Given that Christianity is the most wide-spread religion in the world, it’s hardly shocking that the Christian Churches would have a fair amount of money floating around. The Catholic Church, in particular, is rumoured to be one of the richest organisations in the world; considering the vast amount and range of charities it spearheads, the number and status of the buildings it maintains and the number of service people it employs worldwide, this doesn’t seem like a controversial estimate.
Some among us will defend the Church’s riches and the ways they’re used (the ways we know about, at least) while others hold that the Church could, perhaps, employ its wealth a bit more judiciously to directly benefit the needy. However you feel about their ethos and practice, the Catholic Church’s wealth is indisputable and it has, in large part, been amassed through charitable donations. Indeed, even the high-profile Catholic Church leader and one of the most powerful men in the world, Pope Benedict XVI, doesn’t have any personal wealth due to the Catholic priests’ vow of poverty.
But some other Christian figure-heads have developed an entrepreneurial spirit, standing to profit from their roles as influential religious personages. In the age of New Media, some Christian pastors, Bishops and preachers have even garnered celebrity status, amassing the kind of wealth and media attention we’d normally expect from boy band members and sports stars. There’s something potentially questionable about using financial gains from a religious mission to buy expensive cars. But let’s leave our qualms and judgement aside for the moment, while we look, in sheer wonder, at ten of the world’s richest priests and holy men.
Top 10 Richest Holy Men in the World 2016
Bishop David Oyedepo :-
David O. Oyedepo is reputed to be the richest pastor in Nigeria,affectionately called “Papa” by members of his church congregation (born September 27, 1954) is a Nigerian Christian author, preacher and the founder and presiding bishop of Living Faith Church World Wide, also known as Winners Chapel, and its affiliated international churches known as Winners Chapel International, with headquarters in Ogun State, Nigeria. He is also the senior pastor of Faith Tabernacle, a 50,000 seat church auditorium reputed to be the largest church auditorium in the world by the Guinness Book of Records.
The Winners Chapel network of churches is present in over 300 cities, in all states of Nigeria, as well as in over 63 cities in 32 African nations, Dubai, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Oyedepo has been seen as one of pioneers of the Christian charismatic movement in Africa and has been referred to as one of the most powerful preachers in Nigeria. He was named in 2011 by Forbes magazine as being the richest pastor in Nigeria, worth around $150 million.
- Net Worth :- $150 million
- Born: September 27, 1954 (age 59), Osogbo, Nigeria
- Nationality: Nigerian
- Spouse: Faith Abiola Oyedepo (m. 1982)
- Children: David Oyedepo Jnr., Isaac Oyedepo, Joyce Oyedepo, Love Oyedepo
Chris Oyakhilome :-
Christian Oyakhilome (known popularly as “Pastor Chris“) is a Nigerian televangelist faith healer who is the founder of the world renowned healing school and the founding president of Believers’ LoveWorld Incorporated also known as “Christ Embassy”, a Bible-based Christian ministry headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria. His ministry runs several arms including the Healing School, Rhapsody of Realities (a daily devotional with global reach), and an N.G.O called the Innercity Missions as well as three Christian television channels: LoveWorld TV, LoveWorld SAT and LoveWorld Plus.
Pastor Chris Oyakhilome’s television programs feature his faith healings, miracles and large meetings which his ministry organizes around the world, with gatherings over 2.5 million people in a single night’s event. He is one of the most influential preachers in Africa and as a result has been the target of the Nigerian government’s scrutiny for his meetings and miracles.
- Net Worth :- $50 million
- Born: December 7, 1963 (age 50), Edo State, Nigeria
- Nationality: Nigerian
- Spouse: Pastor Anita Oyakhilome
- Education: Ambrose Alli University
Benny Hinn :-
Toufik Benedictus “Benny” Hinn (born December 3, 1952) is a televangelist, best known for his regular “Miracle Crusades”—revival meeting or faith healing summits that are usually held in stadiums in major cities, which are later broadcast worldwide on his television program This Is Your Day.This Israeli televangelist speaker and author is best known for his regular revival meetings and faith healing summits called Miracle Crusades.
Hinn spearheads these crusades in large stadiums in major cities across the world and later aired on his own television program called This is Your Day. He was born in Jaffa, Israel where he was brought up in the Eastern Orthodox tradition. After the Arab-Israeli War, when his family moved to Toronto, Canada, Hinn converted from Greek Orthodoxy to Pentecostalism. He initially joined a singing troupe that comprised of young evangelicals before taking to writing and speaking about biblical teachings full time.
- Net Worth :- $42 million
- Born: December 3, 1952 (age 61), Jaffa, Israel
- Spouse: Suzanne Hinn
- Education: Georges Vanier Secondary School
- Children: Josh Hinn, Hannah Hinn, Jessica Hinn, Natasha Hinn
- Nationality: American, Canadian
- Albums: Healing
Creflo Dollar :-
Creflo Augustus Dollar, Jr. is an American televangelist, pastor, and the founder of the non-denominational World Changers Church International based in Fulton County, Georgia,Creflo Dollar Ministerial Association (formerly called International Covenant Ministries), Creflo Dollar Ministries, and Arrow Records. Each of these enterprises is overseen by Dollar and his wife, Taffi Dollar.
Dollar is the founder of the World Changers Church in Fulton, Georgia where he currently serves as the senior pastor. He has acquired most of his wealth, it seems, from his several ministerial establishments throughout America. These include Arrow Records, Creflo Dollar International Covenant Association and Creflo Dollar Ministries. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in science from West Georgia College, he took to preaching biblical messages full time.
- Net Worth :- $27 million
- Born: January 28, 1962 (age 52), College Park, Georgia, United States
- Full name: Creflo Dollar
- Nationality: American
- Education: University of West Georgia
- Children: Gregory Dollar, Lauren Dollar, Alexandria Dollar, Jeremy Dollar, Jordan Dollar
Billy Graham :-
William Franklin “Billy” Graham Jr.(born November 7, 1918) is an American evangelical Christian evangelist ordained as a Southern Baptist minister who rose to celebrity status in 1949 reaching a core constituency of white, middle-class moderately conservative Protestants. He held large indoor and outdoor rallies sermons were broadcast on radio and television, some still being re-broadcast today.
Graham was a spiritual adviser to several Presidents he was particularly close to Dwight D.Eisenhower, Lyndon Johnson (who was considered to be one of Graham’s closest friends) and Richard Nixon.During the civil rights movement, he began to support integrated seating for his revivals and crusades in 1957 he invited Martin Luther King, Jr. to preach jointly at a revival in New York City. Graham bailed King out of jail in the 1960s when he was arrested in demonstrations.
- Net Worth :- $25 million
- Born: November 7, 1918 (age 95), Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
- Spouse: Ruth Graham (m. 1943–2007)
- Movies and TV shows: Man in the 5th Dimension, Billy Graham: God’s Ambassador, Billy Graham, Hour of Decision
- Children: Franklin Graham, Anne Graham Lotz, Ned Graham, Gigi Graham, Ruth Graham
- Books: The Reason for My Hope: Salvation, Just as I am
- Education: Trinity College, Wheaton College, Bob Jones University
Jesse Jackson :-
Jesse Louis Jackson, Sr. is an American civil rights activist and Baptist minister. He was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988 and served as a shadow U.S. Senator for the District of Columbia from 1991 to 1997. This Baptist Minister is another American civil rights activist on our list. Jackson accumulated most of his wealth from activism for his organization Rainbow/Push and as Senator for the District of Columbia from 1991 to 1997.
Born in Greenville, South Carolina, Jackson was an academic and a sporting star; after turning down a contract from a minor league professional baseball team, to study at the University of Illinois on a football scholarship, Jackson transferred to a historically black university – North Carolina A&T. There, he became part of civil rights protests against theatres, libraries and restaurants that catered only to whites.
- Net Worth :- $10 million
- Born: October 8, 1941 (age 72), Greenville, South Carolina, United States
- Height: 1.91 m
- Spouse: Jacqueline Brown (m. 1962)
- Children: Jesse Jackson, Jr., Santita Jackson, Jonathan Jackson, more
- Education: Chicago Theological Seminary (1964–1966), more
- Siblings: Noah Robinson, Jr., Chuck Jackson
T. B. Joshua :-
Temitope Balogun Joshua, commonly referred to as T. B. Joshua, is a Christian minister, televangelist and faith healer. He may be one of Nigeria’s most controversial clergymen but Temitope Joshua is also one of the richest and most philanthropic televangelists in the region. As head of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), which he established in 1987, he addresses more than 15,000 believers every Sunday.
He has been in the news for years as he claims to be a ‘faith healer’, allegedly curing a wide range of scientifically incurable diseases including cancer, HIV/AIDS and paralysis. With branches in the UK, Greece, Ghana and South Africa, SCOAN has reportedly donated approximately $20 million to a number of causes related to healthcare and education over the last few years.
- Net Worth :- $10 million
- Born: June 12, 1963 (age 50), Nigeria
- Nationality: Nigerian
- Spouse: Evelyn Joshua
- Children: Serah Joshua
Matthew Ashimolowo :-
Matthew Ashimolowo (born 17 March 1952 in Nigeria) is the Senior Pastor of Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC) in London. His Winning Ways programme is aired daily on Premier Radio (London) and Spirit FM (Amsterdam) and on television in Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, TV Africa, the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) and Europe on The God Channel and Inspirational Network.In 1992, a Nigerian church called the Foursquare Gospel Church asked Ashimolowo to head its satellite branch in London, but Pastor Matthew decided to establish his own church instead.
Today, his Kingsway International Christian Center (KICC) is considered the largest Pentecostal church in the UK. According to KICC figures, the church has assets worth an estimated $40 million and reaps profits close to $10 million each year. With an annual salary of $200,000, Pastor Matthew makes most of his money from his media company that produces Christian documentaries and publishes Christian literature. His religious programs are aired on a number of radio stations and television channels in Europe and Africa.
- Net Worth :- $6 million
- Born: March 17, 1952 (age 61), Kaduna, Nigeria
Al Sharpton :-
Alfred Charles “Al” Sharpton, Jr. is an American Baptist minister, civil rights activist, and television/radio talk show host. In 2004, he was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. presidential election.Sharpton is an American civil rights activist, a radio show host and a Baptist minister, settled in Brooklyn, New York. He made most of his earnings from his media profile, with a popular radio show, ‘Keepin’ It Real’. and regular appearances on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC. After preaching his first sermon when he was only four years old, he toured with gospel singer Mahalia Jackson and became a licensed Pentecostal minister when he was only nine years old.
- Net Worth :- $5 million
- Born: October 3, 1954 (age 59), Brownsville, New York City, New York, United States
- Height: 1.78 m
- Spouse: Kathy Jordan (m. 1980–2004)
- Parents: Ada Richards, Alfred Charles Sharpton, Sr.
- Children: Ashley Sharpton, Dominique Sharpton
- Education: Brooklyn College, Samuel J. Tilden High School
Eddie Long :-
Eddie Lee Long is the senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, a megachurch in unincorporated DeKalb County, Georgia, United States, near Lithonia. Bishop Eddie Long, a notoriously controversial public figure, lives in Huntersville, North Carolina and is the senior pastor of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. Alongside his religious interests he’s a businessperson and an author, having written books like ‘Power of a Wise Woman’ and ‘I Don’t Want Delilah, I Need You’. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business, and being unceremoniously fired from Ford Motors for financial irregularities, Long decided to serve his religion.
- Net Worth :- $5 million
- Born: May 12, 1953 (age 60), Huntersville, North Carolina, United States
- Nationality: American
- Spouse: Vanessa Griffin (m. 1990)
- Movies: Daddy’s Little Girls
- Books: It’s Your Time: Reclaim Your Territory for the Kingdom, more
- Education: North Mecklenburg High School, Interdenominational Theological Center, North Carolina Central University