The Christian church assumes a complex role in the lives of African-Americans. On one hand, it’s a place to soak in the word of God and connect with one’s spirituality. On the other hand, it can, at times, represent a place of hypocrisy.This week, megachurch leader, Bishop Eddie Long made headlines due to accusations of past sexual abuse by at least three men. The news made headlines of course because Long is essentially a celebrity. He’s a man who’s garnered notoriety for his televised sermons and his leadership of one of the many mega-churches strewn across the country. It’s safe to say that Long looks like the stereotypical televangelist; one who bestows the word of God but dons the lifestyle of a flashy millionaire.
Being a televangelist takes much more than knowing your Bible. It’s about on-screen charisma and business sense. Just ask the king of televangelists, Joel Olstein, who’s amassed a fortune as America’s go to preacher. We’ve included a short list of African-American televangelists who’ve managed to achieve fame and business success by building a brand amongst churchgoers. Eddie Long still makes the list although it’s unkown how his fate will turn in light of recent events.