Texas preacher Kenneth Copeland — estimated net worth, $300 million — recently defended his lavish lifestyle, which includes flying on private jets including his latest one, which he bought from Tyler Perry.
The televangelist was interviewed by Inside Edition Chief Investigative Correspondent Lisa Guerrero in an exchange that went viral. Twitter users delivered heaps of praise on the journalist. The cleansing light of publicity wasn’t as kind to Copeland.
About a year ago, Copeland’s ministries — appropriately named Kenneth Copeland Ministries — bought a Gulfstream V jet which had a $36 million price tag in 1998 when it came on the market. That means Copeland now owns three jets including the one he bought from media mogul Tyler Perry, Christian Post reported.
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Prosperity gospel is an aberrant theology, according to Christianity Today.
It teaches that God rewards faith—and hefty tithing—with financial blessings. Prominent televangelists Jimmy Swaggart and Jim and Tammy Bakker got very rich and famous preaching prosperity gospel in the 1980s despite being dogged by sex scandals.
“How much did you pay for Tyler Perry’s Gulfstream,” Guerrero asked Copeland.
“That’s really none of your business,” Copeland replied.
“Isn’t it the business of your donors?” Guerero asked.
“You kinda caught me off guard here, OK,” Copeland said.
Copeland told Guerrero that his wealth doesn’t come exclusively from offerings. He also sells books and DVDs. And then there’s the natural gas. “I have a lot of natural gas on our property. Didn’t know that did you, baby,” he told the reporter. “Isn’t that wonderful?”
In 2018 alone, Copeland said his ministry invested about $20 to $25 million in the poor.
“Can’t do that being broke,” he said, adding that his ministry has “brought over 122 million people to the Lord Jesus Christ” thanks to their wealth.
Copeland insisted that his need for private jets is “a biblical thing.” In 2015, he defended his use of private planes, saying that you can’t “talk to God” while flying on a commercial airline, The Hill reported. He’s also said that in today’s “dope-filled world”, he can’t “get in a long tube with a bunch of demons.”
Copeland denied the demons on a plane thing when speaking to Guerrero, saying, “No, I do not, and don’t you ever say I did … It’s a biblical thing, it’s a spiritual thing, it doesn’t have anything to do with people. People? I love people. Jesus loves people. But people get pushed in alcohol. Do you think that’s a good place for a preacher to be and prepare to preach?”
Kenneth Copeland Ministries is based on a 1,500-acre campus near Fort Worth, Texas. The grounds include a church, private airstrip and hangar for a $17.5 million jet, among other aircraft. Copeland reportedly lives in a $6.3 million lakefront mansion funded by his church, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Although he has a reported net worth of $300 million, other reports say he could be worth $750 million or more.
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