The founder and leader of a controversial Atlanta-based megachurch has taken down his online appeal for 200,000 people to each donate ‘$300 or more’ so that he can buy a $65 million Gulfstream private jet amid a media backlash.
Reverend Creflo Dollar, 53, is the head of the World Changers Church International, a Christian ministry centered around the prosperity gospel, which preaches that God wants to bless the faithful with earthly riches.
The televangelist, who is one of the most prominent African-American preachers in the United States, last week put a five-minute video up on his website asking for donations for a Gulfstream G650 – which claims to be the fastest plane ever built in civilian aviation – so that ‘World Changers Church International can continue to blanket the globe with the Gospel of grace’.
Despite the disappearance of the “Project G650″ page from the Creflo Dollar Ministries page, supporters are still able to donate to the project via the ministry’s donations page.
While the page has gone offline, accessing a cached version of the page from earlier this week shows a 5 minute video that talks about the ministry’s works, and discusses the 30-year-old Gulfstream jet that megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar says has served him well, but is no longer operable, after an accident in London, when the jet slid off the runway during an aborted take-off.
The video says the use of an airplane is necessary to bring Dollar’s ministry to all parts of the world.
In the video, 200,000 of Dollar’s followers are asked to give $300 to purchase the plane.
“If all of our existing partners were to sow $300 each, from all over the world, we’d be able to acquire this jet in a very, very short period of time,” said Rick Hayes, identified on the video as project manager of what Dollar’s ministry is calling Project G650.
Multiple reports on the project and solicitation across the internet on Friday called project into question, with more than one blog pointing out that Dollar’s personal net worth is in excess of $27 million, while the average household income in College Park, GA, where his World Changers Church International is located, is just over $29,000 per year.
By 3 p.m. Friday, the solicitation had vanished from the Creflo Dollar Ministries website, and all links to the page went to blank pages.