Kenneth Copeland, a nationally known televangelist whose ministry is based in Newark, defended his use of private airplanes in an interview earlier this month.
Kenneth Copeland Ministries operates on a 1,500-acre campus in the Fort Worth area with a church, private airstrip and hangar for its assorted aircraft. In January 2018, Copeland bought his third plane — a Gulfstream V private jet — from actor and filmmaker Tyler Perry for an undisclosed amount.
The minister has declined previous interviews and questions about his purchases, but on May 3, he spoke with a reporter, Inside Edition Chief Investigative Correspondent Lisa Guerrero. The full interview was posted on YouTube May 20.
Copeland Ministries and Eagle Mountain International Church in Newark did not respond to the Star-Telegram’s requests for comment. Copeland couldn’t be reached for comment.
In the Inside Edition interview, Copeland was halfway inside his car outside an event when Guerrero approached him with a microphone. She asked why he once said that flying commercial was “like getting into a long tube with a bunch of demons.”
Copeland responded that it is “not about the people,” but if he flew commercial he “would have to stop 65% of what (he’s) doing.”
“It takes a lot of money to do what we do. We have brought over 122 million people to the Lord Jesus Christ,” he said.
“It’s a biblical thing. It’s a spiritual thing. It doesn’t have anything to do with people. I love people. Jesus loves people. But people get pushed in alcohol. Do you think that’s a good place for a preacher to be and prepare to go preach to a lot of people when somebody in there is dragging some woman down an aisle by her hair? It made me so mad to see that on television. I wanted to punch the guy out myself. I can’t be doing that while I’m getting ready to preach,” Copeland said in the interview.
When Guerrero asked again why Copeland called people “a bunch of demons,” Copeland leaned forward out of the car toward her.
“No, I do not, and don’t you ever say I did,” he said, while wagging his finger. “We wrestle not with flesh and blood but principalities and powers.”
Guerrero asks Copeland how much he paid for the Gulfstream plane, for example.
“Well, for example, that’s really none of your business,” he said.
She asked if he used his private jets to visit his vacation homes, and Copeland said yes.
“I’m a very wealthy man,” he said.
He also said not all of his wealth comes from donations, but also comes from selling DVDS and books and from natural gas on his property.
Copeland Ministries’ financial information is not public record because it is a church.
Kenneth Copeland Ministries has 22 churches in the DFW area. Copeland and his wife, Gloria, live in a $6 million lakefront mansion owned by the church, according to Beliefnet. According to public records, he owns at least five boats.