Hot Topic: Can A Pastor Make Too Much Money?

Now this is a great read, I read some of the back and forth on other sites concerning this particular article by Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile.  He makes a great argument that money would not come from books if not for the notoriety from preaching.  Without the platform of preaching, they would virtually be unknown and thus low to no sales. Can a pastor make too much money?

1). Creflo Dollar, World Changers International Net worth: $27,000,000 Neighborhood Avg salary: $29,640 (College Park, Ga)

2). David Oyedepo, Living Faith World Outreach Ministry Net worth: $150,000,000 salary: 55% of Nigerians earn less than $2/day 

3). Eddie Long, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church Net worth: $5,000,000 Neighborhood Avg salary: $25,154 (Lithonia, Ga)

4). Christian Oyakhilome, Christ Embassy in Lagos, Nigeria Net worth: $50,000,0av0Nigeria Avg salary: 55% of Nigerians earn less than $2/day

5). T.D. Jakes, Potter’s House Net worth: $18,000,000 Neighborhood’s Avg salary: $56,954 (Dallas, TX)

6). Temitope B. Joshua, Synagogue Church of all Nations in Lagos, Nigeria Net worth: $15,000,000 Nigeria Avg salary: 55% of Nigerians earn less than $2/day

7). Matthew Ashimolowo, Kingsway International Christian Center in London Net worth: $10,000,000 Nigeria Avg salary: 55% of Nigerians earn less than $2/day.

  The article also lists Charles Blake of West Angeles Church of God in Christ in South Central Los Angeles. The article doesn’t mention Blake’s net worth, but refers to his 10,000 square foot Beverly Hills mansion and $900,000 per year salary. The average salary for South Central LA where the church is located: $27,907. Whatever else Blake is and does, he doesn’t run with your typical boys in the ‘hood. This ain’t “doughboy” and crew; this is just plain dough.


  1. Personally if it was me I wouldn't take a salary over 100k considering that money is tax free anyway so its really like 200k. Pastors making all that money and living in those grand mansions I don't think its appropriate considering Jesus' death and mission for us Christians.

  2. The federal government needs to start taxing these pastors who earn more than $100k a year and choose to buy elaborate mansions & other material items. If pastors were truly selfless, they could be a TREMENDOUS help to the people!! Imagine what they could do for those communities with thir salaries alone!!! But I can PROMISE you that I'll NEVER EVER tithe at a COGIC church EVER again in life!! $900k a year?? I'll take my tithes & directly go buy food for real food pantries and donate to real helpful causes. But I will NOT be helping to maintain ANY pastor's elaborate lifestyle. NEVER!!!

  3. I don't get why Pastor Ashimolowo net worth is compared to Nigeria when his church is in London. I do not think that was fair since all the others salary comparisons are based on where the church they preach at resides. I understand he is Nigerian but the church mentioned is in London

    As for the wealth. I can only hope pray and imagine like in the day of tabernacle or temple based worship where all offering were brought to the priests that of the priestly portion they are doing their part to help those in society and local community. Other than that their wealth does not bother me.

    1. SoFrolushes thanks for the comment and thanks for pointing out that Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo, Kingsway International Christian Center is in fact located in London. Why it's being mentioned as being in Nigeria I don't know. I' am like you when it comes to the money, it doesn't really bother me that these pastors make a lot of money.

  4. Most of these guys are pimps and Hustlers.

    1. Anonymous I can't say whether that's true or not.

  5. It is a trap and snare of the devil for Christians to think that they supposed to be poor... What's sad is the masses buy into that and use the word of God to justify their belief system. Tony is an example who's misquoting 2 Corinthians 11:12. What makes people believe that the world can be rich and have wealth but if you are a Christian you supposed to be poor. As long as believers have this mentality we will not be able to reach the masses and to bless the poor so that they can become rich. And being rich is not necessarily based upon money. I could be a millionaire and be tormented in my mind and though I'm wealthy monetarily I'm poor mentally. The devil is a liar.... These ministers feed the hungry, preach the gospel, work tirelessly to spread the word of God seven days a week 24 hours a day, and if God blessed their ministries with the abundance so be it. At the end of the day, they have to answer to God for their lives. In the meantime I will continue to send money because they are spreading the word of God and if you was spreading the word of God, I would do the same thing for you. I was headed to hell and bound with addictions but the word of God change my course!

    1. I don't think anyone is saying pastors have to be poor. And, just like pastors can use the Word to justify their positions, people can use the word to justify theirs. Churches are granted non-profit status which means they exist for the sole purpose of charitable works--the same reason you can get a tax deduction for your "tithes and offerings" which are considered charitable giving. Churches are supposed to serve the less fortunate. However, especially in the black church, if you aren't a member of the church you get nothing. Members may not get much because operating expenses can take priority. So, no one is suggesting that pastors be poor. However, I am suggesting that churches do a much better job of taking care of the poor in the community and not just giving bits and pieces to the members.

    2. I Tim.6: 3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;
      4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
      5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
      6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
      7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
      8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
      9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

  6. Once u get to a certain level of comfort u should start giving it away i.e. Pastor Rick Warren who reverse tithes (keeps only 10p gives away 90). Remember Jesus words its not easy for a RICH person to get into Heaven. Given that warning if I was a pastor once I was comfortable why hoard why not help at that point.

  7. When the communities that these churches are located are thriving and begin to not have poverty issues, education issues, employment issues then I won't have any issue with these pastor's salaries. Until then, I cannot further the advancement of rich pastors while their flock are broken and poor.

  8. YES, they can make to much money.

    When the pastor has a jet,
    a 100 thousand dollar car,
    2 homes on each coast
    Mrs Jenkins has to ride the number 2 bus to get to church
    Lives off social security
    And uses the first part of that check to pay Tithes to the church to help pay THE RICH PASTORS SALARY BEFORE SHE PAYS FOR HER MEDICATION.

    I don't have a problem with rich pastor
    I have a problem with a pastor who became rich because he is a pastor off the backs of the less fortunate.

    Like the article stated, these pastors are wealthy because the started pushing their "brand" on the people. So once they reach a certain level of fame they can start selling books, having conferences, and promoting themselves in other areas of money making ways.

  9. "Church" is a business. Any successful business functions to make a profit--even though churches are automatically granted non-profit status. Just like any other CEO, which is what these guys are, pastors want to be successful and the church to be profitable. The more successful the product or brand is, the more notoriety and success for the pastor.
    Unfortunately, the path to success is generally travelled on the backs of less fortunate people whose heart is to obey the scriptures-through giving. They give even when they should exercise wisdom over their finances. That is the part that is heart-wrenching because people love Jesus but can't keep food on the table. I don't think that is the message of Jesus Christ.

    1. When did church become a business? When did the focus shift from saving souls to turning a profit? Thats not biblical. And if church's want to act as businesses then they should be treated as such & fully taxed, be forced to open their books, and be subjected to federal regulation.

    2. There is a business side to churches, they have to hire lawyers, accounts, administrative staff, counselors, musicians, airtime on television/radio, it cost so much money to keep a church up and running, it is a business. There use to be a time when you could find a large amount of land, put a tent up and really focus on ministry . I'm not saying that ministry is not being focused on now, but like with anything, when budgets have to be met, its not always easy. What I find really interesting is that a lot of the needs of the church use to be done without people charging the church, if you had any of the above professions in your congregation, it use to be seen as your reasonable service to serve the church,unfortunately not now.

    3. Using the money collected to run the church is one thing.

      Using the money to give the pastor an OUTRAGES SALARY is irresponsible, careless and not being good Stewarts over the money.

      And if churches are going to be RUN AS A BUSINESS
      it needs to pay taxes LIKE A BUSINESS.

    4. I do think that the salaries of pastors should be governed by member elected representatives. Any amount that pastors makes outside the church such as, book deals, speaking engagements etc., should be private and separate from the church.

  10. Unfortunately, out of a deep and abiding love for Jesus Christ and a desire to be obedient, many Christians pay tithes that they can't afford to pay, but feel guilty or compelled to do so because they are told that they "can't afford not to give," and that "the Lord will bless them for their cheerful giving."

    It's heart-breaking to know that many tithers struggle to put food on the table, pay for electricity/medical bills, and meet the basic needs of their family. I can't get away from the image of a struggling family handing money over to a church where the pastor has a jet, mansion, etc. The entire issue has caused me to distance myself from the church. I love Jesus, but my heart breaks over this issue.

    I have seen people pay tithes for many years, yet feel forsaken by the church when things fall apart in their lives. I once heard a pastor say don't come to church if you don't tithe; perhaps he didn't consider the person is has fallen on hard times. It's just a big ole' mess. Sometimes, the church seems just as evil as the world; perhaps that's why there is such a falling away from the church these days.

    Since I don't like to weigh in without offering a solution, IMHO there should be a cap on pastor salaries and there should be a concentrated effort to provide financial education and other personal development tools that will assist church members with making wise decisions concerning finances, and all areas of life.

    The entire issue is deeply concerning.

  11. Yes!!!! It is too much when you have saints in the congregation who lack basic necessities such as food, shelter, clothing, utility money, transportation means, etc, despite being hardworking, diligent stewards.

    How can the love of God dwell in the pastor who turns a blind eye to these needs for his own comfort. True shepherds, the ones after God's own heart will forgo such excess for the sheep

  12. HOW DARE ANYONE CRITICIZE WHAT A PASTOR MAKES......when you consider what NFL OR NBA OR MLB players make......or heads of corporations or even rappers and entertainers........PASTORS watch for our souls.......granted I would not listen to or take the counsel of any of the top money earners that are posted......but if they are blessing the people that are giving to their ministries how dare anyone raise a question about it.......I SENSE A WHOLE LOT OF HATERATION UP IN HERE...UP IN HERE! I love my pastor and he is worthy of double honor. I am fed by his labor in the WORD and he is worth every dime, house, car, suit, piece of jewelry, vacation and ANY other material thing this world has to offer. I am a better man because of my pastor and his encouraging me to stay close to God and obey His Word. As along as the pastor follows GOD and His Word and I am blessed......TOO MUCH IS NOT ENOUGH!!!!!!

  13. It's unfortunate that some Christians cannot have a healthy debate without becoming indignant. The fact remains that black communities are underserved and the church often does not have the impact that it could have if the proper financial resources were allocated. A healthy discussion about this could lead to solutions. This does not negate the value of pastors - they should be well taken care of. If we can't have intelligent discussions, how can we ever solve the ills of our communities and truly become the salt of the earth. God didn't call the NFL, NBA or MLB.


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