Ailing televangelist Ernest Angley of Grace Cathedral in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, reportedly cannot pay to fix the Boeing 747 jet, known as the "Star Triple Seven," his ministry uses for mission trips. It has been wasting away at the Pinal Airpark in Marana, Arizona, for the last 19 months.
Sources told the Beacon Journal that the jet will likely not be back in operation because it needs a part necessary for landing that would cost Grace Cathedral six-figures, which the ministry does not have. Pilots also refer to the Pinal Airpark as a “boneyard” because many of the aircraft that are stored there are eventually used for parts and scrapped.
“The value in that plane is parts, and I will tell you even if they parted the whole plane out, I would say you’d be lucky to get a million bucks,” the source said.
The Christian Post reached out to Grace Cathedral for comment on the report Friday but a ministry official who declined to identify herself said the ministry would not be responding to the report.
The Journal noted that the ministry jet used by the 98-year-old Angley’s ministry had been costly to maintain. Just to fill up the 48,000-gallon fuel tank with Grade-A jet fuel would set the church back more than $145,000. Add costs such as landing fees, regular maintenance and other incidentals and the cost to the church becomes more burdensome for Angley, who has reportedly not been in church for some time due to health concerns.
The "Star Triple Seven" was previously flown as a V.I.P. aircraft by the United Arab Emirates after it was acquired from American Airlines, which operated the 39-year-old jet as a passenger aircraft from the 1980s to the early 1990s. It was sold to Angley’s ministry in 2004.
Angley’s ministry has been struggling in recent years with a number of lawsuits and allegations of sexual impropriety.
The church was forced to close its Cathedral Buffet in 2017 after a U.S. District Court ruling said the restaurant needed to pay $388,000 in back wages and damages to more than 200 congregation members who had worked at the restaurant. Even though Angley won an appeal, the restaurant did not reopen.
In June, Angley’s Winston Broadcasting Network and Grace Cathedral Inc. prevented an auction of the restaurant when it reached a partial settlement with Beck Energy Corp. over a $3.6 million loan default lawsuit filed in 2017, the Journal reported.
The Journal also reported earlier this year on 23-year-old recorded evidence that suggests Angley had sexual relations with a man. The scandal has reportedly led to a significant drop in membership since 1996 as many former members have listened to it. It is unclear how many members remain.
Angley is the pastor and founder of Grace Cathedral, which has locations in Cuyahoga Falls and Akron, Ohio.