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Jesus 'wouldn't be riding a donkey': Televangelist wants donations for $54 million jet

Jesse Duplantis argues that he needs a new private jet for his ministry, while standing in front of framed photos of his three private jets.
Jesse Duplantis argues that he needs a new private jet for his ministry, while standing in front of framed photos of his three private jets. Video screenshot

Louisiana televangelist and prosperity preacher Jesse Duplantis' private jet is 12 years old, he says in a video posted last week to his ministry's website.

Now he's asking for donations for a new one.

He wants — no, he actually makes the case that he needs — a newer, sleeker, better private jet: one that can "go anywhere in the world in one stop," to be exact.

And Duplantis has already got one picked out. He's got his sights set on the Dassault Falcon 7X.

"Now people say, 'My Lord, can't you go with this one?'" Duplantis asks in the video, pointing to a framed photo of his current jet, a Falcon 50. "Yes, but I can't go in one stop. If I can do it in one stop, I can fly it for a lot cheaper, because I have my own fuel farm, and that's what's a blessing of the Lord."

He makes his argument while standing in a hallway in front of framed photos of three private jets. He says his ministry owns them, paid cash for them and has loaned two to other preachers who are using them to spread God's word.

Sherpa Report, a luxury website, reported in 2017 that the list price for a new Falcon 7X was $54 million.

"I really believe that if Jesus was physically on the Earth today, he wouldn't be riding a donkey. Think about that for a minute," Duplantis said. "He'd be in an airplane preaching the gospel all over the world."

Duplantis' call for his followers to "believe in God for" the new jet comes four months after Newark, Texas-based televangelist Kenneth Copeland reportedly bought Tyler Perry's old Gulfstream V. The Gulfstream V originally carried a $36 million price tag when it hit the market in 1998, according to the Christian Post.

Duplantis and Copeland produced a video in 2016 arguing, once again, that televangelists need private jets in order to save as many souls as possible, according to the Washington Times.

“That’s why we are on that airplane. We can talk to God,” Copeland said, according to the Times. “Now, Oral [Roberts] used to fly airlines. But, even back then it got to the place where it was agitating his spirit. People coming up to him, he had become famous, and they wanted him to pray for them and all that. You can’t, you can’t manage that today. This dope-filled world, and get in a long tube with a bunch of demons. And it’s deadly.”

Jim Bakker, a televangelist, spent time in prison for fraud.

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