Celebrity preachers made national headlines a few months ago for their expensive sneakers, now a new Instagram account is calling attention to their pricey watches with some pushing retail value of nearly $40,000.
“He wearing the youth pastor’s salary,” quipped Tyler Miller on the Instagram account called ProphetsnWatches about the $37,995 solid gold Rolex Daytona Carl Lentz, lead pastor at New York City's Hillsong Church, wore during a recent appearance on “The Breakfast Club” morning radio show.
Approximately 30 celebrity preachers are already featured on the account wearing time pieces ranging from less than a hundred dollars to tens of thousands.
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“One of the few preachers I’ve featured I actually listen to [on] the Reg, My boy T.D. out here rocking the illest of vintage Cartier’s. The Santos 100 XL had a surprisingly hard time selling when it was released but has become heavily sought in the vintage market, especially since the new De Santos was released last year. I’m glad to see T.D. has an eye for something like this!” the ProphetsnWatches operator noted Monday.
Other preachers featured on the page include: Benny Hinn, Steven Furtick, Victoria Osteen, and worship artist Chris Tomlin who is featured in a watch worth just $64.50.
“Doesn’t get much more modest than this guys. OG worship artist @christomlin rocking the ultra-chill Casio G-Shock DW5600. Nothing better to wear on God’s great dance floor,” the operator of the Instagram account noted.
While preachers — particularly those that peddle the prosperity gospel — are often criticized for their display of wealth, Erica Greve, founder and CEO of Unlikely Heroes, a nonprofit organization devoted to rescuing and restoring child victims of sex slavery, said that while optics are important to consider, a pastor shouldn’t always be criticized for having something luxurious.
“I think we all need to be always worried about the optics,” she explained on the PreachersNSneakers podcast.
“I grew up very fortunate and my father was extremely successful and worked for a very large oil company. … He had a sports car that he drove on the weekend, then he had a very modest car that he would drive to the office. And I remember one day, we had to drive across the city to change cars and I was really annoyed. I was like, seriously dad? And my dad said, 'I have to let 400 people go on Monday and it would not send the right message if I showed up in this car,'” she recalled him telling her.
“So here’s my dad who is not a preacher, not ministry, aware of the optics of what spending looks like. And I feel like there is a reality when you are in a public position, whatever that is, we do have to be concerned with what that looks like and what message we are saying,” she continued. “We all love to be called an influencer but at the end of the day, when we’re actually talking about our influence we have to look at every area."
She added that if someone is known for being generous and has a reputation that precedes them, she has no problem with a preacher buying nice sneakers.
“If you’re just driving a nice car and you’re not helping the poor, standing up for justice subjects, donating your time” that’s a problem, she suggests.
Spirit-filled Christians at Faith Pro, also appear to agree.
“The Bible is very clear in 1 Corinthians 9:14, which says that those who minister the Gospel should be supported by the Gospel. In the workplace, if someone does good work, we should pay them well. If a minister is productive, he or she should be well taken care of so they can minister more and be use their faith to change more lives,” says the website dedicated to answering the questions of life with the Word of God by Spirit-filled followers of Jesus.
“It’s not about what you have, it’s about WHO you have and how you share HIM (JESUS!) with the world around you. God doesn’t mind you having riches, however, He doesn’t want riches to have you. After all, you can’t take them with you,” it added.