Joel Osteen, rich religious leaders

Joe Raedle/Getty Images News via Getty Images

31. Al Sharpton

Estimated net worth: $500,000, says Celebrity Net Worth
Reverend Al Sharpton is a well-known civil rights activist who is the founder and president of Harlem, New York-based nonprofit National Action Network (NAN). NAN has grown to over 47 chapters in the U.S., reads Sharpton’s bio on NAN’s website.

Al Sharpton, rich religious leadersAl Sharpton, rich religious leaders
G F/CC BY 2.0 via Flickr

A child prodigy, Sharpton delivered his first sermon at the age of 4 at Washington Temple Church of God & Christ in Brooklyn, New York. Five years later, he was licensed to be a Washington Temple Church of God & Christ Pentecostal minister. His civil rights career started soon after.

NEXT: He found comfort in his church post-divorce.

30. Charles Stanley

Estimated net worth: $1.5 million, says Celebrity Net Worth
Religious leader Charles Stanley is best known for founding In Touch Ministries and writing some New York Times best sellers, reads the bio on In Touch Ministries’ website. Stanley, originally from Dry Fork, Virginia, founded In Touch Ministries in 1977.

Charles Stanley, rich religious leadersCharles Stanley, rich religious leaders
Nancy Lugo/Department of Defense via Wikimedia Commons

He decided on the name “In Touch” because the phrase comes from a copy of The Living Bible he owned. Other accolades to Stanley’s name include being inducted into the National Religious Broadcasters Hall of Fame and authoring over 60 books.

NEXT: He’s got more than one hundred books to his name.

29. R.C. Sproul

Estimated net worth: $2 million, according to Herald Weekly
That’s Dr. R.C. Sproul to you, buddy. The Doctor founded Ligonier Ministries in 1971, founding pastor of Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Florida, and first president of Reformation Bible College. Sproul also has more than one HUNDRED books to his name.

R.C. Sproul, rich religious leadersR.C. Sproul, rich religious leaders
@Rapzilla via Twitter

Sproul has delved into other mediums, such as broadcast and the Internet — anything to spread the good word, we say! If you want to become a R.C. Sproul someday, you might be able to snag an undergrad degree at Reformation yourself.

NEXT: This spiritual leader got really into marathons and weight lifting.

28. Sri Chinmoy

Estimated net worth: $2 million, says Cult News
Bangladeshi-born spiritual master Sri Chinmoy died in 2007, but some of his students still follow his teachings — some even run vegan restaurant Jyoti-Bihanga in San Diego, California. (Can I get a vegan “meat loaf” with a side of spirituality, please?)

Scri Chinmoy, rich religious leadersScri Chinmoy, rich religious leaders
Kedar Misani/CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Beyond religious teachings, Chinmoy was interested in marathons (the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team was founded in 1977) and weight lifting. Terry Todd, a professor of kinesiology, said that Chinmoy overexaggerated how much he could lift.

NEXT: He’s best known as the founder of Mars Hill Church (no, it’s not on Mars … ).

27. Mark Driscoll

Estimated net worth: $2.5 million, says Celebrity Net Worth
Mark Driscoll was a non-practicing Catholic when he received a “a nice Bible” from a young woman named Grace. After reading that particularly nice Bible in college, Driscoll became born-again, reads the bio on his website.

Mark Driscoll, rich religious leadersMark Driscoll, rich religious leaders
Ruthanne Reid/CC BY 2.0 via Flickr

Driscoll founded the Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington, and planted The Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, as a family ministry. He’s made multiple media appearances on shows like Fox & Friends, Loveline with Dr. Drew, and ABC’s Nightline.

NEXT: He’s written over 70 books but one is considered his magnum opus.

26. N.T. Wright

Estimated net worth: $4 million, according to Herald Weekly
“Bishop Wright, has in a very gentle way, unwound some of the errors that we as Christians have gotten [into] our heads over the past 2000 years,” reads the biography on the website where you find N.T. Wright’s courses.

N.T. Wright, rich religious leadersN.T. Wright, rich religious leaders
eschatology247 via Youtube

What errors have the good people gotten in their heads? Mr. Wright is currently a professor at St. Andrews University, Scotland. The scholarly scholar has written over 70 books on theology but Paul and the Faithfulness of God is considered his magnum opus.

NEXT: He co-hosts a TV program with wife Rexella in which they explain how the Bible is reflected in everyday life.

25. Jack Van Impe

Estimated net worth: $2.5 million, according to Herald Weekly
Mr. Jack Van Impe is known as a televangelist. On the website for Jack Van Impe Ministries International, you can watch his TV program’s archives to your heart’s content. On the show, he and co-host (and wife) Dr. Rexella Van Impe sit in a newsroom-like set.

Jack Van Impe, rich religious leadersJack Van Impe, rich religious leaders
Jack Van Impe Ministries via Youtube

The Van Impes discuss the “Bible prophecy’s fulfillment reflected every day in world events and headlines.” In particular, they really don’t seem to like Muslims … TV channel TBN actually banned the episode where they assert some fellow religious leaders are promoting “Chrislam.”

NEXT: The Southern Poverty Law Center files him under “extremist.”

24. Louis Farrakhan

Estimated net worth: $3 million, says Celebrity Net Worth
The Southern Poverty Law Center says that Louis Farrakhan has headed the Nation of Islam (NOI) since 1977. He is far from an inclusive religious leader, often pointing a finger at what’s wrong with other groups of people based on their race and religion.

Louis Farrakhan, rich religious leadersLouis Farrakhan, rich religious leaders
Kingkongphoto and BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Farrakhan’s career actually started first in music. He was a part of symphonies in Boston, Massachusetts, and also performed as a cabaret singer and dancer. He heard Elijah Muhammad in 1955 (the leader of the NOI at the time) and the rest is history.

NEXT: This minister wrote the Jackson 5 hit, “Never Can Say Goodbye.”

23. Clifton Davis

Estimated net worth: $3 million, says Celebrity Net Worth
Before becoming minister of an interdenominational ministry, Clifton Davis wrote the Jackson 5 hit, “Never Can Say Goodbye” in 1971. (Say what?!) David was involved with other musical efforts like Broadway musicals and hosting the Stellar Awards Gospel Music Show.

Clifton Davis, rich religious Clifton Davis, rich religious
Patricia Wagner/Cherishthemoment/Flickr/CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

It seems shocking that a minister would be a singer in another life, but when you’re preachin’ the word, you have to perform, right? Davis’ musical past probably helped him when he became a minister of a Baptist church.

22. Tony Campolo

Estimated net worth: $4 million, according to Herald Weekly
Anthony “Tony” Campolo is a professor emeritus of sociology at Eastern University and formerly a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, reads the biography of the religious leader on his website. He used to lead the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education.

Tony Compolo, rich religious leadersTony Compolo, rich religious leaders
WilshireBaptist via Youtube

But now he still preaches the good word and writes tons of books — more than 35 in fact. The man blogs, rakes in the big time accolades (the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Youth Worker’s Convention for one) and many dedicated followers.

NEXT: He’s best known for traveling all over Africa for missionary work.

21. Reinhard Bonnke

Estimated net worth: $4 million, according to Herald Weekly
An evangelical, Reinhard Bonnke is known for Great Gospel Crusades throughout Africa. According to Bonnke’s biography on his website, he heard “the call” at a young age and decided he wanted to go to Africa before becoming a teenager.

Reinhard Bonnke, rich religious leadersReinhard Bonnke, rich religious leaders
Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke – Official Page via Facebook

(Sometimes when you know, you know — you know?) Africa is not the only place he’s traveled to — Bonnke attended Bible college in Wales and did his ordination in Germany. After that, he traveled all over the African continent for missionary work. What a worldly guy!

NEXT: He moved his way up through the New Creation Church.

20. Joseph Prince

Estimated net worth: $5 million, says Celebrity Net Worth
Joseph Prince of Joseph Prince Ministries teaches the good word with best-selling books like The Power of Right Believing, Destined To Reign, and Unmerited Favor, and his broadcast gospel. The bio on his website says his broadcast reaches millions.

Joseph Prince, rich religious leadersJoseph Prince, rich religious leaders
Birdswithfangs/CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Prince (we’re not talking about The Artist Formerly Known As Prince) is a founding member of the New Creation Church. He went from an “elder” and associate pastor to finally becoming senior pastor in 1990. That’s when the church started growing, says his bio.

NEXT: She’s pastor of a nondenominational, multicultural megachurch.

19. Paula White-Cain

Estimated net worth: $5 million, says Celebrity Net Worth
Evangelist Paula White-Cain (probably better known as Paula White) is pastor of a nondenominational, multicultural megachurch by the name of New Destiny Christian Center (say that three times fast!) in Orlando, Florida. White-Cain is successful now but she had a tough upbringing.

Paula White-Cain, rich religious leadersPaula White-Cain, rich religious leaders
Kamau360/GNU Free Documentation License, version 1.2 via Wikimedia Commons

Paula White-Cain’s father’s passing when she was a child put her world into a tailspin, says her bio on her website. To top it off, White-Cain suffered various kinds of abuse. Her introduction to the Bible helped turn her life around.

NEXT: Congregants came forward with disturbing allegations about him.

18. Eddie Long

Estimated net worth: $5 million, says Celebrity Net Worth
The late Bishop Eddie L. Long was known as the flamboyant megachurch pastor of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Georgia. Some of his congregants had come forward with disturbing allegations — details are included in this 2017 New York Times report.

Eddie Long, rich religious leadersEddie Long, rich religious leaders
John Amis-Pool/Getty Images News via Getty Images

He was known for “prosperity gospel,” which basically meant the faithful would be rewarded with wealth. It seems like he lived according to the gospel — he traveled via private jet, drove a Bentley, and lived in a $1.4 million house.

NEXT: He was born in Jamaica, relocated to New York, and finally wound up in Los Angeles.

17. Noel Jones

Estimated net worth: $5 million, says Celebrity Net Worth
Born in Spanish Town, Jamaica, Noel Jones is a Pentecostal bishop with an estimated net worth of $5 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. He was one of seven children and relocated to Syracuse, New York, with some of his family in 1965.

Noel Jones, rich religious leadersNoel Jones, rich religious leaders
joe coll via YouTube

Jones “got the call” at age 19 and went on to earn a degree in theology from Aenon Bible College. When he was 26 years old, he got his first pastorate at Bethel Temple of Longview in Longview, Texas. The rest is history!

NEXT: His ministry is truly a family affair.

16. John Hagee

Estimated net worth: $5 million, says Celebrity Net Worth
John Hagee isn’t the only Hagee involved in the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas — it’s a family affair. John is founder and senior pastor of Cornerstone, his son Matt partners with his dad in pastoring, and John’s wife Diana leads the women’s ministries.

John Hagee, rich religious leadersJohn Hagee, rich religious leaders
JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Kendal — Matt’s wife — also leads the women’s ministries at Cornerstone. In addition to Cornerstone, John is founder and chairman of Christians United for Israel. Some are critical of Hagee’s views, saying he “traffics in conspiracy-minded eschatology.”

NEXT: Households would pause what they were doing when this astrologer came on the TV screen.

15. Walter Mercado

Estimated net worth: $5 million, says Celebrity Net Worth
So he was more of a spiritual leader. However, Walter Mercado’s horoscope rundowns on TV would make households stop what they were doing and hang onto his every word. Christian Portilla writes in Remezcla that Mercado’s influence in Latinx communities was interesting.

Walter Mercardo, rich religious leadersWalter Mercardo, rich religious leaders
Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

Mercado was openly gender nonconforming while “Latinidad tends to follow gender norms (i.e. why young girls are expected to learn to cook, while their brothers are not).” A native of Puerto Rico, Mercado was known for his flashy outfits and eccentric personality.

NEXT: Her degrees are all honorary.

14. Joyce Meyer

Estimated net worth: $8 million, says Celebrity Net Worth
Joyce Meyer’s website says she has an honorary Ph.D. from Life Christian University, an honorary doctorate from Oral Roberts University, and an honorary degree from Grand Canyon University. (Wish I knew I could get honorary degrees before racking up student loans … )

Joyce Meyer, rich religious leadersJoyce Meyer, rich religious leaders
JM viki/CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Joyce Meyer’s faith stems from abuse she experienced as a young child from her father, the dismissiveness from her mother, and a disastrous first marriage. She didn’t get into the ministry right away like Al Sharpton did — her path was more of a gradual one.

NEXT: She’s a triple threat — she can preach, write, and sing!

13. Juanita Bynum

Estimated net worth: $10 million, says Celebrity Net Worth
Many preachers on our list of insanely rich religious leaders can preach and write. But it’s unclear if they can sing like Juanita Bynum can. Bynum is known not only as a preacher and an author but also as a gospel singer.

Juanita Bynum, rich religious leadersJuanita Bynum, rich religious leaders
Taylor Hill/FilmMagic via Getty Images

She commonly goes by “Prophetess Juanita Bynum.” (Like “prophet,” but “prophetess,” because she’s a lady? Get it?) Bynum was recently in the news — she canceled a preaching assignment when a pastor holding the conference entered her hotel room uninvited. (At least knock, dude!)

NEXT: His career is rife with controversy …

12. Ernest Angley

Estimated net worth: $15 million, says The Richest
Internationally known televangelist Ernest Angley is the pastor and founder of Grace Cathedral with locations in both Cuyahoga Falls and Akron, Ohio. Like a lot of individuals in the religious world, Angley’s storied career in preaching is rife with controversy.

Ernest Angley, rich religious leadersErnest Angley, rich religious leaders
Paul Natkin via Getty Images

He admitted to his assistant minister that he’d had encounters with a man employed at Grace Cathedral. This recorded conversation was provided by a source that said Angley had a history of abusing staff.

NEXT: He really wants you buy his book and his daughter’s book. Like, really wants you to.

11. T.D. Jakes

Estimated net worth: $18 million, says Celebrity Net Worth
Bishop T.D. Jakes, who leads The Potter’s House Church, is also an accomplished author. He keeps reminding his parishioners of that, too. Jakes encourages his 30,000 members to purchase his books, as well as his daughter’s.

T.D. Jakes, rich religious leadersT.D. Jakes, rich religious leaders
Kadstos/CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Jakes founded the church in 1996. Based in Dallas, Texas, Jakes expanded the church at a cost of $45 million. It was completed in 2000, and by 2010, expanded to four campuses in Dallas, Fort Worth, North Dallas, and Denver.

NEXT: Religious leaders have to be good performers — it only makes sense this actor delved into preaching.

10. Kirk Cameron

Estimated net worth: $20 million, says Celebrity Net Worth
Kirk Cameron was first known to audiences as an actor on Growing Pains, Saving Christmas, Mercy Rule, Fireproof, and as cohost of The Way of the Master. He’s also worked on documentaries Unstoppable and Monumental. He says he wasn’t raised as a churchgoer.

Kirk Cameron, rich religious leadersKirk Cameron, rich religious leaders
Gage Skidmore/CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr

That changed when Mr. Cameron got older, however. He caught the faith bug — if you will — while sitting in his sports car, pondering the first Gospel message he had ever heard.

NEXT: He had a humble upbringing growing up on a dairy farm, but later became a popular religious leader.

9. Billy Graham

Estimated net worth: $25 million, says Celebrity Net Worth
This evangelical leader’s website says he’s preached to “more people in live audiences than anyone else in history.” (We’re not sure who keeps track of this and if it’s verifiable.) Specifically, that’s 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories.

Billy Graham, rich religious leadersBilly Graham, rich religious leaders
White House Photograph Office via Wikimedia Commons

Billy Graham came from humble beginnings living on a dairy farm in North Carolina. At the young age of 15, he made a commitment to serve the Lord through Mordecai Ham’s ministry.

NEXT: He cofounded Saddleback Church in 1980.

8. Rick Warren

Estimated net worth: $25 million, says Celebrity Net Worth
Pastor Rick Warren (or just “Pastor Rick” for short) was integral in the founding of both Saddleback Church and Saddleback, founded in Lake Forest, California, has grown to 30,000 weekly attendees, says Warren’s bio on his website.

Rick Warren, rich religious leadersRick Warren, rich religious leaders
David McNew via Getty Images

Those attendees aren’t all in one place — there are 19 Saddleback locations, including four international sites. is a training website for pastors and church leaders. Warren’s free newsletter, Ministry Toolbox, is a part of this training effort.

NEXT: Need prayers on demand? He’s got an app for that.

7. Benny Hinn

Estimated net worth: $60 million, says Celebrity Net Worth
Benny Hinn is another one of these televangelists. He’s got plenty of books, TV programs, a website chock-full of resources, and even an app. (Technology now aids in worship!) Benny Hinn, born in Israel, moved to Canada in 1968.

Benny Hinn, Benny Hinn,
Benny Hinn Ministries via Vimeo

Hinn became committed to religion in 1972, soon after he was called to “minister the Gospel,” reads his bio on his website. After receiving a vision of people falling into an inferno (which sounds terrifying), he decided preaching the Gospel was his life’s calling.

NEXT: He’s the leader of one of the biggest megachurches in the world, Lakewood Church.

6. Joel Osteen

Estimated net worth: $100 million, says Celebrity Net Worth
Osteen gave up his $200,000 annual salary from Lakewood Church, instead relying on book royalties. Despite this, he still has a whopping estimated net worth of $100 million. Also, he lives in a massive home worth over $10 million.

Joel Osteen, rich religious leadersJoel Osteen, rich religious leaders
RobertMWorsham/CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Some have questioned if a pastor should be making this much money. Traditionally, many religious figures lead a minimalist lifestyle. Osteen was further lambasted for not initially opening up Lakewood Church to aid hurricane victims in Houston in 2017.

NEXT: Behind every religious leader is — usually — an equally religious wife.

5. Victoria Osteen

Estimated net worth: $100 million, says Celebrity Net Worth
Like her husband Joel, Victoria Osteen grew up with religious parents that were involved in the ministry, reads her bio on Joel Osteen’s website. Her mother taught Sunday school and her father was a deacon. She’d often help her father with the service.

Victoria Osteen, rich religious leadersVictoria Osteen, rich religious leaders
Copeland.powell/CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

When she married Joel, she joined him and his father John on ministry trips around the world spreading the good word. Now Victoria is co-pastor of Lakewood with hubby Joel and has forayed into the world of publishing, with books for kids and adults.

NEXT: His album Jesus Is King has been making a splash on social media.

4. Kanye West

Estimated net worth: $240 million and $1 billion, says Business Insider
So yes it’s a bit controversial (just like Kanye himself) but the artist has been doing “Sunday Services,” an event that wife Kim Kardashian West describes as “a very spiritual Christian experience.” “It’s honestly more like a healing experience for my husband,” she told Elle magazine.

richest religious leaders
richest religious leaders
Rich Fury/Getty Images Entertainment for Coachella via Getty Images

“It’s just music; there’s no sermon. It’s definitely something he believes in — Jesus — and there’s a Christian vibe. But there’s no preaching,” Kardashian West told Elle. West has forayed into Christian music recently with the release of Jesus Is King.

NEXT: He and his wife have been in the business of preachin’ for 52 years.

3. Kenneth Copeland

Estimated net worth: $300 million, says Celebrity Net Worth
Kenneth Copeland is known as a televangelist — Christian ministers that appear and preach on television and usually ask for donations. On the website of Kenneth Copeland Ministries, Copeland’s bio says he and wife Gloria have preached for nearly 52 years.

Kenneth Copeland, rich religious leadersKenneth Copeland, rich religious leaders
Kenneth Copeland Ministries/CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

A good portion of that’s been spent on their TV show, Believer’s Voice of Victory. They also spread the word on radio shows, podcasts, their magazine, Believers’ Conventions, and much (maybe too much) more.

NEXT: After losing a boxing match, he gave up the sport and became a born-again.

2. George Foreman

Estimated net worth: $300 million, says Celebrity Net Worth
Before becoming a multimillionaire, George Foreman had a rough childhood. Foreman often bullied other kids and “didn’t like getting up early for school.” (I don’t think any of us liked that.) Foreman discovered boxing through the Lyndon B. Johnson Job Corps.

George Foreman, rich religious leadersGeorge Foreman, rich religious leaders
el grito/CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Foreman became a world-renowned boxer, winning gold in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. In 1977, he lost to Jimmy Young, had a religious experience in his dressing room, and gave up boxing to become a born-again Christian. He became ordained in 1978.

NEXT: She owns a chain of vegan, Asian-fusion restaurants.

1. Supreme Master Ching Hai

Estimated net worth: Uncertain, but is said to be a multimillionaire
Ching Hai is known as the owner of international vegan chain Loving Hut, reads a 2016 Vice report. Enter any given Loving Hut to find yummy spring rolls and Ching Hai’s TV channel, Supreme Master TV, playing in the background.

Supreme Master Ching Hai, rich religious leadersSupreme Master Ching Hai, rich religious leaders
Alain Nogues/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images

Although tasty, Loving Hut’s owner might be a cult leader … Ching Hai created the Quan Yin Method, described as a “pseudo-religious philosophy” in the Vice report. Cult expert Margaret Singer has said, “It appears to be one of the most well-organized and fastest-growing cults in the United States and the world.”