Bishop Ira V. Hilliard of the New Light Church in Houston, Texas, is being criticized for recently telling his followers that if they give money to pay for his broken helicopter, God will bless them with a new vehicle. In fact, he promised that God would give a brand new car in “52 days or 52 weeks” to anyone who donated exactly $52 to fix his helicopter.
“Do you need better transportation?” he asked in a letter to the congregation. “Do you have a dream vehicle or luxury automobile you long to purchase? We have an urgent transportation need that the Lord said can be an opportunity for you to see His favor and His wisdom released to help you. Scripture teaches when you give to a Kingdom need God will raise up someone to use their power, their ability and their influence to help you.”
Aviation experts estimate that the value of the church’s helicopter is at $1 million. The church also owns a Hawker jet valued at $2 million, and an aviation hangar valued at $3 million.