After a bruising weekend handling ferocious backlash over his campaign to acquire a $65 million Gulfstream G650 airplane with planned donations of $300 or more from 200,000 people, controversial televangelist and founder of World Changers Church International, Creflo Dollar has completely abandoned the idea and will only consider acquiring one in the future if it's "properly priced."
"There is no campaign right now," said Juda Engelmayer of 5W Public Relations, who represents Creflo Dollar Ministries, in an interview with The Christian Post on Monday. The website hosting the campaign page was deactivated last week and an option to donate to the G650 campaign through the Creflo Dollar Ministries website was removed Monday afternoon.
Dollar, who has an international ministry, was banking on raising enough money to buy the luxury jet to replace one owned by his ministry that was significantly damaged in an accident last November.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board, Dollar's "Gulfstream Aerospace G-1159A airplane, N103CD, had a nose landing gear collapse during a runway excursion at the London Biggin Hill Airport (EGKB), near London, United Kingdom," on Nov. 24, 2014, and "the airplane sustained substantial airframe damage."
Since then, Dollar and his staff have been travelling "commercial," an option critics believe he should have simply continued to exercise instead of asking the public for money to purchase the luxury jet. It appears Dollar has somewhat taken that suggestion to heart.
"He's gonna continue traveling commercial. And if and when he obtains another jet it's gonna be used for ministry purposes, just like the current one," said Engelmayer.
When asked if acquiring a jet is still something on the televangelist's radar, Engelmayer said: "If one comes along that is properly priced and is sufficient and workable perhaps, but right now there is nothing that they are looking at."
Asked what the ministry considered a "properly priced" jet, he replied, "I don't know."
Engelmayer further explained that the now broken ministry plane has flown some 4 million miles in 16 years. Most of the trips made in the airplane were national flights. When it was used for international trips, he said, they transported hundreds of thousands of pounds of food and other supplies cumulatively. He was unable, however, to say how much cargo they transported on an annual basis.
"They load the plane up with what it can handle," he said.
Although not saying it in so many words, he acknowledged that the G650 campaign was a bad idea and they are now trying to move on.
"There is no campaign. It's a moot point. The ministry will now focus on spreading the Gospel," he said.