A recent telethon by Kenneth Copeland Ministries became a forum for prosperity preachers to talk about their private jets and raise money for a new one.
During the Kenneth Copeland Ministries’ 2023 VictoryThon fundraiser, Jesse Duplantis announced his ministry purchased a $21 million Falcon 7X jet. Jesse Duplantis Ministries already owns a Falcon 900 jet.
On the September 20th broadcast Duplantis also told TV viewers that he had previously given away two jets.
According to AviationDB, Jesse Duplantis Ministries has previously owned a Cessna 500, a 1124 Westwind, and a Falcon 50.
The Cessna 500 was transferred to Keith Moore’s Faith Life Church in 2004 but has since been retired from service. The 1124 Westwind was transferred to Mike Mille’s White Dove Fellowship in 2006 and sold again in 2022. The Falcon 50 was transferred to Mac Hammond’s Living Word Christian Center in 2020.
During the same broadcast, Pastor Jerry Savelle joined Duplantis and George Pearsons, senior pastor at Kenneth Copeland Ministries, on stage to announce his ministry was giving a seed offering of $100,000 while trusting for a Falcon 900 jet:
Savelle said, “I was sowing for the future . . . but the Lord recently told me. He said, ‘There’s something bigger, better, faster and more range in your future.’ Well, I know when He talks about future, you sow a seed because seed is about future. So tonight, I brought another seed because I’m believing for a Falcon 900 now . . . [Savelle hands a check to Pearsons] This is a hundred thousand dollars out of my aviation account.”
Jerry Savelle Ministries already owns two jets: a Falcon 50 (tail number N920JS) and a Cessna 560 (tail number N229JS).
Forty minutes later the telethon featured healing evangelist Nancy Dufresne telling viewers a series of stories about people allegedly healed while watching her broadcasts.
Almost 10 years ago Edward Dufresne, the husband of Nancy Dufresne, and pastor of World Harvest Church, was killed when his privately-owned Cessna 500 (tail number N610ED) exploded over Kansas. Dufresne’s pilot also died in the incident.
Prosperity Gospel on Display
Word of faith theology, better known as the prosperity gospel, is the ideological foundation for the teaching and preaching featured on Kenneth Copeland’s TV network.
During the telethon, the hosts encouraged their audience to repeat a positive confession. According to Got Questions, “Positive confession is the practice of saying aloud what you want to happen with the expectation that God will make it a reality.”
George Pearsons tells the audience, “Everyone in here say this after me.” Then Pearsons begins the positive confession with Duplantis and the audience repeating each phrase. “In the name of Jesus, I have sown my seed and I believe the 100-fold return is working for me all the time.”
The prosperity gospel has generated incredible wealth for Kenneth Copeland. His daughter Kellie Copeland refers to her dad as she tells the audience, “It doesn’t even make sense that you could be debt-free, give all your money away and have more money and be known as the richest preacher in the world.”
While Kenneth Copeland does appear on some lists as the world’s wealthiest preacher, those lists are incomplete. Brazilian televangelist Edir Macedo is probably the richest preacher in the world. Macedo is head of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God and controls the second largest TV network in Brazil.
This report was originally published by Trinity Foundation.
Barry Bowen is a staff member of Trinity Foundation, a public nonprofit based in Dallas, Texas that has been tracking religious fraud and helping victims for over 30 years.