There are a ton of pastors and evangelists who have become wealthy through their career as men of God. One of them is Joel Osteen the pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas who has achieved his net worth by owning the largest church in the United States. Although he inherited the church from his father, John Osteen, Joel has grown the church in a remarkable way that has not only transformed the church’s global influence but also made him a multimillionaire.
We take a look at how Joel Osteen achieved a net worth of $50 million below. Read on to learn more.
How Joel Osteen Achieved His Net Worth
When you have a congregation with over 50,000 worshippers in one physical location akin to a regular concert audience for a major music artist, it is not hard to become a multi-millionaire but how did he get there?
Joel Osteen’s church, Lakewood Church was founded on the 10th of May, 1959 by his father, John Osteen and Dolores Osteen. The first location of the church was inside an abandoned feed store in northeast Houston and within the first twenty years of its existence, had grown to over five thousand members with other members all over the world who worshiped via the church’s weekly television program which was available in 100 countries.
The church had been in existence for four years before Joel Scott Osteen was born on the 5th of March, 1963. He is the last of six children born to his parents. After he abandoned his education at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma where he studied radio and television communications, he returned to Houston where he founded Lakewood’s television program, producing his father’s televised sermons for 17 years.
For much of the 17 years, Joel Osteen primarily worked behind the scenes, until shortly before his father died in January 1999, when he preached for the first time. Ever since he began to preach regularly to Lakewood’s growing congregation and was eventually named senior pastor of the church on October 1999.
Now with a net worth well over $50 million, Joel Osteen achieved his net worth by growing the church’s attendance from 5,000 to 43,000.
Since moving to Compaq Center, where Joel achieved the status of owning the largest church in America, his congregation has grown to over 52,000 people with millions more across the globe as he continues to televise the church’s services to over 100 countries. His weekly broadcast is watched by 7 million viewers weekly and 20 million viewers monthly.
Aside from owning the largest church in the country, Joel Osteen has further achieved his net worth through book sales, where he has sold over 10 million copies of over ten published books. Every single one of his books has reached number one on the New York Times Bestsellers List and his book, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential, which was his first published book achieved the remarkable feat of staying in the Best Seller List for 200 weeks.
According to the pastor and televangelist however, his net worth has been entirely down to his book sales as he earns no salary from the church. He owns a mansion in River Oaks believed to be worth $10.5 million.
How He Built the Largest Church in America
Joel Osteen has been able to achieve his significant net worth by growing his congregation into thousands of weekly worshippers, which in turn, resulted in him owning the largest church in America.
In 2003, after he had taken over the church for four short years, he grew the church’s attendance from 5000 people to 43,000 and as a result, the church’s original location could no longer handle the population, which forced the church to acquire the former home of the NBA Houston Rockets, Compaq Center.
The sports arena was leased to the Lakewood Church for seven years before they eventually bought the facility for $7.5 million in March 2010.
After they acquired the center in 2003, Lakewood invested $95 million in renovations as well as converting the configuration of the seats and rooms to its needs. The renovations, which also included an additional five stories in capacity, lasted for 15 months.
The church’s grand opening in 2005 was attended by an estimated 56,000 people, including major personalities like Nancy Pelosi and Governor Rick Perry.