NEW YORK -- An American
charlatan televangelist needs $65 million to a buy a luxurious private jet. God wants him to have it, you see, so Reverend Creflo Dollar launched an online appeal on Friday requesting members of his flock “sow $300 or more” to help fund the pricey purchase of a Gulfstream G650 - that's the fastest private jet on the market, boasting two Rolls Royce engines, multichannel satellites and high-speed Internet.
Why would a humble man of the book require such earthly ostentation, you might ask? Because Dollar is head of the World Changers Church International, a kooky Christian offshoot that promises earthly riches to anyone that tithes 10% of their income to the church. That’s 10% of every member's income.
The more cynical reader might thing this something of a scam, yet thousands attend the Atlanta megachurch in which Dollar spews his lucrative line.
On Friday a video appeared on the pastor's personal website requesting the extra $300 (on top of the 10%) so that Dollar could “continue to blanket the globe with the Gospel of grace.” Within the film, Dollar details two incidents in which the ministry’s current 30-year-old jet nearly crashed – incidents that revealed to Dollar that it was “time to begin to believe God for a new airplane."
Yet rather than ask the Almighty to provide (or stump up the money himself), Dollar appealed to the credulity of his congregation, asking them to front the cash. The site told users: "We need your help to continue reaching a lost and dying world for the Lord Jesus Christ. Your love gift of any amount will be greatly appreciated." Over the weekend the video was removed from the website, possibly following some unflattering comments from the media.
Neither World Changers Church International (nor God) has yet to respond to a request for comment.