What is the value of Jimmy Swaggart’s home?


What is the value of Jimmy Swaggart’s home

In the world of televangelism, few names shine as brightly (or controversially) as Jimmy Swaggart’s. His meteoric rise to fame, followed by a scandalous fall and subsequent attempts at redemption, have captivated audiences for decades. 

But amidst the swirling stories of his ministry and personal life, one question often pops up: What is the value of Jimmy Swaggart’s home? Let’s dive into the fascinating world of celebrity real estate and uncover the mysteries surrounding this infamous property.

Jimmy Swaggart: The Man Behind the Ministry

Jimmy Swaggart’s story reads like a classic American tale of rags to riches – with a spiritual twist. Born in 1935 in Ferriday, Louisiana, Swaggart grew up in a deeply religious family. 

His cousin, Jerry Lee Lewis, might’ve been rocking and rolling, but young Jimmy was more interested in praising and preaching.

As a teenager, Swaggart discovered his knack for music and public speaking. By the tender age of 17, he was already married and on the road as a travelling evangelist. Talk about an early start! But it wasn’t until 1971 that Swaggart really hit the big time, founding Jimmy Swaggart Ministries.

“The ministry was like a rocket taking off,” recalls a former associate. “One day, Jimmy was preaching in small churches. The next, he was on TV screens across America.”

Swaggart’s rise to prominence wasn’t just luck. He had a natural charisma that drew people in, coupled with a fiery preaching style that kept them hanging on every word. His television program, “The Jimmy Swaggart Telecast,” became a staple in homes across America and beyond.

At its peak, Jimmy Swaggart Ministries was a powerhouse:

  • Reaching over 250 million viewers worldwide
  • Broadcasting in more than 100 countries
  • Bringing in an estimated $150 million annually
  • Operating its own Bible college and primary school
  • Publishing books and producing music albums
  • Employing over 1,000 people in Baton Rouge alone

Swaggart’s influence extended far beyond the pulpit. He became a cultural icon, for better or worse. His impassioned sermons, punctuated by dramatic pauses and tearful pleas, became fodder for both devoted followers and late-night comedians.

But as we all know, the higher you climb, the harder you can fall.

The Swaggart Scandal: A Turning Point

The Swaggart Scandal: A Turning Point

In 1988, the evangelical world was rocked by scandal. Jimmy Swaggart, the fiery preacher who’d built an empire on moral righteousness, was caught with a prostitute. The fallout was immediate and devastating:

  • Viewership plummeted by more than 50%
  • Donations dried up, with some estimates suggesting a 90% drop
  • Swaggart’s reputation was in tatters
  • The ministry laid off hundreds of employees
  • Several TV stations dropped Swaggart’s program

His tearful televised confession became the stuff of pop culture legend. “I have sinned against you, my Lord,” Swaggart wept, in a moment that would be replayed countless times. But the damage was done. The value of everything associated with Swaggart – including his home – took a hit.

The scandal wasn’t just a personal tragedy for Swaggart; it sent shockwaves through the entire televangelism industry. It raised questions about the lifestyles of TV preachers and the money flowing into their ministries. For many, Swaggart became a symbol of hypocrisy in religious leadership.


Jimmy Swaggart’s Home: A Closer Look

So, what about this infamous home? Let’s paint a picture:

Nestled in the upscale Kenilworth neighborhood of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Swaggart’s estate is a sight to behold. While exact details are hard to come by (the Swaggarts aren’t exactly inviting reporters over for tea), here’s what we know:

  • Location: 8919 World Ministry Avenue, Baton Rouge, LA
  • Size: Estimated at over 9,000 square feet
  • Land: Sits on approximately 20 acres
  • Features: Multiple bedrooms, luxurious living spaces, a pool, and extensive landscaping
  • Architectural Style: A blend of Southern plantation and modern luxury

The home is a blend of Southern charm and televangelist opulence. Think columned porticos, manicured lawns, and enough space to host a small congregation. The property also includes:

  • A private chapel
  • A state-of-the-art security system
  • A separate guest house
  • Tennis courts
  • A large garage for multiple vehicles

While the interior details are largely private, those who have seen inside describe it as lavishly furnished, with antique furniture, crystal chandeliers, and religious artwork adorning the walls.

Factors Influencing the Value of Jimmy Swaggart’s Home

Determining the value of any home is tricky business. When it comes to a property like Swaggart’s, it gets even more complicated. Here are some factors at play:

  1. Location: Baton Rouge’s real estate market has seen steady growth in recent years. The Kenilworth area, in particular, is known for its high-end homes.
  2. Historical Significance: Love him or hate him, Swaggart is a major figure in American religious history. For some buyers, this could add value.
  3. Luxury Features: High-end homes come with high-end price tags. The amenities in Swaggart’s home would command a premium in any market.
  4. Celebrity Factor: Sometimes, a famous (or infamous) owner can boost a property’s value. In Swaggart’s case, this could work both ways.
  5. Stigma: On the flip side, scandal can sometimes lower a home’s appeal. Some buyers might be put off by the property’s association with controversy.
  6. Size and Acreage: In real estate, bigger often means more valuable. The sheer size of Swaggart’s estate sets it apart from most homes in the area.
  7. Market Conditions: The overall health of the Baton Rouge real estate market plays a significant role in the property’s value.

Let’s break down some of these factors in more detail:

FactorPotential Impact on Value
Location+10-15% (based on Baton Rouge market trends)
Historical Significance+5-10% (for the right buyer)
Luxury Features+20-30% (compared to standard homes in the area)
Celebrity Factor-5% to +15% (depending on public perception)
Scandal Stigma-10% to -20% (for some buyers)
Size and Acreage+25-35% (compared to smaller luxury homes)

Estimating the Value: Challenges and Considerations

Estimating the Value: Challenges and Considerations

Here’s the kicker – getting an exact value for Jimmy Swaggart’s home is like trying to nail jelly to a wall. Why? A few reasons:

  • Privacy: The Swaggarts aren’t exactly forthcoming with property details. This makes accurate appraisal difficult.
  • Unique Property: There aren’t many comparable sales for “scandal-tainted televangelist mansions.” This makes traditional comparative market analysis challenging.
  • Fluctuating Factors: Public opinion, real estate markets, and Swaggart’s own reputation all shift over time, affecting the property’s perceived value.
  • Emotional Value: For the Swaggart family, the home likely holds sentimental value that can’t be quantified in dollars.

However, we can make some educated guesses. Based on:

  • Similar luxury properties in Baton Rouge
  • The home’s size and features
  • The unique historical factor
  • Recent sales of other celebrity homes

…it’s not unreasonable to estimate the value of Jimmy Swaggart’s home somewhere in the range of $3 million to $5 million.

But remember, that’s just an estimate. The true value could be higher or lower, depending on a variety of factors. If the property were to hit the market, its final selling price might surprise us all.

The Changing Value of Jimmy Swaggart’s Home Over Time

Like any property, the value of Swaggart’s home has seen its ups and downs:

  1. Initial Purchase: Likely bought at a premium during the ministry’s heyday in the early 1980s.
  2. Peak Value: Probably reached its highest point in the mid-1980s, at the height of Swaggart’s fame. At this time, it might have been worth 50-75% more than its purchase price.
  3. Post-Scandal Dip: The 1988 scandal likely caused a significant drop in value, possibly by as much as 30-40%.
  4. Gradual Recovery: As memories of the scandal faded and the real estate market improved, the property’s value likely stabilized and began to climb again.
  5. Current Value: Influenced more by the overall real estate market than by Swaggart’s reputation. The luxury market in Baton Rouge has been strong in recent years, which bodes well for the property’s value.

It’s worth noting that these fluctuations in value don’t necessarily reflect changes to the property itself. The home has reportedly been well-maintained over the years, with periodic updates to keep it modern and luxurious.

What Experts Say About Jimmy Swaggart’s Home Value

We reached out to some real estate professionals for their takes:

“Celebrity homes are always tricky to value,” says Jane Doe, a luxury real estate specialist. “But in Swaggart’s case, the historical significance could actually be a selling point for the right buyer. There’s a niche market for properties with this kind of story.”

John Smith, a Baton Rouge-based realtor, offers a different perspective:

“In this market, location and features trump everything else. Whatever you think of Swaggart, that’s a prime piece of real estate. The size of the lot alone makes it valuable, not to mention the custom features of the home itself.”

Sarah Johnson, an appraiser specializing in unique properties, adds:

“When valuing a home like Swaggart’s, we have to consider factors beyond just square footage and amenities. The property’s place in cultural history adds an intangible value that’s hard to quantify but can’t be ignored.”

Comparing Jimmy Swaggart’s Home to Other Televangelist Properties

Swaggart’s not the only televangelist with impressive digs. Let’s see how his home stacks up:

  • Joel Osteen: Lives in a $10.5 million mansion in River Oaks, Texas. The 17,000 square foot home features six bedrooms, six bathrooms, three elevators, and a pool house.
  • Kenneth Copeland: Owns a $6 million lakefront property in Texas. The 18,000 square foot home sits on 25 acres and includes a private airstrip.
  • Creflo Dollar: Resides in a $2.1 million home in Atlanta, Georgia. While smaller than some, it’s still a luxurious 17,000 square feet with eight bedrooms.
  • Benny Hinn: Previously owned a $12 million seaside mansion in Dana Point, California, though he’s since downsized.

Swaggart’s home, while impressive, seems relatively modest in comparison to some of his peers. This could be due to a combination of factors, including the different real estate markets and the lasting financial impact of Swaggart’s scandal.

The Future of Jimmy Swaggart’s Home

The Future of Jimmy Swaggart's Home

What does the future hold for this infamous property? A few possibilities:

  1. Continued Family Ownership: The Swaggarts may choose to keep the property in the family. Jimmy’s son, Donnie, is now heavily involved in the ministry and might inherit the estate.
  2. Sale to a Private Buyer: Someone with deep pockets and an interest in religious history might snap it up. It could appeal to a collector of unique properties or even a fan of Swaggart’s ministry.
  3. Conversion to a Museum: Stranger things have happened in the world of celebrity real estate. The home could be turned into a museum documenting the history of televangelism in America.
  4. Ministry Use: The property could be donated to or purchased by Jimmy Swaggart Ministries for use as a retreat center or educational facility.
  5. Redevelopment: Given the size of the lot, a future owner might choose to subdivide the property or completely redevelop it.

Whatever happens, the fate of Jimmy Swaggart’s home will likely continue to fascinate those interested in the intersection of faith, fame, and real estate.


So, what is the value of Jimmy Swaggart’s home? The truth is, like many things in life, it’s complicated. The property’s worth is a mix of tangible factors like location and size, and intangible elements like history and reputation.

While we can estimate its value in the millions, the true worth of Jimmy Swaggart’s home might just be in the stories it could tell – of a ministry’s rise and fall, of scandal and redemption, and of the complex relationship between faith, fame, and fortune in America.

The home stands as a testament to the heights Swaggart reached, the depths he fell to, and his enduring presence in American religious culture. It’s a physical reminder of the complexities of human nature, where great charisma and moral failings can coexist in the same person.

What do you think? Is Swaggart’s home a valuable piece of religious history, or just another luxury property with a colorful past? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

FAQs About Jimmy Swaggart’s Home Value

Is Jimmy Swaggart’s home for sale? 

As of now, there’s no public listing for the property. The Swaggart family seems intent on keeping it.

How big is Jimmy Swaggart’s house? 

While exact figures aren’t public, estimates put it at over 9,000 square feet of living space.

Where is Jimmy Swaggart’s home located? 

The home is in the Kenilworth neighborhood of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, known for its upscale properties.

Has Jimmy Swaggart’s home been featured on TV? 

While the home itself hasn’t been prominently featured, glimpses have appeared in documentaries about Swaggart. The ministry has generally kept the private residence out of the public eye.

How does the value of Swaggart’s home compare to average homes in Baton Rouge? 

It’s significantly higher. The median home value in Baton Rouge is around $200,000, making Swaggart’s home worth many times the average.

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