13 Famous Pastors Caught Doing Unholy Things

Published February 21, 2018
Updated June 12, 2019

What happens when those who are supposed to guide us away from sin become sinners themselves? Check out these pastors behaving badly to find out.

Creflo Dollar Smiling
Paul Jennings Hill Mug Shot
Andy Savage Standing On Stage
Billy Graham
13 Famous Pastors Caught Doing Unholy Things
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Religion can be a wonderful thing. It can bring people together and get them through hard times. The people who lead the religions can also be wonderful individuals, serving as mentors, teachers, confidants, and friends.

But, what happens when the ones people look up to, to guide them away from sin, become sinners themselves? In recent history, pastors behaving badly have become something of a commonplace occurrence.

Coming to light in the late 1980s, but beginning far before that, churches worldwide started to crack down on scandals within their congregations. Pastors were more thoroughly vetted, accomplices to abuse and affairs were held to higher standards, and indiscretions began to be less and less tolerated.

While most pastors behaving badly were stopped, there were some who remained in power far too long. In the early 2000s, the Boston Globe uncovered hundreds of priests and church officials who had been abusing children for years without consequence, thanks to a network of people positioned to relocate them. The expose rocked the Catholic Church but resulted in new ordinances being put in place to ensure that it didn't happen again.

The scandals aren't always as sinister as abuse though. Some pastors who claim to be clean as a whistle, on the straight and narrow, and happily devoted to their godfearing wives have turned out to be lying, cheating, or caught with gay prostitutes. For congregations where homosexuality is frowned upon, these revelations can be particularly shocking.

Then there are the scandals that are more palpably devastating, like the pastors or preachers that extort money from the members of their congregations. Pastors who are caught stealing from collection plates or using donations for something other than their intended purpose often end up facing consequences. Though sometimes, as in the case of Creflo Dollar, they end up facing no repercussions and actually follow through with their shocking extortions.

Take a look at these twelve pastors who made religion look less than inspiring.

After these cringey pastors, check out more famous pastors behaving badly, like David Koresh, and the John Frum Cargo Cult.

Katie Serena
A former staff writer at All That's Interesting, Katie Serena has also published work in Salon.
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Serena, Katie. "13 Famous Pastors Caught Doing Unholy Things." AllThatsInteresting.com, February 21, 2018, https://allthatsinteresting.com/famous-pastors-behaving-badly. Accessed June 13, 2024.