None of that seems to matter to Creflo Dollar, the televangelist and founder of World Changers International Church just outside of Atlanta. Dollar, whose name is not made up, in a brazen and narcissistic plea, has asked 200,000 people to donate $300 each so he can purchase a lavish $65 million private jet, according to Christianpost.com.
Billionaires last year reportedly were on a waiting list for the Gulfstream C650 that is considered the holy grail of private aircrafts.
This campaign speaks to the unspeakable audacity and self-absorbed nature of many of the country’s leaders of so-called mega churches. At a time when Black people in particular are clawing to overcome serious financial hardships, when systemic racism has traditionally caused less pay for equal work for African-Americans, when the unemployment rate for Blacks remains double that of whites, a pastor asks for $65 million from his faithful congregation for a private plane?
The outlandish appeal was framed around a near accident on the private plane Dollar already has that was built in 1984 and purchased by the church in 1999.
“Recently on an overseas trip to a global conference, one of the engines failed,” the appeal to followers said on the church’s website, according to Christianpost.com. “By the grace of God, the expert pilot,
who’s flown with Creflo for almost 20 years, landed the plane safely without injury or harm to any passengers.
“Due to this recent incident coupled with the 31 years the airplane has been in service, we believe it is time to replace this aircraft so that our Pastors and staff can continue to safely and swiftly share the Good News of the Gospel worldwide. Believe it or not, there are still millions of people on this planet who have never heard of Jesus Christ and know nothing of His greatness. Our hearts desire to see precious lives changed and snatched out of darkness and thrust into His marvelous light! We need your help to continue reaching a lost and dying world for the Lord Jesus Christ.
“The mission of Project G650 is to acquire a Gulfstream G650 airplane so that Pastors Creflo and Taffi and World Changers Church International can continue to blanket the globe with the Gospel of grace. We are believing for 200,000 people to give contributions of 300 US dollars or more to turn this dream into a reality — and allow us to retire the aircraft that served us well for many years.”
In the name of . . . greed.
Dollar preaches the gospel of prosperity, attracting supporters on the assurance that praying diligently and tithing regularly will bring them riches. It is a position many in the theology community refute. His membership at World Changers has been quoted as high as 30,000.
The church has not announced how much it has raised for the jet to this point. But savannahnow.com said that only 100 of the planes had been built as of four months ago. Also, maintaining such an aircraft would be a huge expense. For example, fuel for the jet from Atlanta to New York would be close to $10,000.
ChristianPost.com reported last year that Dollar’s spreading of the word costs big dollars. Said World Changers Church representative Kayla Dollar to the website: “(Dollar) does not have a set honorarium now but he does just ask for half of his fuel to be paid while traveling and then anything else if you want to add just as a love offering, would be fine.”
When asked how much the fuel bill to New York City would be, she explained: “The cost is $9,500 so he would ask for half of that so $4,750.”
The scary part in all this: Dollar probably will raise the money.