Louisiana televangelist seeks donations for $54M private jet: report
A Louisiana-based televangelist is asking his followers to donate money for a $54 million jet that can “go anywhere in the world in one stop,” The Times-Picayune reported.
Jesse Duplantis, 68, a Christian minister based in Destrehan, about 25 miles east of New Orleans, says his ministry has paid cash for three private jets.
“You know I’ve owned three different jets in my life and used them and used them and just burning them up for the Lord,” Duplantis says in a video posted to his ministries’ website.
Duplantis is now reportedly seeking the funds for a Dassault Falcon 7X, worth $54 million.
The problem with the previous jets, he says, is that they require multiple stops to refuel. But flying the Falcon 7X, Duplantis says, will allow him to save money and not pay “those exorbitant prices with jet fuel all over the world.”
I really believe that if Jesus was physically on the earth today, he wouldn’t be riding a donkey … He’d be in an airplane preaching the gospel all over the world.
“I really believe that if Jesus was physically on the earth today, he wouldn’t be riding a donkey,” Duplantis says in the video, “He’d be in an airplane preaching the gospel all over the world.”
Duplantis’ video comes after another televangelist, Kenneth Copeland in Texas, purchased the Gulfstream V jet for $36 million.
Both televangelists defended their use of private jets during a joint appearance on Copeland’s program, saying that commercial airlines are filled with “a bunch of demons” that get in the way of their busy schedules.
Televangelist says God told him he needs 4th private plane
Jesse Duplantis, a televangelist with viewers across the globe, says God told him he needs a new jet.
Specifically, God told Duplantis he needs a Dassault Falcon 7X, a three-engine private jet capable of carrying 12 to 16 passengers at speeds up to 700 miles per hour. The Falcon 7X, which would be the fourth plane owned by Jesse Duplantis Ministries, has a range of almost 6,000 miles and costs about $54 million new, according to SherpaReport (although used ones are listed online for as little as $20 million).
“Now, some people believe that preachers shouldn’t have jets,” Duplantis said in a video posted last week. “I really believe that preachers ought to … have every available outlet to get this Gospel preached to the world.”
In fact, Duplantis said that “if Jesus was physically on the Earth today, he wouldn’t be riding a donkey.”
“He’d be in an airplane preaching the Gospel all over the world,” he said.
Duplantis said God told him he needed the plane “in one of the ‘greatest statements the Lord ever told me.'”
“He said, ‘Jesse, you wanna come up where I’m at?'” according to Duplantis.
“And I said, ‘What do you mean?'”
“He said, ‘I want you to believe in me for a Falcon 7-X.”
“So, I said, ‘OK.’ But the first thing I thought of: ‘Well, how am I going to pay for it?'”
Duplantis said he then recalled something God told him in 1978. “‘Jesse, I didn’t ask you to pay for it, I asked to believe for it.'”
The preacher explained that he was interested in full transparency.
“I like all people to know exactly what I’m doing in this ministry,” Duplantis said. “We don’t hide nothing whatsoever at all.”
Duplantis explained that he wouldn’t personally own the plane. Rather, the plane would be owned by the ministry and would be used by the next person to take it over after his death.
God instructed Duplantis to “preach the Gospel to every creature,” he explained.
“Now how we gonna do that?” he asked. “I can’t live long enough to travel by car, or by ship, or by train, but I can do it by an airplane.”
“All it’s gonna do is touch people,” Duplantis said of the plane. “It’s gonna reach people. It’s gonna change lives, one soul at a time. I don’t want to learn how to fly it, I’m not interested in that. I’m interested in preaching the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
He showed off a photo of the three planes currently owned by his ministry, bearing the caption, “It’s not about possessions, it’s about priorities.”
Duplantis also said he was excited about the U.S. moving its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem. He said that tells him that the end time is “coming fast ladies and gentlemen.”
In 2015, Duplantis appeared in a video with fellow televangelist Kenneth Copelandwhere they defended their need for private jets.
Copeland explained that because they are famous, they would have people coming up to them and asking for prayers.
“You can’t manage that today,” Copeland said. “This dope-filled world, and get in a long tube with a bunch of demons. And it’s deadly.”
“And it works on your heart,” Duplantis agreed. “It really does.”