Richest Pastors in the World & their Net Worth – Pastors are humans as well and no doubt some of the richest men in the world. On several occasions, pastors from all over the world have made Forbes’ list of the world’s most influential men. They are not really included in the list of rich men in the world, largely because there are no known enterprises or businesses to their names other than the title ‘pastor’.
It has been argued time and time again that most pastors make their money from tithes, offerings and first fruits.
‘Tithe and firstfruit’, a phrase from the Bible that has given an untold fortune to many religious and sectarian leaders. For most churches, their members must pay ten percent monthly of their income as tithe while first fruits are advanced offering types given on rare occasions for something special that happened. Both concepts have their roots in the Bible, particularly in the Old Testament; in the Abrahamic Books when God walked closely with His Chosen and handed them a law.
Over the years, pastors have risen to the status of demi-gods due to large followership and the monies they make. In Africa, most live second to the presidents of the countries they live in and are so much revered. The essence of this post, however, is to look at the richest pastors in the world and their net worth.
Richest Pastors in the World
From the least to the richest, below is a list of the richest pastors in the world & their net worth.
Pastor Joyce Meyer is an American Bible teacher, author, and motivational speaker. Pastor Joyce Meyer, also known as Pauline Joyce Hutchison, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and was sexually abused as a child.
Meyer travels to public speaking engagements on her private jet. In 2004, a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article listed her and her husband’s assets, which were reportedly all paid for by her ministry. They included her $10 million jet and several million-dollar homes, as well as a $107,000 silver Mercedes. After receiving criticism for these financial perks, Meyer announced plans to take a reduced salary and derive more of her personal income from her outside book sales. Joyce Meyer net worth is estimated to be $8 million. In the past, Joyce Meyer has had series of plastic surgery procedures such as chin improvement, lip augmentation, and a facelift. She argues that ‘God does not love her any less’, regardless.
Jesse Jackson is a renowned United States Baptist pastor, who has also been closely linked to leftist politics, being one of the Democratic activists who came to the presidential primaries in 1984. In the controversial case of former President Clinton with Monica Lewinsky, Jesse Jackson went to the media boldly to defend the president and offer him all moral advice. It is estimated that his net worth is $10 million.
Franklin Graham is an American Christian evangelist and a missionary. Franklin is the son of evangelist Billy Graham and Ruth Bell Graham. Graham converted to Christianity at 22 years old. He has authored many books and has been no stranger to controversy over the years. Franklin Graham’s net worth is estimated at $10 million.
Temitope Joshua, fondly referred to as T.B. Joshua is Nigeria’s most controversial pastor due to his dubious claims that he heals incurable diseases such as HIV, cancer, and paralysis. He is the founder of Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), a church he founded in 1987 and gets his version of the Good Word out to over 15,000 members on Sundays. His church currently has branches in Ghana, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Greece. Over the past several years, Joshua has made philanthropic donations of over $20 million to causes in education, healthcare and rehabilitation programs for former Niger Delta militants. He owns Emmanuel TV, a Christian television network, and is close friends with Ghanaian President Atta Mills. The estimated net worth of T.B. Joshua is $10 million – $15 million.
Bishop T.D. Jakes
Thomas Dexter Jakes Sr., known as T. D. Jakes, is a pastor, author, and filmmaker. He is the pastor of The Potter’s House, a non-denominational American megachurch. Jakes’ net worth has been estimated at $18 million. He talked about his wealth with Oprah in a 2012 interview and stated that he draws income from his megachurch, in addition to earning money off his best-selling books and producing movies.
William Franklin Graham Jr. was an American evangelist, a prominent evangelical Christian figure, and an ordained Southern Baptist minister who became well-known internationally in the late 1940s. Billy Graham was the pioneer of televangelism and enjoyed the immense religious fame that won him a lot of followers, especially from the Latin American public, fervent of these evangelical doctrines. Although Graham passed on in 2018, his net worth before his passing was $25 million.
Richard Duane Warren is an American evangelical Christian pastor and author. He is the founder and senior pastor of Saddleback Church, an evangelical megachurch affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, in Lake Forest, California that is the sixth-largest megachurch in the United States.
In 1980, Rick Warren founded the Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. Today the evangelical megachurch church is America’s fifth-largest, and weekly attendance averages 20,000 people. Warren has also written best-selling book A Purpose Driven Life. His professed philosophy is to bring global harmony to the world by founding churches, promoting education, and helping the poor and sick. Rick Warren’s net worth is estimated at $25 million.
Creflo Augustus Dollar Jr. is an American televangelist, pastor, and the founder of the non-denominational World Changers Church International based in College Park, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta. Dollar also heads the Creflo Dollar Ministerial Association, Creflo Dollar Ministries, and Arrow Records. In just one year, in 2016, the church founded by Creflo obtained donations of almost $70 million. Dollar had charged the members of his church that he needed them to donate $300 each to buy a $65 million private jet so he could “safely and swiftly share the Good News of the Gospel worldwide.”, But almost as quickly as Pastor Creflo Dollar asked his 200,000 followers to each donate $300.00 towards the purchase of a luxurious jet, the campaign vanished and was removed from his website. Months later, the board of World Changers Church International would go on to announce that it would be acquiring a Gulfstream G650 as it ‘reflects the level of excellence’. His fortune is enormous, although it is estimated that Creflo Dollar’s net worth is close to $30 million, free of expenses.
Ever the smiling pastor, Joel Osteen is a billionaire American televangelist, as well as the founding pastor of the National Church Changers. His coffers are increased thanks to its generous faithful and it is estimated that he has more than $40 million, in addition to a very luxurious private jet and an apartment of almost 3 million dollars in Manhattan. In an interview, he said that this abundance is for men religious leaders like him and that if Jesus lived, he would walk in a Roll Royce.
Chris Oyakhilome is a Nigerian televangelist and faith healer and a pastor. Popularly known as “Pastor Chris”, Chris Oyakhilome is the founder and founding president of Believers’ LoveWorld Incorporated aka “Christ Embassy“, a Bible-based Christian ministry with headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria. The ministry has a handful of arms including the Healing School, Rhapsody of Realities and an N.G.O called the Innercity Missions along with some three Christian television channels: LoveWorld TV, LoveWorld SAT and LoveWorld Plus.
One of the most influential preachers in Africa, Chris Oyakhilome has started to hone his oratory skill ever since his secondary and tertiary school days. Blessed with natural charisma, he eventually managed to gather more than 2.5 million people in a single night’s event through Oyakhilome’s television programs that feature his faith healings, miracles and large meetings. However, he was involved in a $35 million money laundering case in which he was accused of transferring funds from his church to foreign banks. Having pleaded no wrongdoing, he eventually got free of charge and the case was dismissed. Chris Oyakhilome’s net worth is estimated at $50 million.
Toufik Benedictus “Benny” Hinn is an Israeli televangelist, best known for his regular “Miracle Crusades”—revival meeting or faith healing summits that are usually held in stadiums in major cities, which are later broadcast worldwide on his television program, This Is Your Day. He is a true showman of television religious programs worldwide. He has a fortune of more than $60 million and gathers thousands of people in his healing ceremonies where he supposedly works miracles.
Televangelist Pat Robertson is a Southern Baptist with a charismatic ideology. In 1960, he founded Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), which now broadcasts shows in 180 countries in 71 languages. The flagship show, The 700 Club, airs daily, featuring news, live guests, music, and testimony oriented around the Christian lifestyle.
In addition to his TV network, Robertson is a former Marine who ran unsuccessfully for U.S. president in 1988. He also founded Christian Coalition, a Christian Right organization that raises money for conservative political candidates. He is also founder, CEO, and chancellor of Regent University. Robertson’s net worth is reported as $100 million.
David Oyedepo is a Nigerian pastor. Having enjoyed a reputation as the richest pastor in Nigeria, David Oyedepo is the founder and presiding bishop of Living Faith Church World Wide, aka Winners Chapel, and its affiliated international churches known as Winners Chapel International. In addition, he is the senior pastor at Faith Tabernacle, a 50,000-seater church auditorium. Whereas the Winners Chapel can be found in thirty-two African countries as well as in the United Kingdom, United States of America and Dubai; Faith Tabernacle was named the world’s largest church auditorium by the Guinness Book of World Records.
A husband and father of four, David Oyedepo is affectionately called “Papa” by the members of his church congregation and has been often referred to as one of the most powerful preachers in Nigeria. Oyedepo owns four private jets, two private universities and a city bigger than the capital of Lagos, Ikeja, occupying a land area of 80 Km2, among a host of other acquisitions. Oyedepo is a vocal pastor that has never failed to ‘curse’ people who criticize his wealth and schools. David Oyedepo’s net worth is estimated to be $150 million.
Silas Lima Malafaia is a Brazilian Pentecostal pastor, author, and televangelist. He is the leader of the Pentecostal church Assembleia de Deus Vitória em Cristo, a branch of the broader Assembleias de Deus movement of Pentecostal churches in Brazil. With a net worth of about $150 million, all thanks to the faith that thousands of people place in it. In 2016, his Sao Paulo home was raided in a sting operation by the police for receiving a $100,000 check from a ‘pastor friend’. It was discovered that the source of the money was questionable but Malafaia claimed he was innocent. Silas Malafaia has been known to deny his enormous monetary wealth when publicly questioned.
Kenneth Max Copeland is an American televangelist and author associated with the Charismatic Movement. He has been identified as preaching a prosperity and abundance message, commonly referred to as the prosperity gospel. He runs the Tarrant County, Texas-based Kenneth Copeland Ministries.
Kenneth Copeland Ministries is located on a 1,500-acre campus near Fort Worth, Texas. The grounds include a church as well as a private airstrip and hangar for a $17.5 million jet and other aircraft. Copeland reportedly lives in a $6.3 lakefront mansion funded by his church. Copeland’s estimated net worth is $300 million. However, other reports suggest Copeland could be worth $750 million or more.
Valdemiro Santiago is a Brazilian prosperity pastor and leader of the World Church of the Power of God. He graduated from the Order of Evangelical Theologians from Latin America and has been an evangelical minister for more than 30 years. Beyond pastoring, Santiago has shown that he is an entrepreneur, albeit a weird one. In the past, he launched a key, a pillowcase, socks, anointed handkerchief, and his latest addition is a new line of perfumes (VS, short for his name) to compose his collection of personalized items. He has founded several churches, among which the Church of God World of Energy stands out, with almost one million followers and almost four thousand temples in the world. Valdemiro Santiago estimated net worth stands around $350 million. In 2017, Santiago was rescued by the Fire department of Ilhabela, Brazil for trying to walk on water.
Edir Macedo is the richest pastor in the world and one of the richest men in the world with an estimated net worth of over $1.6 billion. He is the religious leader with the most luxurious mansions in Brazil and on the entire planet. He is even one of the men with the greatest economic resources worldwide.
In 1977, he founded his own sect in Rio de Janeiro, which follows “prosperity theology,” asserting that faith and commitment to a church are rewarded with wealth. In July of 2013, he also became a banker after acquiring a 49% stake in privately-held bank Banco Renner, which boasts among the highest interest rates in Brazil. The transaction raised eyebrows in part because Brazil’s central bank treated Macedo as a foreign investor since he is based in the U.S.
The bulk of Macedo’s fortune stems from his ownership of Rede Record, Brazil’s second-largest broadcaster, which he acquired in 1990 from entertainer Silvio Santos. It is unclear how he got the funding to purchase the company: Brazil’s Public Ministry has probed into the question for more than ten years while some reports have alleged that he used church funds. Macedo has declined to comment. His media empire also extends to an Atlanta-based Telemundo affiliate, W67CI.
In 2014, Macedo inaugurated a huge replica of Solomon’s Temple in Sao Paulo, which seats 10,000 congregants and is twice the height of the iconic Christ the Redeemer, located in Rio de Janeiro. The mega-church cost a reported $200 million to build and serves as Universal’s headquarters.