Pastor Creflo Dollar is asking for donations by way of his website to help his ministry by a luxury plane. The Gulfstream G650 jet Dollar is seeking to purchase is valued at more than $65 million. Dollar is one of the most prominent African-American “prosperity gospel” preachers . He is based in Atlanta and is the pastor and founder of World Changers International Church with his wife Taffi.
According to Dollar, he received his first vision for the church in 1986 and held his first service in an elementary school cafeteria with eight prospective members. It was not until the end of 1995 that he moved into the current 8,500 seat building known as the World Dome. Dollar and Taffi have five children, two Rolls Royce’s and multiple multi-million-dollar homes.
In an interview in 2007, Dollar said he no longer receives a salary from his church and maintains his lifestyle from personal investments. He has over 30 books to his credit, a horse breeding company and real estate business. The plane the ministry currently owns was built in 1984 and purchased by Dollar’s ministry in 1999. Reportedly, the plane is no longer safe, having traveled more than four million miles.
Dollar’s latest fundraising campaign is designed to get donations from his followers for the new Gulfstream G650; the fastest plane ever built in civilian aviation. He recently modified the public campaign after receiving a host of backlash, but is still accepting donations. According to Gulfstream’s website, this jet flies at more than 92 percent of the speed of sound, can take off with a max weight of 99,600 and holds about 18 seated passengers. His website called the campaign Project G650 and stated:
We are asking members, partners, and supporters of this ministry to assist us in acquiring a Gulfstream G650 airplane so that Pastors Creflo and Taffi and World Changers Church International can continue to blanket the globe with the Gospel of grace.
Initially the request to “turn this dream into a reality” was for 200,000 people to give at least $300. After the negative feedback the church received, the suggested amount was deleted and replaced with, “Your love gift of any amount will be greatly appreciated.” When questioned about soliciting donations, spokesman Juda Engelmayer said:
The ministry has always been a donor based organization, operating on goodness of its followers.
Many were outraged that Dollar and his church would have the audacity to ask for money to buy a plane when many people cannot even afford to buy a car for themselves. The internet lit up with people calling him a false preacher and a greedy con man. One woman said:
Why can’t Creflo buy the plane with his own cash?? The man is a millionaire after all. If he doesn’t have $65 million lying around he can always finance the purchase as most of us ordinary ‘joes’ do. You mean he does not have $1 million per month for five years or so to purchase this plane? What is the matter Creflo — isn’t God blessing you? Pushing the cost of this plane onto the people in his congregation is simply shameful. The man is a charlatan pure and simple and what he peddles is not the true gospel of Christ but a con game garbed in religious language.
It has been said that this preacher has the right name because all of his messages surround the dollar bill. When questioned he said Creflo Dollar is his real name, however it was once reported that his birth name is Michael Smith. Pastor Dollar made his claim for the Gulfstream G650 stating his current plane needs to be replaced and has asked members, partners, and supporters of his ministry to buy him a new luxury jet.
by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)