Have you ever wondered who the wealthiest pastors in the world are and how they built their fortunes? You’ve probably heard of some of the usual names like Joel Osteen or Bishop Davido Oyedepo, but there are many other ultra-rich preachers from around the globe that you may not know.
We’ve compiled a list of the 12 richest pastors in the world in 2023 based on their estimated net worth. These spiritual leaders have amassed astonishing amounts of wealth through their ministries, books, TV shows, and other business ventures. While some pastors on the list live rather modest lifestyles, others have faced criticism over their lavish spending and multimillion-dollar mansions and private jets.
Top 12 Richest Pastors in the World & Their Net Worth
To make the cut, these preachers and ministers have built massive empires and amassed huge fortunes. From America to Nigeria, these pastors have founded megachurches, written bestselling books, and built thriving media empires. They’ve acquired private jets, expensive real estate, and some serious bling along the way.
Love them or criticize them; these pastors are living large and building their own versions of heaven on earth through their missionary work and ministry. Their followers number in the tens or even hundreds of millions, allowing them to generate an enormous amount of wealth.
Want to know how much your favorite pastor is worth? We’ve compiled a list of the 12 richest pastors in the world and their estimated net worth.
Edir Macedo – $1.2 Billion
Edir Macedo Bezerra is a Brazilian bishop who founded and led the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God. He was born on the 18th of February, 1945, in Rio de Janeiro, Macedo. He grew up Catholic but converted to Pentecostalism in his youth. He started preaching in 1977 and founded his own church, the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, in 1977.
The church emphasizes faith healing, miracles, and prosperity theology. Under Macedo’s leadership, it has become a global organization with churches in over 180 countries. Macedo himself has a net worth of $1.2 billion, making him by far the richest pastor in the world. His wealth comes from tithes and donations from his massive congregation, as well as business interests that include radio and TV stations, a record label, and a tourism company. He has been the owner and chairman of RecordTV, Brazil’s third-largest television network, since 1989, together with Grupo Record, which he created after purchasing the network.
Though controversial, Macedo is a prominent figure who has built one of the largest Pentecostal churches in the world. His teachings emphasize faith, prosperity, and miracles.
Pastor Alph Lukau – $1 Billion
Alph Lukau is the founder and General Overseer of Alleluia Ministries International. He is a pastor, televangelist, and businessman based in Johannesburg, South Africa. He was born on the 25th of October 1975 in Congo. Through his ministry and business ventures, Pastor Alph Lukau has amassed a net worth of over $1 billion, making him one of the richest pastors in the world.
His mega church, called Alleluia Ministries International, can hold up to 100,000 members. The church owns schools, conference centers, and other properties.
He has authored many books, which are also major sources of his income. Through shrewd business skills and the huge following of his ministry, Pastor Alph Lukau has built an immense financial empire, making him one of the most affluent and influential preachers on the continent of Africa.
Kenneth Copeland – $750 Million
Kenneth Max Copeland is a charismatic American televangelist. He founded Eagle Mountain International Church Inc. (EMIC), which is situated in Tarrant County, Texas. Copeland has also written a number of books and resources. He was on the 6th of December, 1936, in Lubbock, Texas, United States.
Kenneth Copeland is one of the richest pastors in the world, with an estimated net worth of $750 million. Copeland’s ministry, Kenneth Copeland Ministries, generates most of its income through donations and the sale of books, CDs, DVDs, and other media.
Copeland founded Kenneth Copeland Ministries in 1967 in Fort Worth, Texas. The ministry’s headquarters is a lavish 1,500-acre campus near Fort Worth, Texas, that includes an airport, a church, and a bible college. Copeland’s ministry spreads his prosperity gospel message through TV and online sermons, books, DVDs, and conferences.
Copeland owns a fleet of private jets, including a Gulfstream V jet and a Cessna 550 Citation Bravo jet. His lavish lifestyle and use of private jets have been criticized, but Copeland says the jets are necessary for ministry work.
In addition to the KCM campus, Copeland owns a 10,000-square-foot waterfront mansion in Newport, Texas, valued at over $6 million. He also owns land, homes, and other property across Texas.
In summary, Kenneth Copeland has amassed an immense fortune through his ministry and enjoys an ultra-luxurious lifestyle with mansions, private jets, and expansive property holdings. Though controversial, his prosperity gospel message and ministry continue reaching millions of people worldwide.
Pastor Valdemiro Santiago – $350 Million
Valdemiro Santiago is a Brazilian pastor; he graduated from the Order of Evangelical Theologians of Latin America and has been an evangelical minister for over 30 years. He has an estimated net worth of $350 million, making him one of the richest pastors in the world. He was born on the 2nd of November 1963 in Palma, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
He is rumored to have been expelled from the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG). Santiago claims he left the church of his own free will after a disagreement with UCKG leader Bishop Edir Macedo. Soon after leaving the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, Santiago created the World Church of the Power of God in 1998. In a short amount of time, the church had temples full of members in every Brazilian state, including ten in Rio de Janeiro. Santiago, according to ISTOÉ magazine, has no official education beyond fourth grade, basic school.
World Church of the Power of God has millions of members worldwide; he often evangelizes online, on television, and on radio stations. Through shrewd business dealings and the generous donations of his devoted followers, Valdemiro Santiago has amassed an immense fortune and enjoys a lifestyle of lavish mansions, fancy cars, and private planes.
Bishop David Oyedepo – $150 Million
Bishop David Oyedepo is the founder and presiding bishop of Living Faith Church Worldwide, also known as Winners’ Chapel, and presiding Bishop of the Faith Tabernacle in Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria. He was born on the 27th of September, 1954 (age 68 years), in Osogbo. He is ranked as the richest pastor in Nigeria, with an estimated net worth of $150 million US dollars.
The majority of Bishop Oyedepo’s wealth comes from his position as bishop of Winners’ Chapel. The church is headquartered in Ota, Nigeria. He founded Covenant University and Faith Academy, two private educational institutions in Nigeria.
Bishop Oyedepo owns four private jets and homes in London and the United States. His headquarters church, Faith Tabernacle, is a 50,000-seat auditorium claimed to be one of the largest church auditoriums in the world.
Shepherd Bushiri – $150 Million
Shepherd Bushiri is a popular Malawian pastor and the founder of the Enlightened Christian Gathering Church. He was born on the 20th of February 1983 in Lilongwe, Malawi. He is also known as Major 1. Bushiri’s main source of wealth comes from his congregations in Africa, Europe, Asia, and America.
The televangelist has made headlines for a variety of Controversies. The preacher is claimed to have walked on air in 2018 and cured many HIV/AIDS patients. Critics contend that the preacher’s miracles are faked and involve magic tricks. The televangelist and his wife were detained in 2019 on suspicion of fraud and money laundering.
Bushiri owns various business enterprises in transportation, real estate, and hotels, which contribute significantly to his $150 million net worth. Some of his lavish assets include a private jet, luxury cars, and mansions in South Africa and Malawi.
Pat Robertson – $150 Million
Marion Gordon “Pat” Robertson, the founder of CBN and The 700 Club, is one of the richest pastors in the world, with an estimated net worth of $150 million. He was born on the 22nd of March, 1930. Robertson’s wealth came from several sources. As the founder and chairman of CBN, he earned benefits. CBN also generates revenue from viewer donations and sponsorships.
Robertson was also the founder and chancellor of Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The private Christian university was founded in 1977 and has over 11,000 students and brings in tuition and fees revenue.
In addition, Robertson owned and operated a number of businesses, including the American Center for Law and Justice and CBN’s Operation Blessing International Relief and Development Corporation. These organizations and businesses provide additional income and assets for Robertson.
Over the years, Robertson has made some controversial statements and prophecies on The 700 Club regarding politics, religion, and current events. However, his loyal viewers and followers have supported him through it all, contributing to his substantial wealth and success. Pat died on the 8th of June 2023.
For better or worse, Pat Robertson has become an iconic and influential leader in the Christian evangelical community.
Romildo Ribeiro Soares – $125 million
Romildo Ribeiro Soares, better known as R.R. Soares is the leader and founder of the International Church of God’s Grace in Brazil. He was born on the 6th of December, 1947 (age 75 years), in Muniz Freire, State of Espírito Santo, Brazil.
After reading a book by T. L. Osborn, he became a televangelist and supporter of faith healing in the late 1960s. He founded the International Church of God’s Grace in 1980. This church is one of Brazil’s largest Pentecostal groups. R. R. Soares spends roughly 100 hours every week on Brazilian television.
Soares’ main sources of income are:
- Donations from over 6 million church members
- Revenue from his TV network, which airs 24 hours a day
- Sales of his over 50 published books
- Investments in radio, newspapers, real estate, and more
With all these lucrative ventures, Soares has amassed an estimated net worth of $125 million, making him one of the richest pastors in the world.
Pastor Joel Osteen – $100 Million
Joel Osteen is the pastor of Lakewood Church, the largest Protestant church in the U.S. He was born on the 5th of March 1963 (age 60 years) in Houston, Texas, United States. He has a net worth of over $100 million, making him one of the richest pastors in the world.
Osteen’s wealth comes from the massive success of his televangelism career and bestselling books. His weekly sermons are broadcast to over 100 million homes in the U.S. and millions more in over 100 countries. He has also published several New York Times bestselling books, including Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential, which sold over 4 million copies. The royalties and advances from his books are a major source of his income.
In addition, Osteen lives in a $10.5 million mansion in River Oaks, Houston, and owns an $8.9 million vacation home. He drives luxury cars like a Ferrari 458 Italia and owns a private jet to facilitate his travels.
While Osteen’s prosperity has been controversial, his message of positivity and hope has inspired millions of people around the world. His mix of prosperity gospel and self-help advice aims to empower people to live their best lives through faith and positive thinking.
Pastor Enoch Adebayo – $65 Million
Pastor Enoch Adeboye is the leader of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, one of the largest churches in Nigeria. He was born on the 2nd of March 1943. His estimated net worth is $65 million, making him one of the richest pastors in the world.
Adeboye’s wealth comes from various sources. As the leader of a megachurch with millions of members across Nigeria and worldwide, he earns from the church. He also earns money from the sale of Christian literature, devotionals, and audio recordings. The Redeemed Christian Church of God owns a printing press, radio station, TV station, and more, providing additional income for Adeboye.
Adeboye owns luxury homes, private jets, and fleets of cars. He founded Redeemer’s University in 2005 in Ede, Nigeria, which has over 10,000 students. Despite his wealth, Adeboye is known for living a modest lifestyle and for performing charitable work across Nigeria.
Benny Hinn – $60 Million
Toufik Benedictus “Benny” Hinn is an Israeli-born American-Canadian televangelist and has a net worth of $60 million. He was born on the 3rd of December 1952 (age 70 years) in Jaffa, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel. He is well known for his regular “Miracle Crusades” revival meetings or faith healing summits conducted in big city stadiums that are afterward aired internationally on his television show; This Is Your Day.
The bulk of his money comes from his TV show, This is Your Day, donations, and sales of his books and audio recordings.
Pastor Chris Oyakhilome – $50 Million
Pastor Chris Oyakhilome is a Nigerian pastor and the founder of Believers’ LoveWorld Incorporated, also known as Christ Embassy, a megachurch with headquarters in Lagos. His ministry holds massive gatherings around the world, with over 2.5 million members.
A large portion of Pastor Chris’ $50 million net worth comes from the many branches of his Christ Embassy church located throughout Nigeria and other parts of Africa, as well as in the UK, US, and Canada. He also owns magazines, newspapers, a record label, hotels, and more, all of which contribute to his wealth.
You’ve now seen how some pastors have been able to amass incredible wealth through their ministries. While it’s easy to judge, the reality is that they provide spiritual value and inspiration for their followers. At the same time, their lavish lifestyles, funded primarily by donations, can be off-putting. There are arguments on both sides regarding how much pastors should be compensated.
As with many things, moderation and balance seem to be key. If you do choose to donate to a ministry, do some research to ensure the majority of funds are used for the actual charitable work. And remember, while pastors may inspire you, your faith is ultimately about your personal relationship with God.