A Houston pastor is coming under fire for asking his congregation to tithe $50,000 so that he can purchase replacement blades for “the church’s helicopter.”
In a newsletter sent out to thousands of New Light Church members, Bishop I.V. Hilliard told parishioners that if they each donated $52 to the church’s aviation department, which would in turn pay for the helicopter replacement blades, they would receive a car of their choice as a blessing from God that would arrive in either 52 days or 52 weeks (one calendar year).
According to an anonymous couple still affiliated with the church, the helicopter is used by the Bishop and staff to quickly fly out to the other six New Light locations.
Houston’s Fox 26 contacted New Light about the newsletter and was given a statement from Bishop Hilliard:
New Light Church World Outreach and Worship Centers, Inc. regularly make appeals to Special Partners, Members and friends of the church for the support of various programs and services. Occasionally, it is not uncommon for an appeal to be directed toward specific Kingdom projects or specific needs. In this instance, the appeal was directed to our Special Partners and friends who are familiar with the Biblical principles upon which we base our faith. We sincerely regret if anyone was offended by this appeal in that it was not our intent.
Read the controversial newsletter below.