[UPDATED on 22 Oct 2014 at 9am: Adding response from New Creation Church]
Pastor Joseph Prince's net worth is ‘substantially lower’ than the US$5 million (S$6.3 million) alleged by online reports, said a statement from New Creation Church.
The statement posted on 21 October on the church’s website added that the church is “disappointed with the manner in which the reports were generated and circulated without proper effort having being made to validate the facts”.
Earlier this month, US-based luxury lifestyle website RichestLifestyle.com named the New Creation Church founder and senior pastor as the 10th richest pastor in the world.
Its list puts 51-year-old Prince, a Singaporean, at number 10, with an estimated net worth of about S$6.3 million and an annual salary of close to S$700,000. According to a report by CelebrityNetWorth.com, however, Prince has not been on the church's payroll since 2009, a detail that was later confirmed by the church's most recent statement.
Prince is the founder and senior pastor of New Creation Church, one of the largest megachurches in Singapore. Reuters reported earlier this year that his church has a following of 30,000 and collected some $75.5 million in tithes two years ago, according to filings with Singapore’s Commissioner of Charities.
Under his leadership, the church raised $21.1 million in a single day of fundraising in August 2010 for a $500 million eight-storey performing arts centre called The Star Performing Arts Centre.
The facility, which includes a 5,000-seat auditorium and a 300-seat outdoor amphitheatre, is owned by Rock Productions, the church’s business arm. It also sits above The Star Vista, a three-storey mall owned and managed by CapitaLand, and is located beside Buona Vista MRT station.
Last year, Prince also toured the United States, preaching to a sell-out crowd at Long Beach Arena in Los Angeles and filling the country's largest church, Lakewood, in Texas.
His book "The Power of Right Believing” made it to number two on the New York Times' bestseller list in the advice and "how to" category.
RichestLifestyle.com said it based its list from information obtained from CelebrityNetWorth.com and Forbes’s list of the five wealthiest Nigerian pastors.
Along with Prince on the list, four other pastors from the US occupy the sixth through third spots, while the rest are filled by five Nigerian pastors, one of whom tops the list with a reported net worth of a staggering S$190 million.