Pastor Creflo Dollar has a simple and humble request for his followers. He wants 200,000 people to donate at least $300 each so that his ministry can purchase a Gulfstream 650 private jet that costs about $65 million. The mega-church leader is calling it Project G650.
In an appeal on the Atlanta-based pastor’s website, a five-minute video notes that his current private jet (which the ministry has owned since 1999) has been in service since 1984. It is now permanently out of commission due to two scary recent incidents involving a failed engine over the Pacific Ocean en route to Australia and a mechanical failure that required an emergency exit on a London runway.
The pastor says he and his team have visited 40 countries and traveled a total of four million miles since acquiring the jet. There’s no wonder that the plane is overdue for retirement, and nobody wants Dollar or anybody else to board a faulty plane.
However, there’s just one basic question that the video and the 300-word appeal fail to answer: Why can’t Creflo Dollar fly on a commercial airline?
There are numerous discount travel websites that offer reasonable rates for coach or even business class seats. Additionally, the Gulfstream G650 jet is the “biggest, fastest, and overall best private jet money can buy,” according to Business Insider. Clocking in at $65 million, the plane is much faster than commercial jets and boasts seats that swivel, have a footrest and lay flat.
Even for prosperity gospel proponents, this is an extravagant request. To put this in perspective, here are a few items that would cost his congregation much less than $65 million and could probably put a better use to their funds:
- The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System 2014 Budget: $25 million
- Tuition, room and board for 150 Morehouse students (2014/15): $6.3 million
- Detroit’s Strathmore Apartments Project (129 apartments): $27 million
- City of New Orleans Contribution to the Fresh Food Retailer Initiative: $7 million
- Upgrades to the most rundown schools in LA Unified School District: $43 million
Or they could just buy the pastor a new toy.