Richest CelebritiesAuthors
Net Worth:
$10 Million
Mar 15, 1935 (89 years old)
Televangelist, Preacher
United States of America
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What is Jimmy Swaggart's Net Worth?

Jimmy Swaggart is an American Pentecostal pastor, author and televangelist who has a net worth of $10 million. Jimmy Swaggart's television ministry began in 1975 and his ministry continues to air throughout the United States and around the world. He hit the peak of his popularity in the 1980s, when his telecast was shown on over 3,000 stations every week. Swaggart gained infamy late in the decade when he was involved in a sex scandal with a prostitute, resulting in his defrocking by the Assemblies of God.

At the peak of his power in 1987, Jimmy Swaggart World Ministries and its Bible college generated $150 million in revenue, more than $500,000 per work day. Of that $150 million, $135 million came from individual contributions from his TV ministry. At that time, more than twenty of Swaggart's direct family members were employed by the church in various capacities. The church had annual payroll of $11.5 million to 1200 employees.

Sexual scandals involving prostitutes in the late 1980s and early 1990s led to the Assemblies of God removing Swaggart's rights to exercise the functions associated with being a spiritual leader, and also caused him to temporarily step down as the head of Jimmy Swaggart Ministries. Today, he continues to rebuild from the scandal. His Jimmy Swaggart Telecast and his Study in the Word programs are broadcast through the US on 78 channels and in 104 countries. His ministry is also broadcast over the Internet. Swaggart's ministry is now considered to be non-affiliated, non-denominational, and is significantly smaller than it was in the pre-scandal years.

Early Life

Jimmy Swaggart was born on March 15, 1935 in Ferriday, Louisiana to Minnie and Willie. His father was a fiddle player and Pentecostal preacher. Swaggart had a younger sister named Jeanette, and is a cousin of famous singer-songwriters Jerry Lee Lewis and Mickey Gilley. Growing up, he played music with his father and sang Southern Gospel songs at churches.

Career Beginnings

With his wife Frances, whom he married when they were both teenagers, Swaggart lived in poverty during the 1950s and preached throughout rural Louisiana. Too poor to own a home, they lived in church basements, small motels, and houses of pastors. In 1955, Swaggart started evangelizing full-time, and in 1960 launched his gospel music recording career. The year after that, he was ordained by the Assemblies of God; he subsequently started his radio ministry.


In 1971, Swaggart started transmitting "Camp Meeting Hour," a weekly 30-minute Christian telecast in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He also bought the local AM radio station WLUX, through which he broadcast Christian stories, gospel music, and fundamentalist teachings. In 1975, Swaggart expanded his weekly telecast to an hour. He later introduced another weekday telecast, "A Study in the World," and began a weekend telecast featuring a church service. Swaggart reached the height of his popularity in the 1980s when his broadcasts were being shown on more than 3,000 stations each week.

Later in his career, Swaggart launched the 24/7 cable and satellite television network SonLife Broadcasting Network, on which he hosts the daily Bible study program "The Message of the Cross." Meanwhile, his wife hosts the daily show "Frances and Friends" on the network. SBN also delivers live broadcasts of all its weekly services at the Family Worship Center, as well as all of its camp meetings.

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Jimmy Swaggart Bible College

In 1984, Swaggart opened Jimmy Swaggart Bible College, which originally offered degrees in education and communication. The school's enrollment peaked at around 1,500 students in 1987, and then dropped drastically the following year amid Swaggart's sex scandal. In 1991, the school was renamed World Evangelism Bible College.

Music Career

A pianist and gospel singer, Swaggart has released several recordings of his music. In the 1970s and 80s, he sold over 17 million albums, and in 1980 earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Performance for Traditional Gospel.


Swaggart has been involved in some major scandals. The most heavily publicized occurred in 1988 when he was caught with a prostitute in a hotel, resulting in his suspension and defrocking by the Assemblies of God. A few years later, Swaggart was involved in another sex scandal with a prostitute, causing his ministry to become smaller and non-affiliated. These scandals were ironic, as Swaggart had previously accused fellow minister Marvin Gorman of having affairs, resulting in Gorman's defrocking in 1986. As retaliation, Gorman played a central role in exposing Swaggart's own affairs.

Beyond the sex scandals, Swaggart earned controversy for promoting and funding the South African-backed Mozambican National Resistance in the 1980s. RENAMO was alleged to have committed systematic war crimes during Mozambique's long civil war. In 1991, both the government of Zimbabwe and Covert Action Magazine accused Swaggart and his ministry of continuing to support RENAMO.

Marriage and Children

At the age of 17 in 1952, Swaggart married 15-year-old Frances Anderson, whom he had met in church. The couple has a son named Donnie, who preaches at the Family Worship Center and in churches around the world. Donnie's son Gabriel leads the youth ministry at the Family Worship Center, and also serves as the president of his grandfather's World Evangelism Bible College.

[The photo of Jimmy Swaggart on this page was licensed via Creative Commons from wikimedia user Jntracy75]

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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