June 8th, 2012
12:22 PM ET

Police arrest Georgia megachurch pastor after disturbance at home

By John Murgatroyd and John Blake, CNN

Atlanta (CNN)– Megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar was arrested in suburban Atlanta for an alleged assault on his 15-year-old daughter, police said Friday.

Deputies in Georgia's Fayette County responded to a call about a domestic disturbance about 1 a.m. Friday. Dollar's daughter said she argued with her father over attending a party, said Investigator Brent Rowan of the Fayette County Sheriff's Office.

The daughter says the argument got physical.

She told the deputies that her father charged her, put his hands around her throat and began to choke her, according to a police report. She said he then slammed her to the ground, punched her and beat her with his shoe.

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Dollar's daughter was able to get away and dial 911, Rowan said.

Deputies noticed a scratch on the daughter's neck and arrested Dollar on charges of simple battery, family violence and child cruelty.

Deputies also spoke with another daughter, 19, who corroborated her sister's account of what happened.

Dollar was booked into the Fayette County jail early Friday. A judge set his bail at $5,000 during a morning hearing, and he was released.

Dollar said in a statement released to the media from his attorney, "As a father I love my children and I always have their best interest at heart at all times, and I would never use my hand to ever cause bodily harm to my children. The facts in this case will be handled privately to further protect my children. My family thanks you for your prayers and continued support."

Dollar is a senior pastor of World Changers Church International in suburban Atlanta, which claims about 30,000 members and has an $18 million sanctuary that resembles a golden-domed spaceship atop a hill.

He built an international religious empire, with broadcasts of his sermons beamed worldwide and speaking engagements in Europe.

A barrel-chested man who favors impeccably tailored pinstripe suits in the pulpit, Dollar preaches the Prosperity Gospel, a message that says God will bless faithful Christians with wealth and debt-free living.

Since he started his ministry in an elementary school cafeteria in 1986, Dollar has earned both praise and criticism.

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Supporters say he has preached a message that's financially empowered his parishioners and challenged the idea that Christians should be ashamed to be rich.

Critics call him "Cash-Flow Dollar," a pulpit prima donna who once refused to allow parishioners to touch him. They say his message perverts the Gospel.

Dollar has had brushes with the law before, according to a lengthy 2000 profile in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

He was once cited for contempt of court for refusing to give a deposition during the divorce proceedings of boxer Evander Holyfield, who attended his church, according to the AJC.

The AJC profile also said that 100 police officers were admonished for receiving $1,000 apiece from Dollar. Dollar sent the money to honor the officers' community service, but the act was criticized because it came a month after two traffic tickets Dollar received were downgraded to warnings, the profile said.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Crime

soundoff (3,399 Responses)
  1. Kindness

    For you.
    A thought to consider without a typical ego response

    Accept Jesus christ as your lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Transcend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ (for me) resulted in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Also... much the world arranges "surrounding dark matter into something to be debated" in such a way that protects/inflates the ego.

    The key is be present and transcend our own desire to physically see evidence. We don't know anyways by defending our own perception of dark matter.

    Currently.... most of us are constructing our own path that suits our sin lifestyle. Were all sinners. Knowing that we are is often an issue. But both christians and non are sinners.

    We don't like to Let go and let god. We want control to some degree. This is what Jesus asks us to do. "Follow me".
    It's the hardest thing to do... but is done by letting the truth of scripture lead you (redemptive revelation)... as I said .

    Try reading corinthians and see if it makes sense to you. Try it without a pre conceived notion of it being a fairy tale.
    See the truth...
    do we do what it says in todays society... is it relevant... so many have not recently read and only hinge their philosophy on what they have heard from som other person...which may have been full of arogance pride or vanity..

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancsend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find any truth you can take with you ....in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life..... You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf.... the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed..... your good deeds will be forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated..... your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over . This is truth .

    Trancsend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Understand you are a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent.... Repent means knowing (to change) The Holy spirit (within) will convict you beyond what you think you can do by yourself. Grace is given to those who renounce the world. That are" in" the world but not "of " the world.

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Faith comes by Reading or Hearing the word of god from the bible . Ask Jesus in faith for dicernment and start reading the new testament... You will be shocked when you lay down your preconceived notions and ....see and hear truth ... see how christ sets an example ... feel the truth....

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth in Christ.

    Sell all your cleverness and purchase true bewilderment. You don't get what you want ....you get what you are in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.
    You will also see how the world suppresses this information and distorts it

    You're all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.
    I'ts a personal free experience you can do it free anytime . Don't wait till you are about to die.. START PUTTING YOUR TREASURES WHERE THEY REALLY MATTER >
    Its awsome and It's just between you and Jesus

    my testimony

    June 8, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • copanut

      "Accept Jesus christ as your lord and saviour." ... then ... "Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive."

      Physician, heal thyself.

      June 8, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • Lilith

      "..without a typical ego response."
      I don't think you fully understand what that means. It IS your ego that compels you to post that. Your ego makes you feel as though you are correct and the rest of us need your special insight (again ego) to understand.

      June 8, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • zombie

      How can I accept something with no evidence no proof? Blind faith is a joke. You wanna believe in talking snakes, and belive that we all somehow came from incest breeding, than whatever, but quit spewing your nonsense on other people.

      June 8, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • GAW

      What? Are you implying that if we were all born again here that we wouldn't disagree with what Dollar did to his daughter?

      June 8, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Kindness

      You are correct. I will take out the word "typical".
      Thank You and bless you for helping create a more pure personal testamony.

      June 8, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • JWT

      Accept jesus ? Why on earth would I accept a mythincal figment of someones joint imagination ?

      If I need a god I'll become one myself.

      June 8, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  2. ratemymask

    How can some people call this disciple? Since when is "discipline" charging a child, putting your hands around their throat and choking them, slamming them to the ground, punching them, and beating them with a shoe? If people think that is discipline, then they have a pretty effed up family.

    June 8, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • LB Colorado

      A 15 year old can and will push your buttons. They are your true test of patience, I don't think he passed his test. We all fail the test every now an then. Teenagers try and try and TRY your patience, though he is a preacher, maybe now he will be able to better understand what some parents experience daily.

      June 8, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  3. Elsie Eye

    While a parent shouldn't lose control when disciplining a child, it's got to the point where you barely CAN discipline your child. I decided to take my teen's laptop as a "time out" punishment....she didn't want to give it up and we ended up struggling over it. I was pretty sure that – like this pastor – if it got physical from my part, I would end up on the wrong end of the law. Instead, I ended up being hit and I called the police! Yes, I got the desired result that I scared the crap out of her that I really DID call the police...but it never should have gone there! Why do our children have this power over us?

    June 8, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • DK

      Because they don't respect you.

      June 8, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • bob

      You should of never called the cops on her–whats wrong with you? You shouldn't be worried about her calling the cops on you–any kid -teen who calls the cops on their parents are traitors. But forever now she will hold that against you for the rest of your life. Just another reason of the destruction of the white middle class

      June 8, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  4. WWJPD

    What Would Jesus' Parents Do?

    Did they beat on little Jesus?

    June 8, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  5. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    June 8, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • GAW

      Will it change the kitty litter pan?

      June 8, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • copanut

      I'm an atheist and I never beat and choked my kids, unlike the pastor in question here.

      Your theory is, uh, flawed.

      June 8, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • NeonKnight

      My truck's oil?

      June 8, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  6. sircharles

    None of us knows what lies behind mansion walls. The greed, rich, unhappyness, bickering, fussing, cussing, controling this and that; but in all we have nothing but the devil coming back to show us that you have a man who were never called by God to preach; but just went anyway! You can fool some people at times; but you will never fool them all of the time. Now, it Creflo time to be exposed....one incident brings out a whole foul of things that we are about to hear. Any Mega-Church Members....unlike Long's Congregation. you all demand the truth and no grandstanding. Let's see if Creflo is going to "fight this thing", pick up 5 rocks and throw maybe 2 of them or will it be..."he is not the man" we think he is; or will he say, he is not a "perfect man."

    June 8, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • marv

      The word of God says to touch not God anointing, so be very careful what comes out of your mouth.

      June 8, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  7. The Pastor

    Everyone of you with negative comments about Pastor Dollar ought to be ashamed. All we have to do is reflect back when many of us were 15 years old and defiant at times. Dr. Dollar and his wife has displayed nothing but integrity and shame on you for trying to make more out of this than it is. The bible says if we spare the rod.. we will definitely spoil the child and I say kudos to Him for loving his children enough to discipline them. We can let the children do whatever they desire and be counted in the negative statistics of the children of this nation or we can discipline them and save their lives. Dr. Dollar we are praying for you and Pastor Taffi... Much love.. You will always be respected in our eyes...

    June 8, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • ME II

      Just as war is diplomacy by other means, violence is parenting by other means. If Dollar can't raise a child without beating them, how do you expect him to raise a decent church?

      I wonder if Mary and Joseph beat little Jesus?

      June 8, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • copanut

      You are a sick and twisted individual.

      June 8, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • zombie

      I am pretty sure that choking your child is not implied, you religious folks are nuts, and are a dieseise on this planet.

      June 8, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • GAW

      Dear so-called Pastor. Does it also occur to you that Dollar wrangles thousands of dollars from his followers daily and promising that they will receive a hundred fold in return? Yet they receive nothing? In the end Dollar is the rich man.

      June 8, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • TR6

      “her father charged her, put his hands around her throat and began to choke her, according to a police report. She said he then slammed her to the ground, punched her and beat her with his shoe”

      Yes we can all see this was just a loving Christian father gently correcting his beloved daughter (eye roll). You Christians are disgusting. Excusing your own horrid behavior while condemning others for the slightest fault

      June 8, 2012 at 4:42 pm |

    so some one can correct his or her child again,what kind of things is this?the bible say spare a rod and spoil the child.

    June 8, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • TR6

      “the bible say spare a rod and spoil the child.”

      It also says you can beat your slaves to within an inch of their lives, you can sell your daughter into slavery and you must kill your disobedient children. Your bible, your religion and your excuses are revolting

      June 8, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  9. Name*twilliams

    Spare the rod and spoil the child!!! He probably has given her everything her heart desires. It diesn't matter about him being the Pastor of a mega church, he is a parent. My mom and dad have disciplined me, and I'm a better women because of it. Also people are quick to bring up the tickets??? I'm not a Pastor of a mega church, but I've gotten tickets before that we're downgraded. He is human, and he is a parent, he probably felt that he didn't want her at that party because he as a parents wants the best for his child, if she gets into something she'll call her parents, not the others at the party. Discipline is not abuse, he takes care of her and he should be able to discipline her. I was dido lined with switches , belts, and one time an extension cord, but I was loved and respected by my parents, they only wanted the best for me. No parent should just provide for their children, and let them do whatever they want to do. A parents job is to also guide, she is just to grown. What he did won't kill her, and I'm sure he wasn't trying to do that, he only wants what's best for his child. My mom told me, "this is my house, whenever you think that you are to grown to abide by the rules, there's the door it swings both ways, it swings to come in and it swings to go out" I couldn't do whatever. I was too young to know what was best, if I were allowed to do whatever I would not have had respect for either of my parents. She sould get out on her own if she thinks she knows more than her parents. Discipline is practiced in the military even, without consequence for our actions, where would most of us be?

    June 8, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      My parents never laid a finger on me and I turned out pretty good. Beating your children is a lazy form of discipline. You bring up the military, they don't practice beating people as a form of discipline.

      June 8, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Mark

      Sorry but physical abuse is not the same thing as discipline.

      June 8, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • DTB

      That's an awful lot of effort just to say "I beat my kids"

      June 8, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • TR6

      Your just as bad as the Catholics who make excuses for their pedophile preists

      June 8, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • LIsa

      well said

      June 8, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  10. rftallent

    TexAnn, if you don't like the "campus" atmosphere of a particular church, just attend another church. Some people like that sort of thing.

    June 8, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  11. MAE B

    Whoop her @ss again!! Disrespectful @ss youth of today! Let her go to Foster Care and so that she will see how the other children live who do not have parents or who refused to obey their parents. Let's see how long she will last there.

    June 8, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • TR6

      The bible also says to stone your disobedient children to death. So the girl got off lucky; but, the pastor may burn in hell for not obeying god

      June 8, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  12. Yvette

    Proverbs 23:13Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.
    This is in the Bible I read and my prayers with be with the entire Dollar family. That's what's wrong with the country you'd rather children lie,steal, and kill rather than a parent discipline an unruly; disrespectful child. In my home where I pay the bills a child is a child and when that child cannot and will not obey my rules he/she has to go.

    June 8, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Yes. Take that disrespectful child to the town square so that you and your neighbours can stone them to death, just as the Bible commands.

      June 8, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      If you cannot discipline your child without attacking her and trying to choke her, you are a miserable failure as a parent and deserve to see your kids go to good foster homes. Maybe her new parents will take her to a REAL church.

      June 8, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Yvette

      Disciplining a child (one that is being raised; parents are feedimg, clothing, supporting; providing shelter for) that's right whoop the behind; beat the behind because Doc when she/he is breaking in your home and knocking you in your head and stealing from you don't ask where are or where were the parents. Still going to pray for the family.

      June 8, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • NeonKnight

      Perhaps we should have her eaten by a bear as well (look that up in your bible, pal).

      June 8, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Think for yourself

      Yes, beating a child or teen is certainly the most intelligent form of parenting. The message it sends certainly doesn't imply that violence is the answer when you can't get someone to comply...

      June 8, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  13. GAW

    Those that beat their children are most likely to also to beat their wives.

    June 8, 2012 at 4:22 pm |




      June 8, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      Also, people who type in all-caps usually wet the bed.

      June 8, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • GAW

      Hey Jugghead I said 'most likely' not 'will always'. Acts of violence often overlap. Read more carefully next time.

      June 8, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • sleepytime

      JUGGERNAUT: Yes, they probably do.

      June 8, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  14. Doris Lomack

    Wonder where was Taffy Dollar( the wife, mom or stepmom)? during all this? the

    June 8, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • miller

      LOL seriously "Taffy Dollar" that's incredible!

      June 8, 2012 at 4:28 pm |



    June 8, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • jane

      I would have beat her %^$@#% too if she rose against me as her mother/father

      June 8, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      You would have choked your daughter?

      June 8, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • sleepytime

      He wouldn't have to worry about stuff like that if he raised her right instead of beating her.

      June 8, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  16. Rentboy

    "I carried his suitcases, and he gave me a Dollar tip. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it."

    June 8, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Hugh Jass

      I hope you didn't KEEP his tip. He'd be a little short without it.

      June 8, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  17. Ticktockman0

    If Dollar had simply stoned his daughters to death, as the Bible says, he might not be in this awkward position.

    I say this with all due sarcasm.

    June 8, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Perhaps a stoning would've gotten him off on grounds of religious freedom.

      June 8, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  18. 2oong9yce

    I am 30 if i misbehave my dad still threatens to whoop my behind. This is a depraved generation, discipline doesn't kill, as a mater of fact this world would probably be a better place today if some parents didn't spare the rod.

    June 8, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Frank

      I'd like to beat the idea that violence is not the answer into your thick skull, but it wouldn't work because it really isn't the answer.

      June 8, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      You still misbehave at 30 years old? I guess the whoopings really worked, didn't they? My parents never laid a finger on me and I turned out just fine.

      June 8, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  19. Sherlock Holmes

    "My dear Watson, you as a medical man are continually gaining light as to the tendencies of a child by the study of the parents. Don't you see that the converse is equally valid. I have frequently gained my first real insight into the character of parents by studying their children. This child's disposition is abnormally cruel, merely for cruelty's sake, and whether he derives this from his smiling father, as I should suspect, or from his mother, it bodes evil . . ."

    June 8, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  20. sirwinston1941

    This is an example of how misleading Creflo has been out the many years he has claimed to be a minister. Always taking from others and then giving them what his congregation to hear rather than tell it from the Bible. You all who are in Creflo congregation should have known that after Long's problems; it would be time Creflo face his. After all, he has been standing in the pulpit lieing to you all about the Bible in general. When God tell one to come out and tell the truth about his word, and when that don't happen; well, he put things the way they should if means coming into your home and making it happen. One never knows what goes on behind Creflo walls happen! It more to come and it won't be what you all will be looking for. Creflo is not all what he seem to be; you can tell by his "mugshot", that is his real look at home behind those Mansion Wall. That is a TV show, the famous people rich, with all of the material things, and yet, they are really unhappy.

    June 8, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • CREA

      Pastor Dollar teaches straight from the Bible and goes through the Bible line upon line-upon-line validating everything he teaches. If you ever really listen to his messages you would know that.

      You should also be mindful of putting your mouth on any man or woman of God regardless of what you think he or she has done. God said in Psalms 105:15 "Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm."

      When things stop going right for you, ask yourself why.

      Have a nice day.

      June 8, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.