Preachers & Sneakers: An Instagram Account Chronicling Hype-Worthy Shoes & Belts Worn By Pastors

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A newly-created Instagram account is calling out hipster clerics for wearing expensive designer shoes, belts and pants much to the consternation of congregants.

The account, @PreachersNSneakers, posts photos of preachers taken from their Instagram accounts or public appearances, and then matches up their swag with online listings.

The person running the account, who identified himself only as an evangelical Christian and works in the tech industry, told Fashionista he started it as a funny project for his friends as he found “it strange that these pastors were wearing very expensive clothing”.

“I’ve been really into buying and reselling sneakers for the past few years. On the other side, I’m an evangelical Christian and am pretty ingrained in that culture. One Sunday I was looking for a song I really like by Elevation Worship and I realised the lead singer was wearing a pair of Yeezy 750s,” he said.

“They’re pretty rare, they resell for 800 bucks or so. I thought I knew about church-type salaries — my wife works for a church — and so I was like, ‘This does not compute. How is this guy wearing these kicks?”

Since he started it on March 19, the account has gotten over 110,000 followers.

It has struck a chord and raised uncomfortable questions about leadership within the church.

Some congregants aren’t able to square wearing expensive designer clothing — whether they’re $2,500 hypebeast grail sneakers or $450 logo-heavy Gucci belts— with the gospel.

Some followers who comment on the account’s posts say the account exposes the hypocrisy and cynicism of some contemporary ministers of the Word.

“Man. I can’t thank you enough for this account,” reads one typical comment with 400 likes, “God. How does any minister of the gospel truly think it’s okay to promote such materialism like all of these pastors. It’s beyond me.”

One pastor, the account owner said, even reached out to him and asked for his designer kicks be featured on the platform.

“He even sent me the listing for the retail price!” he told The Insider.

“If someone in the church is truly wanting people to be aware of their expensive clothes, their heart is clearly more focused on furthering their own image instead of the message of Christ, which is counter to the whole position of pastor.”

The person running @PreachersNSneakers does not, however, believe that wearing designer clothes necessarily means you’re a bad pastor, as most ministers make money from book sales, speaking fees, and donations and membership dues from congregants.

Responding to whether he thinks it’s inherently problematic for church leaders to own or post pictures of themselves in extravaganza stuff, the account owner said:

“Well, these megachurch guys are doing major book sales or doing speaking tours… I don’t fault any of them for making a lot of money. But I do think that you’re held to a different standard if you are leading a church that people are contributing money to and investing some amount of their trust in you to lead them spiritually.

That’s a pretty heavy calling. I think you at least need to be aware of the optics of the things that you’re wearing.”

He said that deciding to go to a church based on what the pastor wears would be “the most superficial way of choosing a church”.

Pastor John Gray, Rich Wilkerson Jr. (who officiated Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s wedding), Judah Smith, Pastor Mike Todd, and Pastor Steven Furtick are among some of the featured few on the account.

 

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Pastor John Gray steppin out something MAJOR in the Ye’vangelical Red Octobers

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Y’all chill, @richwilkersonjr probably got these for free too. @jerrylorenzo holler at your boy

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@richwilkersonjr back at it again with the Air FoGs

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ImChris Charamba

ImChris Charamba

Head Storyteller at Enthuse Afrika. Balances literary writing with pop culture experience. Captivates raw, authentic sights, moments, feelings and conversations. Follow me on Twitter @ImChrisCharamba

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