How Did TD Jakes And The Preachers Of LA Pastors Get So Rich?

 

 

 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the new reality show on the Oxygen Network (a basic cable channel) called “Preachers Of LA.”  The show features around 5 or 6 pastors from the Los Angeles area and revolves around their personal lives.  To say that the show has garnered some controversy would be the understatement of the month.  It has experienced backlash from everyone and every where.  The controversy originated with the trailer for the show that was released earlier this summer long before the show debuted on TV.  In the trailer the show was promoted as focusing on the wealth and “bling” of these pastors.  This stoked the fire of controversy.  What is interesting, however, is that when you do watch the show i.e. all 4 episodes to date, is that the show could not be further from the image created in the trailer.  Its not about their possessions or money at all, instead shows a softer, more human side of these ministers of the gospel.

 

To be honest, I think the idea to promote the show by using controversy was a mistake by the people at Oxygen.  They wanted to cause an outcry with the show even before it debuted so that when it does air everyone will tune in.  And to one’s surprise, their tactic worked, though I think it was the wrong approach, I think the show has the makings of a lasting franchise that would’ve grown on its own over time.  Another pointed criticism about the show is that it features pastors who subscribe to the “prosperity” gospel.  I get this criticism.  I don’t agree with the prosperity or word of faith movement, I think it’s not biblical.  I think it is a system of belief created by stringing together a bunch of bible verses out of context to create a manufactured, and unfounded view that they believe.  And by doing this, they can call their view “biblical.”  As any student of the bible knows you can use various, individual verses taken out of context (that is,  out of their original meaning) to support any belief that you want to espouse.  This is not how sound biblical doctrine is built in the church.

 

But I wanted to answer the question that many who have seen the show have voiced on twitter and other social media, namely how did these preachers get so rich.  And the short answer is; not from their churches.  But here is a breakdown of how they make so much money.

 

1.  Base Salary From The Church – Their churches pay them a salary that could range from between $40,000 – $100,000 a year (or in some cases more) depending on the size of the church. This is not unusual for people in a profession such as theirs, to be paid this.  However, high profile pastors have additional income that come from  sources separate from their church.

 

2.  Base Salary From Their Ministry – Often times, high profile preachers like Noel Jones, and say, TD Jakes also have ministries that are separate from their church.  Like with TD Jakes he has his ‘TD Jakes Ministries” that is separate from The Potterhouse, his church.  Often times these ministries will also pay these guys a salary.  So that’s a second base salary, that they get on top of the salary from their church.  And like their church salaries, this ministries salary could easy be between $40,000 – $100,000 a year.  So already, you have 2 base salaries, that’s making you at least $150,000 combined per year (and that’s a very conservative estimate).  TD Jakes Ministries brings in about $30 million a year in donations, and Joel Osteen brings in $50 million a year.  So it would be nothing for these ministries with those budgets to pay TD Jakes and Joel Osteen $200,000 plus all kinds of perks including a private Jet/plane, clothing allowance etc.

 

3.  Royalties From CD & DVD Sermons –  A person like Bishop Noel Jones, may also get a royalty for each sermon CD or DVD his church sells that he preached, and it could be $1 or $2 per product.  That’s separate from his standard salary from the church.  So if the church has a bookstore, if other churches’ books stores are ordering CD’s and DVD’s in bulk they may get a royalty from those sales.  That’s separate from their 2 base salaries.  But it gets added on top of it.   So let’s say Noel Jones is making $150,000 from his church.  Maybe $100,000 plus $50,000 in an anniversary present.  Then he makes $70,000 from his ministry.  And he makes $30,000 from CD & DVD royalties he’s already at $250,000 a year, or $20,000 a month.

 

4.  Speaking Gigs – Then also, for someone like Noel Jones his major money is made in speaking gigs.  Apart from preaching on Sundays, Noel Jones easily preaches at 4 places each week. And with someone with his profile and celebrity, he’s making at least $10,000 per speaking gig.  So if he’s speaking at 4 places in a week at $10,000 per engagement, he’s making $40,000  a week off speaking gigs alone. That’s like $160,000 a month from speaking gigs alone.  Did you get that?  $160,000 a month.  Off guest preaching alone.  So now in addition to his 2 base salaries and royalties from his preaching products he’s making easily between $50,000 – $100,000 a month off speaking gigs.  If he preached 10 months a year at $100,000 per month, he’s easily clearing $1 million off speaking gigs alone.

 

5.  Book Royalties – Then there’s his books that he’s written, he gets a royalty from that too.  He may make $1.5 – $2 in royalties per book.  If Noel Jones has 3 books in the marketplace and each sells 20,000 a year.  Multiply that by 3, because each book sold 20,000 copies in a year.  So if he sold a combined total of 60,000 copies of his book, at $2 per book.  He’s making $120,000 from book royalties alone.  So add that to the money he’s already making, now we’re at $1.5 million for the year.

 

6.  Other Business Ventures – Then, on top of all that, he may be involved in numerous business ventures.  These ventures may come from business people he knows in his church or in his city.  Maybe he had a friend who came to him and said we’re starting a new construction company with a group of 10 investors all putting up $200,000 to start the business.  So he joined them, that now becomes another source of income for him.  For example, I know a preacher who owned a lot of homes that he rented out to people, this was his business that brought him money every month, apart from his church salary.  So Noel Jones may make $20,000 a month from his various business ventures and other investments.  This is a common practice among wealthy people, they are always being approached with business deals.  A friend’s brother in law is starting a new company or his sister’s husband’s friend is starting something and they come you with the offer.  And if you’re an investor like say, in a restaurant, not only do you own equity or shares, but you also share in the profits each year.  It doesn’t have to be external business ventures only i.e. someone else’s business venture.  It can also be their own.  Look at TD Jakes, he’s doing movies, he’s owns a record label.  It’s all kinds of business ventures.  They could easily be making $150,000 a year minimum, from their various business ventures.  Jakes with his movies I’d say is making at least $1 million a year from his various business ventures.

 

7.  Investments – This is very similar to point # 6 but also different in some ways.  Investments in this case refers to ways that you money grows i.e. generates additional passive income in the form of mutual funds, stocks and things like real estate.  TD Jakes mentioned in a sermon he preached on Sunday, August 24, 2014 at The Potters House, a sermon called “Supply & Demand” that he owns a lot of real estate all over the place.  Now if those properties are vacant, i.e. no one lives in them, then he’s only making money in the value of the property increasing every year.  But if he has properties that he’s renting out to others well now he’s making addition money from that.  Investments is a big source of growing your wealth when you’re already wealthy, because you hire asset managers who will invest and oversee your financial portfolio.  And the reason it’s such a big part of wealthy people’s lives is because when you are earning upwards of $250,000 – $500,000 per year and up, you have way more money than you’ll spend or use in a year.  So at the end of the year when you’ve paid everything you could easily have an extra $100,000 that you have just sitting in your bank account, and every 12 months you have a new $100,000 that you have no use for.  So it’s natural for someone in this position to invest that money instead of letting it just collect dust.  So these preachers who fall in this category, they have so much surplus money each year that they don’t need, and as a result they naturally invest more and more each year.

 

While this is only a hypothetical example of how Noel Jones or TD Jakes makes their money from so many quarters, this is also the way everyone else on the show makes their money.  And so you end up with preachers who are making between $300,000 and $1.5 million a year easily (and more).  And they don’t make that money off the church.  Now of course, no-one on that show is going to tell you how they make their money, but one thing you can be sure of is that it’s not from their respective churches.  They are not raiding the coffers of the church to enrich themselves, there are laws against that kind of stuff that prevents them from doing it, even if they wanted to, because if they did they’d be facing serious prison time.  So I hope this helps people who watch this show understand how preachers can be so wealthy.  The answer is because they have a lot more ventures going on that you even know about.  All you know about is their church, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

 

About The Author of This Article:

Hervict Jacobs is an author and speaker who writes about personal development and Christian Living.  His latest book The Success Secrets of A Legend: How Bob Marley Went From Struggling Jamaican Musician To International Superstar  is available on amazon for only $2.99. 

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