NEW ORLEANS, La. -- Jesse Duplantis Ministries has three private jets, but Duplantis needs one more.
After all, as the televangelist who preaches the controversial "prosperity gospel" explained to his followers in a video last week, if Jesus Christ walked the earth today, "he wouldn't be riding a donkey."
There's just one thing: To buy that $54 million private jet (Duplantis has his eye on a Dassault Falcon 7x), the Louisiana preacher needs his followers to donate money to the cause. As for those aforementioned three jets, the most recent of which was purchased in 2006, the ministry has been "just burning them up for the Lord Jesus Christ," Duplantis said in the video, per NOLA.com.
The Falcon 7x, with a range of 5,950 nautical miles, is needed "so we can go anywhere in the world in one stop," he explained. None of his other jets can do that.
Duplantis told his followers that God told him, "I want you to believe in me for a Falcon 7X." He said viewers should "pray about becoming a partner to it."
He addressed the possible controversial nature of his request, per WGNO: "Now some people believe that preachers shouldn’t have jets. I really believe that preachers ought to go on every available voice, every available outlet, to get this gospel preached to the world."
He has defended his use of private planes in the past in what the Washington Post calls a "widely mocked" video in which he and another preacher said, among other things, that you can't speak openly to God on a commercial airliner.
Duplantis, who has a church just outside New Orleans, also owns one of the largest homes in St. Charles Parish; it has 22,039 square feet of living space and 12,947 square feet of outdoor patios, garages, and other amenities.