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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. Yeah right

    He should have beaten his parents for naming him Creflo Dollar.

    June 9, 2012 at 8:49 am |
  2. Mrs. Katz

    I have a delicious hemlock kreplach for Creflo.........

    June 9, 2012 at 8:47 am |
  3. Mrs. Katz

    I wonder if he beats up Mrs. Dollar, too.......

    June 9, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • Mr. Katz

      Hon, did you not learn from the thrashing you got last nite?

      June 9, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • Mrs. Katz

      Are you out of jail already?

      June 9, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Mr. Katz

      No Hon the police officers thot you were too loud and deserved the thrashing u got.

      June 9, 2012 at 8:57 am |
  4. a pimp named slick back

    A Pimp Named Slickback: Did you know that at least 75% of b itche s suffer from some kind of hearing loss? This alarming statistic means that, more likely than not, talking is not the most effective way to communicate with a b itc h. That's when you have to hit her.

    Tom Dubois: Whoa, what?

    A Pimp Named Slickback: You tell her what you want her to do. If she say no, hit the b itc h! Simple.

    Tom Dubois: But I couldn't hit her. I couldn't hit *any* woman.

    A Pimp Named Slickback: Has *not* hitting the b itc h been working? I mean, scientifically speaking, has not hitting the b itc h achieved the desired result?

    June 9, 2012 at 8:44 am |
    • find an atheist

      Find unimaginable filth

      June 9, 2012 at 8:48 am |
  5. JASMINROSE

    i think things of this nature are capable of happening generally at leastonce in any ordinary household AFTER ALL CREFLO DOLLAR IS HUMAN AND HE ALSO IS A VERY GOOD PREACHER ALL YOU ANYLITICAL OBSERVER ATHEIST AND SO FORTH YOU DONT EVEN COMPARE

    June 9, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • JWT

      Beating his kids – which has nothing to do with religion – is disgusting. If the allegations are true then he is a worthless human being and does not deserve to be a preacher of anything excpet his fellow prison inmtes – and even they deserve better.

      June 9, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • Yeah right

      No, I hate to break this to you, but in normal households, the father NEVER beats his daughter's face with a shoe. That's not normal at all and if you think it is you were probably an abused child yourself.

      June 9, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • midogs2

      I don't know what type of household you come from, but in ours, striking a female is the ultimate no no. I person doesn't get any more base than that!

      June 9, 2012 at 9:14 am |
  6. JD

    When a 15 year old is allowed to do as she pleases; then she is also ready to leave the home of the parent that is providing her toilet paper, deodorant, and other private & general products needed. Now she will think she runs the house but has no
    responsiblilities to keep it managed the way her father does. Kick her out and let her learn the hard way.

    June 9, 2012 at 8:40 am |
  7. a pimp named slick back

    A Pimp Named Slickback: [reciting prayer] Lord, please pray for the soul of this b itc h. And guide my pimp hand and make it strong, Lord. So that she might learn a h o's place. Amen.

    Granddad: You ain't gon' hit no woman in my house.

    A Pimp Named Slickback: What woman, sir? This here's a h o.

    June 9, 2012 at 8:39 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      While a sick post ..... good grief those "a pimp named slick back" episodes were the best, second only to the Stinkmeaner episode.

      "A Pimp Named Slickback: [Slaps Quiet Storm with a magazine] Bi'tch, don't start with that "we need another computer" sh'it again! You say that sh'it every time a new iMac comes out. You ain't Slick, you better make that G4 work, bi'tch, and stop playin' with me!"

      June 9, 2012 at 8:46 am |
  8. Just Me

    Maybe he was trying to choke the devil out of her. I mean the devil had to be all up in her to be arguing about going to a party of Friday night knowing they were probably not raised that way.

    I wonder how Mrs. Dollar feel about the entire matter?

    June 9, 2012 at 8:34 am |
    • Yeah right

      She probably sat quietly in the corner while it happened, because she was taught to obey her man or be beaten herself.

      June 9, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • find an atheist

      In America are we not presumed innocent until proven guilty? Rush to judgement by atheist types or what?

      June 9, 2012 at 8:39 am |
    • Yeah right

      Presumed innocent? You mean like George Zimmerman? Presumed innocence is for the court, not for public discourse on bulletin boards.

      June 9, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • find an atheist

      thanks for proving the point.

      June 9, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • Yeah right

      You do understand that presumption of innocence is a legal concept and that it only applies to courtroom proceedings? Freedom means we can all have opinions about his guilt, even if it is not yet proven in court and we can vocalize them. That's what makes America so wonderful.

      June 9, 2012 at 8:54 am |
  9. farkle65

    They r all bent to the almighty dollar: not Creflo either.

    June 9, 2012 at 8:33 am |
    • chefdugan

      Typical christian soap opera. Preach one thing, do whatever you want – God will forgive you. Christians are world class hypocrites and the world would be better off without their horrible beliefs.

      June 9, 2012 at 8:37 am |
  10. S.Earle

    When your surname is "Dollar" adhere to a few don'ts
    1. live and preach prosperity (bling,bling)
    2. choke your daughter (pimp hard)
    3. hit your daughter with your shoe (pimp harder)

    June 9, 2012 at 8:31 am |
  11. dozedoff

    since they didnt remove the girl from his home... the outcome will be he will go home, cut the phone wires and beat her till she recants on next weeks aired service.

    June 9, 2012 at 8:26 am |
  12. Jason

    I know this isn't really what the story is all about, but would he really pay 100,000 to get rid of 2 tickets? That makes no sense.

    June 9, 2012 at 8:24 am |
    • dozedoff

      he probably wipes his a rse with rolls of dollar bills... $100,000 was nothing, nothing at all..

      June 9, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • Bonnie Cleaveland

      No, he wouldn't pay $100,000 to get rid of two tickets. That would be crazy. He paid $100,000 to prevent any future tickets.

      June 9, 2012 at 8:42 am |
  13. Vidyashanti

    Children learn more from what parents do and not from what they preach.
    What ever values parent saw when a child is growing from birth to 12 years ultimately shows up.

    June 9, 2012 at 8:23 am |
  14. yellerdog

    Mega Church, TV Preachers are all of the same mold of hypocrisy, manipulation for their own power, and greed. This news is no surprise.

    June 9, 2012 at 8:20 am |
    • robert

      ravo...down with the brainwashed jesus freaks

      June 9, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • JD

      Yeah right, kick them when their down. They are trying to do the right thing TOO often. Who do they think they are anyway? When you confess that you're a believer, you had better not ever be human and make a mistake. Your confession has immediately made you Perfect in the eyes of those that are too puckish to expose themselves in that manner. Except when there's a death of a close friend or loved one. Now it's okay to call on the LORD because you know you are helpless. Thank
      goodness for REAL Parents.

      June 9, 2012 at 8:53 am |
  15. Mitt Romney

    I'm Mitt Romney, and I support the beating of young girls.

    June 9, 2012 at 8:18 am |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things..

    June 9, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • JoJo

      Stupidity is not healthy for children, living things, or anyone else who has to share a living space with you. Why don't you pray for the atheists? It changes things, right??

      June 9, 2012 at 8:34 am |
    • find an atheist

      find hatred, bigotry and self righteous hypocrisy

      June 9, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • diana

      Atheism makes good sense to people who think, have college degrees and read. Atheism makes good sense to people who have not been terrorized by Christian dogma.

      June 9, 2012 at 8:44 am |
    • find an atheist

      Find a lie. Christianity is a relationship of love not fear. Terror is an atheist with power. Joe Stalin murdered over 24 million as an atheist. Educate that!

      June 9, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • JoJo

      Find a religious fanatic:
      find hatred, bigotry and self righteous hypocrisy

      See how that works? You endorse brainwashing children. There is something very, very wrong with you. God wants sheep or God wants people who make conscious decisious to seek him out in their hearts and find them for themselves? But you won't answer will you. All you do is JUDGE. There is nothing Christ-like about you, whatsoever.

      June 9, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • to deny a child

      eternal life is the worst form of child abuse.

      June 9, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • JoJo

      Indoctrinate a child before they can think and make a personal decision about Jesus for themselves is brainwashing. You have taken away their choice. Everyday that you come on here JUDGING others is proof to any real Christian out there that you don't live your life by Jesus' tenets and principles, who specifically told you to not judge and to turn the other cheek. Perhaps grovelling and asking for forgiveness is in order.

      June 9, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • Yeah right

      Prayer apparently changed the daughter of my pastor, back when I was in high school. It made her into a $ex crazed horndog. I dodged the bullet (thanks trojan man) but her next boyfriend knocked her up and she was married at 16.

      June 9, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • JoJo

      find an christian

      Find a lie. Christianity is a relationship of fear not love. Fact: Even the earliest Christians were killing each other in differences of opinion over their own belief. Terror is the vatican. Religion murdered millions and millions of people, not in the name of atheism, but in the name of God. Study the history of your own religion? We are talking about 2000 years of wars, genocide, racism and persecution. If your religion is a religion of love, I am the King of England.

      June 9, 2012 at 9:06 am |
  17. russ

    he is a christian pastor so whatever he says or does is correct. Don't ask questions.

    June 9, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • StanCalif

      So the Taliban must be obeyed also?
      The Pope must be obeyed at all cost?

      June 9, 2012 at 8:31 am |
  18. gd

    give him second chance.he will do it again.trust me.

    June 9, 2012 at 8:13 am |
  19. What would you do?

    When your child decides to fornicate at 15.

    June 9, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • I have the license to do what I please

      Did you not know that everyone that is born and was not aborted have a right in this society?

      A right to fornicate, be in bad company, party all night, use drugs, be drunk, use foul language, disrespect parental authority.

      June 9, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • dozedoff

      well most normal parents would hand them a condom and tell them to be home before midnight

      June 9, 2012 at 8:15 am |
    • Luke Mark

      There is a fine line between a parent abusing a child and a child abusing parental authority.

      June 9, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • Pearline

      If a girl starts sleeping around at 15 what value does she have?

      June 9, 2012 at 8:20 am |
    • Get over it!

      A woman is not a condom to be used and thrown out

      June 9, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • mema

      dozedoff..'most normal parents would hand them a condom'. So what y@ur saying is it let the kids call the shots? Parents need to give in to the kids? Nope. That is what is wrong with kids today. Pastor or not, he has a right to try to control his kids and as far as her claiming to have been choked there would be some serious brusing. Kids by and large have lost respect for parents or any authority figure. Scho@ls teach them to call cp$ for every little thing. My kids thried that one back in the 90's. I told them hel1 Ill dial the number for you. Meanwhile the real abused kids let overlooked. Its a sad situation.

      June 9, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • Yeah right

      Ground her, take away her phone and have her see her doctor about birth control. Then do like the other poster said and give her some condoms because nothing you can do will really stop them (including beating their face with a shoe).

      June 9, 2012 at 8:45 am |
  20. Creflo's Shoe

    It's true, i was relaxing at the foot of his bed when all of a sudden he picked me up and began lashing me at his daughter. I was so scared, my laces where flaying and my friend the other shoe was scared he was gonna go pick her up and start using her too. it was such a terrible time, i'm glad the police finally arrived.

    June 9, 2012 at 8:09 am |
    • mema

      Are y@u kidding my mom through her shoe when we yelled back and tried running off. Kids these days are soft. I dont think they could make it a week back in the day.

      June 9, 2012 at 8:50 am |
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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.