Kenneth Copeland, Joel Osteen, and Steven Furtick are just a few of the pastors in America with multi-million dollar net worths. Some in the hundreds of millions. Some people have issues with these pastors and how they spend their money. Multi-million dollar mansions, cars upwards of half a million, and private jets are not considered responsible spending. Let's look at these three pastors, how they got rich, and how they spend their money.
Kenneth Copeland is a televangelist who preaches prosperity gospel. The prosperity gospel is the belief that thriving physically, financially, and mentally is what God's will is and that all believers have to do to achieve that speaks positively and trust in him. One of the most outlandish examples of this belief was when he stated on television that the COVID-19 pandemic was over (or would be very soon) and that all his followers infected with the virus would be healed. He encouraged followers to continue tithing (or donating the first 10 percent of their income back to the church), even if they lost their jobs or didn't have money to spare.
Copeland's net worth is an astounding $750 million, making him the most wealthy pastor in America. Most of his net worth was earned through his television show, while some came from a few radio shows he did. He lives in a tax-free mansion, travels via private jet, owns luxury cars, and continues to rake in the money. He has been criticized for his lifestyle but insists that the private jet and other luxuries are essential to the ministry.
Like Copeland, Joel Osteen is a relatively familiar household name. You may have seen him on television or a social media reel. Osteen is also a proponent of the prosperity gospel and took over his father's church after his untimely death in 1999. Over time, the church grew, and his sermons were broadcast in over 100 countries.
Osteen has been criticized for preaching the prosperity gospel, with some believers feeling that it contradicts certain verses in the Bible. Some think that Osteen's messages are more about putting the focus on people instead of God.
Osteen has a net worth of around $50 million, making him one of America's top ten wealthiest pastors. However, he does not live as lavish a lifestyle as one may think. He does not own private jets, has lived in the same house for the last 13 years, and doesn't take a salary from his megachurch. Most of his income has come from selling his books and donations from the church body, including those who watch him internationally.
Steven Furtick is the pastor of Elevation Church, which he founded in 2006. His net worth is $55 million, but only $38k comes from his church salary. The rest comes from church members, his YouTube channel, writing, and music.
Furtick has been criticized for saying things that contradict the Bible. Some of these were statements made on Twitter, while others were made during his sermons. Critics of Furtick believe he's more concerned with gaining more members of his church than teaching people about the Bible. He lives in a multi-million dollar mansion with his family and owns a variety of expensive vehicles, in addition to a second house.
Whether these pastors are spending their money right or wrong is not for us to decide. Still, it is interesting to think about the pastors encouraging people struggling to keep their heads up and then getting into their private jet to fly to their million-dollar mansion. Regardless, these pastors are good at what they do, and their paychecks reflect that.