
9. Joel Osteen Net Worth – $100 million
Joel is an American televangelist and an author. He was ordained as a minister in Lakewood Church in 1992 and has built his following over the decades. When his father passed on in 1999, he became the church’s main pastor. About 10 million Americans view his televised sermons. Besides the United States, his sermons are also popular in 100 other countries, showing his huge ambition and commitment to spreading his beliefs.
In 2004, he began his debut writing career by releasing his bestseller “Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential.” Besides writing and preaching, he also has a radio show. By using several methods to spread his message, he’s amassed more wealth than he ever could have imagined. With his earnings, he purchased houses worth $10.5 million. Additionally, he owns many cars in his garage, including a Ferrari worth $325,000.
8. Shepherd Bushiri Net Worth – $110 million
Shepherd is a Malawian pastor formerly based in South Africa. He is an author, prophet, motivational speaker, and business executive. The Enlightened Christian Gathering, a church he established in South Africa, has branches in Ghana, Malawi, South Sudan, etc. Besides earning from his churches, he owns a company called Shepherd Bushiri Investments. The company is involved in real estate, oil, transportation, mining, and hospitality.
While he’s certainly had a noteworthy career, over the past years, he has dealt with legal trouble. He and his wife were accused of committing crimes such as fraud. As a result, he experienced some final losses and was forced to auction off his property. His wealth may not last long, but for now, he is still among the wealthiest of pastors.
7. Romildo Ribeiro Soares Net Worth – $125 million
Romildo Ribeiro Soares, also known as R.R. Soares, is a Brazilian televangelist, missionary, businessman, singer, composer, and author. He became a televangelist in the 1960s after reading a book by T.L. Osborn. In the 1980s, he founded the International Church of God’s Grace.
The church has branches in Brazil, the United Kingdom, Portugal, etc. He also owns the Graça Artes Gráficas and Editora Ltda, which is a gospel record label. Besides earning from music, he also earns from writing. For instance, he has written 10 Portuguese books, which have since been translated into English. While how he is most prominent in Brazil, he is surely a global name.
6. Chris Oyakhilome Net Worth – $126 million
Chris is a Nigerian televangelist and faith healer. He is the founder of a Christian ministry called Believer’s LoveWorld. The ministry has several arms, namely: Rhapsody of Realities, the Healing School, an NGO called the Innercity Missions, and three Christian television channels called LoveWorld TV, LoveWorld SAT, and LoveWorld Plus.
Even though his ministry is the reason for his wealth, he also earns as an author. A common book he publishes is the daily devotional bible called Rhapsody of Realities. The book has since been translated into hundreds of languages. It is a requirement for each member to have a copy of the book, so he is therefore guaranteed millions of dollars from selling this book.
5. David Oyedepo Net Worth – $150 million
David is a Nigerian preacher, businessman, author, and founder of the Living Faith Church. Before becoming a preacher, he briefly worked with the Federal Ministry of Housing in Ilorin, Nigeria. In 1981, he started his church after claiming God mandated him through an 18-hour vision. Five years later, he was ordained as the bishop of the church.
With the proceeds from the church, he owns private jets and homes in London and the United States. Also, he owns Dominion Publishing House, which publishes his books. These books are an extension of his mission and allow him to bring in more revenue.
Although there has been recent speculation about the pastor’s relationship with his son, his son, Isaac has denied being estranged from his father or the family’s church.
4. Valdemiro Santiago Net Worth – $350 million
Valdemiro is a Brazilian pastor and leader of the World Church of the Power of God and has been a pastor for more than three decades. Before becoming the leader of this church, he was a preacher at the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God.
He was allegedly expelled from that church due to misunderstandings between him and the management, but this incident seems to have transformed his future. Being expelled prompted him to start the World Church of the Power of God. He has since started several other churches.
Valdemiro Santiago has been able to magnify his wealth. In 2013, Forbes reported that he had a net worth of $220 million, but in the decade since, he has gotten up to $350 million. He has made some notable big purchases and bought a $45 million jet in 2012, showing the magnitude of his career as a pastor.
3. Kenneth Copeland Net Worth – $760 million
Kenneth is an American televangelist, author, public speaker, and musician with ties to the Charismatic Movement. Most churches and critics generally regard him as the face of the prosperity gospel. Before he converted to Christianity and became a preacher in 1962, he was a recording artist. His love of music has continued throughout his spiritual career as well.
He even managed to have a hit in the Top 40 with his single titled “Pledge of Love.” His affluence mainly comes from his church’s donations. He has acquired a $20 million private jet and a $6.3 million lakefront mansion through donations. With the reliance on donations to fund his lifestyle, some people speculate that his net worth could even amount to $1 billion.
2. Alph Lukau Net Worth – $1 billion
Alph Lukau is a pastor and founder of Alleluia Ministries International in South Africa, though he has Congolese roots. Since starting his ministry in 2002, he has amassed thousands of members worldwide. His YouTube channel shows his success, and he has more than 1.5 million followers on that platform alone. As a result of having so many followers, he has opened up branches in South Africa, Angola, Congo, Zambia, Namibia, DR Congo, and many other countries.
While Lukau’s church is his biggest pursuit, he certainly has made plenty of business ventures to get him over the billion-dollar mark. He has invested in big industries like energy, mining, education, and travel, which he pursues through the Alph Lukau Group.
At times, his wealth can seem garish to the public. The pastor owns a private jet, motorbikes, a Range Rover, a Rolls-Royce, and a Bentley. He makes headlines from time to time due to his luxurious lifestyle, but even with some criticism, many faithful people still accept him as an important spiritual leader.
1. Edir Macedo Net Worth – $1.2 billion
Edir is a Brazilian religious leader, serving as an evangelical bishop. Currently, he is the richest pastor in the world; though, most of his money has stemmed from his business initiatives as a prominent media baron.
In 1977, he started his denomination in Rio de Janeiro called the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God. It has steadily evolved into one of the largest denominations in the country. Well into his seventies, Edit Macedo has built up his legacy over decades of commitment to his church and a strong business ethic.
It was with the earnings from his church that he was able to buy Rede Record in 1990. He serves as the chairman and owner of Rede Record, Brazil’s third-largest television network. The television network is the major reason he is affluent, but it would have never been possible without his history as a religious leader. Later on, he opened another television network in Atlanta called W67CI, showing his continued commitment to building his empire.
Some pastors may only engage with their audience once per week, but that doesn’t mean pastors don’t do much more. Pastors must deal with a range of church activities, including special events like weddings, staff meetings, ministry management, facility management, and religious-specific celebrations. Some pastors like to be even more hands-on and will manage most of the church functions and general spiritual health in their congregation.
Though pastors can get quite busy, those with big or rich churches can often hire people to help them run their churches. That means some pastors end up having too much time on their hands and they want to use their time wisely. It is no surprise that most of the pastors on this list have other interests besides pastoring.
Besides keeping themselves busy with other activities, these pastors can also achieve a high net worth from other side hustles. As the pastors became famous, some ventured into writing or non-church speaking engagements. They can spread their message to more than just their congregation and share it with thousands of people if not millions.
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Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson