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Reporting the Truth.
Restoring the Church.

Lifestyles of the Blessed & Famous: Preacher Homes Sold in 2023

By Barry Bowen
televangelist homes real estate
In March, the family of late televangelist Morris Cerullo sold his longtime seven bedroom, 11,402 sq. ft. residence for $6.2 million. (Photo: Redfin)

Pastors once lived in modest parsonages, which allowed them to survive on a meager salary. However, in the age of megachurches with mega-salaries, big-name pastors and ministry leaders often live in extravagant mansions and beach homes, according to new analysis by The Trinity Foundation. 

Based on real estate records, the list below reveals homes of prominent pastors, televangelists, and ministry leaders that were sold in 2023. 

It is the policy of The Trinity Foundation not to post current addresses of living religious leaders to avoid doxing them. However, this article links to real estate website listings for pastors’ former homes. In some cases, these pastors have lived in homes financially unobtainable by most of their church members.

For comparison, the lowest priced property on this list is $778,000, which is more expensive than most homes sold in America. According to real estate website Redfin, “The median price of a home in the United States is currently $414,633.”

Note that each of the beach houses and beach condos on this list were secondary homes for their owners.

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Hillsong

Hillsong Property Holdings LLC acquired a home in Newport Beach, one of America’s most expensive cities, in 2015 for $2,180,000 and sold it in 2023 for $3,525,000. Hillsong, the evangelical-charismatic powerhouse global church which reportedly draws 150,000 people in about 100 locations worldwide, did not diclose the occupant of the home. 

Redfin describes the property: “A true live/work residence. Downstairs includes a large open Commercial Office Space that has its own separate entrance and its own full bathroom. Parking for 6 cars including an attached 2-car garage.”

homes blessed famous
(Photo: Redfin)

Theresa Cerullo  – Morris Cerullo World Evangelism

Theresa Cerullo, the widow of televangelist Morris Cerullo and mother of INSP president David Cerullo, died in 2022.

The Cerullo family lived in a ministry-owned home located in the exclusive gated community Del Rayo Estates in southern California. The home can be described as a mansion, as it is 11,402 square feet.

Redfin reports the 7-bedroom home was sold for $6,273,200.

homes blessed famous
(Photo: Redfin)

Keith Craft – Elevate Life Church

Besides pastoring a church, Keith Craft runs a coaching/mentoring business, charging clients up to $84,000 annually. Craft also operates a charter yacht business charging $5,000 for an 8-hour cruise and owns a Cessna 650 jet.

In the 1980s, Craft was a member of the Power Team, a group of bodybuilders engaging in evangelism.

In another case of long-distance ministry, Craft’s church is north of Dallas while he owned a beach house in Santa Rosa Beach.

Keith and his wife Sheila purchased the property in 2014 for $650,000 and sold it in June for $1,825,000. Redfin reports the Florida beach house sat “along a charming brick paved street.”

homes blessed famous
(Photo: Redfin)

Touré and Sarah Jakes Roberts – One Church

Touré Roberts and his wife Sarah Jakes Roberts, the daughter of Pastor T. D. Jakes, lead One Church in Los Angeles. (The church previously included a campus in Denver, Colo., which closed in late 2021.)

In 2020, the Roberts purchased a 9,473 square-foot home in Calabasas, California for $4 million.

Redfin described the home with flowery praise: “Sited on nearly 10 bucolic acres, this opulent 6 bed, 7 bath main residence captivates you from the moment you step through the double entry glass doors.”

The Roberts were careful to conceal their ownership. Their names did not appear on the deed. However, a journalist writing for entertainment newspaper Variety learned of the Roberts’ home purchase and reported the news.

In 2022, the home was listed on real estate websites for sale with a price tag of $9,495,000 attracting more news coverage. After a price drop, the home was sold in August.

According to Redfin, the home was sold for $6,400,000.

homes blessed famous
(Photo: Redfin)

Glen Berteau Ministries

Glen and Deborah Berteau, founders of The House Modesto megachurch, sold their Florida beach house in February for $795,000.

Redfin reports, “Location is everything and this Florida Cottage is within 1/2 mile to the beach and just 100 yards to Legion Park, a public boat ramp/park on the bay.”

homes
(Photo: Redfin)

Ed Young Jr. – Fellowship Church

Besides pastoring Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas, Ed Young Jr hosts the annual C3 Conference. Young is well known for attracting media attention with publicity stunts. In 2012, Young and his wife Lisa staged a bed-in by staying in a bed located on the church roof for 24 hours. The stunt promoted their book Sexperiment: 7 Days to Lasting Intimacy with Your Spouse.

The Youngs sold their Dallas residence in February for an undisclosed amount. The sale is not reported on real estate websites but is disclosed on on the Dallas Central Appraisal District website.

Redfin estimates the 7,027 square-foot home to be worth almost $4.6 million.

homes blessed famous
(Photo: Redfin)

Currently for Sale Pat Robertson – Christian Broadcasting Network

Christian Broadcasting Network founder and long-time 700 Club host Pat Robertson died in June. His home in Hot Springs, Virginia, is for sale with a reported price of $4,250,000.

Redfin describes the property as being a “palatial country estate located on a magnificent 27 acre mountaintop setting at 4,100 ft. elevation, offering a peaceful, quiet setting with 360 degree long ranging views of mountains, valleys, and forest.”

homes blessed famous
(Photo: Redfin)

David Turner – David Turner International Ministries

Faith healer David Turner sold his Bonita Springs, Florida, beach house in October. Redfin reports the sale price as $12,250,000.

Before becoming a preacher, Turner was a successful entrepreneur. His websites notes, “At the age of 19, David, driven to be a success, poured himself into a restaurant business. Over the next 30 years, he built two other companies from start-up to over 100 million in sales.”

Turner also travels the country in a Cessna 525A  private jet.

(Photo: Redfin)

Carl Lentz – Transformation Church

Carl Lentz has moved to Tulsa, Okla., to serve as a strategist for Pastor Mike Todd’s megachurch in Tulsa.

In January, Lentz, the former pastor of Hillsong NYC, sold his home in Bradenton, Florida, for $778,000.

Lentz’s home was the lowest-priced of all the primary residences in this list. According to Zillow, the home contains three bedrooms and three bathrooms.

A version of this report, which has been updated, was originally published by Trinity Foundation.

Barry Bowen is a staff member of Trinity Foundation, a public nonprofit based in Dallas, Texas that has been tracking religious fraud and helping victims for over 30 years. 

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27 Responses

  1. The beach houses were secondary residences for their respective owners, so that would include those sold by Hillsong, Elevate, and Berteau. The others were primary residences — Cerullo, One Church, Fellowship, CBN, and Transformation. Is this correct?

    Nothing wrong with buying low and selling high after decades of appreciation in one location. Most of these, however, were purchased recently. And for significant sums. Lots of unanswered questions . . . Why was so much spent on these properties rather than on direct ministry? Did churches pocket the profits, or did the individual residents? What justifies a pastor owning a second home? Who needs 9,000+, 11,000+, or even 7,000+ square feet?

    Maybe your long-time lead pastor deserves a sabbatical. The church could rent a beach condominium for his entire family at far less than the amounts reported above.

    1. This is not correct for CBN/Dr. Robertson. His main residency was inside the CBN/Regent Univeristy campus. He lived right where he worked, in a university campus along a busy, loud intersection. I’ll be posting a longer response to my discontent for seeing CBN and Dr. a Robertson included in this list. It’s such a misrepresentation. Please consider reading it.

  2. Cec,

    It’s like with the plethora of pastors and televangelists with private jets. You can’t logically or financially defend such decisions as buying expensive second homes that aren’t used that much of the year, or spending millions on a jet that’s used a few times a month when you could just rent a place on the beach when needed or buy airline tickets as needed like everyone else.

    Plus with both second homes and private aircraft you have fixed expenses that aren’t negligible – taxes and maint. for real estate and hangar rental and maint. for aircraft.

  3. I’m Canadian. Can’t even relate to this opulence. No pastor, minister or Christian I’ve ever known lived in anything but a decent, simple bungalow. Would be described as middle class. My former small town, rural Alberta pastor supplemented his low 5 figure salary driving a school bus and doing yard work and snow removal to support his wife and children. Another pastor friend who pastured in rural Canada had a working wife to make ends meet. It’s unfathomable to me that congrgates would accept their tithes and offerings spent this way. Some very frightening words of warning from Jesus, “What profit a man to gain the world and lose his soul.”

  4. I try really hard to see both sides of this: Scripture does not say it is wrong to have wealth, but rather it is wrong for wealth to have YOU. The Bible tells us of many who were both faithful and wealthy (e.g., Abraham, David, Solomon, Joseph of Arimathea, etc.). Speaking from personal experience, it is also VERY expensive to live in many of the areas described in this article (I personally relocated from California for this reason; a two bedroom home that STILL needed work was going to run me $995k). And I can’t say I have a problem with those in ministry living in communities that need ministering to – and that does include the wealthy.
    That being said, I do have questions, including: Are these ministers tithing? Are they using their homes and wealth to host and/or serve their flock? Why would they be secretive about owning these properties? It would be wonderful to have ministers set an example of how to be wealthy AND faithfully serve Christ and His followers.
    Yet I’m doubtful…

    1. King Solomon was not “faithful.” He became an idolater. One can say of King David that he did not, which is pretty much all that can be said about him as a figure of religion. Joseph of Arimathea gets one line.

      1. Solomon was flawed, yet was still a prophet whose writings ultimately appear in scripture. Same for David. Abraham also lied and had a whole child with Hagar out of faithlessness. So? Isn’t scripture full of sinners who were redeemed and used by God?
        And one line? Joseph of Arimathea is referenced in three of the four gospels. He is referenced as much as the woman with the alabaster jar…are we going to doubt her faith because of the number of verses she got?
        My point is the sin isn’t in having wealth, but in wealth having you. This is why I ask questions and don’t automatically think less of Christians – or even ministers – with money. And those who are being secretive and sneaky raise even more questions.

    2. Ultimately, a church is a non-profit organization. Leaders of non-profit organizations living lavishly or owning expensive properties should raise red flags to those supporting the non-profit. I certainly think that employees of non-profit organizations deserve to be paid, however donors to these organizations should do careful research before contributing to any non-profit, and that includes churches or other religious organizations. Charity watchdog groups provide guidance on how to research these organizations. One of the big issues with churches is that they are not required to file a 990 and therefore can easily avoid being financially transparent and accountable to their donors.

      1. Amy – I agree on all counts. I recall debating a friend who had a problem with the CEO of Red Cross making over $600k (and that is less than half of what some CEOs of healthcare nonprofits make). But organizations of that size need experienced executives, and it’s hard to attract them when offering pennies in pay.
        But the issue IS transparency. And if it doesn’t improve among churches, I wonder if it’s time to start taxing them.

        1. Marin do you think the concept of non-profit CEOs drawing large salaries is equivalent to the pastor of a church becoming exceedingly wealthy?

          I’m asking because I see a difference.

          I think some of the non-profit CEO salaries are excessive, but I sort of agree with you on how that works to draw talent that in turn is able to grow the financial aspect to support the needs of that non-profit.

          When it comes to church leadership, I don’t see that kind of purpose. The pastors should be shepherds and focused on spiritual health of their congregation not the financial health of the church. When large sums of money come in, it’s often because they are encouraging it and it can then get out of control.
          I don’t think most people in those congregations are aware of how wealthy their leaders are becoming. If they are aware it’s because their discipleship is not biblical. And it really becomes a point of corruption for so many of these leaders.
          I think the pastors and leadership should be paid fairly but the role off pastor shouldn’t be so lucrative that the lifestyle has such prominence.

          1. Hi Tricia –
            I do agree that the role, responsibility, and (hopefully) calling of a pastor versus a non-profit CEO is vastly different. And I think pastors should be concerned with the spiritual health of the congregation OVER the financial health of the church. Notice I said “over” and not “versus”, as I don’t think it’s an either/or, but a yes/and with Godly prioritization on the shepherding of His people. That being said, I also think there is some nuance:
            – it takes money to run a church. Having well-funded, well-resourced ministries to meet the needs of the congregation and community is important. Notice I said NEEDS of the congregation, not wants. Nothing wrong with the latter, but I do understand reconsidering if buying a smoke machine and pyrotechnics for praise and worship is a better use of funds than giving back to the congregation or community.
            – there’s nothing wrong with a pastor bringing in income from writing books or even holding an outside job. Having pastors in my extended family, I’ve seen them NEED to do outside work in order to supplement an income that wasn’t meeting the needs of their immediate families (but it is what the church could afford). It is important that the pastor set an example of Biblical financial stewardship by tithing, giving offerings, making sure the needs of the congregation are met (no “living large” while members are struggling to make ends meet), and being transparent about his finances.

    3. Unfortunately there are very,very, very few who can do both.

      Perhaps the most famous example is John Wesley:

      In 1731 Wesley began to limit his expenses so he would have more money to give to the poor. He records that one year his income was £30, and his living expenses £28, so he had £2 to give away. The next year his income doubled, but he still lived on £28 and gave £32 away. In the third year his income jumped to £90, again he lived on £28, giving £62 away. The fourth year he made £120, lived again on £28 and gave £92 to the poor.

      Wesley preached that Christians should not merely tithe, but give away all extra income once the family and creditors were taken care of. He believed that with increasing income, the Christian’s standard of giving should increase, not his standard of living. He began this practice at Oxford and he continued it throughout his life. Even when his income rose into the thousands of pounds, he lived simply and quickly gave his surplus money away. One year his income was slightly over £1,400; he gave all away save £30. He was afraid of laying up treasures on earth, so the money went out in charity as quickly as it came in in income. He reports that he never had as much as £100 at one time.

      IOW, he kept his standard of living the same no matter how successful he was.

      Most the these tele-evangelists and mega-church pastors are hucksters living off the back of their giving units (aka churchgoers).

  5. Funny no expose’ of the lifestyle of Julie Roys’ favorite megachurch preacher who can do no wrong, Rick Warren…

    1. I always believed one particular factor in Rick Warren’s favour was a modest, non acquisitive lifestyle.
      Didn’t he drive around in his original Ford for years and tithe back most of his $$ earned?

      1. Charmaine – yes. It is known that Rick Warren took a $1 salary and tithed his book revenues back to Saddleback. I think this sets a good example for those pastors who are experiencing exponential success in book sales and related work.

  6. When any religious leader has a home that many would envy, where the money came from makes a difference. It’s one thing to build an impressive edifice by using book royalties from being a best-selling author, for example, and quite another to use donations intended to spread the gospel for fancy residences for leaders.

  7. And let us never forget that infamous Land Baron Johnny Mac would certainly be on this list if he were to sell the three high end properties that he has purchased with “the Lord’s blessing” of the millions donated to him and his family. Just sayin…..

  8. Came the day we added up all we had given to churches and evangelists and televangelists and missionaries who lived in place like Italy and realized we had been duped. “Let’s stop giving money to these people”, we said, looking at actual needs all around us. Our lives instantly improved. We live in a modest, reasonably sized house adequate for us, help our adult children when needed, give to only secular causes, and support several community charities. Oh yes, rescue grateful dogs who need us. Zero religious nonsense. Nothing feels better.

  9. Pastors living in a parsonage is good for the church but not for the Pastor. If a Pastor lives in a church provided parsonage for the majority of his life, he will have no equity for his retirement. Sadly, many faithful Pastors are left without an place to live and very little money. Parsonages are good for the church but not for the Pastor.

  10. I live in a fairly wealthy area of the country. The churches are financially stable. The church we left several years ago had a healthy budget but so much of it was going into the building program, and maintaining the cost of operations that I no longer felt good about tithing everything to the church.

    Since leaving, all of our tithe has gone to local faith-based food pantries, crisis pregnancy centers, relief organizations like World Relief, Mercy Ships, Vitamin Angels, World Vision, Compassion International and other needs that come across my radar.

    I hope there comes a time when I can again have confidence that the money given to the local church is prioritized towards individuals, community and missions. Does anyone know if that exists?

  11. Very interesting when you consider President Trump’s Executive Order of 12-21-17 where all assets will be seized for those guilty of corruption, crimes against humanity and human trafficking. I can’t find the link at the moment, but there’s a government website showing how much in assets have been confiscated since that date. It’s a VERY long document. As our LORD told us in His Word, “Judgement begins at the house of God.”

  12. The reason why you won’t find a sales price on Ed Young’s sale is due to Texas law, which does not require the sales price to be disclosed. Having a friend who owned rental properties, the most common phrase you see in a real estate deed is “Ten Dollars and other good and valuable consideration”.

  13. (1/2)Hi Julie, I was referred here for your reporting on IHOP and FAI, which I truly appreciate…but seeing Dr. Robertson included on this article hurts. Pat Robertson was a man of God who finished well, and this article paints him in dark, greedy light which couldn’t be further from the truth and is completely unfair to his children.

    Pat Robertson’s main residence was right inside the CBN/Regent University campus. In the thick of busy, loud intersection (I lived 5 mins away). He lived where he worked. And he worked until the very end. He didn’t build the home mentioned here until the mid 90s (verified via Trulia) when he was already in his 60s…even though he had the finances to do it much earlier. This home was also in the middle of no where Virginia; the home has no central cooling (again per Trulia) and probably cost a faction of the price it’s being listed for. You can’t compare this to Lentz! Lol

  14. (2/2) Dr. Robertson’s legacy is multi-national and multigenerational. Besides from CBN and Regent University, he founded Operarion Blessing (a humanitarian non-profit), Orphans Promise, and lead less visible ministries in the Middle East. And he. finished. well! Why bash him now? His son Gordon Robertson is an incredibly leader to CBN and Operation Blessing now, and I know from being previously employed there: these are GREAT places to work. Gordon’s level of transparency with us as employees was beyond what any of us needed. Pat Robertson’s daughter co-founded Mercy’s Chefs, which is also doing amazing work for the kingdom of God.

    I’m so disappointed you would include him in this article. When did we stop honoring and respecting men/women of God who came before us? I have nothing to gain from writing any of this. I don’t work for OB anymore…I was just thought respect. And this article does not show respect for Pat Robertson or his family.

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