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10 Pastors Who Forgot "You Cannot Serve Both God and Money"

1. Mark Driscoll

1. Mark Driscoll

Mark Driscoll isn't, strictly speaking, a televangelist—but that's only because he's pushed his brand of high-roller Christianity into the digital age. Driscoll's charisma and down-to-earth attitude gave him kudos in the likes of Forbes and Salon. He was pulling in half a million dollars a year, even as he was referring to women as "penis homes,"  funneling his own tithes back to himself, and plagiarizing his bestselling books. As to those bestsellers—they were fabricated. The church funneled its tax-exempt money into buying enough copies of the book to put it on the NYT bestseller list. Those scandals, along with claims of bullying and creating a "culture of fear" at Mars Hill, led to his ouster, but he's slowly beginning to mount a comeback.

2. Creflo Dollar

2. Creflo Dollar

Creflo Dollar is the pastor at one of the largest megachurches in the nation and the host of a cable TV show called Changing Your World. His net worth is $27 million dollars. He has one home in Georgia, one in Manhattan, and drives a Rolls. He came under fire for requesting that his followers help him buy a $65 million luxury private jet, one of only 100 made that had a line of billionaires on the waiting list. He eventually relented, though his "ministry" did eventually buy the plane outright, crowdfunding aside.
 

3. Chris Oyakhilome

3. Chris Oyakhilome

"Pastor Chris" is the founder of Believers' LoveWorld Incorporated, a ministry based out of Lagos, Nigeria. He's amassed $50 million, and, though the case was dismissed, he was accused of a $35 million money laundering scheme wherein he allegedly siphoned church funds out of the country.  In the midst of his divorce proceedings—his wife claimed that he maintained inappropriate relations with female congregants—Pastor Chris claimed that he was not just a preacher, but a "man of God," and incapable of sin. He's also come under fire for claiming he can heal HIV/AIDS via faith healing.

4. Benny Hinn

4. Benny Hinn

Benny Hinn's "Miracle Crusades" have garnered him a net worth of about $40 million. At these crusades, he allegedly heals everything from cancer to HIV, though people with actual physical disabilities are notably absent from the stage. Hinn's wealth saw him investigated by the Senate, who cleared him of wrongdoing. Apparently, as long as the church owns the luxury goods you enjoy, you're on solid legal standing. News shows from Dateline to The Fifth Estate have tried to follow up on his claims of healing with no luck. In the meantime, he continues to assert that God will make his followers wealthy, just as he made all the prophets wealthy (wait, what?), and that the fastest way to assert your faith and collect your divine paycheck is by giving money to Benny Hinn.

5. Joel Osteen

5. Joel Osteen

Unlike a lot of people on this list, Osteen isn't guilty of any sexual impropriety or savage bullying, just shaky theology. Apparently unacquainted with the idea that it's harder for a rich man to get into heaven than a camel through the eye of a needle, Osteen has amassed quite the nest egg. Supporters point out that he stopped drawing his $200,000 per year salary from the church, but why bother when your book revenue has garnered you a $40 million net worth? Also, is it really fair to use your nonprofit organization as free marketing for the books that you reap the profits for?

6. David Oyedepo

6. David Oyedepo

Oyedepo is Nigeria's wealthiest preacher with an estimated net worth of $150 million. He reportedly has homes in the U.S. and London, as well as four private jets to ferry him to and fro as he brings the prosperity gospel to England. In 2012, the BBC reported that nearly 100 million people were living on less than a dollar a day in his home country, which throws a bit of a wrench in that whole "I was hungry and you fed me" thing. Oyedepo has been accused of slapping a woman he accused of witchcraft as well as threatening to "open the gates of hell" to anyone opposing President Goodluck Jonathan politically.

7. Franklin Graham

7. Franklin Graham

Every relief organization has overhead—that's something not a lot of people understand. And if you want organizers who know their stuff, you have to be prepared to pay them. That said, the $622,000 that Franklin Graham makes per year in his role as CEO of the Samaritan's Purse charity seems a bit excessive. It's the highest salary by far of any CEO of any international charity group in the US, and that's before you combine it with the $258,000/year he gets as CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. He's also taken the relatively open, inclusive (while decidedly evangelical) stance of his father's ministry and steered it solidly towards one political party—something Billy Graham spent most of his life carefully avoiding.

8. Kenneth Copeland

8. Kenneth Copeland

Kenneth Copeland claims to be a billionaire, as though that's something you would want to be when you profess to follow a man who once said "You cannot serve both God and money." Whether he actually is or not (there's some contention on that point), he's also awash in accusations of fraudulent handling of the church. Take for instance congregants being lied to about how prayer requests were handled or the church giving shady broker work, cheap land sales, and lucrative speaking gigs to friends and family of the pastor. All in all, Copeland seems out to prove that prosperity gospel works best for those who preach it.

9. Paul and Janice Crouch

9. Paul and Janice Crouch

Paul and Jan Crouch, known also as "Papa" and "Mama," co-founded Trinity Broadcast Network with Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. Crouch and her husband had his-and-hers private jets and multi-million dollar mansions in California, as well as smaller homes near their Holy Land Experience theme park in Florida. When their granddaughter/finance director called them out for finding ways to label their lavish spending as "ministry expenses," they ousted her from the company and accused her of theft. At least the Bakkers had the decency to disappear amidst sexual misconduct accusations and indictments for fraud.

10. T.D. Jakes

10. T.D. Jakes

Thomas Dexter Jakes is bishop of The Potter's House, a megachurch in Dallas whose services are broadcast on BET, TBN, and international TV. He's worth around 18 million dollars, depending on whose estimate you look at. There are some pretty clear Christian principles along the lines of "do not store up for yourself treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy..." that Bishop Jakes has apparently missed. Even worse, he continues to peddle the Kindergarten-level morality that God blesses people with money when they're nice.