Some started with just a few people engaging in prayer sessions in classrooms and open spaces but today, they are known for their huge buildings and televised services that attract huge viewership across the world.
We have chronicled the top 15 richest pastors in the world and their estimated net worth below:
1. Kenneth Copeland - $300 million
Per our checks, pastor Kenneth Copeland tops the list of the richest pastors in the world. He is an American preacher born in Lubbock, Texas in December 1936.
He is the founder of the Kenneth Copeland Ministries located in Tarrant County in Texas.
The man of God who combines as an author, a public speaker, and a musician is said to be richer than official figures available but according to Celebrity Net Worth, he is worth $300 million.
Copeland spreads the word of God via television, books, DVDs and CDs.
He is noted for a flamboyant lifestyle and has three private jets which he uses for trips to resorts and personal vacations.
2. David Oyedepo - $150 million
Being Nigeria’s richest pastor, David Oyedepo follows Kenneth Copeland as the world’s second-richest man of God with a net worth estimated at $150 million.
He is the founder and presiding bishop of Living Faith Church Worldwide also known as Winners Chapel.
Pastor David Oyedepo is the senior pastor at Faith Tabernacle, a church auditorium with 50,000 seat capacity.
He is reported to own several properties including private jets and homes in the USA and UK.
3. Pat Robertson - $100 million
The third richest pastor on the list is Pat Robertson who has an estimated net worth of $100 million.
The American preacher and successful businessman, also known as Marion Gordon Robertson was born in Lexington, Virginia.
Records have it that he once served in the United States Marine Corps before going to law school.
Having failed to pass the bar exam, he enrolled in the New York Theological Seminary. After completion, he launched the Christian Broadcasting Network in Virginia which has grown to broadcast in 180 countries.
Pat Robertson is the founder and CEO of the Christian Coalition, which is a Christian Right organization that raises money and public support for conservative political candidates.
He ran for president in the late 80s but did not win.
4. Benny Hinn - $60 million
Benny Hinn is estimated to be worth $60 million.
He is a televangelist born in Israel on the 3rd of December 1952.
He is known globally for his regular miracle healing crusades mostly held in big stadiums of big cities and broadcast on live television.
His turning point was when fellow students introduced him to prayer meetings at school and then he accepted Christ, a move his family had opposed to but determination led him to Kathryn Kuhlman's healing service in Pittsburgh, reports say.
He founded the Orlando Christian Center in 1983.
5. Pastor Chris Oyakhilome - $50 million
Nigerian pastor Chris Oyakhilome aka Pastor Chris is also estimated to be worth is 50 million dollars.
He is the founder of Believers' LoveWorld Incorporated aka "Christ Embassy".
He is a televangelist and has his church spread across Africa.
The church runs an NGO called the Innercity Missions. It also has three Christian television channels that include LoveWorld Plus, LoveWorld TV and LoveWorld SAT.
Pastor Chris is undoubtedly one of the richest pastors in the world.
6. Joel Osteen - $40 million
Right after pastor Chris comes Joel Osteen, an American preacher, televangelist and author who is believed to be worth about 40 million dollars.
He was born on the 5th of March 1963 and named Joel Scott Osteen.
He is the pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, a church and its television ministry he inherited from his father, the late John Osteen.
After taking over in 1999, he has lifted the church to a higher height.
7. Creflo Dollar - $27 million
Creflo Dollar is an American Word of Faith teacher, a pastor and the founder of the nondenominational World Changers Church International.
He is based in Fulton County, Georgia.
He is estimated to be worth 27 million dollars.
He has a quarterly international magazine named CHANGE with over 100,000 subscribers.
He is an author and has books to his credit including Understanding God's Purpose for the Anointing (1992), Claim Your Victory Today (2006) and 8 Steps to Create the Life You Want (2008).
Reports say Creflo has two Rolls-Royces, a million-dollar house, a private jet and several other assets in the US.
8. Rick Warren - $25 million
Rick Warren has also made it to the list as the eighth richest pastor in the world. He is the founder of the Saddleback Church located in Lake Forest, California.
His church is believed to be one of the largest in America that averages a weekly attendance of 20,000 people, resulting in the pastor making a lot of money through church donations, reports say.
He is estimated to be worth 25 million dollars.
Rick is an author who is enthusiastic about religion, uplifting the poor and the promotion of education.
9. Jesse Duplantis - $20 million
Jesse Duplantis is an American Evangelical Charismatic Christian minister who was born in New Orleans, Louisiana in July of 1949.
He founded the Jesse Duplantis Ministries in 1976 and has been preaching the word of God since.
He is noted for using comic and musical talent to send the good word across to his congregation and followers.
He serves on the Board of Oral Roberts University.
He is an accomplished writer with many books such as Ministry of Cheerfulness, Heaven: Close Encounters of the God Kind, Breaking the Power of Natural Law: Finding Freedom in the Presence of God, Jambalaya for the Soul, God Is Not Enough, He's Too Much!, Wanting a God You Can Talk to, One More Night with the Frogs, What in Hell Do You Want, The Battle of Life, The Everyday Visionary, and Why Isn't My Giving Working?: The Four Types of Giving.
He has been estimated to be $20 million.
He is on record to have once asked his followers to contribute to buying a private jet valued at $54 million.
10. Bishop TD Jakes - $18 million
Bishop TD Jakes was born on the 9th of June 1957 in South Charleston, West Virginia. He was one of the people that spoke at the inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2009. In 2005 he accompanied President George W. Bush to see victims of Hurricane Katrina. Jakes is the founder of the Potter's House, which is a nondenominational megachurch. Apart from earning money from his church, he is also a writer and movie producer. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Bishop T.D. Jakes is worth $18 million.
11. T.B. Joshua - $10 million
TB Joshua is a Nigerian pastor and founder of the Synagogue Church of all Nations established in 1987 with branches across Africa.
He is one of the wealthiest pastors in Nigeria who is often making news headlines for his controversial healing and prophecies.
He claims to have powers to heal all sorts of diseases, including HIV/AIDS. T.B.
He tried his prophetic powers with the COVID-19 pandemic when he gave a timeline for it to vanish but that has not come to pass yet.
He is estimated to be worth about $10 million.
Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams – $6.9m
This is where Ghanaian pastors also join the list. The General Overseer of the Christian Action Faith Ministries, Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams is the richest pastor in Ghana with an estimated worth of $6.9m.
He has over 100 affiliates and branch churches in Ghana, Africa, North America, Europe, Asia.
The respected man of God owns many businesses which include the Dominion University College.
He is noted for flamboyance and has a private jet, luxurious cars, expensive jewels and so on.
13. Apostle Kwadwo Safo – $6.5m
The founder of the automobile company, Kantanka Automobile has also made it to this list.
Apostle Kwadwo Safo Kantanka is the founder and leader of Kristo Asafo Church.
He can’t be said to have made his wealth from the ministry alone. Apart from the automobile company, he is into farming and has several educational institutions. He owns the Great KOSA network of companies.
He is estimated to be worth about $6.5m
14.Pastor Dr. Mensah Otabil – $6.3m
Pastor Dr. Mensah Otabil is the founder and leader of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC).
He is reported to own several businesses across the country and abroad.
He is the 3rd richest pastor in Ghana with an estimated worth of about $6.3m.
Otabil is the chancellor of Central University.
He is most People’s favourite preacher as he uses humour, motivation and practical life experiences to preach the word of God which is almost always greeted with applause and cheers.
15.Reverend Obofour – $6.1m
Last but not least, the fifteenth wealthiest pastor in the world Reverend Kwaku Agyei Antwi aka Reverend Obofour.
He is the founder and leader of the Anointed Palace Chapel.
He is believed to have one of the biggest churches in Ghana.
He is reported to have has over 15 companies from which he makes money aside from the work of God.
The controversial man of God sells what is said to be a miraculous witch cream at his church, and he is reported to have claimed that he could buy as many as 20 cars in a week just from the sale of the cream.