Hillsong Paid Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars to T.D Jakes, Joyce Meyer for ‘Honorariums’

With the blockbuster news that Hillsong Church, under the leadership of Brian and Bobbi Houston and also Phil and Lucinda Dooley, has been spending millions of dollars on luxury items and flights, treating their private jet like Ubers, and buying luxury clothing with church resources, some people are accusing the embattled church of money laundering and tax fraud over ‘honorariums’ they both give and receive.

In Christian circles, “An honorarium is a payment made to a person that does not represent full compensation for the time and effort expended. It may also be a payment for which a fee is not traditionally or normally charged. According to Clergy Financial, “This would include payments made for things like weddings, baptisms, funerals, pulpit supply, or speaking engagements. In most situations, it would be rude to ask for a price, so any payment is totally up to the person who asked for the service.”

Most churches pay a couple of hundred dollars if the guest preacher is local. If not, they’d pay more to cover hotel, meals, transportation, and speaking fees for their time.

Not Hillsong.

According to reports: 171. TAB 110 explains in detail how this Celebrity Preacher’s Scam works. Hillsong pastors such as Brian and Bobbie Houston and Christine Caine were some of the ‘OGs’ of this abuse of  church funds. In essence, one mega-church pastor who is the founder and Chair from their own church (the host church), invites a founding celebrity pastor of another mega-church to speak at their church or event. For this, the host church pays for business or first-class flights for the guest pastor, along with luxury accommodation, restaurant meals, gifts and green room  comfort. The icing on the cake is the payment of a generous honorarium (around $10k to $20k  or more) to the visiting celebrity pastor to preach a couple of 30 minute sermons.

In addition, the visiting pastor receives royalties from the sale of his or her resources at the church service or event. This arrangement is then reciprocated. That is, the original celebrity preacher guest  subsequently invites the celebrity pastor from the host church to come to their church or event to preach and offers all of the same benefits they had received. 

The problem with this arrangement is that it is church money which pays for the honorarium, flights, accommodation etc, yet the pastor receives the honorarium into their personal pocket. This scam means that Australian tax-exempt church income is being used to make celebrity pastors personally wealthy. The mega-wealthy pastors of the world’s largest mega-churches are all ‘in on it’ by continually inviting each other to speak at their church services and events. 

They are effectively lining each other’s personal pockets and enabling luxurious lifestyles – all with church money sacrificially donated by the general public who are not wealthy. TABS 110A to 118 detail this scam in extensive detail using Hillsong as a case study. 

TAB 111 details the amount of money Brian and Bobbie Houston received in tax-free honorariums over the past 10 years from speaking at the churches of their friends. Many of these honorariums have even been paid to Brian or Bobbie from Hillsong’s own global churches such as those in Europe. They are already being paid a combined salary of circa $1 million by Hillsong to work full time jobs, yet also receive honorariums from their own churches in addition to their full-time salary – simply for performing the duties you would reasonably expect them to perform in return for their generous salaries. 

TAB 112 demonstrates that the celebrity pastors who participate in this speaker circuit scam fly business class around the world – paid for by the host church congregation. At Hillsong Australia, it’s not only the Houston family – other participants in this scam include Steve Dixon, Robert Fergusson, Donna Crouch, Laura and Peter Toginavalu and Joel and Julia A’Bell. 

This is where things get interesting.

TAB 113 demonstrates how pastors can use their church’s money to ‘buy’ their way into this exclusive reciprocal speaker’s circuit so they too can become wealthy from honorariums. 

That is, churches around the world pay up to $100k per year to be a member of the Hillsong Family ‘Club’. This entitles the senior pastors of the member church to go on retreat with the Global Senior Pastors of Hillsong a couple of times per year – usually at a luxurious overseas resort. At this retreat, they can solidify their relationship with Hillsong so they will continue to be invited to speak at Hillsong church services or events. Thus, the senior pastors of the member churches are buying their way into, or consolidating their spot in, celebrity preacher’s circuit scam.

This also works in reverse. For example, the likes of Laura and Peter Toginavalu, and Ben and Lucille Houston, attend the retreats so they can solidify their relationships with the senior pastors of other mega-churches to shore up their future speaking engagement on the preacher circuit. TAB 115 outlines in great detail those pastors around the world who have benefited from this honorarium scam over the years – many of whom are part of the Hillsong Family ‘Club’, Brian and Bobbie’s BFF gang or Hillsong’s own pastors such as Phil Dooley, Mark Wilkerson, Carl Lentz, Ben Houston and Chris Mendez. 

TAB 118 provides evidence that the host church pays for these celebrity speakers to fly business class both internationally and domestically to travel to speak at the church service or event. TAB 119 shows the enormous amount of money these pastors are receiving in royalties from the sales of their book and other resource royalties when they speak at a church service or event – in addition to their generous honorarium. 

While we don’t (yet) have access to the whistleblower report tabs, Wilke did mention several people listed:

“US Pastor Joyce Meyer enjoyed honorariums of $160,000, $133,000 100,030, $2,000. And US. Pastor T. D. Jakes received $71,000 and $120,000 with a staggering $77,000 worth of airfares to and from Australia thrown in.

1 thought on “Hillsong Paid Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars to T.D Jakes, Joyce Meyer for ‘Honorariums’

  1. Mans churches are failing as we entered the end of days of which we have been forewarned.

    I started to write a letter years ago to my family which turned into a website. Your money has no value there. If nothing else at the top of the home pate read from: GOD’S FAMILY GOD’S CHURCH REBUILD-RESTORE-RENEW.

    What is God’s Church? It’s Jesus Christ and Born Again Believers having the indwelling of the Holy Spirit our True Guide, our True Teacher, our True Comforter along with God’s Word and the Testimony of His Creation.

    Mans Churches have assumed to themselves priesthoods, authority, (denominations) dividing believers one against another and took for themselves responsibilities which God intended for Men and Women – not men’s churches.

    See for yourself: https://www.knowingforyourself.com Best to all in Christ, Daniel
    At the top of the home page read from tabs from left to right especially Gods’ Family and Gods’ Church….be prepared to think think for yourself.

    Best to all in Christ – Daniel

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