Televangelists have been controversial figures in the religious arena for quite some time. They have also suffered from negative publicity and public opinion as of late. During the flooding in Texas last year, Joel O’steen came under scrutiny when he refused to open his mega-church to the public. Well, one televangelist must have thought he would one-up O’steen with his recent purchase of a private jet.
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Kenneth Copeland heads his own ministry and has made large sums of money doing so. Copeland recently posted a video detailing his thanks to his church-goers who helped him purchase a $3 million Gulfstream V private jet.
Copeland was able to pay the absorbent price thanks to donations from his mega church. Dressed in a bomber jacket, Copeland said: “This is a big deal, this is a big plane,” he said with a big smile on his face. “Do you see this? do you see this? I hope so, you bought it. You and Jesus.”
According to the Daily Mail, Copeland bought the luxury private jet from famed movie director Tyler Perry. In the video, the televangelist prays to God and thanks his church congregation members, or his “partners” as he calls them, for their generosity.
In a post attached to the video, he wrote: “First, the Holy Spirit confirmed to Brother Copeland that the Gulfstream V was the plane the Lord had set aside for KCM. Right away discussions began, and Brother Copeland developed a wonderful personal relationship with the seller, Christian businessman and movie-maker Tyler Perry.”
The Gulfstream V is a luxury private jet that can carry 14 passengers as well as a crew of four, according to their website.
The base price for a brand new one normally ranges around $3,700,000. If you are looking to customize the plane, you can expect to enter into the four to five million dollar range.
In 2016, Copeland referred to flying commercially as the equivalent to getting in “a long tube with a bunch of demons.”
Copeland isn’t the only televangelist to have the church help buy him a private plane. According to the Washington Post, Atlanta-based Pastor Creflo Dollar spent near $70 million on a G650 private luxury jet.
When ridiculed for his decision to buy the jet, Dollar rebuttled by telling people the buying of the private jet was a “necessity” to spread God’s words.
The average person, though, has got to be wondering if luxury private jets are really at the top of God’s list of must-haves.