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. A. S. Mathew

    Prosperity preachers of mega million mansions-Rolls Royce and Private jet collections are hit with many problems like domestic violence-drunk driving-and other defaming news. JESUS said, if anybody wanted to follow HIM, take up the cross and follow HIM, and HE repeatedly exhorted anybody who wanted to follow Him to give to the poor; not to send money to HIm or to His disciples to get blessings as "SEED FAITH". Many of these prosperity prophets are going to see financial ruin like the rest in these hard economic times. None of these prophets saw the economic crisis coming, but preached super
    abundance flowing from heaven and to send them money by the thousands to get greater blessings.

    June 9, 2012 at 11:40 am |
  2. Mbele Mbele Oulou

    Baba Yetu uliye mbinguni,
    jina lako litukuzwe;
    ufalme wako ufike,
    utakalo lifanyike
    duniani kama mbinguni.
    Utupe leo mkate wetu wa kila siku,
    utusamehe makosa yetu,
    kama nasi tunavyowasamehe waliotukosea.
    Usitutie katika kishawishi,
    lakini utuopoe maovuni.

    June 9, 2012 at 11:40 am |
  3. paganguy

    Dollar was heard repeating: Don't do the way I do; Do the way I say.

    June 9, 2012 at 11:35 am |
  4. niranyemi

    dis is a western country on its own where people have over-liberty to do whatever including the teenagers, whoever blames dis man of God will soon face d same thing in his/her own life, am not in support of him grabbing her by the throat but am in support of him disciplining her to the highest order, 15yrs old? going to party? COME LORD JESUS. IF the rude was not rude to her father in the first place, this mess would not have been publicized, one thing usually leads to another. we must all know that pastor creflo is human too, whoever points one finger at him, the rest of the 4 fingers is already pointed back. GOD PLS PROTECT AND DELIVER OUR CHILDREN IN THIS GENERATION, IN JESUS NAME I PRAY (AMEN). WHERE WAS HER MOTHER WHEN THIS WAS HAPPENING?

    June 9, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Mbele Mbele Oulou

      You African too?

      June 9, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • JWT

      The father was purely at fauilt for beating his child (assuming it happened). The child is in no way responsible for the parental stupidity.

      June 9, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Adam

      “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.”
      Please, every 15 year old kid gets into screaming matches with thier parent.. Not every parent chokes their kid.. You loose the right to be called a "man of God" when you pull stuff like this, but I'm not sure he had a load of credibility to start with.

      June 9, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
  5. rick springfield

    Look you pathetic spoiled rotten brat, why don't you just move out of the $5M mansion and into a Section-8 apartment and take welfare. That's where you obviously belong after you have been handed everything on a gold platter. Just move out and become the welfare ho you obviously are.

    June 9, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Logo

      Maybe you two can be neighbors, you white trash!

      June 9, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • Adam

      Aside from the obvious "great big racist" overtones, the fact is no matter how much money a parent makes it doesn't give them the right to abuse their kid. No matter how much a kid is financially coddled, they shouldn't accept being abused.

      June 9, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  6. Kindness

    For you.
    A thought to consider without an 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 7:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    June 9, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • rick springfield

      Do a lot of Jim Jones coolaide do you?

      June 9, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Mbele Mbele Oulou

      Post too long. I am animist. Believe in rain, clouds, lightning. Bora Bwana.

      June 9, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Mbele Mbele Oulou

      You a pagan person?

      June 9, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Joe Joe

      Hiding abusive behavior toward anyone behind the guise of Religion is not acceptable! It is abominable!

      June 9, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • what about justice

      Lynching someone based on an accusation is alright with you then joe?

      June 9, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Joe Joe

      Yeah..I'm lynching the guy. You're SOOOOOO right... how could I not see the error in my ways? Thanks for being the guiding light I need to make sure my opinion is in line with Justice.

      June 9, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • what about justice

      Sorry if you have to put up your rope till due process is observed joe, i know it cuts deep into your hatred of all things religious to have to wait.

      June 9, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Adam

      "That's great Earl! Why don't you share some of that Vicodin and we can all have those deep thoughts"

      June 9, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
  7. Mbele Mbele Oulou

    Children should be disciplined on a regular basis. It is good for their growth. Then they grow to good Masai.

    June 9, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Joe Joe

      Disciplined yes.... beaten and choked..no!

      June 9, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • what about justice

      did the court return a verdict of guilty against the pastor or just you joe?

      June 9, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Joe Joe

      Child Abuse is not to be tolerated! Period.
      I didn't say the man was guilty. I said : Choking and beating people with Shoes is not acceptable.
      Apparently you find it acceptable, and that's your opinion.

      June 9, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • what about justice

      Lynch mob mentality showing Joe

      June 9, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • Joe Joe

      You are soooo right again. I say we all take up choking and beating people with shoes. Thanks again for your enlightenment.

      June 9, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • what about justice

      Nation of laws or nation of joes?

      June 9, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Joe Joe

      or a Nation of Child Abuse excused by religious beliefs

      June 9, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  8. Obamanation1

    Odumbo beats up millions of Amerian tax payers every day

    June 9, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Mbele Mbele Oulou

      That is only mental cruelty. You should also be physically disciplined. Bora, Bwana

      June 9, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • sam stone

      So, this becomes an opportunity to take a shot at the president for you inbred fvcks?

      June 9, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  9. Joe Joe

    There is abolutely no reason to choke someone and beat them with a shoe. I'm glad she called the police. Good!!

    Have you ever noticed that some of the most religious people – are some of the worst people on this earth?

    Is tolerance, patience, and love a concept that people strive for anymore?

    June 9, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • paganguy

      What do you mean "some of..."

      June 9, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • what about justice

      haven't you declared a man guilty without due process?

      June 9, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • mema

      If parents dont do it then guess what, the p©lice and milit@ry will not have a problem doing it!

      June 9, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Joe Joe

      Ok... to all the approvers of the behavior.
      What if YOU were choked and beaten with a shoe?

      June 9, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • what about justice

      This is still America, until there is a verdict it is an alleged incident. You have chosen to render your own verdict and opinion based on that missing verdict joe. No one should be assaulted and no one one should be assumed guilty and treated as such without due process. Lynch mob mentality.

      June 9, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • niranyemi


      June 9, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • mema

      Joe really!! $he had a scratch. Hardly signs of a real b€ating now is it. Sounds more like a br@tty kid that did not get h€r way.

      June 9, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • JWT

      If there is a next time joe i hope she calls the poice again. Beating children is a sign of a weak mind.

      June 9, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Joe Joe

      Thank You!

      June 9, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  10. whodat4ever

    His daughter probably told him she knew he was GAY.

    June 9, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • sleepytime


      June 9, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • David

      So true.

      June 9, 2012 at 11:37 am |
  11. Sadly_True

    That's good parenting right there. She's just mad she can't go to a party. She needed her butt whooped. When you are 15 you do what your parent's allow, not what you want.

    June 9, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • mema

      True. Then these same pe@ple compl@in that these kids are out of c©ntrol!

      June 9, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • niranyemi


      June 9, 2012 at 11:42 am |
  12. Punisher2000

    Tried to see if Creflo is a code and got quite a few variables. Finally I discovered what does his name mean: I am getting rich at your expense, fools

    June 9, 2012 at 11:23 am |
  13. Emmanuel okoronjama

    Ephesians 6.1-4 children obey your parents in the lord for this is right honour thy father and mother which is first commandment with promise. The chap is disobident child. She just want to disgrace father becouse she know a lot protection for children.

    June 9, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Steveoooo

      So if your parents tell you to murder some one, you obey them???? If your parents tell to sell cocain, its okay???? idiot.. Just another brain washed soul!!

      June 9, 2012 at 11:37 am |
  14. Will

    "Prosperity Gospel" = Southern bullsh!t

    June 9, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • sharkfisher

      There are as many "prosperity gospel " preachers in the north as there are inthe south. Show us some more of your IGNORANCE!!!

      June 9, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Steveoooo

      Why is it if you want god in your life... It will cost you a dollar..... What ever happen to the meek will inherit the earth... Its now, SHOW ME THE MONEY... News Flash... GOD HAS NO USE FOR MONEY....

      June 9, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • subnumine

      Oh, the service of Mammon is older than that; it's just popular in the treasonable states.

      June 9, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
  15. boyscout5

    Thank goodness he was a minister. No telling what he would have done to her if she wasnt.

    June 9, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Bottom-line

      So we have already tried and convicted the man even though the two stories are conflicting. It's amazing how some people wait to hear that a pastor has done something wrong to jump on him and crucify him. Why not wait for the courts to decide? Would you like someone to condemn you before all the facts are presented?

      June 9, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • JWT

      True we should wait for nancy grace to mindlessly crucify him first – she needs no evidence.

      The whole presumption in these comments is that it happened – the degree is certainly up to question. The justice system will have to figure that out. If we sit back and wait for a court decision then we have nothign to talk about.

      June 9, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • what about justice

      It is always best to get the venom and hatred out up front so that if the whole incident evaporates you can always remember you were willing to lynch a n****r without due process.

      June 9, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • JWT

      Child abuse is a major issue on this planet and needs to be talked about a lot. A real lot. No one – no matter what their position in society should be doing it. There is no excuse for child abuse – none at all. Everyoen that does it needs to have their day in court if they wish to try and explain their unjst actions.

      Your racist comments are all yours too. Wonder why you need them?

      June 9, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things*

    June 9, 2012 at 11:10 am |
  17. jp

    The root of all evil is religion.....

    June 9, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • all evil

      resides with you

      June 9, 2012 at 11:11 am |
  18. Skeptic

    He can't beat her, but he can cut her off his will.

    June 9, 2012 at 11:10 am |
  19. Benni Simpson

    Hi...................stop the maddness, He should have beat her down(if he did not), even after he get out of jail he need to beat her down.......The devil is running rapid with these teenagers & something needs to be done & it starts in the home. If you can't raise them to do the right thing who is going to do it. "PLEASE" a party @ 15 yrs old .......beat down & get some where and sit down.....Pastor you got my vote 100% .....Folks get a grip JESUS is coming back sooner than u think, the got doggit teenagers trying to run rapid. Stop em now before something or someone else stop em, this world is not there friend. Through & by the blood of JESUS they are alright & the daughters gonna be alright in the name of JESUS convict those spirits JESUS. SAVE our rising young folks.

    June 9, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • sleepytime

      "Run rapid"? lol. Please get an education, it will help you much more than getting beaten by your parents, I assure you.

      June 9, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • bob

      You are about as dumb as that so-called preacher! Someone should "bet you down," you ignorant horse's ass.

      June 9, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • mema

      Sleepy..being the grammar cop today are we? Get a life. Bennie..so true, kids are out of control. My mother-in-l@w refused to dis@pline her girls and grand-d@ughters. Now they hit h€r!

      June 9, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • Punisher2000

      Benni: your Lithium deficit is showing. Make certain you take your meddies daily.

      June 9, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • niranyemi

      dis is a western country on its own where people have over-liberty to do whatever including the teenagers, whoever blames dis man of God will soon face d same thing in his/her own life, am not in support of him grabbing her by the throat but am in support of him disciplining her to the highest order, 15yrs old? going to party? COME LORD JESUS. IF the rude was not rude to her father in the first place, this mess would not have been publicized, one thing usually leads to another. we must all know that pastor creflo is human too, whoever points one finger at him, the rest of the 4 fingers is already pointed back. GOD PLS PROTECT AND DELIVER OUR CHILDREN IN THIS GENERATION, IN JESUS NAME I PRAY (AMEN). the question is WHERE WAS HER MOTHER WHEN THIS WAS HAPPENING?

      June 9, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • sleepytime

      mema: Sounds like you need to get an education too. And, no, that's not about being a grammar cop, it's about you two clearly being ignorant individuals with the kind of beliefs that harm society instead of helping it.

      June 9, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Ellen

      Nowhere in the teachings of Jesus Christ does He advise his followers to beat their children. You must have a different edition of the Bible. Mine is the Holy Bible, King James Version. Maybe Jesus is coming back real soon, and maybe He isn't. He taught that He did not know the date and time of His return, only His Father in heaven will make this decision. Jesus advised His followers to be ready for His return. Make sure your name is written in THE LAMB'S BOOK OF LIFE (Rev 21-27).

      June 9, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • mema

      Sleepy..It does not take a degree to see that kids are out of c©ntrol. Just ask a te@cher or a c©p, the latter being willing to take up where a parent left off. I do not advocate abuse but disipline. This g1rl hardly got a b€ating if she only has a scratch. If sh€ was my child sh€ would get on now, show her the difference. Yes indeed!

      June 9, 2012 at 11:56 am |
  20. blondie

    Eeeech. Church. Jesus. God. Man. It really makes me want to vomit all over the living room floor.

    June 9, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Punisher2000

      Go vomit in the kitchen. The floor is easier to clean there.

      June 9, 2012 at 11:24 am |
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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.