Creflo Dollar, the Atlanta-based prosperity gospel preacher who convinced his church to buy him a new $65 million jet, is not backing down from his controversial stance.
Dollar has lashed out at his critics saying they don’t understand the gospel, and that is why they criticized his request for a new Gulfstream jet.
“See, don’t get upset when the world says stuff and talks about stuff, and all that. They’re just looking through the wrong lens, they don’t understand,” Dollar said in a recent sermon. “‘What does a preacher need with an airplane?’ They don’t know. They’ll never know because they’re not looking through the word. They will never know, never never know.”
Earlier this year, Dollar launched an online fundraising campaign to encourage 200,000 of his followers to make donations toward the purchase of a new private jet. Dollar claimed the jet was needed for his international ministry.
“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,” said Dollar’s website.
However, the backlash was so swift, Dollar’s church took down the fundraising site. The church later said they would purchase the jet for him.
However, Dollar’s demands were so outrageous, they even drew condemnation from fellow Christians.
“When a pastor wants people to buy him a private plane while a missionary in Somalia bathes children with sores, that’s a shortage of character. When I camouflage my ‘greeds’ to look like ‘needs,’ that’s a shortage of character,” said gospel singer Kirk Franklin in a blog post on Patheos titled “The High Cost of Character.”
An Atlanta Blackstar article listed 10 things that would have been a better use of $65 million than buying a private jet. They include projects such as helping historically Black colleges and universities, creating a Black tech startup fund, helping Black families get back on their feet, funding the training of more Black teachers and supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
“As a new generation takes up the mantle of struggle, pushing for America and the world to respect Black lives and Black bodies, providing them with financial support for transportation, housing and legal services is the right thing to do,” said Atlanta Blackstar.
HBO comedian John Oliver recently mocked Dollar and other prosperity gospel preachers in a segment on his show, Last Week Tonight. The segment sparked new calls for the IRS to crackdown on televangelists who, under current laws, are tax exempt.