Televangelist seeks donations for $54 million jet

NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana televangelist is beseeching parishioners to dig deep to give in order to pay for a $54 million private jet, according to reports.

Jesse Duplantis, who runs a gospel church with a global reach, needs a Falcon 7X jet so that he can travel without stopping in order to save money by not paying exorbitant prices for jet fuel, he said in a video asking for donations.

"You know, I've owned three different jets in my life and used them and used them and just burning them up for the Lord," he said in the video, which was posted last week. "I really believe that if Jesus was physically on the earth today, he wouldn't be riding a donkey. He'd be in an airplane preaching the gospel all over the world."

He said he would pay cash for the three-engine jet, with a range of 5,950 nautical miles and capable of accommodating up to 16 passengers, just he did the previous three.