Anti-gay US televangelist asks followers to help him fund a fourth private jet

A preacher in the US has asked his followers to help him buy his fourth private jet worth £41 million.

In a video posted to his website, televangelist Jesse Duplantis said God had told him to purchase another plane – even specifying which type he should get.

“It was one of the greatest statements the Lord ever told me, he said, ‘Jesse do you want to come up where I’m at?’” the minister says, adding God had told him to get a Dassault Falcon 7X jet.

“All it’s gonna do is it’s going to touch people, it’s going to reach people, it’s going to change lives one soul at a time,” he says.

“I really believe that if Jesus was physically on the earth today, he wouldn’t be riding a donkey,” he adds.

The 68-year-old, who has previously made derogatory comments about gay people, said: “You know, I’ve owned three different jets in my life, and I’ve used them and just burning them up for the Lord Jesus Christ.

“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.”

Standing in front of a photo of the three planes already owned by his ministry, Duplantis said: “It’s not about possessions, it’s about priorities.”

He added he wanted to be able to “go anywhere in the world in one stop” so he would not have to pay “exorbitant” refuelling costs.

In 2015, Duplantis featured in a video with another preacher, Kenneth Copeland, in which they defended their need for private jets.

Copeland said that their fame means people would come up to them and ask for prayers if they travelled on commercial planes, describing them as “a long tube filled with a bunch of demons.”