Sneakerheads come from all backgrounds and certainly aren’t limited to one profession, but an Instagram user is using their account to shade celebrity pastors who rock expensive shoes. Religious figures who gain fame through television or celebrity affiliations isn’t new, and neither the topic of rich pastors donning designer threads. However, as we are just ankle deep in the social media era where pastors are now becoming influencers and reality stars, they’re less ashamed to show off their expensive footwear at the pulpit.
“PreachersNSneakers,” an account which began as a joke, has nearly 33,000 followers and has caused quite a bit of controversy in the spiritual community. Their Instagram page is filled with recognizable pastoral figures wearing a variety of brands with the cost of the items included in the photo. John Gray, the pastor at the center of a recent cheating scandal, is shown wearing Air Yeezy 2s that can set you back a few thousand dollars. Erwin McManus is featured wearing Jordan 1 Retro Highs that go for about a thousand bucks.
Critics of the trend obviously make the argument that religious or spiritual leaders who ask their congregants to tithe shouldn’t wear expensive items. There is the counter-argument, however, that many of these megachurch, celebrity leaders make most of their money from book sales and appearances or receive items as gifts, so as long as they don’t take it from the people or their churches, then who cares what they wear.
The pastors highlighted on the Instagram feed also include Rich Wilkerson Jr., who officiated Kanye West and Kim Kardashian‘s wedding; and Chad Veach and Judah Smith who are best friends with Justin Bieber. According to Fashionista, Veach did a post and delete in the comment section of one of the photos he was in. “Wanna know what’s crazy? I legit did not pay for one thing I am wearing,” Veach initially commented from his verified account on the post. “Is that wild to you? that’s wild to me…Thanks for the shout out tho. You’re a blessing.”
Before the creator of the account, Tyler Jones (not his real name) could respond to Veach, the comment was already deleted. “That’s when I was like oh, this just got way more real than I ever intended,” Jones said to Fashionista. “I’m not trying to cause a division; me and him both believe inherently the same things. I just think that if you’re in church you should know how your pastor is spending the money.”
Ultimately the question is: Should we really care what people spend their money on, whether they are a spiritual leader or not?