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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. Woman of purpose

    All I have to say is if a child of mine 15 steps up in my house at 1 am well GOD have mercy on them because I won't after I'm finish with them then the law can give them a home since they have a problem with me disciplining them. Another thing I will never put them in a time out I'll take a time out to handle my business.

    June 9, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • JWT

      They can have your home. You will be in the big house where you belong.

      June 9, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
  2. Linda Raynor

    send her to africa to work with underpriviliged chrildren ,If her father says don't go to aparty she should respect him. She was disrespectful to her father but there should have been another approach use to dicipline her.

    June 9, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
  3. Sam Cole

    I have lived in the south for almost ten years and the things i hear do not surprise me. Since when is it ok to choke, hit with a shoe, and slam to the ground your child because they wont behave? well let me answer that for you never!! Most of the members of this church are brainwashed into thinking this guy is the "one" when in reality he is making a killing off their hard earned money. Assault is assault whether you are a preacher or regular joe. Let me ask this of those who say this was morally and legally ok. If i were your boss at work and you did not conform to the rules would it be ok for me instead of firing you just beat the crap out of you and then blame you for the fact that i just assaulted you in front of god and the whole world would that be ok? I would chance to bet most of those mega bible thumper's would run to the police quicker than you can say hallelujah. This guy better hope he don't do any jail time because there are guys in jail who would not like to know the fact that someone guilty of child abuse and battery on a child is in the same cell with them.

    June 9, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  4. Trey

    " god reproves those He loves" Dollar went to far and stands to be corrected just like anyone else..........

    June 9, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • ir007

      Read chapter called Mary in thq quran

      June 9, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • Trey

      Opps I meant TOO not to, don't want to get the 3rd grade teachers out there upset

      June 9, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • Trey

      ir700 curious what does it say?

      June 9, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
  5. higgs boson

    a pastor named dollar...how appropriate...the church of the profit

    June 9, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Trey

      good play on words lol

      June 9, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  6. Joe

    Wow, sounds like from his statement he is going to buy his way out of this one. Lets hope the local police department does not let that happen.

    June 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
  7. Hamurabi

    What a disgusting family?

    June 9, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
  8. Tom Peters

    Od'd did he? I was counting on Autoerotic asphyxiation.

    June 9, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  9. Eric

    If the child's version is true it is a sad case. No physical abuse should be tolerated . That being said...some of these kids now a days are spoiled, out of control and disrespectful and could stand to have a few good hickory switches to the backside to "tighten" them up as my dad used to say. Nothing wrong with that IMO.

    June 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Rokny Pio

      Thats right, we first need to see facts emerging then we can comment appropriate.

      June 9, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • shadowdiver

      Nice. The story was corraborated. The girl had marks on her. The idiot dad is supposed to be a christian and you chose to rant about kids. What a dou chebag.

      June 9, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • denean boxley

      hopeful they both are telling the truth,. When your teenager don't want to falling the rules in your house it time to show who's the boss. God said if you spare the rod you spoil the child, beat but don't kill. Teenagers wants to rule the parents and the home, what he did was 100% right!!!!!!!!!! The Pastor was only doing what he needed to do for the sake of his child. I think it is stupid, to have arrest him, he need to go back and beat her again!!!!!!!!!

      June 9, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
  10. Captain Obvious

    Teenage girls would never lie to the police when a parent is keeping them from doing what they want to do.

    June 9, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • shadowdiver

      So you just dismiss the girl as a liar. Nice of you Capt. Douc hebag.

      June 9, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
  11. Pityu

    May Satan take care and guid you!

    June 9, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
  12. Mary Jane

    Throw that stinky slimy hoe out on the street and wish her well....She's only 15 and having an argument with you about attending a party? Yeah OK....Betcha she's just trying to be like her hoe motha...Get rid of them both

    June 9, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      You sound like a good christian member of his church. "Jesus wept."

      June 9, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
  13. Get Real

    As the wise man Belushi once said..........."How much for the little girl?"

    June 9, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • sam stone

      That's what they call Biblical values.

      June 9, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  14. tipsana

    " I would never use my hand to ever cause bodily harm to my children". So he's an abuser AND a liar.

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

      No kidding......

      June 9, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • what about justice

      When did the court declare Pastor Dollar guilty?

      June 9, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Mark

      He hasn't had a trial yet, but either he's a liar or his two daughters are. The prosperity gospel is just the most recent 'abuse for financial gain' of the christian mythology. Its twisted, and I wouldn't put anything past Dollar, Meyers, Osteen, or any of the others. Until the majority of the population get a grip on reality ie – dump religion, they will be easy pickings for people like this. I'm sure there are plenty of christians who think that if Dollar did what he is accused of, he was behaving as a good christian parent. I can think of a few verses that support the actions he's accused of quite adequately. religion is so sad.

      June 9, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
  15. Christian

    Credflo is why I do not go to church

    Too much money and no brains

    June 9, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Get Real

      Don't blame Creflo for your being a heathen. Jesus was rich enough to have a treasurer who stole from him...and his ministry never suffered.

      June 9, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • BS

      @Christian
      BS ! You wouldn't go even if there never was a Creflo Dollar

      June 9, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • Christian

      For all you people bashing me for what I said, you too do not sound at all like loving Christians, which is why I do not go to church. You would try and run me over getting to your car to get the hell out of the parking lot to get to Dunkin donuts. you do not act or speak Christian AT ALL

      June 9, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • BS

      You never needed an excuse.

      June 9, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      I wonder how many members of his church got wealthy after joining.

      June 9, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • weezy

      You probably don't go to church because you don't want to be accountable for your sins. We all sin; some repent and make the neccessary changes, while others find excuses.

      June 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • Mark

      Loving christians. Where do you get that? What a misnomer!

      June 9, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • sam stone

      Ah, sin...without fear, much of Christianity is dead in the water

      June 9, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  16. Get Real

    Since Jesus was the epitome of an Old Testament Jewish man and followed the law of the Old Testament. perfectly, physical discipline would not have been out of the realm of his teachings. We all fall short (Even Pastor Dollar and many others) and have gone too far in the way we handle our very own children. There have been others that have taken discipline to the extreme. A teenager who thinks they are grown will get too lippy and this is sometimes the consequences. Many a child used to be taken out to the woodshed to solve a problem or two.l imagine this is just an argument that got "too heated".

    June 9, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Tom Peters

      Religions are the root of all evil.

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

      @tom peters
      nope all evil resides within you

      June 9, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Tom Peters

      TARNATION! Y'ALL DUN FOUND ME OUT ! That's how you hillbilles talk, right?

      June 9, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • shadowdiver

      Jesus preached total non-violence. If you knew anything at all about your own faith you would know this. Jesus did not even advocate violence in self-defense. Do the words 'turn the other cheek' ring a bell you hick?

      June 9, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Mark

      The bible gives this ridiculous man excuse for beating his children, and then all he has to do is tell his congregation that he prayed for forgiveness and all is wonderful again. christian mythology is so much crap. If the allegations from his two daughters are accurate, he is a beater. Beaters don't just start beating one day out of the blue. He's likely been beating his family for years. Teaching his children that men should beat women so the cycle continues. But as long as he also indoctrinates (brainwashes) the kids with christian mythology, at least they will have an excuse when they beat Creflo's grandchildren. Typical generational religious cycle.

      June 9, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • sam stone

      nope, nope, much evil resides in people purporting to speak for god.

      June 9, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • sam stone

      it would have been much more amusing if she had pulled out a 9mm and busted a cap in his a$$

      June 9, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
  17. Gilbert Small

    Stay strong Rev. Dollar. You wear the Pants in your House. If your Daughter won't follow your Rules, turn her over to Social Services.

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

      Hope you are kidding

      Beating a kid is a crime, mega pastor or not

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

      Approval of Bully tactics???

      June 9, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • shadowdiver

      Gilbert Small.............another thug christian.

      June 9, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • sam stone

      shadow: they are just following their thug god

      June 9, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
  18. Carlton

    Praying you and your family Pastor Dollar! We all need prayer!

    June 9, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Christian

      He is a child beater, no better than someone in jail

      June 9, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • what about justice

      Where is your due process for Pastor Dollar? Guilty until proven innocent? What country are you a "Christian" in?

      June 9, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • shadowdiver

      I am praying that this false christian goes to jail.

      June 9, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • shadowdiver

      @whataboutjustice.....................this is a blog, not a courtroom. Whenever anyone uses your lame arguement, it just means you have taken the opposite arguement and you think the 'guilty until proven.....'trumps all. It does not. If I see a guy beat up another guy, I don't have to wait for a judge or a jury to prove it. The girls story was corroborated. People like you kill me.

      June 9, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Mark

      Prayer is the least effective thing a person can do. And when he returns to the pulpit with tears in his eyes and says he prayed for god's forgiveness – like swaggart did – joker's like you will forgive him. Wake up and face reality – it's really not that scary.

      June 9, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
  19. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things ..

    June 9, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Tom Peters

      so does counting to ten, leaving the house for a while, and having a quiet moment in a room by yourself. Prayer is just another tool of introspection and calming time. It isn't magic.

      June 9, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • nope

      @tom peters
      nope

      June 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      More prayer, less hitting. Too many "christians" hit first and pray later.

      June 9, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • Tom Peters

      @nope
      nope

      June 9, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • nope

      @tom peters
      nope.

      June 9, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • Get Real

      @nope-a-dope,

      Tom Peters is correct.

      Prayer gives you the *feeling* of power and control over things about which you are otherwise powerless.

      June 9, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
  20. Pastor Evans

    This is what CNN and many other media outlets, just as so many people live for in America today, to try and defame, discredit, and dishonor Jesus Christ and anyone who believes and follows in Him. Here the deal, those of us who believe and follow Jesus Christ are humble enough and wise enough to know we are not perfect and need a Saviour and Deliverer, unlike most America today, to include CNN and most of the media, who are proud, arrogant, boasters, heady, high-minded, and puffed up on themselves! All this is rapping up and coming to a close, and we will all see who have crossed the finish line and who has not!

    June 9, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Jesus

      You don't sound humble ... You act like your interpretation of the bible is absolute.

      June 9, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • mema

      Amen.

      June 9, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • Christian

      Credflo Dollar Maker is not a good example at all

      Hope he looses his money making money machine church, he does not deserve it

      June 9, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Anne

      Quick Quote:

      "As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion..."

      From Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli 1797. Unanimously ratified by the U.S. Senate and signed by President John Adams.

      June 9, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • geeky

      The man beating his child is the one who dishonors God, not those who report on the story.

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

      Humble is the very definition of someone who claims that they've got a close, personal relationship with the creator of the universe, that we were created in his image, and that we're at the center of his divine plan.

      We're just insignificant, brief blips of cosmic consciousness – talking apes made of stardust – trying to figure out everything works. Somehow to theists, this is arrogance.

      June 9, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Anne

      Worldly prosperity a reward of righteousness and a blessing
      Mark 10:29,30/ Ps 37:25/ Ps 112:1,3/ Job 22:23,24/
      Prov 15:6
      Worldly prosperity a curse and a bar to future reward
      Luke 6:20,24/ Matt 6:19,21/ Luke 16:22/ Matt 19:24/
      Luke 6:24

      June 9, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Since 87% of Americans claim to be christians, you are talking about a LOT of christians there. Is elevating yourself and putting down others one of your "christian" values? Sound kind of like a Pharisee. Jesus "spake this parable unto those who trusted in THEMSELVES, that THEY were righteous, and who therefore despised and looked down upon others." (Luke 18:9)

      June 9, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • JWT

      well PP you are welcome to believe in your god (other people have different gods) and I am equally welcome to pray to no god. Like you I am in zero doubt about the final outcome.

      June 9, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • shadowdiver

      Pator Evans F you and your slimy religion of hate. You people never follow the teachings of christ. All you worry about is maintaining power over the sheep in your churches and screwing the rest of us by not paying your taxes. If there is a god, it will be the likes of you rotting in hell.

      June 9, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • sam stone

      Humble is about the last thing that Christians are. Purporting to speak for god. The arrogance is astounding. j

      June 9, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
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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.