On the December 29th, 2015 episode of the television broadcast Believer Voice of Victory, guest Jesse Duplantis begins the show by talking about his conversation with God on his private aircraft. Casual conversations with God aside, this episode brings to light a slew of questions about the legitimacy of a minister, running tax-free operations, flying around in a ridiculously expensive personal jet. Host Kenneth Copeland also jumped right in to dig that hole a little deeper.
Kenneth Max Copeland, is the leader of the Charismatic Movements and televangelist for Kenneth Copeland Ministries in Fort Worth, Texas. Currently he owns three aircrafts including the Citation X – the fastest civilian airplane available. In 2008, USA Today wrote this:
Kenneth Copeland, 71, is a pioneer of the prosperity gospel, which teaches that believers are destined to flourish spiritually, physically and financially — and share the wealth with others.
His ministry’s 1,500-acre campus outside Forth Worth is testament to his success. It includes a church, private airstrip, a hangar for the ministry’s aircraft and a $6 million, church-owned mansion.
Already a well-known figure, Copeland has come under greater scrutiny in recent months. He is one target of a Senate Finance Committee investigation into allegations of questionable spending and lax financial accountability at six large televangelist organizations that preach health-and-wealth theology.
Jesse Duplantis, a fellow televangelist and founder of the evangelistic Duplantis Ministries in New Orleans, Louisiana and Creflo Dollar, televangelist of Creflo Dollar Ministries, are also being investigated by the Senate Finance Committee.
The flight records of lesser-known Jesse Duplantis allow a glimpse into this jet-setting ministry world. The Louisiana-based televangelist with a shock of silvery-white hair, a Cajun accent, and an exuberant style- in his youth he was a guitarist in heavy metal rock bands- has been preaching since the late 1970s. His current vehicle of choice is a Falcon 50, the only plane in its class with three jet engines.
The Falcon 50 is considered a “super-medium” or “long-range” plane, one able to go almost 3,000 miles between refuelings. When Duplantis bought the plane in 2006, he wrote in his ministry’s magazine that it was an “amazing tool for world evangelism.” In September of that year he took the plane to Russia for a series of meetings and preaching events, and he’s averaged four flights per week over the last two years: His director of marketing, Michael Wright, said commercial airlines “can’t get us from point A to B to C to D at the times we need to be there. For us, the plane is a necessity.”
Obviously, if Kenneth really wanted to scratch his flying itch, he would just jump into his personal $100,000 open cockpit Cessna and fly it around. So remember Kenneth Copeland is not a greedy fat cat, he’s just a soul business entrepreneur in the middle of a dying nation of demons, and business is good.
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