Many have questioned the finances of Joel Osteen who has an estimated net worth of $40 million dollars. The Oral Roberts University graduate did not preach his first sermon until January 1999, after his father’s sudden death from a heart attack. From the time he graduated until then, he worked as a producer for the church’s television show, which is now viewed in over 100 countries worldwide.
Joel Osteen is senior pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, a facility where his mother, brother and sisters are also on the staff. The church is located in the former Compaq Center, which served as home to the Houston Rockets. The church originally leased the facility for $12 million dollars, which it paid in cash, before buying the facility on March 31, 2010, for $7.5 million. The first service was held in the facility on July 16, 2005. Each Sunday, approximately 43,500 people attend the five services of the church.
As senior pastor, Osteen draws no salary from the church, which has an annual budget of $70 million. Instead, he relies on income from his flourishing book sales the most recent of which is I Declare: 31 Promises to Speak Over Your Life. Much of the content for his best sellers come from sermons he has preached at Lakewood. His book sales and related material brings in a reported $55 million. Joel has received as much as $13 million as advances on some of his books.
Joel Osteen and his wife live in a 17,000 square foot mansion made of stone located on 1.86-acres in the Tall Timbers subdivision of River Oaks, Texas. The home is owned by Covenant Trust who will pay $260,000 in property taxes on the home valued at $10.5 million. The home contains six bedrooms each with its own bathroom. Also on the property are a one-bedroom guesthouse and a pool house.
Joel Osteen has said that a person should never feel guilty for being rich, as God views that as an insult. Instead, he should praise God for blessing him with the money.