Love them or hate them, Televangelists are woven into the very fabric of American life. Make no mistake about it, while the world of televangelism has a 24/7 global reach, virtually all TV ministers come from, live, and operate outside of the US. It means you won’t find Televangelists in other countries, of course there are, but compared to US carriers, those based in other countries are small-time carriers at best.
However, here in the United States it is big business. No one really knows how great it is, because all high-profile ministers and their churches keep their financial records confidential. There is no transparency, and according to US tax law, there doesn’t have to be.
The reasons for this are easy to understand. In the United States, we have had a tradition of building a wall of separation between Church and State that dates back to the early days of our nation. However, that is both ways: the Church stays out of the government and the government stays out of the church business.
Unfortunately, the near-total lack of oversight can (and has) led to a number of high-profile abuses and excesses, and may be causing at least some people in government to begin to question whether they have been a bit too permissive where churches (especially those with a large media presence) are concerned.
Who are the big players
The central doctrine of the Televangelist seems to be this: if you plant a seed in the form of cash, giving it to one of these churches, then your seed will grow and you will end up recovering the money you donated. many times.
It is never explained exactly how or when you will get your money back. This, apparently, is in God’s hands, and He has not been very forthcoming about such things. In the meantime, while we can’t look directly at the financial records of the larger churches run by Televangelists, we can get a pretty good idea of what they’re doing with all the money people keep sending them by examining the net worth of the ministers. who run these churches.
So that’s where we’ll start. Now understand that all the people we are about to mention make basically the same statement. God blesses those who do their good work by providing them with riches, which is why, according to these people, they deserve the riches they have, because it is a sign that they are doing what God wants them to do.
To many, this may seem like a self-reinforcing “prophecy”. If you, as a Televangelist, can convince large groups of people who have no money to send you more than you can actually afford to send without skipping a meal, you can buy a multi-million dollar jet and a host of million-dollar mansions. dollars (just call them “rectories” and that’s okay with the IRS), and somehow convince yourself that it’s okay, because after all, God must want you to have these things, since you do. In a way, the part of telling people that if they send you money, they’ll get a return in the future, it just never comes into the equation.
In any case, here is the list of the best Televangelists in the country, ranked by their net worth:
- Kenneth copeland With a net worth of more than $ 760 million, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, who jointly manage Kenneth Copeland Ministries, are the 800-pound gorillas of the televangelism world. They have more wealth than the rest of the name on the top list combined. His ministry campus is a sprawling 1,500-acre property near Fort Worth, Texas, and includes not just a church, but also a private airstrip and a deluxe perch for the ministry’s $ 17.5 million plane. The ministry also owns a $ 6 million “parsonage” that sits on the shores of a beautiful lake, and is used to house the working minister and his family.
- Pat robertson comes in a very distant second, with a still considerable net worth of $ 100 million. His biggest claims to fame are the Christian Broadcasting Network, which operates in Virginia, and a failed presidential bid in the 1980s. So far the separation of Church and State.
- Benny hinn – With a net weight of 42 million dollars, Mr. “Miracle Crusade” holds his meetings and revivals in major stadiums across the country and televised around the world.
- Joel osteen – The darling of the media …