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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. wisdom4u2

    ♫ ♫ We fall down
    But we get up
    For a saint is just a sinner who fell down,

    and got up ♫ ♫

    June 8, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • will g

      Wisdom??? i think i feel the nations iq fall to double digits....or is it the dull thud of your wisdom? idk

      June 8, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      kiss off, you piece of rat dropping troll.

      June 8, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      ♫ ♫ We fall down
      Ouch, ouch, ow, ow ow
      Jesus Christ that hurt,

      where's the Band-Aids? ♫ ♫

      I got a million of 'em.

      June 8, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      @ will g/'fake' wisdom4u2 ~~~
      The Lord rebuke you!!

      June 8, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • just sayin

      LOL

      June 8, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      " got a million of 'em." ~~~~ Yes, I know, aliases....
      will g, just sayin, CNN Moderator, steve505, so on and so forth....TROLL!!

      June 8, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      I have another song for you.

      ♫ ♫ Rebuke, rebuke
      You're enough to make me puke
      Get thee
      away from me,

      Rebuke, rebuke♫ ♫

      I trust I made my point.

      June 8, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      "I trust I made my point." ~~~~ Yes! Yes you did....as an a ss wipe TROLL, TROLL!

      June 8, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Steve

      You are truly an example of your faith.

      And super smart too.

      June 8, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
  2. adopted USA

    One doesn't need to look too hard to find Satan, they happily reside in churches, mosques and temples.

    June 8, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      Yup...Satan is the first one in church on Sunday mornings. Glad I go on Saturdays. ( :

      June 8, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • Satan

      Yes, I am the first one there Sunday mornings. Thanks for noticing.

      June 8, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
  3. Alex

    Let the 15yo go to the party so the police can (stun / subdue / arrest) her and charge her with (MIP / MUI / resisting / assualt / failure to identify / curfew) and take a deal so that you can pay more money to get it wiped when she turns 18.

    And don't forget about having to transport her to and from community service / probation / hearings etc because she can't get a license until she clears everything up.

    You warn your children about strangers / rapists etc. but you forget to warn them about the largest group of late-night predators...the police looking for excitement.

    June 8, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
  4. tone7de

    15 years old...1 am...wants to go to a party and is talking back....beating deserved!

    June 8, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Creflo Dollar

      Thank you, brother and/or sister! She also deserved the choking. That wasn't in the Bible, but I figured what the hell!

      June 8, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Friend

      talking back and fighting a parent yes. My parents beat us too but no 911 to call we are are just fine. He should have made her get the switch off the tree.

      June 8, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Shane

      Basically!!!

      June 8, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
  5. Friend

    What bible do you read . Moses murdered a man and fled to escape the punishment
    David plotted Uriah’s death and took his wife –
    Solomon led Israel into idolatry and laid the foundations for its split into two nations –
    Matthew was a tax collector: a sellout and traitor to God’s people –
    Peter, among his many other foibles, famously denied Jesus on the night of his trial –
    2Paul persecuted and killed Christians –
    This is not a perfect world and not one is perfect so you expect this. Paster Dollar is a man first just like any other and can make mistakes.
    I am glad that God can and does choose to use us even with all our baggage scars and imperfections.We are not perfect, however, our flaws are used by God to show his power. His strength is made evident through our weaknesses. When you label and bash “church” folk you only fall pray to your on sinful pride. God bless you. “When sinners judge, God takes the stand.”

    June 8, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • ObieJuan

      Gladly... had he done something wrong. What world do we live in where a child can't be disciplined?

      June 8, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Blessed

      Very well said!

      June 8, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Blessed

      Very well said – Friend!

      June 8, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
  6. Ricksta

    Creflo Dollar?

    June 8, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Creflo Dollar

      Yes? How can I help you, sinner?

      June 8, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
  7. Old person

    For decades I have puzzled over the biblical quote "Spare the rod and spoil the child". It is usually interpreted as "beat the hell out of the kid and he will turn out right" but I've always thought that the word "spare" meant "withhold" rather than "bear down". I have read of primative civilizations where children are not punished, but shown love and affection and they grow up to be warm and loving people, which goes against the idea of beating them into submission. Do I have the answer? No, I don't, but I wonder...

    June 8, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  8. PJ

    I don't understand why people support these Megachurches which a using the public to make money. I haven't seen a Pastor from any of these that doesn't look like he could sell used cars or sun lamps to the Arabs.

    June 8, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • phil

      And they enjoy tax exempt status. Insane isn't is?

      June 8, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
  9. Jayzers

    Sweet Jesus of the Lexus ! Say it can't be true! I am going to pray for
    the Anointing of Home Equity so that I can give that Church mo' cash.

    June 8, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Friend

      stupid....................

      June 8, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  10. wisdom4u2

    I bet she called 911 on the iphone that he bought her. Damn iphones!

    June 8, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
  11. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Have I mentioned lately that I like to repeat myself?

    June 8, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • you are adrift

      on a sea of stupid, if it wasn't for the name Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things, you would have no value at all.

      June 8, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      No need to mention it, fool. We know!

      June 8, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
  12. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    June 8, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • JWT

      Keep hoping. Prayer can help those who are praying I believe.

      Fortunately I personally do not need any prayers since they are pointless.

      June 8, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!.!~

      June 8, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      But, it is proven.

      June 8, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • WWJT

      What scientific evidence do you have to show that prayer works. I'm pretty sure the children who die of starvation every few seconds were praying for food.

      June 8, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • revolruf

      Prayer, or meditation (EXACT SAME THING) has been proven to work for ALL religions and also for the non-religious. Our minds are powerful things. Your god has nothing to do with it.

      June 8, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • name one

      of the starving children praying for food that died today.

      June 8, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Proven.
      Proven.
      Proven.
      Proven proven proven, damn it I said Proven!
      So there.

      June 8, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
  13. Collin

    Yahweh Most High I beesech you in the name of your Son Jesus Christ,to bring clarity and truth to this distraction.The Bible which is the WORD of GOD says,1)"Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right........" 2)"Parents likewise provoke not your children into wrath."
    It is obvious that no matter who you are or your position in this world,we are imperfect and fall short.Everytime a Preacher/Deacon/Bishop or Reverend is embroiled in some scandal or wrongdoing,many are quick to attack the church,but it is GOD OUR CREATOR they are attacking.According to this article Mr.Dollar "choked' and "beat with his shoe',if that is true,then he allowed his anger to consume him and lost his judgement as a parent.The deeper question is why and who allowed his 15 year old daughter to attend a party at 0100?Every parent should discipline their children,but not to the point of physical abuse.We live in a world and a system where children are taught to call 911 no matter what the truth or consequence is.The objective is to destroy the Family Unit,by separating children from their parents.Once children don't have any authority or male figure in their life,they can do as they please.The results are catastrophic not just in the social problems like teenage pregnancy,juvenile deliquency,drug use amongst teens;but we have a generation of young men and women blessed with knowledge,but lacking wisdom and understanding.It's a trap set up by the enemy and every time most of the so called MEGA CHURCH PASTORS" fall from grace,it's another oppurtunity for agents of the Devil to point the figure in the eyes of Christianity.GOD did not create religion,but the Devil through wicked men who crave absolute power.The answer is not the TV preachers,but JESUS CHRIST who gave us the victory over 2000 years ago.All we need to do is believe in HIM and give your mind,soul,and body to HIM.

    June 8, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • Allah

      You are wrong, infidel!

      June 8, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Dr CT Stewart

      That's crap

      June 8, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • will g

      ? do you really want me to read that.shew im a simpleton and can read so much rambeling. kist ?

      June 8, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • revolruf

      You just made me throw up a little in my mouth! I'm glad the Modern Enlightenment is moving mindless people as yourself away from religion and teaching them the only things we need to "worship" are the planet and each other. You, my "friend", are of no value to humanity.

      June 8, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • thedpr

      Oh, shut up. No one wants to hear your conspiracy theories.

      June 8, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • steve505

      So..... had any responses from your god yet?

      June 8, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • Friend

      Well said. Amen!!

      June 8, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • Ann

      Amen !!!!!!

      June 8, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
  14. ivan

    What a loving pastor. He showed all his "caring" to his own daughter !!! ???
    Is his name dolllar?

    June 8, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  15. sftommy

    Big Difference between modern christians and the teachings of Jesus Christ...

    June 8, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Rob

      Modern Christians = fascists

      June 8, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • Someone

      True, the bible talks about those who have giving to those who do not, it constantly iterates a communist ideology which is wonderful (when 1 man doesn't control it). Christians today are no better than the corporations that keep our nation in bondage. Meanwhile the simple lessons of love are completely missed.

      June 8, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
  16. Ken

    Wonfer why most of the world headlines have a direct association with religion?

    June 8, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Because I like to repeat myself?

      June 8, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  17. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    I like to repeat myself.

    June 8, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Think for yourself?

      At least the stolen handle is Truth.

      June 8, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Jesus

      Nope your a moron

      June 8, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • is that your

      supposed to be you are or you're? So tell again who the "moron" is?

      June 8, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
  18. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    I like to repeat myself.

    June 8, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Think for yourself?

      Maybe someday you will.

      June 8, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • just sayin

      "Maybe someday you will."

      Obviously you haven't

      June 8, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • just sayin

      The lord has given us a sound mind . God bless

      June 8, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • T. Regan

      Maybe some day you will

      June 8, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • just sayin

      The Lord has hidden my pants again. God bless.

      June 8, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
  19. T.Brown

    I see some of my posts are deleted.....that makes me wonder why...I 've got my own Ideas .This forum would rather allow posts of a DESRESPECTFUL NEGATIVE NATURE than post that make sense...WHO IS YOUR GOD????

    June 8, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Rob

      This website/blog is pathetic when it comes to freedom of opinion...

      June 8, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Ken

      I have only one god that I could depend on when times are tough....myself.

      June 8, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • CNN Moderator

      Because your posts are inane and ridiculous. Go back to Fox news.

      June 8, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Lorenzo

      Don't feel neglected...I periodically post on politics having spent 20 plus years working for the government in both military and civilian positions and "a few" of my posts have never made publishing...we must remember-the media isn't ALWAYS in search of the ABSOLUTE truth but mostly about SENSATIONALISM because it makes better reading through exploitation and onto a Pulitzer.

      June 8, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
  20. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    I like to repeat myself.

    June 8, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • .

      Because your are a moron.

      June 8, 2012 at 5:47 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.