A televangelist has asked his followers to donate money so he can buy a $54m private jet.
68-year-old Jesse Duplantis, who is 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.”
In the video, he points to pictures on the wall of previous jets he’s bought, before moving on to the Starship Enterprise from Star Trek.
“This is the Star Trek Enterprise,” he said. “This is where I’m going, praise God. What I’m believing God for.”
He went on to say: “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.”
Justifying his choice of jet, he said: “Now people say ‘my Lord, can’t you go with this one?’” as he pointed to one of his older jets. “Yes, but I can’t go at one stop.”
He said he could fly cheaper with his own private jet because he has his “own fuel farm” and he “can avoid all those exorbitant prices for jet fuel all over the world”.
The televangelist went on to say God told him he needed the Dassault Falcon 7X.
“He told me: ‘Jesse, you want to come up to where I’m at?’ He said: ‘Before you ask, I’ll answer: Isaiah 65:24.’ He said: ‘I want you to believe me for a Falcon 7X.’”
He said he then wondered how he was going to pay for the jet, then claimed God told him: “Jesse, I didn’t ask you to pray for it. I asked you to believe for it.”
Mr Duplantis asked his followers to become a partner in buying the plane and help him and his wife fund the purchase, which he said would be made in cash.
“We never ask you to give anything that me and Cathy don’t give ourselves.”
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.”
It comes months after another televangelist, Kenneth Copeland, brought a new Gulstream V jet “debt free” for “the Lord’s work.”
When the plane entered the market in 1998, it cost $36m.