The Lakewood Church (pictured above) is, according to Forbes, the richest church in the United States. While nominally Christian the church really preaches from the gospel according to Gordon Gecko. The church bought a sports arena that once housed the NBA Houston Rockets and seats 16,800 suckers. Pastor Joel Osteen has used religion to become a multimillionaire living in a $10 million mansion.
God wants us to prosper financially, to have plenty of money, to fulfill the destiny He has laid out for us. ~ Joel OsteenThe second richest church in America is also located in Houston. While the church itself only seats 4,500 souls it has numerous other profit centers including a shopping mall and private school. Pastor Hector (Ed) Young harangues his parishioners into ponying up their income into his pocket.
Kenneth Copeland (also Texas). In addition to a seven figure salary his church has bought him a $17 million private jet and a $6 million, 18,000 square foot mansion (above) with a private airport.
Not to be outdone by their Texas brethren, the Catholic Church in Orange County, California is spending $100 million to buy and refit the ostentatious Crystal Cathedral (above) from televangelist Robert Schuller's bankrupt ministry because the diocese's current cathedral is supposedly outdated at 50 years old. For perspective, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is 660 years old while the Metropolitan Cathedral in Mexico City is 200 years old. But, you know, you can't spend that kind of money of the hungry, homeless, sick or elderly because what sort of message would that send God.