9. Billy Graham: $25 Million
The late Billy Graham is one of the most well-known pastors on the planet and even earned the nickname “America’s Pastor.” He was born in 1918 and thus was involved in many historical events including bailing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. out of jail during his fight for civil rights. He also directly wrote for and supported Nixon during the Vietnam War.
He’s estimated to have had an audience during his lifelong career of over 2.2 billion followers, but it obviously didn’t start out that way. While attending college, Graham became the pastor of the United Gospel Tabernacle and continued to preach all over the world. Since his ministry began in 1947, Graham conducted more than 400 crusades in 185 countries and territories on six continents.
Compared to other pastors on this list, Billy’s list of controversies are quite tame. They mostly stem from him being extremely religious, including his traditional views on women. In 1970, Graham stated that feminism was “an echo of our overall philosophy of permissiveness,” and that women did not want to be “competitive juggernauts pitted against male chauvinists.” He then stated that the role of wife, mother, and homemaker was the destiny of “real womanhood” according to the Judeo-Christian ethic… okay. Graham was also criticized for his antisemitic comments, which were recorded and made public when the “Richard Nixon tapes” were declassified. Furthermore, Graham was a known homophobic who opposed same-sex marriage, once called homosexuality “a sinister form of perversion,” and even suggested AIDS were a punishment from God. In his later years, he refused to talk about homosexuality as a political issue.
Graham died in February, 2018 of natural causes. He was 99 years old.