A new record for a massive salary has been shattered at a whopping $110 million. Many may assume this huge number is attached to a movie star with a new mega-movie contract or even the next big basketball player, but that is not the case. This mega-paycheck is tied to something just as big, a mega-sized church in the state of Texas. Lakewood Church in Houston, TX signed a $110 million deal with Steven Furtick.
Furtick is coming to the Lonestar State from North Carolina after signing the six-year deal. He will join the Joel Osteen Ministry team at this massive church. The following alone in person top 45,000 with the inside of the church looking less like an actual church and more like a sports arena. The super structure offers members perks that include an on site daycare, work off facilities and a variety of other convenience services. It has become a one-stop worship center for those who support it.
The search for the pastor to become the next superstar member of the Joel Osteen Ministry staff was no small event. With a hefty reward, the public was curious about those who may step into the role. When the choice was made, they recorded a television special to be broadcast around the world. According to a report about this star-studded television event:
“The entire event was a bit of a spectacle with the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) Channel hosting a live TV special titled “The Decision” which is reminiscent of the Lebron decision special held a few years ago.
TBN is the most-watched Christian network on TV. It has a slew of different faith-based programming, and Joel Osteen is one of the network’s stars.”
TBN has been compared to other major cable networks like the Food Network as they build celebrity followings. They also use a high level of advertising revenues as another funding support for these starts. This more than likely is yet another large source of income. It seems the television special was something along the lines of the popular “Next Food Network Star” reality TV program.
TBN star Osteen has been a preacher at Lakewood Church since 1999. He inherited the then large church from his father. Since that start, he describes the church as becoming a “Christian Empire, ” and it has become the largest nondenominational church in the United States.
With his massive following and the television exposure, Osteen commands the big price tag. There are some that wonder if the newest member of the team is worth his hefty salary. This is the biggest contract ever signed by a pastor.
According to a recent news report about the North Carolina import:
“Furtick is a pastor at Elevation Church in North Carolina. He is also a New York Times bestselling author, with five books under his belt.
Furtick graduated from North Greenville University with a B.A. in Communications before attending Southern Baptist Theological Seminary to receive his masters in divinity.
After a short stint as a church musical director, he started Elevation Church in 2006. His Church has donated over $100 million to local organizations. Furtick travels the world preaching and holding conferences such as the Hillsong Conference.”
Furtick was under contract with Elevation Church until June, and many there had hoped that he would stay with the church. His salary with that organization was described as being “modest” and apparently no match for the new contract. Even with the large price tag for Furtick, Osteen will remain in the highest leadership role on the team. Furtick steps into play his right-hand man, time will tell if this record breaking contract was worth the investment.
With his experience in both outreach and writing, many wonder if Furtick will help expand the Christian Empire beyond the lock they seem to have in the Houston market. Elevation Church is known for its variety of campuses so one may expect at some point to see Furtick leading the push to grow beyond Houston. Osteen, on the other hand, seems happy with holding the reigns of the recording breaking congregation.