Ministry Compensation Comparison

Casey's post about the Senator Chuck Grassley investigation into six televangelists got me poking around the web in search of evangelical executive compensation. It surprised me how hard it is to find compensation data for executives of Christian organizations.. of course most churches also keep these figures secret as well.. even from their members. So, anyway, I found this document listing some 2006 salaries. Here are a few.. in no particular order:
  • Insight for Living.. Cynthia Swindoll, President.. $148,785.. Charles Swindoll and daughter (Charissa), at $55K and $82K

  • Christian Research Institute.. Hank Hanegraaff, President.. $210,192.. Wife (Kathy) also listed at $127K

  • Luis Palau Association.. Luis Palau, President.. $186,125.. Luis Palau's sons: $160K (Kevin), $84K (Andrew), $81K Keith)

  • InTouch Ministries.. Charles F. Stanley, President, Chairman.. $123,222.. two other exec's also listed, with higher salaries ($163K and $130K)

  • Grace to You.. John F. MacArthur Jr., President.. $160,000

  • Ligonier Ministries, Timothy Dick, President, CEO.. $230,098.. Robert C. Sproul (founder).. $269,000

  • Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.. William Franklin Graham III, President, CEO.. $94,998.. Three other salaries noted,$222K, $194K, and Billy Graham (retired)$406,000

All of the salary figures do not include compensation from speaking engagements, church salary, book royalties.. these probably match or exceed their salaries from their ministries. Isn't it is so interesting how many family members have high salaried positions within these ministries? You may want to check to see who is benefiting from your contributions.

About 25 years ago I stopped sending money to large radio and TV “ministries”. I don’t think that it is wise to give money to people that you do not have a personal relationship with.. people who you cannot hold personally accountable. Alas, I am probably in the minority on this one.. if not there wouldn't be so many radio and TV preachers.


  1. It is disconcerting that so many family members have high paying positions in those ministries.

  2. I wonder if I could be adopted by some of these folks. Maybe then I could get a higher pying position!!!

  3. It's kind of surreal, isn't it? I'm actually surprised you were able to find out as many as you did! At least some groups are honest and open about it.

    I think it's wise to give to those you know personally (unless God speaks clearly to give to someone you don't know well). I think that's the best way because then it's more relationally-focused. I wonder how the landscape of "ministry" would change if everyone in the church began to give this way. Hmmm. Interesting to ponder...

  4. You know, some of those salaries are actually lower than I expected.

  5. Pretty sad about our expectations Scott.. I imagine some wolves in "ministry" compare themselves to the AIG wolves and feel pretty good :)


I love to get comments and usually respond. So come back to see my reply. You can click here to see my comment policy.