Kenneth Copeland Acquires New Gulf-stream V Jet, Paid For By “Donations” From His Followers/Church and Seeks $19.5M for Upgrades and Maintenance

… an additional $17 million is necessary to help maintain the new aircraft and urged donors to prepare to give that amount as well.

Thanks to the support of his deep-pocketed partners, Kenneth Copeland of Kenneth Copeland Ministries has acquired a new multi-million dollar Gulfstream V jet that he says will help him do the Lord’s work and help him avoid having to contend with “demons” that travel on commercial airlines. 

Copeland’s ministry announced last Friday the acquisition of the “debt free” jet, which hit the market with a $36 million price tag in 1998. The ultra-long-range business jet can accommodate up to four crew members and 14 passengers in an executive configuration, according to Gulfstream. It is unclear how much Copeland’s ministry paid for the jet but AV Buyer says they currently have the lowest priced Gulf-stream V on the market priced at just under $6 million.

Copeland and wife

“Father we thank you so and I’m asking you now sir, according to your word, bless our partners beyond measure. Yes, in the name of Jesus. For you said in 2002, ‘I’m sending you new partners who are very strong financially and they will obey me. And I will increase your longtime partners and they will obey me,” Copeland, 81, said in a prayer of thanksgiving for the new jet.”And you will not come short. And you will not fail. And you will not lack. And you will not come behind and you will not be diminished. Praise God,” he said of his donors.

On the December 29, 2015, television broadcast of “Believers Voice of Victory,” hosted by Copeland and Jesse Duplantis, the ministers explained that private jets were important to their business to help them, among other things, pray in privacy as the Lord leads and avoid unnecessary demons.

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“We’ve got to have this! The mess that the airlines are in today. I would have to stop — I’m being very conservative — at least, 75-80, more like 90 percent of what we are doing. Because we can’t get there! That’s why we are on that airplane. We can talk to God!” Copeland said.

“Now, Oral [Roberts] used to fly airlines. But even back then it got to the place where it was agitating his spiritual. People coming up to him, he had become famous, and they wanting him to pray for them and all that,” Copeland explained. “You can’t, you can’t manage that today. This dope-filled world, and get in a long tube with a bunch of demons. And it’s deadly.

“I wanted to make that clear so the devil can’t lie to you and say, ‘See them there preachers spending all that money, just fat cats riding around.’ No, we’re not; we’re in business,” Copeland said.

According to Charlie Bollinger, Kenneth Copeland Ministries’ partner and volunteer, “the Holy Spirit confirmed to Brother Copeland that the Gulfstream V was the plane the Lord had set aside for KCM.” The ministry identified the seller of the jet as filmmaker Tyler Perry. The jet was purchased and “paid in full” during Thanksgiving week.

While the newly acquired Gulfstream V jet “is in outstanding condition and is an exceptional value,” Bollinger said it will need $2.5 million in upgrades to meet new FAA standards.

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“So, as Elite CX Team members, we need to set our faith NOW on receiving that additional seed so that we can sow it within the next three to four months, as the upgrades are completed,” Bollinger urged Copeland’s donors.

He further noted that an additional $17 million was necessary to help maintain the new aircraft and urged donors to prepare to give that amount as well.

Kenneth Copeland isn’t the first mega minister to ask his flock to pay for a private plane. 

In 2015 Creflo Dollars followers gave “donations” to buy him a $70 million G650.  At first his request for a $300 donation from each follower was met with outrage.  Later the church decided that the plane was necessary for Dollars “ministry work”. 

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And in 2016, Copeland and fellow televangelist Jesse Duplantis defended their use of private planes on Copeland’s TV show ‘Believer’s Voice of Victory’. On that show Copeland called flying commercial getting in ‘a long tube with a bunch of demons’

“Beyond the purchase of the Gulfstream V and its upgrades, remember that the overall Mission 3 goal is $17 million. By sowing the balance of those funds as the CX Team, we will be sowing toward: the construction of a new hangar, upgrading the existing runway, and purchasing special GV maintenance equipment,” he said.

Theologians seek Protestant unity through ‘Reforming Catholic Confession’

More than 500 pastors and theologians have signed a ‘Reforming Catholic Confession’ designed to mark the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation on October 31, 2017.

Produced by a drafting committee composed almost entirely of US-based scholars, the Confession aims to highlight ‘the Reformers’s original vision for Catholic unity under canonical authority’. It says critics of the Reformation often ‘fixate’ on Protestant divisions. However, it says that ‘despite our genuine differences, there is a significant and substantial doctrinal consensus that unites us as “mere Protestants”.’

Martin Luther in the Circle of Reformers, 1625/1650© Deutsches Historisches Museum

Its sub-heading is: ‘What we, Protestants of diverse churches and theological traditions, say together’.

The Confession includes sections on the Trinity, Scripture, the atoning work of Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Church and baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

A section entitled ‘explanation’ stresses the Reformers’ original intentions and defends Protestantism from the charge of being inherently divisive. It says: ‘While we regret the divisions that have followed in its wake, we acknowledge the need for the sixteenth-century Reformation, even as we recognize the hopeful possibilities of the present twenty-first century moment.’ The Confession continues: ‘We therefore aim to celebrate the catholic impulse that lies at the heart of the earlier Reformation even as we hope and pray for ever greater displays of our substantial unity in years to come.’

The ‘explanation’ acknowledges Protestant divisions and says the Reformers ‘sometimes succumbed to the ever-present temptations of pride, prejudice, and impatience’. However, it denies divisions were the ‘inevitable consequences’ of the Reformation.

It says that rather than attempting to replace denominational credal formulations, ‘our statement aims at displaying an interdenominational unity in the essentials of the faith and agreement that the Word of God alone has final jurisdiction’. It urges further conversations and dialogue seeking to ‘achieve greater unity’.

Timothy George, dean of Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama, who co-chaired the Confession’s steering committee, said that a significant motivating factor of the Confession’s participants is to call the Church to spiritual renewal.

He told the Christian Post: ‘It’s a call for the Church to be the Church in a world that is very much pushing against the things of God in so many different ways, and to believe that God will sustain in the midst of the storms that are all about us.’

George said: ‘I don’t think we can be faithful Christians in the tradition of the Reformation unless we take seriously Jesus’ words and his prayer [in John 17] that his disciples would be one so that the world might believe.’

He said the Confession was ‘a call to recognize that there is a brokenness about us and within us, which we have to pray that God, the Holy Spirit, will heal and mend in our midst. But we don’t think that relaxing into our divisions and accepting the status quo as divinely ordained is the way forward.’

[written by Mark Woods]