What Graham took in was mere "chump change" compared to Television Evangelists such as John Hagee, Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer, Benny Hinn and Joel Osteen. It, of course, is very difficult to get figures on exactly how much income these people get because they don't release the figures or they hide them among various entities to which they belong. Here is what I have been able to find:
John Hagee in 2001 "earned" $842,005 in compensation and $414,485 in benefits. This does not include all the money from his tapes and books.
Creflo Dollar (that is his real name) does pretty well too. He and his wife live in a million-dollar mansion in Atlanta. When he started another church in NYC, he purchased a $2.5M apartment there. He has two Rolls-Royces and his church has not one but two lear jets.
Joyce Meyer in 2002 "earned" a $900,000 annual salary and her husband, the Vice President of her ministry organization, "earned" $450,000. In addition, the ministry's board of directors agreed to provide the couple with free personal use of a corporate jet and luxury cars, a $2 million home where all bills are paid by the ministry and a separate $50,000-a-year housing allowance. The ministry paid $1.475 million to buy three houses for the three Meyer children. The board authorized Joyce and Dave Meyer to control a $790,000 fund to be used at their discretion for bonuses to "executive management."
Benny Hinn is going through a divorce so I expect his real net worth will become public but we know this much: In 2008, he made a cool $800K in less than two days "work" in Australia. Hinn’s salary is somewhere between half a million and a million dollars per year. He also gets royalties from the sales of his books and personal perks for Hinn, family and his entourage include a $10 million seaside mansion; a private jet with annual operating costs of about $1.5 million; a Mercedes SUV and convertible, each valued at about $80,000.
Joel Osteen, in 2006, earned $13 million on just one of his books, Become a Better You . His Amazon page shows that he now has written over a dozen books. He recently bragged that he told his church to stop paying him his $200K annual salary. How magnanimous of him. If I were making millions off of books, I think I could turn down a measley $200K as well.
The really big money comes from book sales. As of the end of 2008 Rick Warren had sold around 40 million copies of his book: The Purpose Driven Life . Estimates of his royalties for this one book alone would be around $100 million dollars. No wonder he "reverse tithes" to his church (gives 90% and keeps 10%).
Below is a list of other prominent evangelicals and their annual compensation from the Chronicle of Philanthropy:
Neil J. Nicoll, CEO-------YMCA--------------------$432,600
Paul F. Crouch, CEO-------TBN-------------------$419,500
Janice Crouch, VP---------TBN---------------------$361,000
Elinor Hite, SVP----------YMCA---------------------$352,080
Richard Stearns, CEO------World Vision---------$336,472
William F. Horan, CEO-----Operation Blessing--$333,654
Gordon Robertson, CEO-----CBN------------------$326,820
Dennis Ryberg, CEO--------Young Life------------$279,338
James Daly, CEO-----------Focus on the Family-$240,002
Charles F. Stanley, CEO-In Touch Ministries---$226,704
Alexander D. Hill, CEO-InterVarsity Fellowship-$171,088
Michael Treneer, CEO------The Navigators------$161,476
At least these salaries are known. Some in the Southern Baptist Convention are "hopping mad," that the Convention will not publish the salaries of its executives. The blog Baptist Planet reports:
The most recent published figures we could find for top SBC leaders’ salaries are from 1990. They’re cited in the book The Conservative Resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention by James C. Hefley. According to that book, five top SBC executives at the time were paid more than $100,000 a year. . . .The five, according to [Southern Baptist Advocate Editor Bob] Tenery, were Lloyd Elder, President, Sunday School Board, $157,086; Harold Bennett, President-Treasurer, Executive Committee, $151,079; Larry Lewis, President, Home Mission Board, $113,583; Keith Parks, President, Foreign Mission Board, $113,000. The Annuity Board decline to report renumeration (sic) for its newly-elected president, Paul W. Powell. Tenery further noted that the top six men at the Sunday School Board, where Tenery is a trustee, were paid $715,475 in salary and benefits.. . .
Even simple adjustments for inflation for the equivalent positions today result in very comfortable salaries for all. Such adjustments do not consider the implications of the subsequent revelation of extravagance by Bob Reccord while he headed the SBC’s North American Mission Board. Reccord funneled $3.3 million to business friends, including current SBC President Johnny Hunt, while NAMB staff was downsized. His severance package of two years’ salary plus benefits reportedly exceeded $500,000.
A 2005 Associated Baptist Press article noted that even members of the SBC’s own Executive Committee must sign a pledge not to reveal employee salaries. Details from Reccord’s rein emerged only because NAMB marketing director Mary Kinney Branson escaped without signing the standard agreement.
Branson is a former marketing director for the SBC’s North American Mission Board and her book [Spending God's Money: Extravagance And Misuse In The Name Of Ministry ]is “an insider’s account of the extravagance and financial mismanagement there” (See this article).
On the blog, Stop Baptist Predators, Christa Brown writes:
Branson provides details that implicate high Southern Baptist officials and those details are not flattering. For example, (NAMB President) Bob Reccord “had a $1 million fund he could use at his discretion, no questions asked and no receipts required.” (Branson at p. 61)
Can you imagine any other organization that would allow an official to spend such sums with so little oversight? According to Branson, that $1 million fund was replenished each year, and in Reccord’s last two years, the fund was reduced to $350,000. In other words, the money didn’t just sit there. He spent it. “No receipts required.”
When Reccord resigned, 41 Southern Baptist leaders signed a letter, praising Reccord and essentially whitewashing his “undisputed misuse of funds.” (Branson at p. 18) One of those signers was Johnny Hunt, who is now the president of the Southern Baptist Convention. Another was evangelist Jay Strack.
According to Branson, after Bob Reccord left the North American Mission Board, “auditors discovered that payments were being made to evangelist Jay Strack ($300,000) and Bob’s mega-pastor Johnny Hunt at Woodstock Baptist Church ($92,000). Final payments were sent after Bob resigned but before he left the building…. There were no written contracts. So nearly half a million dollars was paid to Strack and Hunt through verbal agreements with Bob.” (Branson at p. 113)
I know that the great majority of pastors and Christian workers are paid very modest wages. However, there is a significant number of high profile "leaders" who are compensated quite nicely. Sounds pretty foreign to the concept of a servant, doesn't it?