Why I Like Jesse Duplantis
Ministers experience enough persecution from worldly people who don’t care at all about the things of God. It’s sadder when attacks come from within the body of Christ. Three years ago, Creflo Dollar was heavily criticized for launching an aborted fundraising campaign to acquire a multi-million dollar jet. Now evangelist Jesse Duplantis is receiving similar flak for his intent on obtaining a Falcon 7X for his ministry. Previously in this blog, I addressed the issue of preachers with planes. In this article, I want to share my experiences with Jesse’s ministry.
The first time I heard of Jesse Duplantis was in late 1992. A friend encouraged me to watch Jesse as a guest speaker on Kenneth Copeland’s “Believer’s Voice of Victory” program. What I saw was a preacher I could definitely relate to. Like myself, Jesse used to work in the secular music business. I was also drawn to Jesse’s outgoing personality and sense of humor. He didn’t come across as a stuffed shirt but someone who loves Jesus and has a vibrant relationship with Him.
A few months later, I saw Jesse live for the first time when he held a series of meetings with Jerry Savelle at my home church Living Word Christian Center. I found out twenty years before, Jesse’s wife Cathy got saved while they were in the Twin Cities area. Jesse was doing a show for the Minnesota Vikings. Cathy stayed in their hotel room and ended up watching Billy Graham on TV. Jesse would later experience a similar salvation in Boston.
One weekend in March 1994, I returned to the Chicago area to retrieve personal items left behind after living there for a season. I timed my trip to see Jesse Duplantis minister at a church in Tinley Park. During the Sunday night service, the man who drove me there got healed of a back injury while sitting in his seat. When Jesse came back to Living Word a few weeks later, I got to hear him do something funny he had done in Illinois…poking fun at evolution by imitating a monkey (you have to hear this)!
Then in 1995, Jesse ministered again at Living Word during a time when I was going through personal difficulties. One night Jesse had an altar call for people struggling with suicidal thoughts. I went forward and got delivered of an oppressive spirit.
Since then, I have been to a few more of Brother Jesse’s meetings but mostly seen him through video. One of my favorite messages of his is “Close Encounters of the God Kind”, a summary of Jesse’s supernatural experiences including the time the Lord took him up to heaven. The latter testimony became more meaningful to me after both my parents passed away a few months ago.
Jesse often talks about being a blessed man and blessing others. I believe he’s bragging about the goodness of God and not himself. Those who want to label Jesse a greedy charlatan should take time to examine his website. It includes a pie chart showing how donations to his ministry are used. 16% goes toward “Missions, Ministries and the Poor.” How many of Jesse’s critics come close to giving away 16% of their income? I suspect few if any.
Contrary to false reports circulating, Jesse Duplantis Ministries does not own more than one jet. As Jesse clearly explained in a partner video that went viral, he gave away two previous jets his ministry owned to other ministers. As usual, the liberal media has spread lies by distorting the truth.
If you’re still questioning why Jesse should get a better jet, I have a simple answer: for the same reason some people upgrade their cars. Expenses for certain vehicles can add up in the long run. A Falcon 7X would help Jesse avoid making fuel stops overseas that cost much more money. His so-called appeal for donations is really him asking supporters to agree with him in prayer so he can reach more people all over the world. When I’ve seen Jesse receive actual offerings, he hasn’t pressured congregations like some preachers do. God wants us to be cheerful givers (2 Corinthians 9:7).
I believe the increased media coverage will work in Jesse’s favor and he will soon have a Falcon 7X. In the meantime, I will continue listening to his sermons as a challenge to pursue bigger things God wants to do in my life, which includes traveling to more places and winning more souls. Christian critics would be better off working out their own salvation instead of scrutinizing those that are doing something with their calling.
“Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.” - Romans 14:4