David Cerullo Builds Mansion While Ministry Suffers

2 Peter 2:1-3:
1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. 
2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned;
3 and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
Photo courtesy of the Associated Press

David Cerullo's lakefront home. Photo courtesy of the Associated Press

David Cerullo, son of Morris Cerullo, and president and CEO of the Inspiration Network, which was formed from the rubble of what was once PTL, is building a two million dollar lakefront home in South Carolina while his ministry struggles to pay the bills.  Can this type of indulgence be justified, not only in these hard economic times, but in any time? 

Check this out:

SALEM, SC — The president of the televangelism empire that rose from the ruins of the former PTL network is building a $2 million lakefront home in Oconee County even as critics say the ministry exhibits outward signs of financial trouble.

David Cerullo, president and CEO of the Inspiration Network, and his wife, Barbara, are building an approximately 12,000-square-foot home, including 2,000 square feet of enclosed porch, at 138 Blue Water Trail in Keowee Falls South, near Salem.

The building permit was issued Dec. 1, 2008, for the home on the one-acre lot. Records indicate the Cerullos bought the land for $950,000 in 2006.

The revelation of the Lake Keowee home comes as critics of Inspiration Network point to job cuts, wage freezes and a halt to matching employees’ 401(k) retirement accounts as evidence of rocky finances. These cutbacks began in late 2008, according to former employees.

The critics have been most vocal in pointing out that the Cerullos have shown no sign of cutting back on their own lifestyle at the same time the network has generated hardship for others.

The Cerullos currently live in a reported 12,000-square-foot, $1.7 million home in Charlotte. David Cerullo draws a reported $1.5 million salary as president and CEO of the Inspiration Network and both his wife and children are also reported to be on the network’s payroll.  (Online Source)

When sticky-fingered preachers promote a doctrine of wealth at the expense of the truth of the gospel, it shows in the outward manifestation of greed and excess.  Instead of showing a man or woman who is blessed from God, we see that their material goods are an indictment against them.  The evidence of ungodliness in these minister’s lives is so clear, yet many don’t see it.  Those who donate to ministries such as these don’t stop to consider the greed laying before them, they see what Cerullo and others like him has, and they want it too.  Covetousness in all its glory.  Thus, the focus of their passion is not the Lord Jesus and the power of the gospel, but the lusts of the flesh.

Cerullo continues to build his kingdom, despite the fact that his ministry is struggling financially.  He builds this on the backs of the poor, fatherless, sick, and widows who, through economic and physical desperation, feel that if they give they will not only please God, but will be given a return on their investment that will parallel what Cerullo and others have managed to maintain.  How wicked is it to make money the focus of a ministry when God’s Son, Jesus Christ, is the central focus?

The love of money is the root of all evil.  Truly.

18 thoughts on “David Cerullo Builds Mansion While Ministry Suffers

  1. Carol

    I feel sorry for the sheeple who will send their “faith seed” money, and go into debt themselves thinking it will bring money back to them. Only ones gaining anything is the Cerullos.

    Shame on them!

  2. w czander

    In 2006, the Rev. Dr. Daun E. McKee, CEO and president of Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries, received a package of over $1 million. Angle Food Ministries, a charity that sells discount groceries in thousands of communities, paid nearly $2.5 million in compensation in 2006 to CEO Wesley Joseph Wingo, a church pastor, his wife and two sons (Burke, 2009). According to Cline, (2005), Bishop Eddie Long, pastor of the New Birth Missionary Church in Georgia, accepted more than $3 million in salary and benefits, including a $1.4-million home and a $350,000 automobile from a now-defunct tax-exempt group called Bishop Eddie Long Ministries, Inc.in 2005. The Washington Blade reported in September that Long’s ministry received a $1-million faith-based grant from the U.S. Administration of Children & Families.
    John Hagee the minister of the Corner Stone Church received over $800,000 in salary and over $400,000 in benefits in 2001. He also has a $2.1 million dollar 7,969 acre ranch with, five lodges, a managers house, a gun locker, a smoke house, a skeet range and three barns (Gross, 2009).
    Many in the congregation at Riverside Church in New York City are outraged that their new Paster Brad Braxton will receive compensation in 2009 that exceeds $600,000. In June 2009 he resigned.

  3. Manfred

    On a completely different, perhaps more insidious level, I am sick of pastors displaying wealth (fancy clothes, expensive cars). Certainly, I am not advocating pastors be poor, but just as Paul commands women in the church to not draw attention to their bodies, I think it’s also contrary to Scripture for anyone – especially an elder – to be ostentatious in even relative wealth and worldly goods.

    Tension – in but in love with the world.

  4. Manfred

    My closing line on July 4 should have read “Tension – in but NOT in love with the world.”

    And as the Lord would have it, today, our sermon was on Matthew 6:25 – 34, during which Pastor Voddie Baucham blew up the prosperity “gospel” as well as the sin of materialism, reminding us that if one be in Christ, nothing in the temporal sphere has much meaning. Having stuff is not sinful; stuff having you is.

  5. Doug

    What is this? More ‘evidence ‘ of prosperity, as in:”Look how God is BLESSING ME!” ?

    Paul was blessed with stonings, shipwreaks, thorns in his flesh and imprisonments. I don’t believe that Paul would have a good word to say about the ministry of the Dollar family.

  6. michael

    Very sad, this man needs to focus more on the word of GOD than trying to impress everyone.

  7. Carol

    Why have such a huge home? You can only sleep in one bed, and wear one outfit, why all of the excess? The money spent on this could have been better used to help people less fortunate rather than gathering wealth for oneself.

  8. Irene

    When Jesus was on earth, one follower came up to him and said, “Lord, I will follow you anywhere.” The Lord responded to him that “the foxes have holes but the Son of man has no place to lay His head.” If Jesus came to earth and lived a humble life and required so little – than it is a slap in the face of every church going, bible believing, born again Christian for this church ceo and every other church leader (evangelist, pastor, etc.) to live like they are entitled to this. Jesus said take up your cross and follow me – not pack your U-haul and follow me. What a shame we have those kind of leaders – leading people straight to hell!!

  9. Morne

    After surfing the web I finaly found the website that I so longed for. I’m glad I’m not alone. Had this feeling that I’m wrong and maybe the “Word-Faith Movement” is right. This is just proof that God is teaching His sheep the truth.

    It’s sad that preachers take advantage of people longing for a deeper walk with God.

  10. Seeker

    All I will say is; judge lest ye be judged. Be certain that you are commenting on what you know to be fact and not assumptions that are based on information gathered through secular media. We must be careful, or we ourselves will “judge others” wrongly and get tangled up in gossip possibly founded on presumption. Which, when expressed will be taken as someone truly concerned for this person, complaining, judging and hatred. Even though your comments contain practical thought and may have some measure of compassion and truth, we must be so careful to judge others.

    I have worked in Christian TV for 32 years and I know that some are not living a truthful, transparent life. My dad was a pastor for 50 years, I was aware of other local pastors who were not being as transparent as they should. But I will say that most are like many of you, they are striving to be the best they can be for Christ. They are not perfect. The secular news and media will also battle against God’s servants.

    Pray for these people. I ask you not to participate in this form of gossip. This will only make matters worse. Some comments could serve as a stumbling block to those new to the faith or considering Christ. So, if you do make comment please remember to encourage others in the faith.

    I send these words in love and do not wish to offend anyone. Pray for your families, friends and yes these ministers that may have questionable things reported about them. Just be aware that just because it’s written, or just because it looks a certain way, does not mean all facts have been revealed. Work as unto the Lord.

    What would the news papers say about you or me? Are there possible events or situations taking place in OUR lives which could be misrepresented? If so, then I’m certain that you would desire the body-of-Christ to pray for you and not kick you around and talk about you.

    I hear your comments, but I also see things from a different vantage point. Let’s be careful and not fall victim to the enemy’s temptation to judge or falsely accuse. Make certain you know the facts before you speck. When you speak, make certain to exercise the fruits of the spirit – always.

    God bless.

    1. Chrystal Post author


      I see that you were trying to speak gently, and I appreciate that. Please understand I speak gently as well. Cerullo’s million dollar mansion by the lake speaks volumes in the light that people are losing their jobs, and yet he continues to pilfer the sheep and to prosper.

      I choose to listen to 1 Corinthians, chapter 9. It speaks volumes. 2 Peter, chapter 2 rings loud and clear too.

    2. Chrystal Post author

      “Judge not” is not Biblical. How many times do we have to go over this???

      When Jesus said not to judge, he wasn’t talking about using discernment to discern the wolves and thieves among us. He was telling us not to judge hypocritically. Therefore, if I myself were getting people jacked up on the “Jesus juice” and then rebuked John Crowder for it, then I would be disqualified from making a righteous judgment, and would be judging hypocritically instead.

      We are to judge righteously. To judge righteously is to judge things by God’s Word, which He gave to us so that we could know the truth and not be deceived. Look at things through the lense of Scripture and tell me how they look. It’ll be crystal clear.

  11. Carol

    Pointing out the errors of the false teachers is vital, as well as revealing their lifestyles. These people who live in these huge mansions and living quite comfortably, while the fleece the sheep is wrong. Exposing these false teachers and their lifestyles is what brave men and women need to do.

    Living extravagant lives is not following the Lord Jesus. And living in a place like this, while they lay guilt trips on the poor viewers is wrong. This is not basing one’s opinions from secular media, it’s just looking at it for what it is.

    I can understand wanting to have a home, but a modest one, while the “funds” could be sent to people who are truly struggling financially.

    And I would kindly ask that people not use the “judge not, lest ye be judged” and place it in proper context.

    Now if Chrystal was living in a huge mansion on the lake and taking money from viewers to build it, and pointing out the Cerullos as being wrong, then we’re talking. But to bring to light the fruit from these false teacher’s trees, that is not judging, that is discernment.

  12. Wally


    You are correct. It is funny how some people take the one verse and use it out of context to say that Christians should have no discernment whatsoever when a good portion of the New Testament is commanding us to use discernment!

    Anytime there is money in a profession, we must use careful discernment to make sure people are genuine. There is probably more money in church and churchianity now than ever before.

    Follow the money trail and see where it leads. Do the ‘pastors’ lead lives that are in pursuit of personal holiness or are they seeking to be relevant to a Godless world? Are they humble servants like Jesus or are the ruthless powerbrokers? Are they meek or are they prestiege-driven egomiesters…

    Jesus said the fruit reveals the type of tree.

  13. Carol

    And we should not be picking fruit from rotten trees. How will we know if someone’s teachings are Biblically sound or not if we don’t judge what they are saying and doing and how they live?

    Chrystal, thank you for speaking of this matter. The subject keeps coming up and it’s a disturbing thing.

    One of the things that God’s Word teaches, we should not be going over basics of the faith, we need to be growing. It’s a sign of the times when most people who attend church lack Biblical discernment and then get offended when saints are sharing the things they have been shown as dangerous teachings.

Comments are closed.