Tankards Talk Income Streams

Credit: Bravo

You may recognize Ben and Jewel Tankard from Bravo’s hit unscripted series Thicker than Water. The Tankards are known for doing it big. They have an expansive, blended family. They live in a Texas-sized estate. They drive super-sized cars. And most important, the millionaires have extra-thick bank accounts. As church leaders who happily tout prosperity and success as core principles of their lifestyle, many viewers assume the duo’s income is derived from their congregation’s funds. That’s not true. Ben Tankard dishes on how he continues to earn millions — without touching the donation plate.

1. Music: “I have 15 gold and and six platinum albums. I was the first person to do Gospel Jazz in 1990. I’m also the producer who discovered Yolanda Adams and I produced five of her CDs. I have more than 300 songs in my catalog and I do more than 10o concerts a year.”

2. NBA: “I’m a former NBA player and the league brings me in to speak to prospects about their career options, since few are able to have NBA careers. I go in and testify that there is life outside of basketball. I made it to the NBA but was injured and not able to play. My miracle story is that I went to this church, got saved and the preacher told me to put my hands on the piano key. I played for the first time like a trained professional.”

3. Motivational Speaking: “I make about 100 speeches a year. I have written books–the most recent is Faith It, Till You Make It, and we had made it available for free on my website. Anyone that wanted to know how to live fully can download my book on faith and how we believe in God, and read how we work hard and allow God to raise us up.”

4. Clothing Designer: “We have been custom making suits for three years. I recently signed a deal to launch a line in 2014.”

5. Airplane Dealer: “I buy and sell airplanes. I’m a pilot and broker. I purchased a small plane a few years ago, took lessons and became a pilot. Every time I moved up to a faster plane, I sold the one I had for a profit. My company usually has one to three planes that we fix and sell. We have sold 15 in total.”