From church closings and foreclosures of houses of worship across the nation to the limited number of clergy jobs for new rabbis, imams and pastors, the recession has hit religious Americans just as it has affected the tens of millions of the country's jobless.We like the description of how Rick Warren "reverse tithes." Warren is one of Barack Obama's friends,
Even before the recession, most spiritual leaders of small towns and big cities across the United States earned meager salaries, with annual pay for Catholic priests and imams ranging from $25,000 to $30,000 and the average Protestant pastor making $40,000 a year, according to a recent survey.
Yet, even in difficult times, some churches and pastors are soaring. While not a definitive guide, HuffPost Religion has has compiled a slideshow of some of the best paid pastors in America. For several, their high income comes not only from employment as pastors, but also from TV appearances, book sales and charity management.
For the lucky few, being a pastor can mean being a multi-millionaire.
Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, has made tens millions of dollars off his books, such as "A Purpose Driven Life." He's made so much that, in 2005, he returned 25 years of salary to the church and stopped accepting new paychecks. Warren and his wife say they are "reverse tithers" who give away 91 percent of their income to charity and live off nine percent.In our understanding, the reverse of giving 10% of your income would be taking 10% of something or other. Ah well, imprecision, whatever.