Via reader AG, I notice that the Pfeifers are soliciting money from fans to help them pay for an airplane.


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  1. greg wrote:

    God forbid a group finding a new and better way to travel,spend an extra day at home and have no debt.We like our sangers to be in debt, ride a bus they can’t afford, work for love offerings and be eager to work 250 days a year to make a few hundred dollars a week. I say way to go Pfeifers. If people want to help them that is awesome!

  2. Montana Man wrote:

    A new and better way to travel? In 1954, that was what cost the Blackwood Brothers Bill Lyles and R.W. No idea who’ll be flying for the P’s, but pray that God watches over them.

  3. BUICK wrote:

    I thought the same, MontanaMan, and then I remember having read some stories in the SingingNews about fatalities in bus accidents (log trucks and the like) and I concluded that buses may have cost SG groups more lives than airplanes.

    My question is how do they get the equipment to the venue? Seems to me this will increase the overhead (no pun intended) exponentially. Almost inevitably there will have to be appeals to keep it in the air and a truckload of equipment on the road. But hey, let’s wait and see how it works out for them. May turn out to be an industry trend.

  4. Dawn wrote:

    Sound equipment might not be that big of a deal. I only take a laptop, wireless mic, and wireless in-ear monitor, along with a 8 channel mackie board with me. All of this mounted in a shock proof flight case. I know most demand their own sound everywhere but we have never had any problems using the venues’ sound. My husband runs the tracks and mix and the overall volume is controlled by the house.

  5. Tom wrote:

    Aviation fuel (100LL) is pretty expensive. It’s a Piper Aztec, and if you’re going to have a plane in that class, the Aztec is a goodie! It’ll carry 4 people and some equipment pretty well (probably not with full tanks but if you aren’t going 800 miles with it .. no prob). The other thing is, if they use it once a week, the other days a flight school could rent it from the group and use it for training and costs go down.It’s called a leaseback .. don’t know if they’re actually doing this or not…

  6. ACL wrote:

    If I remember correctly, the Aztec (read old,low,slow and loud) is about a 50 gal per hour, gas guzzling monster (at 150 knots). Avgas at near $4…..yea, they may be home a little more, it will be way more expensive.

    Be there, done that a lot!

  7. Tony Watson wrote:

    It’s been my understanding that the Pfeifers have not been traveling with their sound equipment for some time. They have a truck that has their equipment and goes ahead of them and gets it ready and they travel separately. That was in a Singing News feature on them some months ago.

  8. adam wrote:

    Maybe I am a complete fool, but looking at the Pfs schedule there is no need for the addition of a plane. I am sure they know way more of their ministry needs than I could ever know… but, this seems a little excessive. Make a plea for funding such a luxury is absurd and cruel. If the Pfs were doing five concerts a week with incredible mileage to cover between dates, I would be more sympathetic. As it stands and with my knowledge of their ministry and schedule, I am appalled. and maybe a little jealous… :)

  9. Dexter wrote:

    For real…if the Perrys can sing 20+ dates a month in a bus, then anyone can…

  10. steve wrote:

    I went to a Pfeifers concert a few months ago and they talked about purchasing a plane. John Pfeifer said it was more economical to fly than to own a bus. The piano player and sound guy drive the equipment from venue to venue.

  11. Alan wrote:

    As a soloist who was out 271 days last year, and who spent way too much time in airports, a few private pilots have suggested that I get a small plane like the Aztec or a Cherokee Six. But then, reality set in. Private aircraft owners will tell you that to build up for annual inspections, engine rebuilds, the high cost of av fuel, etc., you have to figure at least $150/hour flying time. And then, there will be inevitable weather delays with smaller unpressurized planes that can’t get above bad weather, that may strand you for a day or more, while the commercial aircraft would have you home. Still, as others have said, I would bet that the Pfeifers have thought this all through, and have decided that it’s the way to go for them. So, I won’t ever judge their ministry or intent. But it’s not the best avenue for everyone, even if I’d love to avoid commercial airports and the hassle that air travel is today. I also read the SN feature that said that they’d sold their bus, and were sending their PA and product ahead in a truck. Maybe the “delights” of commercial air travel since they did that have them thinking this route. Interesting, to say the least, and I’ll be interested to learn over time how this works for them.

  12. Practical Fellow wrote:

    I’m trying to get all agitated and bothered by this, but… eh. If people want to give them $$ for a plane and they’re being honest and up front about it - suits me. Let me know if they use their donations to put A/C in their doghouses. I could probably get worked up over that.

    Next subject.

  13. jb wrote:

    I don’t care how a person travels and if people are donating, that is great. Unless it is coming out of “our” pocket, it shouldn’t matter. Adam: Why do you think it is absurd and cruel and why are you appalled??

  14. AG wrote:

    It all seems completely over-the-top to me. There is nothing that is “more economical” about owning a plane vs. driving a bus. A Piper Aztec will travel at about 160mph and burn about 30 gallons of fuel per hour. Fuel costs are around $5 per gallon bringing you to $150 per hour. Take $150 and triple it to give you your overall cost of operation by the time you add insurance etc. $450 divided by 160mph = $2.81 per mile (roughly). Keep in mind you still have the costs associated with the piano player and sound guy driving from venue to venue.

    I guess my biggest question is why you and I are being asked to fund it. Sell the bus and put it towards the plane. You can buy a decent Aztec for $100K. There is no question that it will get them home quicker - just don’t expect to get there cheaper.

  15. GospelMusicFan wrote:

    They can come to my nearby airport in Norwood, Mass. and I be happy to pick them up for free. Mansfield Airport is closer and out in the woods but Norwood Airport has a Dunkin Donuts down the street.

  16. TLW wrote:

    I don’t know but are these folks really that much in demand? I know of other groups who do a lot of travel time and do it on a bus with a full time driver and a trailer on back for equiptment and do just fine to make it where they go all over the country. They fly from time to time but mostly overseas. But once again these people are out on the road at least 4 dates a week. So I they don’t need a plane? Explain this one to me. Doesn’t make sense to spend money this way.

  17. thom wrote:

    Send the money to me, I want one, too.

  18. Dave M wrote:

    And how many “no-shows” will there be because of weather issues?

  19. Olan Witt wrote:

    It makes no differance to me how they choose to get to their dates. If they can afford to operate the plane, more power to them. Why spend a day on a bus when you can get there in an hour or so by plane?

    I have a choice in helping fund the plane. I choose to support other ministries.

  20. Judy Drye wrote:

    Sorry, this is an old woman entry. When I saw the picture of the plane it make me queasy. I remember when my Mom spent most of the day crying because Bill Lyles and R.W. were gone. I wish they would stay on the ground.

  21. greg wrote:

    You don’t have to send them money!

  22. Josh C wrote:

    Try and candy coat it or spin it in any manner you want, but at the end of the day, this site is about nothing but gossip.

    “He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, therefore do not associate with a gossip.”
    Proverbs 20:19

    “A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.”
    Proverbs 11:13 (NIV)

    “A perverse man spreads strife, and a slanderer separates intimate friends.”
    Proverbs 16:28

    “The north wind brings forth rain, and a backbiting tongue, an angry countenance.”
    Proverbs 25:23

    “For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, contention quiets down. Like charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a contentious man to kindle strife. The words of a whisperer are like dainty morsels, and they go down into the innermost parts of the body.”
    Proverbs 26:20-22

    “Your tongue devises destruction, like a sharp razor, O worker of deceit.”
    Psalm 52:2

    “Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.”
    Psalm 34:13

  23. Brandon Shreve wrote:

    I certainly hope this doesn’t turn into a trend. The bus has been overused for many years in my opinion. Most buses are undependable and expensive. It’s a status symbol to have a bus and many groups have one, when they rarely go too far from home. Alot of groups don’t even stay in their buses. Going to a higher level and asking your fans to pay for it, seems to lack some class in my opinion. That said to each his or her own.

    I guess the sky is apparently the limit (?). But what’s Gaither gonna run in? A space shuttle?

  24. steve wrote:

    The intial investment to buy a bus is a lot higher than it is to buy this plane. The bus value will also depreciate over time while the plane will hold its value. Give John P the benfit of the doubt that he has investigated it and that this is the best and most efficient way to travel. I believe that they are using an older plane right now and want to upgrade. This is not something they are experimenting with for the first time.

    You also cannot put a value on being home an extra day.

    Some of you people sure can get your panties in a knot over things that have no effect on you.

  25. GospelMusicFan wrote:

    Hybrid bus coach!

    Bill Gaither is always ahead of the times.
    Space shuttle been around the world many times.

  26. Kyle wrote:

    The only thing that doesn’t make sense to me is…..if you’re gonna have the sound man and piano player drive to the venue anyway…..why not just ride with them??? Does not compute.

  27. Jake wrote:

    Is it really any of our business whether or not they want to own an airplane? Or, for that matter, is it any of our business if people want to donate to them to help buy the airplane? Come on, folks. This is a case of people sticking their noses where they don’t belong. IT’S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS! Give it a rest!

  28. Trent wrote:

    I am one of the people who got the letter a couple of months back. I thought the whole thing was rather bizarre. I’ve never met the Ps, though I have heard them at NQC a few times and I once mail-ordered a CD from them. I suppose ordering a CD put me on their mailing list and I was then eligible to contribute to their airplane. I burned it behind the garage with the rest of my garbage.

  29. cynical one wrote:

    Bill & Gloria were flying to and from their engagements 30+ years ago. They were only doing a few dates each week, too. But they were selling out 5,000+ seat venues consistantly, and flying home to be in their home church with their young children. I doubt if the Pf’s can claim that.

    But I do agree, if they want to buy a plane, and people KNOW that’s what they’re donating for, more power to them.

  30. Sissey wrote:

    Don’t you think it would be cheaper to just fly with SouthWest or Delta?

  31. Dexter wrote:

    #30…absolutely…it would…

  32. Scott Gordon wrote:

    Several factors were considered when the Pfeifers made the decision to fly as much as possible.
    1. Aging parents of group members, thus the need to be home as much as possible.
    2. Stewardship of the money everyone is talking about. The expense of flying and sending the equipment ahead in a truck cost per week what the bus was costing per date. That’s huge!
    3. Rest. Noone is getting younger.
    4. Ministry. Flying allows the Pfeifers to spend additional time with people at each venue instead of a just a few minutes. Driving required them to get on the road quickly. Now they are more able to build relationships.
    5. Lack of debt. When you can sing, play, entertain, and minister without the concern of financial difficulty, that’s a beautiful thing.
    A lot of time, prayer, and wise advice went into this decision. Whether you like their music or not, the Pfeifers have provided a wonderful example of trying to run a ” bidness ” in a biblical and fiscally wise manner.

  33. BL wrote:

    I think it’s a brilliant idea! Find something you really want and make the fans pay for it! haha I love it! No, really, I don’t see how this is going to work out for them. It may make sense in their minds but somehow I’m just not getting it. While we’re on the subject though, would anybody mind donating to my “Buy me a new Escalade” fund? haha!

  34. Dexter wrote:

    Yeah, BL..if you had a new Escalade, I just know you could minister better! LOL

  35. Leigh wrote:

    How about the “full-time” “professional” group that has a donation box on their table for funding their next recording project? At first I thought it was a joke…but seriously. ;)

  36. Faith wrote:

    BL #33, most SG singers already have one…except for Mike Hopper, who has a Hummer AND a plane.

  37. JM wrote:

    O.K. folks…I’ve really tried to stay out of this thread, but I guess I’ve been pushed over the edge.

    In the next few months, I anticipate negotiating the terms, conditions and salary of a new job. As head of an organization, I will have the responsibility of providing assistance to a variety of clients and provide both direct and indirect employment for many folks. Question: How much should I ask for in salary and benefits? At some point, do I enter into the “Greed Zone?” After much thought and prayer, I have constructed a proposal that I believe reflects both fair compensation for my efforts and good value for the organization. Could somebody accuse me of greed? Perhaps. But, between me and my God, I feel confident that my requirements are not overstated or merely “piggish.”

    Planes…trains…automobiles…buses. I travelled with a SGM quartet in a Winnebago and, for a short time, in a refurbished bus. They both had their good and bad points. I would never presume to comment on what some group percieves to be their need relative to transportation. That’s between them and their Lord. However, I would like to offer the following:
    1) The only way that the economics of air travel can be more cost effective than highway travel is if the schedule constantly takes a group from coast to coast, week in and week out. And if that is the case, I’d certainly check out another booking agent!
    2) Good people will send hard earned money to those in ministry for almost any reason. They just want to be a part of something good. Need I remind you of some of our recent religious charlatans?
    3) What does a “typical” SGM artist make, per year? More than 50K? More than 100K? What is their education, credentials and the “quality” of their presentation? That’s how we arrive at a fair salary in the outside world. Let me ask one further question: What do think a local pastor feels when he goes with his “flock” to a SGM gathering and sees the long trail of silver buses, which each may out-value his parsonage? I understand that he shouldn’t indulge in envy, but he’s still human. Here’s a novel idea; why not give your pastor a love gift, rather than buying the latest CD from the hot new SGM group? I think it’s worth a thought…and a prayer!

  38. Morning DJ wrote:

    What #32 Scott Gordon said.

  39. Montana Man wrote:

    Josh, No. 22. You are really flying, low. For example, to take just one of your scriptures:

    “A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.”
    Proverbs 11:13 (NIV)

    What confidence, pray tell, is being betrayed? The plane and request for donation is on the P’s website.

    We’ve had the P’s way out here 3-4 times. I doubt they’ll get this way in a plane and truck, but that’s not my concern. I’m more concerned about who’s flying the plane. My professional pilot friends asked the same question. The biggest concern for flying ALWAYS is weather. And you can’t compromise on that, even if the risk is missing a date. And, my pilot friends say, if John or Candy or Mary is flying, they will not have the single-mindedness of purpose that a professional pilot would have, they’ll be thinking of what else they have to do and when.

    How that winds up up being “gossip” is beyond me, but perhaps I’m not spiritual enough.

  40. AG wrote:

    #32. When the Pfeifers posted this request for funding to their website they made it our business. They also made this our business when they mailed letters to our homes asking for financial support.

  41. AG wrote:

    Sorry…I meant #27

  42. Poppi (Pop-eee) wrote:

    Statistics show flying is the safest way to travel.

  43. Tom wrote:

    Someone mentioned the safety issue. I work in the aviation industry and can tell you “get-there-itis” or “get-home-itis” can affect judgement. I don’t think a Piper Aztec is less safe than a bus, but I wouldn’t want to be on a icy highway on a bus with bologna skins for tires either…
    p.s. Gospelmusicfan…I grew up in Islington!

  44. GospelMusicFan wrote:

    Being our business doesn’t give us the right to have target practice.
    Prime example of the reason why people in leadership have to have a protective shell around them.
    A little wisdom and grace is needed in these times.

  45. cynical one wrote:

    Target practice? I don’t know about that, but I do know that people in public positions set themselves up for this type of scrutiny. If I don’t want my life (business practices, donation requests, sexual indiscretions, et al) picked apart from the public, I should either seek extreme wisdom and guidance before I do much, or not take a position as a public personality (like preachers, teachers, deacons, entertainers, politicians, etc). Or at least don’t list those things on my own website, which I hope millions of people will read.

    It’s bad enough when outsiders pry into a person’s personal life, and dig up unsavory practices, but when we put them out there ourselves for the public to read, or say and do things in public places, we set our selves up for public debate (at the least).

    I don’t have a strong opinion as to whether buying an airplane is a wise move, but the Pf’s have set themselves up for this public discussion.

    As they say, everyone is entitled to his/her opinion, as well as mine. :-)

  46. cynical one wrote:

    OOPS! I meant “picked apart BY the public”. I guess I should have proofed it one more time BEFORE I clicked “post”.

  47. Josh C wrote:

    gos·sip –noun 1. idle talk or rumor, esp. about the affairs of others: the endless gossip about Hollywood stars.

    Notice “idle talk”.

  48. Videoguy wrote:

    I’ve said it here before, and I’ll say it again: rising fuel costs creates a survival of the fittest in SGM. If the P’s believe flying will benefit them, God bless ‘em. Wasn’t it Jake Hess who criticized JD for coming up with the idea of traveling in a bus?

  49. Jake wrote:

    Has anybody here been able to get inside the heads of Pfeifers to really understand what their plans are for the present and future? Everybody has an opinion, but does anybody really know the true and total facts involved? I suppose if someone is considering making a financial contribution for said airplane it would be wise to find out the facts in order to make a decision on whether or not to give, but if you want facts, go to the source (i.e. the Pfeifers themselves), not this message board which is full of rumors, unsubstantiated opinions, and self-appointed experts who may “think” they understand the situation but in truth probably do not.

    That may sound a little harsh, but really, unless anyone has the full grasp of the entire situation, how do you expect to make a fair and honest assessment?

  50. RDB wrote:

    #22&#47 - Josh C

    ” He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.”
    Prov 26:17

    Thy scripture quotations falleth on deaf ears, thou oaf and what dost thou get for it but a large helping of scorn and abuse.

    Also thou shouldest check out passages on “pearls before swine” and “answer not a fool according to his folly”.

    I hate to break it to ya, but people just ain’t gonna listen to what the preacher sez on a forum like this.

  51. Chrystal wrote:

    The Pfeifers made this public, and ASKED for OUR MONEY TO PAY FOR IT (donations). Using the Bible to demand we be dumb, blind, and mute is a ploy that is old and tired. I never, ever give money to a ministry without asking for accountability from that ministry. And if we are to the point where we can’t even DISCUSS certain aspects of a ministry, musical or not, then we have our heads in the sand. Not even the Word of God itself demands we just blindly follow. Never did God ever put forth a mandate that we question nothing.

    Now, as for the Pfeifers, I really have no problem with them asking for donations to help in this venture. They were upfront and honest in their communications with the public. At least they didn’t say, “Now, GOD HAS SAID that if you’ll send in your donation today, He’ll return it to you 100-fold and then He’ll save your entire household!!! And for your one-time gift of $1000, we’ll send you this anointed prayer cloth and a one-year supply of miracle water!!!” That’s another kettle of fish altogether!

    No, they were straight-forward and transparent in their fundraising strategy. I appreciate that. If they believe that air travel is the best route for them, then more power to them. They aren’t trying to deceive the public, or fleece the flock.

  52. Scott Gordon wrote:

    To #49,
    That’s exactly what I did. For hours, more than a year and a half ago, John Pfeifer discussed this situation with me, giving background information, reasoning, their own initial objectons to the concept, their plan to make it financially viable, etc.. I’m noone special, just friends with them for a long time. There’s not a person who makes decisions perfectly, but I can assure you, these folks are quite thoughtful and prayerful in how they conduct themselves. Again, not perfect, but definitely not impulsive, rash, or reactionary. The Singing News article that someone mentioned in an earlier comment details the situation.

  53. Josh C wrote:

    Pearls before swine is correct.

  54. Faith wrote:

    How nice that Josh C is above it all, even though he too keeps reading diligently, and the rest of us are all swine.

  55. RT wrote:


    GO FOR IT,


  56. Antipathy wrote:

    That’s right Faith!!! I bet Josh C. is driving an Escalade, Hummer and has his own plane too!!! Just like all of those rich and wealthy Southern Gospel singers!!! I bet they all live in those nice Modular homes too. Too good for a double wide like most of their listeners!

    I went to a Southern Gospel concert a week ago and I figured it out! Figured what out? I figured out where all of those people go when the Flea Market closes! Ha! Just kidding. The people at the Flea Market had teeth.

  57. RDB wrote:

    I wonder why everyone is so upset!!!!!!!
    Could it be because of improper use of punctuation???????
    Or what?????!!!!!

  58. Rod wrote:

    Buick…Name me one life that has been taken in a bus accident. Also I think a previous poster said you should figure 150 per hour and that includes fuel maintenance and rebuilds…HELLO…You can fly anywhere in the U.S. in 4 hours or less…If you are doing mainly East coast which most groups do you’re only looking at an hour and a half two hours max…Figure a bus payment…Not a 1969 eagle but a nice, late model prevost or MCI will cost you Minimum of $4000-$5000 month plus gas…It really isn’t all that different. I know of a fulltime group right now paying $10,000 per month for a bus…and you call a little airplane with no amenities a luxury…PLEASE! Also the pfiefers in my “opinion” are some the most genuine people I know. This is definately not a “Hey look we’ve got a plane” kind of people.

  59. Rod wrote:

    Also…Several have said, “why should it come out of our pocket” ? DON’T GIVE.

  60. Jim2 wrote:

    “anywhere in the U.S. in 4 hours or less”?? Maybe on a commercial flight, but I doubt if the Aztec could get me from Nashville to Dallas in that time. Of course if I was flying commercial I’d have to figure in the 2 hour Homeland Security check lag time and add on the lost luggage dilemma if I have to perform tonight.

  61. Rod wrote:

    good Point Jim

  62. Darrell wrote:

    This is so funny……………I am surprised that Rick Goodman didn’t think of this first!!!!

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