Section 10A .. The Contemporary Church

003white  The Contemporary Church     >   Shepherds or Wolves     >    Lifestyles of Wealthy Celebrity Pastors -  Index


Welcome To The Mile Wide And Inch Deep Flashy Mega-Churches - Very Expensive Entertainment,  Wealthy Celebrity Pastors With Deep Pockets And Self Serving Shallow Theology

 Carol Brooks

"The church began as a movement in Jerusalem. It became a philosophy in Greece, an institution in Rome, a culture in Europe and, when it came to America, it became a business... a highly profitable business. But God is coming back for a movement.

L. Ron Hubbard (Founder of Scientology) once said "Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wanted to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion."  Although it certainly seems like it at times, our modern day evangelists have not started their own religion but have unquestionably improved on Hubbard's idea. Capitalizing on Christianity has proved to be far more lucrative than starting a new religion. But as the Bible tells us..

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
(2 Timothy 4:3-4)

Also see   Tithing  


They "profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work" (Titus 1:16). 

Introduction - HERE
The new way of 'doing church' - Welcome to the mile wide and inch deep flashy mega-churches - very expensive entertainment,  wealthy celebrity pastors with deep pockets and self-serving shallow theology

Page I - The Investigation. HERE

Kenneth Copeland
Net worth of $760 million, an 18,280 square foot lakefront 'parsonage', private airport for nine aircraft, shopping trips in Naples
 and a new Gulfstream V jet. Recently, he and fellow televangelist Jesse Duplantis defended their use of private planes by saying that flying on commercial airlines was getting in 'a long tube with a bunch of demons'.

Paula White-Cain
Paula White's relationship with Trump should not come as too much of a surprise. Trump apparently learned a great deal from his family minister Norman Vincent Peale - the father of the positive-thinking, self-esteem gospel. Donald Trump's spiritual adviser has suggested that people send her money in order to transform their lives, or face divine consequences.

Benny Hinn
His nephew describes the year he worked for Benny as "a whirlwind tour of luxury: $25,000-a-night royal suites in Dubai, seaside resorts in Greece, tours of the Swiss Alps, villas on Lake Como in Italy, basking on the golden coast of Australia, shopping sprees at Harrods in London, and numerous trips to Israel, Hawaii, and everywhere in between (on a private Gulfstream jet)". 

Joyce Meyer
From everything I have read Joyce Meyer's organization seems to do more for people locally and around the world than most of the other tele-evangelists put together. For this I have the greatest respect. However, a great deal of money is spent on lavish living, which Joyce Meyer calls being "blessed".

Eddie Long
favored Gucci sunglasses, gold necklaces, diamond bracelets, Rolex watches and Bentleys. He once said he was "on a different scale than the little black preacher sitting over there". I'll say!

Page II - HERE
Joel Osteen
Joel Osteen has made himself very rich by peddling a toxic mixture of 'easy Christianity' and concepts and practices directly derived from the occult world.

Steve Furtick
Has taken the idea of the rich celebrity pastor to unprecedented heights. He autographs Bibles and is the lead pastor his congregation says they "serve". His congregation should be very proud of themselves - they have constructed another 'golden calf'.

Ed Young
is senior 'pastor' at Second Baptist Church in Houston. His lifestyle includes hair transplants at a Beverly Hills clinic, very expensive Italian espresso makers, and a blog called PastorFashion.com where "Faith and Fashion Intersect". And, of course, lets not forget about his $3 million Home in Dallas and $4 million home in the Florida Keys

Kevin Gerald
is senior pastor of one of the largest non-denominational congregations in the Pacific Northwest and one of the five Board of Overseers who set Steven Furtick's salary. The Bellevue branch described as a fun community" says it has free wifi and is (Emphasis Added) "a perfect place to meet friends and study"

Joseph Prince
Has expressed his admiration for Kenneth Hagin and says God gave him (during a vacation in the Swiss Alps no less) a "mandate" to preach pure and unadulterated grace. While I have been unable to find out much about his personal finances, the amount of money his church wastes is nothing short of staggering. Included are a couple of example of how he misinterprets Scripture.

Page IV - HERE
T.D. Jakes
who believes some Christians need to be in 'first class' purchased a 14,346 sq. ft mansion in 2004. It is built on almost 18 acres of land in Fort Worth, TX and has all the luxuries one's heart could desire. Little surprise it cost over 5 million. Jakes justifies his lifestyle by using Jesus as an example of a ‘rich Christian’. Wonder what Bible he has been reading!

John Hagee
One of the best paid men on earth

Fred Price
commutes by private jet between his two churches

Jesse Duplantis
home in Destrehan, LA. boasts 22,039 square feet of living space - quite a bit larger than Ormond Plantation which is a stone's throw away.

Juanita Bynum
A "more than a million dollar," black-tie wedding, Swarovski Crystal embellished gown, a 7.76-carat diamond ring and a $4.5 million estate.

Page V - HERE
Franklin Graham
 Graham's excuse for his annual compensation of $880,000 is that he "wants to make enough money to be able to work for free when he turns 70". What world do these people live in?

Mark Driscoll
Resigned in 2014 amid allegations of plagiarism, misogyny and emotional abusiveness was drawing a $607,000 package during "his last year as pastor at Seattle's Mars Hill Church

James MacDonald
and his wife were guests at a black-tie gala featuring a "star-studded" guest list celebrating the 35th anniversary of T.D. Jakes' ministry

Wendy and Casey Treat
Heavily influenced by Fred Price, Casey Treat's web site opens with the words "Successful Living With Casey Treat". It certainly has been successful living - for them.

Page VI - Jordan and Jordan HERE
"Bishop" Elijah Bernard Johnson:
takes the proverbial cake. The ceiling of one room in the mansion in an exclusive gated community he used to live in featured a painting of Jordan on a throne – as God – with his three sons hovering around him as angels. He also teaches that "When You Declare "I Am." You Become God".

"Prophet" Manasseh Jordan - Like Father Like Son
Bernard Johnson's son Manasseh, whose real name is Yakim, was mentored by none other than Benny Hinn. He has apparently learned well from both Hinn and his father following closely in their footsteps and even surpassing them at times. One of Manasseh's favorite ways to raise money is by cold calling, i.e. unsolicited pre-recorded robocalls to people that promise a "financial blessing" if you call him back or send him an email. He has been sued 19 times in federal court over the last four years for alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

Page VII Assorted Hucksters Here and Abroad HERE
Mike Murdock
Once described himself as describe himself as a "Wal-Mart guy" with a $25,000 Rolex on his wrist, I may add

Rodney Howard-Browne
Yes! The same Rodney Howard-Browne who not so long ago called himself the "bartender of holy laughter"

Peter Popoff
Has the dubious honor of being one of the 20th centuries most successful hucksters.

Brazil - Edir Macedo, Nigeria - Chris Oyakhilome, David Oyedepo, Temitope Joshua, Matthew Ashimolowo, Chris Okotie etc.
Germany - The German 'Bishop of Bling'

Robert Schuller and The Crystal Cathedral
Robert Schuller was the epitome of the wolf that Paul spoke about in Acts 20:29-30. Although it has now been sold, this "Hollywood" church once spent spent between $13 million and $15 million on a lavish production called "Creation", then declared bankruptcy. Surprise! Surprise!

Oral Roberts
In a much less expensive era he flaunted Brioni suits that cost $500 to $1000; $100 shoes; a $250,000 house, diamond rings and solid gold bracelets, $25,000 automobiles, and a $2 million fanjet falcon.

Jim and Tammy Bakker
Gold-plated bathroom fixtures and a 50-foot walk-in closet

James Eugene Ewing
built a direct-mail empire from his mansion in Los Angeles that brought millions of dollars flowing into a Tulsa post office box.

Robert Tilton

Page VIII  - Conclusion HERE
 Attacking The Critics
Where Did The Idea That Ministers Should Live Modestly Come From?
 Whose Example Should We Follow?
Does "The Worker Is Worthy Of His Support" Mean Making a Living Or Living An Extravagant Lifestyle
What Should Pastors Make? And Should Their Salaries Be Kept From Their Congregations?
Finally - Remember this - YOU are responsible for how you use the resources He has provided


Index To Shepherds or Wolves