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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. Woody

    Every day another child is aborted or abandoned . 50% divorce rate . Sure its the kids fault ?

    June 8, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  2. EndTheHate

    Whoever strikes his father or mother shall be put to death. (Exodus 21:15 NAB)
    All who curse their father or mother must be put to death. They are guilty of a capital offense. (Leviticus 20:9 NLT)

    June 8, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • GAW

      So does this justify him choking his daughter?

      June 8, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • charlette2013

      you know your cnn name says "end the hate", right ?

      June 8, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  3. Theistville Dog

    What's wrong with this picture? It's 1am in the morning. Your daughter just got home. What really ensued after the daughter gets home? Does the daughter push her dad's buttons to the brink?

    June 8, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Theistville Dog

      I forgot to include that Dollar's daught is 15 year young! How many parents allow their children out so late at night?

      June 8, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • derp

      I see, that surely justifies choking the sh it out of her, beating her with a shoe, and throwing her to the ground. Excellent parenting skills.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  4. larry

    Not to worry, this charlatan will use his flocks money donations to bail out of jail and buy more suits.

    June 8, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
  5. Leigh

    Another charlatan bites the dust. Too bad, so sad, byebye.

    June 8, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
  6. factory worker

    jesus spoke against being rich... the pastor justifies it. Wonderful. I wonder how much he's had to pay teenage girls to keep their abortions under wraps.

    June 8, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  7. Kim

    This is the south! We don't put up with fast back talk around these parts! Our kids go on to become CEO's and Corporate Directors because they have been disciplined. Your kids go on to become Luka Magnotta.

    June 8, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Drew

      Hahaha is that why the south is still the economic and cultural armpit of the country?

      June 8, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Jesus

      CEO of the local Trailer park. Whoo hoo

      June 8, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • ImWithJeebus

      Discipline doesn't mean beating the sh!t out of your kid...

      June 8, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • derp

      Yeah, that is why the south has the highest welfare rates and the lowest education test scores.

      You keep beating your kids stupid.

      We need people to clean our homes.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Fire And Brimstone

      You divorce your cousin yet ?

      June 8, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Parfin Woodell

      I like nascar.
      They go round and round and round........

      June 8, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  8. Gregory Adamson

    I say most likely there was at least SOME physical contact – regardless of bruises being present or not. otherwise the cops wouldnt have been able to take him in. With that said, a parent should NEVER attack their child regardless of their reason. Also this guys sounds like one who's gone after money rather going after saving people.

    June 8, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  9. Mark

    Typical religious hypocrite. Do as I say, not as I do. I'm all forgiven and going to heaven anyway and I have the masses fooled in my mega church/business. Jesus loves me this I know. NOT!

    June 8, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  10. miami

    For all you backward a-s-s pretend a Christians who think giving your money to some idiot with the biggest church will get you to heaven, please keep giving. The bigger they get the farther they will fall....

    June 8, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  11. Woody

    The bible was also written 300 years after Jesus .

    June 8, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • Drew

      Actually it was compiled 300 years after jesus. All of its component books had been written by 150 AD, i believe

      June 8, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Woody

      And written and compiled by people that change the stories from time to time and left all the things that they did not want in the bible out .

      June 8, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • karl

      even if it was written 150 years after jesus...have you ever heard of the game Telephone..... Imagine what 150 years would do to a story passed around orally.... not to mention Jesus and Horus walked on water, was born from a virgin mother, was martyred, and rose from the dead.... hmmm kinda a coincidence isnt it? oh and also celebrated Dec 25th

      June 8, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Drew

      Absolutely correct, both of you. It should also be noted that the majority of texts read by early Christians were excluded from the bible for political reasons

      June 8, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Freefall

      See : Ceaserean, son of Ceasar and Cleopatra.
      Truth about Jesus Christ (JC – Julius Ceaser/Jesus Christ)
      Hidden truth about history and religion.
      --------------------------
      Ceasar : emporer of Rome was declared a god by the Roman senate.
      So his son was the son of god.

      Cleopatra: Pharoah of Egypt declared herself the reincarnation of the virgin goddess Isis,
      so her son was the son of a virgin.

      After Ceasar was murdered, Cleopatra had 3 more children by Marc Antony
      (who was a commander in Ceasers army)
      Twins (boy/girl) and another boy.

      Rome attacked and defeated Egypt, before her death Cleopatra sent Ceaserean to
      Tibet (he disappears from the history books) where he studies Buddism for 13 years before his return to Egypt.
      Ceasearean who is the rightful hier to the thrones of both Rome & Egypt returns to reclaim his throne.

      Octavian, the adopted son of Ceaser is sitting on the throne in Rome, and wants Ceaserean killed.
      Returning under the name "Jesus Christ" (Translates to "son Of Isis")
      Jesus re-unites with his two brothers and sister (Mary Magdalene....its all in the bible)

      The Jewish priests who find Jesus a threat turn him into the Romans
      and he is crucified as a political figure.
      Jesus does not die on the cross.

      Most people could not read or write back then, and they where told what to believe.
      Your history and religion has been hijacked.
      Learn the truth.

      June 8, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  12. beelzabarber

    Thats it! We can officially charge his church some property tax since, based on his actions, he is not really a church

    June 8, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
  13. Norm

    Spare the rod.....spoil the child....

    June 8, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Woody

      Child abuse and abortions in America . God loves all those kids dying in Syria while the christians close their eyes . Sure everyone is going to heaven ?

      June 8, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • GAW

      I bet you like to beat women too.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • sleepytime

      Spare the jail time, spoil the pastor.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • derp

      Beat the crap out of a child.....go to jail.......

      June 8, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  14. Woody

    The bible was written by people that did not even know what a car was . The first bible was written in Greek and by the wealthy few as most people back than were not able to read or write . And by the way if Jesus was he was born on the continent of Asia at Asia Minor . Same area all those people have been being killed . (Syria) .

    June 8, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Norm

      Dumbest post I've ever seen.......

      June 8, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • drefromla

      huh?

      June 8, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • Drew

      Why is his post dumb? It's entirely factual

      June 8, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • salmonrusty

      NOOO he was not a Palestinian or Syrian Jew ( although he may have spoken Aramaic ) he was really from Texas blonde and blue eyes

      June 8, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Boink

      The bible was written by people that did not even know what a car was.

      I am confused, wasnt the bible written by god ?
      Wouldnt god know that cars would be invented ?

      You people make my head hurt.

      June 8, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  15. Deborah Torres

    I Love you CREFLO AND FAMILY! It sounds like the man of the house handled business!

    June 8, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Yeah! Beat some sense into your family!
      Next time his wife speaks up in Church, I hope he remembers the Bible and administers a good beating/choking to his wife.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • bikegal2000

      Are you kidding me?

      June 8, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • charlette2013

      whoa...i really hope you're being facetious....

      June 8, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      You are kidding right? Have you ever been in that situation to know what the hell you are speaking of?? This is not a real man, real men don't raise their hands to another person in violence, especially not to those he is supposed to love and care for most in this world. You're a complete idiot if you seriously think this pastor was in the right!

      June 8, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Yolanda

      Yes he did Deborah. It amazes me that everyone has an opinion without knowing the whole story That's what's wrong with this generation....running to the police, who don't care about you for help as opposed to just accepting that whipping and learning from it.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • derp

      Nothing shows the unending love of christ like choking the sh it out of a child.

      Yay jesus!

      June 8, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      "It sounds like the man of the house handled business!"

      its funny but that is exactly, and i mean EXACTLY, the same phrase used to justify spousal abuse in the past.

      June 8, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Boink

      You puttin' out for him ?

      June 8, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  16. fractionalist

    Spare the rod? Spoil the child!

    June 8, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Drew

      This wasn't tough love, this was a serious beating

      June 8, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Norm

      Sounds like an arrogant little girl, can't go to the drug party so she lies to the cops and gets her father put in jail.
      I love all the morons here that just want to believe the kid.
      How mature of you.
      There are so many Foxtards here since Fox closed down it's comments.
      You can smell the filth in the air.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • steven harnack

      I think that that was an instruction, not a warning, as in; spare the rod by not using it, and spoil the child means to give them all of the love that you can. You sadists have been reading it all wrong.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Drew

      @ Norm

      The police found the girl injured, numb-nuts. Read the article

      June 8, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Omg, and not one of you went to a party as a teenager...right? Gee, how quickly we forget...she was being a typical teenager, his job is to support her and educate her on these things, not beat the life out of her when she doesn't know any different. What she did should be a lesson to all of you religitard parents...kids are naturally defiant and if you don't keep an open line of communication, you lose them and they go out behind your back and do it any ways and then when you stupidly lay your hands on them, they have a great many ways to contact 9-1-1 because what you are doing by laying your hands on them is a criminal offense and deserves punished. Thank the FSM that your buybull really doesn't hold power in this world!

      June 8, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      "I love all the morons here that just want to believe the kid.
      How mature of you."

      of course the police also questioned another daughter who said the incident occured as described.
      sorry about that, it must disappoint you.....oh wait, you want both of them to be lying right?
      and sorry, im as liberal as they get, no foxtard here.

      June 8, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Boink

      I love all the morons here that just want to defend the preacher.
      How mature of you.

      June 8, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • justsayinnnn

      If you're trying to quote a scripture, it actually says, "He that spares his rod HATES his child." Look it up.

      June 9, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
  17. Drew

    Sounds like a real creep, both in his ministry and his family

    June 8, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Norm

      You're as ignorant as the cops if you believe a 15 year old girl.
      You obviously don't have any kids.
      Tennage girls are the biggest liars on the planet.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Drew

      They are the second biggest liars in the world, right after mega church pastors. The police found the girl injured, and that is why he was arrested

      June 8, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • ProperVillain

      Yes, I'm sure the bruising was all a ruse as well. This guy is shifty at best, he reeks of hypocrisy and arrogance.

      I hate mega churches. I think they do nothing more than to serve the ego of the senior pastor and staff. If I had my way everyone would stop attending and giving money to these fools and we would all go back to meeting in houses and parks.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Drew

      Absolutely. Christ didn't need "an $18 million sanctuary that resembles a golden-domed spaceship atop a hill." What a jerk

      June 8, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      if you have a lying teenage girl norm then i suggest you need to rethink your parenting skills.

      June 8, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Boink

      *** Tennage girls are the biggest liars on the planet.

      Sure, if they are raised that way.

      June 8, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  18. mfwe

    I'm sure his congregation has already forgiven him and moved on.

    June 8, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Yolanda

      Yes, we have

      June 8, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Bill

      Ba Ba black sheep

      June 8, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  19. becool

    This is the resuult of a courrupted and a garbage society that gives rights to kids no matter what, and when the parents failed to discipline their kids , look at the results. If the parents can't do a lot, what you excpect? A wild generation and their fruit will be the same. GIGO (Garbage in garbage out.).

    June 8, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Drew

      Right, disobedient children should be stoned, just as teh bible prescribes

      June 8, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Dan

      You're seriously defending a parent's right to choke their children? It's one thing to physically discipline a young child, but choking a 15 year old is a sign of anger, not discipline. Choking is not a form of discipline.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Drew

      They have no choice to defend it, because their religion has forced them to surrender their abilities of critical thinking and ethical judgement

      June 8, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • karl

      If you have to hit your kids to administer a punishment than you are too lazy to attempt actual workable scenarios. Afterall hitting a defenseless child makes so much sense. Lets foster in the child the notion that hitting people is ok. idiots

      June 8, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Norm

      Look at all these idiots that have chosen to believe a lying 15 year old girl.
      Society has lost it's mind.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Mike

      People have been saying some version of that since time was.

      whatev's

      June 8, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      I'll quote Louis C.K. again because it is very appropriate:

      "I really think it's crazy that we hit our kids. It really is. Here's the crazy part about it. inds are the only people in the world that you're allowed to hit. Do you realize that? They're the most vulnerable and they're the most destroyed by being hit, but it's totally OK to hit them. And they're the only ones! If you hit a dog, they f-ing will put you in jail for that s–t."

      June 8, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • steven harnack

      Ever wonder why we live in such a violent society? It's because as children violence was used on us as a way to get compliance from us, so we go on using violence to get others to comply. And the beat goes on. (or beating)

      June 8, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      I don't know...I didn't beat my child; didn't raise her with a belief in god; and yet she is 2 weeks off of graduating from high school, doesn't do drugs, doesn't smoke; doesn't drink...she's not perfect by any means but she tells me everything right down to the time she got drunk and the time she tried pot and how she didn't like either...you don't need to beat your kid to make them behave, you need to keep an open mind and an open line of communication. They eventually have to leave home and the way mass media is now they'll find out for themselves.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • ProperVillain

      No, this is the result of a religious hypocrite that has thousands of people fooled into believing he is something he is not. This is the problem with most churches. The senior pastor projects this image of "perfection" whilst god-knows-what goes on behind closed doors. Anyone with half a mind could see this guy is a total charlatan that fleeces his naive congregation into handing him a celebrities lifestyle. I can guarantee you this guy is use to having everyone around him kiss his a r s e and tell him how great he is. HIs daughter probably decided not to do that and as a result, he beat her. Nice job, dad. Teenagers will not only disagree with you for kicks but sometimes point out flaws you would rather not see or admit. There's a decent chance this happened and, not being use to people actually telling him the truth, he decided to prove how "right" he was by beating her. What a pathetic human being this guy is...

      June 8, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • derp

      @TruthPrevails

      Same here. 23 year old daughter graduated from college with honors last year. Started a new life with a new job in a new city three months ago. Never in trouble. Outstanding student. Fantastic job opportunity in a terrible economy. Never been hit in her life.

      Beat your kids. All it teaches them is that violence is an acceptable solution to solving problems. The you'll wonder why your daughter won't leave an abusive husband. If it is ok for a father to choke her, surely it is ok for her husband to choke her.

      June 8, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      "Look at all these idiots that have chosen to believe a lying 15 year old girl.
      Society has lost it's mind."

      and you have chosen to believe that she and her sister are both lying with absolutely no reason to point to that as being the case...if we are talking about people losing their mind.

      June 8, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  20. carlyjanew6

    http://www.Hear-The-Truth.com

    June 8, 2012 at 1:05 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.