AN American televangelist has asked his followers to donate money so he can buy his fourth private jet for $54 million.
Jesse Duplantis, 68, a Christian preacher based in Louisiana, sought the donations in a video posted on his ministry’s website.
“You know I’ve owned three different jets in my life and used them and used them and just burning them up for the Lord,” he said.
“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.”
The televangelist explained that the Dassault Falcon 7X – worth a cool $54m – would allow him to save money by not having to pay “those exorbitant prices with jet fuel all over the world.”
He added: “I really believe that if Jesus was physically on the Earth today, he wouldn’t be riding a donkey.
"Think about that for a minute. He’d be in an aeroplane preaching the gospel all over the world."
Duplantis’ video comes after another televangelist, Kenneth Copeland from Texas, purchased a Gulfstream V jet for $36 million.
Justifying his own choice of jet, Duplantis went on to compare the Falcon 7X to the "Star Trek Enterprise".
Pointing to one of his older jets, he continued: “Now people say ‘my Lord, can’t you go with this one?’ Yes, but I can’t go at one stop.
“Let me just say this – we’re believing God for a brand new Falcon 7X so we can go anywhere in the world in one stop".
Duplantis then asked his followers to become a partner in buying the plane and help him and his wife fund the purchase – which he claimed would be made in cash.
“We never ask you to give anything that me and Cathy don’t give ourselves," he said.
“This is where I’m going, praise God. What I’m believing God for."