Reggae Sumfest 2018

Pastor Creflo Dollar still wants his US$65,000 private jet

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creflo-dollar.jpgThe Gulfstream G650 isn't just any private jet. The billionaires lining up these luxury jets, which sell for upwards of $65 million each, are willing to put their names on a waiting list for years just for the pleasure. It is the "Holy Grail" of luxury private jets, Bloomberg once wrote. And now, televangelist Creflo Dollar's ministry has announced that it will also buy a G650, a purchase the ministry says is "necessary" to spread God's word.

The announcement comes months after Dollar's ministries abandoned an earlier campaign to raise funds from his faithful followers for the same plane, following considerable backlash.

The board of World Changers Church International - which also operates as Creflo Dollar Ministries - said in a statement that the ministry will now go ahead and buy a Gulfstream G650 jet anyway, "at a time, place and price of our choosing."

"We wholeheartedly reject the notion that the ministry's airplane project is an imposition on our community or that it somehow takes advantage of our people," WCCI said in a lengthy statement. "We plan to acquire a Gulfstream G650 because it is the best, and it is a reflection of the level of excellence at which this organization chooses to operate."

Dollar's first fundraising effort for the plane, "Project G650," was dropped in March, just days after it was announced. A video outlining the campaign encouraged Dollar's followers to donate at least $300 each towards the purchase of a luxury jet. In the video, the ministry explained that the televangelist's current jet was more than 30 years old and was damaged in November.

In its most recent statement, the ministry described the luxury jet campaign as "standard operating procedure for people of faith" in "our community."

Dollar, the founder of the 30,000-member World Changers Church International in Georgia, preaches prosperity gospel, or that God will send earthly rewards (including wealth) to those who are properly faithful. In Dollar's ministry, that often includes "Honor Giving," a name Dollar sometimes uses for a practice akin to tithing, or giving 10 percent of your income to the church.

Although Dollar is a pretty high-profile evangelist, it's worth noting that most Christians, evangelical or otherwise, do not consider prosperity gospel to be a mainstream interpretation of Scripture.

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