'Prosperity gospel' pastor Creflo Dollar defends private jets for Jesus -- and wants a space shuttle, too
Rev. Creflo Dollar (Facebook.com)

Responding to media criticisms regarding his attempt to crowd fund a $65 million Gulfstream G650 jet, Pastor Creflo Dollar defended the acquisition to congregants at his church in College Park, Georgia.

In a five-minute video, Dollar preaches to the assembled masses that, despite the "devil trying to discredit [him]," he was going to proceed with the jet acquisition anyway.

Dollar notes in his sermon that people who don't understand why a Christian preacher would need a plane simply don't get what it is that he does. Notably, Creflo Dollar Ministries' operations are global in scope. The religious group's website reports presences in a number of countries, including India, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and Russia.

When Art Franklin, reporter with the local Fox affiliate in Metro Atlanta, asked Dollar in 2006 why a local pastor needs a private jet, Creflo answered with: "In order for me to do what I've been called to do. The airlines they don't fly my schedule."

Indeed, Creflo's travel schedule is more typical of a CEO than your average priest. Franklin accompanied Creflo on one of his weekly flights to New York to preach before thousands at Madison Square Garden.

Franklin notes in his report on Creflo that the pastor no longer accepts a salary from his church and had donated $28 million of his own money to his ministry.

Following a firestorm of criticism about his decision to raise money for a G6 in the name of Jesus, Creflo told his followers, "I can dream as long as I want to. I can believe God as long as I want to. If I wanna believe God for a $65 million plane, you cannot stop me. You cannot stop me from dreaming." In response, gatherers gave their pastor an enthusiastic standing ovation.

If "they discover there's life on Mars," Creflo continued to much audience excitement, "I'm gonna have to believe God for a billion dollar space shuttle. Cause we got to preach the Gospel on Mars."

In the sermon, Creflo clarifies he wasn't asking only parishioners from the economically distressed region to finance his airplane. Rather, Creflo reports having a worldwide network of supporters, including a guy in the Middle East who wants to write Creflo a check in the hopes that his international travel can have a positive influence in parts of the world where people are violently punished for their religious beliefs.

Watch Creflo defend his $65 million private jet fundraising campaign to parishioners here:

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