Dollar, whose teachings state that God wants all Christians to be prosperous and that material wealth is a sign of God’s favor, will get the coveted jet after the board of directors for his nonprofit organization known as “World Changers Church International” approved the purchase.
“A long-range, high-speed, intercontinental jet aircraft is a tool that is necessary in order to fulfill the mission of the ministry,” the board said in a statement. “We plan to acquire a Gulfstream G650 because it is the best, and it is a reflection of the level of excellence at which this organization chooses to operate.”
The estimated cost of the jet the board has agreed to purchase is reportedly around $70 million dollars.
“Let me tell you something about believing God. I can dream as long as I want to. I can believe God as long as I want to,” Dollar stated in a video posted to YouTube not affiliated with him. “If I want to believe God for a $65 million plane, you cannot stop me. You cannot stop me from dreaming.”
As previously reported, staff World Changers Church International in College Park, Ga. had posted an online plead on the organization’s website last month as Dollar asked for 200,000 people to donate $300 dollars each so that he could purchase a new G650 airplane.
Dollar explained that his current 1984 jet, which he purchased in 1999, experienced engine failure in London on a recent trip to Australia. He said that the plane is grounded and is in need of being replaced.
“The plane is not so Creflo Dollar can get on by himself and fly,” public relations representative Juda Engelmayer 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 pounds of food and supplies,” he said.
Dollar’s staff removed the online plea from the World Changers website following negative public reaction and said that the televangelist would be flying commercial while the campaign was being reassessed. However, in a recent message delivered to his congregation, Dollar appeared determined to purchase the jet despite opposition.
“You cannot stop me from dreaming. I’m going to dream until Jesus comes,” he said as his congregation stood to their feet and broke out into cheers. “And here’s another thing I want you to understand: … If they discover life on Mars—if you think a $65 million plane was too much—if they discover that there’s life on Mars, they’re going to need to hear the gospel and I’m going have to believe God for a billion dollar space shuttle because we got to preach the gospel on Mars.”
Dollar urged those gathered to likewise “dream big.”
“I dare you to tell me I can’t dream. I dare you to tell me that I can’t believe God,” he said. “Dream on, baby. Don’t dream on what you can have, dream about what the devil says you can’t have. Dream for the best. Dream for the best healing. Dream for the best deliverance. Dream for the best house. Dream for the best car. Just ’cause the world don’t have it, doesn’t mean you can’t have it.”
Dollar, who has drawn criticism for years over his prosperity preaching and video clips showing the televangelist dancing in tithes with “money cometh” preacher Leroy Thompson, told his congregation that he believes God is on his side and that the effort is therefore unstoppable.
“You cannot stop and you cannot curse what God has blessed,” he asserted. “Half the people that are commenting on the Internet don’t even know me. They don’t know this ministry. They don’t know what we do. That’s why they ask the question, ‘What does a preacher need with an airplane?’ If you knew what we did then you wouldn’t ask that question. But you don’t know what we do.”
“The early Church was married to poverty, prisons and persecutions. Today, the Church is married to prosperity, personality and popularity,” the late preacher Leonard Ravenhill once stated.