Prosperity preachers Kenneth Copeland and Jesse Duplantis defended their ownership of private jets this past week, stating that they couldn’t accommodate their schedule any other way and that they wouldn’t want to ride commercial with a “bunch of demons.”
The discussion aired on Wednesday’s broadcast of Copeland’s “Believer’s Voice of Victory” as Duplantis shared a story of how God told him on a flight home that his faith was “stagnating.”
“As I was going home, the Lord–real quickly–He said, ‘Jesse, do you like your plane?’” Duplantis explained. “I thought, ‘That’s an odd statement.’ I said, ‘Well, certainly, Lord. He said, ‘Do you really like it?’ And I thought, ‘Well, yes, Lord.’ And He said, ‘So that’s it? … You gonna let your faith stagnate?’”
Duplantis said that he then unbuckled his seatbelt, stood up and said, “Lord, I don’t think I’m letting my faith stagnate,” but God responded, “So, this is all I could ever do?”
Copeland then chimed in and explained that it would be difficult to talk to God on a commercial airplane, as other passengers would say, “What the [expletive] is he doing?”
“When I was flying for Oral Roberts, … my boss on the airplane, he said, ‘Now Kenneth, this is a sanctuary. It protects the anointing on brother Roberts. And he said, ‘You keep your mouth shut. You don’t talk to him unless he talks.'”
“Now Oral used to fly airlines,” Copeland continued. “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 manage that today [in] this dope-filled world, and get in a long tube with a bunch of demons. And it’s deadly.”
While he said that he didn’t want to fly with a “bunch of demons,” moments later, Copeland contended that he needed a private jet to help reach the lost.
“We’re in soul business here. We’ve got a dying world around us. We’ve got a dying nation around us,” Copeland proclaimed. “We can’t even get there on the airlines.”
Duplantis then explained that he had recently traveled to a number of cities for events across the nation, and that in showing his schedule to a Delta pilot, he was told that the pilot couldn’t fly his route commercial.
“When God tells you your faith’s stagnating, you better start listening,” he said. “[God] said this: ‘You’re in cruise control. You’re moving, but no longer by your power.'”
As previously reported, prosperity preacher Creflo Dollar, a friend to Copeland and Duplantis, generated controversy last year in his effort to raise $65 million dollars to purchase a private jet.
“If I want to believe God for a $65 million plane, you cannot stop me. You cannot stop me from dreaming,” he said during a message in which he addressed those who took issue with his endeavor.
Dollar had asked for 200,000 people to donate $300 dollars each so that he could purchase a new G650 airplane. The Gulfstream G650 is a top-end business jet that can carry up to 18 passengers and is stated to fly faster than other large cabin aircraft.
“The plane is not so Creflo Dollar can get on by himself and fly,” public relations representative Juda Englemayer told the Christian Post. “They take a ministry team of 10 to 15 people with them. They take thousands of pounds of food and provisions with them when they go around the world. If he’s coming to the New York church, he’ll hop on a Delta flight. If he’s taking 12 people plus 100,000 pounds of food, it’s not that simple.”
But as word broke about the project, some still expressed dismay as to why Dollar, who leads a 30,000-member megachurch and lives in a million dollar home, needs such an expensive aircraft, which is reportedly sought out by billionaires. David Graham, Global Express aircraft captain with Advanced Air Management, told the publication that Engelmayer’s claims don’t add up.
“[The aircraft] cannot carry 12 people and 100,000# of food and supplies,” he said. “Creflo is a crook and scammin’ his church in the name of the Lord.”