Religion is simple, but it becomes complex as there are so many questions but limited answers. So, who's supposed to interpret these questions? Pastors are the de facto interpreters of religion, and they do this via their ministries, whereby they have a congregation of answer seekers.
However, in the process of interpreting the Bible, pastors make a lot of money. Don’t get it wrong; riches in churches aren't a bad thing. The Bible is not silent about how people are to view and manage money and possessions. More and more pastors are growing their wealth every day, and it seems like the church is a money minting avenue.
The most famous pastors in the world have two things in common – a massive congregation and wealth. They attract a large gathering to their ministries, thereby generating great income and accumulating numerous assets. Therefore, it isn't strange to hear of pastors that are worth billions. So, who are the richest pastors in the world 2021?
1. Kenneth Copeland - $300 million
Copeland is an American preacher, public speaker, televangelist, and musician born in Lubbock, Texas, in December 1936. He founded the Kenneth Copeland Ministries located in Tarrant County in Texas.
He is rumoured to be richer than the official figures available, but Celebrity Net Worth claims the preacher is worth $300 million. It makes him one of the wealthiest pastors in the world. The American preacher is also an author, a public speaker, and a musician.
His ministry is majorly done through television, books, DVDs and CDs. Copeland has been clouded with controversy about his wealth and the reliance on church funds to support his lifestyle. The preacher has three private jets, which he uses for trips to resorts and personal vacations.
2. David Oyedepo - $150 million
David Oyepedo is Nigeria's wealthiest pastor with a net worth of about $150 million. He is the founder and presiding bishop of Living Faith Church World Wide. The church is also known as Winners Chapel and is affiliated with many churches internationally with the same name.
In addition to that, Pastor David Oyepedo is the senior pastor at Faith Tabernacle, a church auditorium with a 50,000 seat capacity. In addition, the Nigerian bishop has several properties, including four private jets and homes in the USA and UK.
He owns Dominion Publishing House, a well-established publishing firm. The pastor is the founder and owner of Covenant University and Faith Academy, an elite learning institution.
3. Pat Robertson - $100 million
Pat Robertson has a net worth of $100 million. Coming at number three on this list, Pat Robertson is a preacher and a very successful businessman. The American preacher was born in Lexington, Virginia.
He is also known as Marion Gordon Robertson. He once served in the United States Marine Corps before going to law school. He failed to pass the bar exam and subsequently joined the New York Theological Seminary.
After completion, he launched the Christian Broadcasting Network in Virginia, and the network has grown to broadcast in 180 countries. Pat ran for president in the late 80s, but he was not successful.
He is the founder and CEO of the Christian Coalition, a Christian rights organization that raises money and public support for conservative political candidates. The preacher is also known for his controversial predictions, which he claims are from God but have failed the test of time.
4. Joel Osteen - $100 million
Joel Osteen is an American preacher, televangelist and author who has a net worth of about $100 million.
Osteen was born on the 5th of March 1963. He is most known for televangelism as the pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas.
The celebrated preacher inherited the church and its television ministry from his father, the late John Osteen. He took over in 1999 even though he had little religious training but has steered the church to unprecedented growth worldwide.
Joel has, over time, become one of the controversial religious personalities because of his wealth and advocacy of the prosperity gospel. The pastor's church in Houston, Texas, sits on 60,000 square feet. It has a seating capacity of 16,000 people.
5. Benny Hinn - $60 million
The Israel-born televangelist Benny Hinn has a net worth of $60 million. The preacher was born on the 3rd of December 1952. He was put on the world map by his regular miracle healing crusades held in big stadiums of big cities and broadcast on live television.
He became a born-again Christian after befriending fellow students who introduced him to prayer meetings at school. His family initially opposed his newfound faith, but his determination led him to Kathryn Kuhlman's healing service in Pittsburgh.
Kathryn became a significant influence on his life as a Christian and preacher to a point he emulates her style to this day. He founded the Orlando Christian Center in 1983 and started claiming that he was only a conduit for God to heal.
Apart from his faith healing services, Hinn is a writer and a TV program host. He has been involved in many false prophesies relating to the end times, the death of Fidel Castro and the destruction of gay people in the USA.
6. Uebert Angel - $60 million
Uebert Angel, with a net worth of $60 million, is one of the most prominent pastors in Zimbabwe. He is a televangelist, public speaker, businessman and founder of Spirit Embassy. The ministry was later renamed Good News Church in October 2015.
Uebert was born and grew up in Masvingo, Zimbabwe. The televangelist later moved to Manchester, England, where he founded the Spirit Embassy ministry in 2007.
The pastor and his wife have been heavily involved in humanitarian work since the creation of his church in 2007. He assists low-income families in Africa and Asia by providing monthly groceries and paying tuition fees for kids through his Adopt a Family scheme.
7. Pastor Chris Oyakhilome - $50 million
Pastor Chris Oyakhilome net worth is $50 million. The televangelist hails from Nigeria, where he is popularly known as Pastor Chris. Like many pastors, he has branded himself as a faith healer, thereby gathering followers who hope their pastor can heal their illnesses. Pastor Chris founded the church known as Believers' LoveWorld Incorporated, aka Christ Embassy.
Although the church is based in Nigeria, it has spread to several other countries in Africa, becoming one of the wealthiest churches in Africa. The church runs an NGO called the Innercity Missions. It also has three Christian television channels that include LoveWorld Plus, LoveWorld TV and LoveWorld SAT.
The pastor was recently fined £125,000 by the United Kingdom broadcasting regulatory authority for a potentially harmful and inaccurate Coronavirus claim. The fine was imposed on Loveworld Television, one of the stations owned by the pastor’s church.
8. Enoch Adeboye - $39 million
Enoch Adeboye is another wealthy Nigerian pastor with an approximate net worth of $39 million. On top of being a pastor, he is an author, televangelist, public speaker and the general overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God. Interestingly, he is also a professor of mathematics.
9. Creflo Dollar - $27 million
Creflo wears many hearts as an American Word of Faith teacher, a pastor, and the nondenominational World Changers Church International founder. He is based in Fulton County, Georgia. Creflo's net worth is $27 million, making him one of the richest pastors in the world.
The key message in his ministry is the will of God for one to prosper in every way. In addition, he publishes CHANGE Magazine, which is a quarterly international publication with over 100,000 subscribers.
The preacher has also written many books, which include Understanding God's Purpose for the Anointing (1992), Claim Your Victory Today (2006) and 8 Steps to Create the Life You Want (2008). The pastor does not shy from showcasing his wealth as he is the proud owner of two Rolls-Royces, a million-dollar house, a private jet and several other assets in the US.
10. Rick Warren - $25 million
Rick Warren is the founder of the Saddleback Church located in Lake Forest, California. It is one of the largest churches in America that averages a weekly attendance of 20,000 people. It has resulted in the pastor making a lot of money through church donations.
Also, he is an author who is enthusiastic about religion, uplifting the poor, and promoting education. Warren's net worth is about $25 million.
From the activities of the richest pastors in the world, one cannot dispute that they are a busy lot. The men of God have a lot of responsibilities, including religious services, church operations and spiritual counselling, among many other activities. But, in many cases, getting rich is the last thing in the minds of preachers.
Most of the wealth is accumulated through public speaking, writing books, television shows and church collections. But, unfortunately, some rogue pastors only see preaching as a business venture for them to make money.
For instance, Prince Alexander Louis, who was born in the royal family, is worth billions. He is the firstborn of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge. Who else makes it to the list?