Evangelist wants $54M jet: 'Jesus wouldn't be riding donkey'

Jesse Duplantis 68 asked for donations to buy a new $54million jet- despite already having three- in a video last week so that he could fly anywhere in the world with'one stop

Jesse Duplantis 68 asked for donations to buy a new $54million jet- despite already having three- in a video last week so that he could fly anywhere in the world with'one stop

He wants a new Falcon jet.

A Louisiana preacher is making headlines for asking his followers to help fund an extravagant purchase: a $54 million private jet.

Duplantis shows pictures of the three planes, which he describes as a Cessna Citation 500, an IAI Westwind II and a Dassault Falcon 50 purchased in 2006.

The problem with his previous jets, Duplantis claimed, is that they required frequent fueling stops, while the $54 million spent on a Dassault Falcon 7X will in fact prove a money-saver as it would allow him to avoid paying "those exorbitant prices with jet fuel all over the world".

Duplantis said he then recalled something God told him in 1978. In it, he says his current jet (the third his ministry has owned) no longer serves his needs. "I asked you to believe for it", he says God told him. In the video, Duplantis looked over a wall full of photos showing his other private planes and said they have helped him preach the word of God.

"All it's gonna do is touch people", he said of the private jet. "He would be in an airplane preaching the gospel all over the world".

Duplantis said the plane would be owned by the ministry and used by the next person who takes over after his death.

Despite the media attention, no official statement has been made regarding the jet or its funding.

Duplantis added that if Jesus were alive today, "He wouldn't be riding a donkey". In 1997, he and his wife founded Covenant Church in Destrehan, Louisiana, just outside New Orleans. "We can talk to God", Copeland said at the time.

"We're believing God for a brand-new Falcon 7X, so we can go anywhere in the world one stop", he said. "The mess that the airlines are in today I would have to stop, I'm being very conservative, at least 75 to 80, more like 90 percent of what we're doing because you can't get there from here". In January another televangelist, Kenneth Copeland, announced the blessing of a Gulfstream V. Both he and Duplantis defended their jets in 2015. He tells viewers: "Pray about becoming a partner to it".

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