Not many people respond to the call to ministry in order to get rich, but there are some pators who have racked up an eye-popping amount of wealth. Among the richest pastors in the world are some very recognizable names, and a few you may not have heard of. But you probably won’t recognize any names among those who serve for an “average” salary. Let’s look at both ends of the spectrum.
The Richest Pastors in the World
Perhaps we should start with two basic caveats: first, by Richest Pastors in the World we are speaking of their net worth, the total amount of assets (land, houses, money, and yes, airplanes) they have gathered to themselves over the years. Second, these numbers are notoriously difficult to pin down because of a general lack of transparency about the financial size of many ministries.
The general-interest website Kiiky.com published their list of the richest pastors in the world in February 2023. Here is their top-ten:
- Kenneth Copeland (Net worth estimated at $300 million)
- Bishop David Oyedepo (Net worth estimated at $150 million)
- Televangelist Pat Robertson (Net worth estimated at $100 million)
- Joel Osteen (Net worth estimated at $80 million)
- Benny Hinn (Net worth estimated at $60 million)
- Pastor Chris Oyakhilome (Net worth estimated at $50 million)
- Creflo Dollar (Net worth estimated at $39 million)
- EA Adeboye (Net worth estimated at $35 million)
- Rick Warren (Net worth estimated at $28 million)
- T. D. Jakes (Net worth estimated at $20 million)
It’s worth noting (again) that whatever website publishes such figures (MSN has a different list), there is no independent means of verification.
Also, each pastor’s story is remarkably different. Rick Warren, for example (no. 9 on the list) gained most of his wealth by writing the best-selling book, The Purpose-Driven Life, which has sold more than 50 million copies. Warren reportedly re-imbursed his church, Saddleback Church, for all of the salary he had received during his 25+ year tenture. Of course, other pastors may have engaged in similar, less public, acts of charity.
Finally, what’s notable about this list is that eight of the ten richest pastors in the world minister in the United States (the other two are both from Nigeria).
But what of those who are not among the richest pastors in the world?