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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. larry5

    This guy will get a slap on the wrist. His flock will forgive him and he'll go right on fleecing the faithful.

    June 9, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • THE LIGHT

      There will be no need for forgiveness. They will justify what he did.

      June 9, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
  2. Michael Lawrence

    Under what conditions does a 15 year (minor) leave the family home at 1AM in the morning without parental consent?

    June 9, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • Doodlebug2222

      No where in this article did it say that – it only said they were arguing about a party and it was 1:00 a.m.

      June 9, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
  3. cardsfan65

    well at least he's not molesting children...

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

      that we know of

      June 10, 2012 at 1:01 am |
  4. Grumpster

    Typical church scuzzy people....and they all think they're so right with their thinking. The world would be a better place without religion.

    June 9, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
  5. Lol

    I'm not saying the pastor's face looks like the face of a type of man who would sexually molest his own daughter, as well as physically abuse her, cause I don't know libel laws very well, but, well, anyway, see ya later.

    June 9, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
  6. Ted Davenport

    If the Pastor was black, CNN would of never ran the story.

    June 9, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • sorry

      total fail

      June 9, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • John

      Probably not, because there is no such thing as a black person, or a white person. There is dark brown to beige, and that's the extent of it. So yes, they ran the story.

      June 9, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • Dontarious Black

      They might, but they won't mention RACE.
      Only when blacks are victims from white. Then RACE is mentioned.

      June 9, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Gunny

      Uh, he is black. Feeling foolish yet?

      June 9, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • sam stone

      Dollar isn't black?

      June 9, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • Veroo

      Meredith P Posted on Did your parents ever find out? I too would coseidnr this a non-fail, since the fire department was not involved. You young ladies could have lost some eyebrows or worse 🙂

      July 31, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
  7. NorEaster TC6

    Say what you will about this preacher, it doesn't matter even when Jesus was here he did not commit any sins, yet sinful people wanted to kill Christ.

    Creflo Dollar will have to stand before God and give an account of his life on this earth; so will everyone else I'm willing to bet you'll be too busy defending yourself when you see the reality of hell. let along worrying about someone else's life.

    June 9, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
  8. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes oil.

    June 9, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • observer

      you are a friggin' wacko!

      June 9, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
  9. T. D. Jakes

    I'd like to see him raise his shoe to me, pick on a man ya own size.

    June 9, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • Patty Biller

      Absolutely!

      June 9, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
  10. Jay

    Religion doesn't stop a person from being abusive or bad, some of the most violent, worst people over the course of history have been religious leaders etc. Many use religion as a front to cover their bad behavior. Look at the catholic church, full of sicko child abusers, etc. The BTK serial killer was a deacon at his church. Religion means nothing. I have relatives that are religious and they are prone to lies and violent outburts, but by god they go to church! I have relatives that are atheists and they are the kindest, nicest, most honest, helpful people you could ever know. Religion is a crock, it means nothing, it's basically a front for money.

    June 9, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • more people have been

      murdered by atheists in the last 100 years than were killed in all the previous centuries dating back to creation.

      June 9, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • sam stone

      more people: support your claim, big mouth

      June 9, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • more people have been

      Stalin- Mao- Hitler- Ho -Pol- Castro, multiple East European, South American and African dictators. Body counts well into the billions combined atheistic total. Do the math.

      June 9, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • Doodlebug2222

      I agree... religion only gives some a safe shield to hide behind. If he was honestly devout, he would step up, admit he lost his temper, and that he now seens he needs help with his anger management and urge anyone that has these same feelings or has done the same thing > to also know that it is wrong.

      Think about how his daughter now feels. Embarassed, and people will blame her for this being in the news and not him. This will be twisted until it is a shadow of what really happened and she will feel.. even worse then any physical pain she has felt – because it is the pain of betrayal by someone that was supsosed to love and protect you – not harm you and then lie about it or cover it up.

      June 9, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • David

      Hitler was a Christian, not atheist. He even thought about being a priest.

      June 9, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • ticktockman0

      To "more", Hitler was not an atheist. And there are no atheist "holy" books telling us to kill and smite. Plenty of smiting in the Bible, though. Authoritarians of all stripes kill in order to keep their power. There is no atheist justification that can be used for murder, but there are plenty of religious ones. And the religious killings have not sropped – they just keep coming.

      June 9, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • moose

      Hitler was christain

      June 9, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • sam stone

      They weren't atheists, they were their own frigging gods. Do the math

      June 9, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
  11. Matt K

    ugh another issue with religion wow no surprise eh? Yet people who hide behind the cloth want to cast the first stone in the lake that they rivet...Bravo Bravo Church peeps.

    June 9, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
  12. Father of 5 girls, 2 difficult Sons, 1 hurting son

    Most of the people that have commented on this unfortunate incident, could care less about what happened to Dr. Creflo or his 15 year old daughter. They just want to take this opportunity to bash anyone and anything Religious! It doesn't even matter whether they are Christian or share some other Religious belief. Dr. Dollar has done tons of good around the world. While no one is perfect, I belief both he and his daughter would have been better able to handle this issue if they could have waited until the next morning. They both, the rebellious 15 year old, and her Dad who loves her much, would be better off.

    June 9, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • a pimp named slickback

      seems like they would have both been better off if he had taken his old a rse to bed at 9pm and let the youngins attend that party

      June 9, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • Snik

      Yes, that is true, but hindsight is 20-20.

      June 9, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Lol

      I DO care what happens to Pastor Creflo.
      .
      .
      I hope he dies.
      .
      .
      And I HOPE HE BURNS IN HELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      June 9, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • Michael

      The problem is this: This man makes a fortune preaching a certain lifestyle, certain morals and ways of behaving, then violates those same principals in his own life. If he cant walk the walk, he shouldn't talk the talk. Its called hypocrisy.

      June 9, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • what about justice

      When does the innocent until proven guilty apply?or is accusation the same as conviction where you live?

      June 9, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • a pimp named slickback

      what about justice... b itch, the police report has been posted .. can you not read?

      http://newsone.com/playlist/pastor-creflo-a-dollar-police-report/1/

      there it is, read it, believe it, and get a f-ing clue

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

      "Her dad LOVES her much" you say? Hahaha! Is being physically violent towards her, physically abusive how you show love? Wow, is that how YOU show YOUR kids love? Beating them up is okay, that's love? You need help, sorry for your kids with you as a dad, with you thinking physical abusive is showing love. Get some help before YOU get arrested and one of your kids is damaged more than they probably already are!

      June 9, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • what about justice

      If the police say it it must be so, police only arrest guilty folks. no cop ever made a mistake. why do we have courts at all?

      June 9, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • Doodlebug2222

      You are wrong. She is a child – he had his hands around her throat – strangling her. You are so so very very wrong. This is about a parent that was given a child to raise, care for – not beat, pummel, strangle and then oh yeah – sleep on it – so they can hash it out the next morning.

      NO..... And do u even know what it is like being this child and having a parent DO this to you? I do. It is confusing, frustrating and u worry what you will do wrong again – to get same or worse.

      June 9, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • David

      "Honey, I'm beating you because I love you". COME ON!!!

      June 9, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
  13. Religulous

    What a happy bunch of horse****. These guys suck up money in the name of religion and live high while abusing everyone they can, including their family. When will followers of organized religion realize that a few talented orators are creating guilt trips on fragile folks to give money to guild their here and now? They preach, they get money, they drive a Rolls Royce, they screw the willing. That is religion in America, and probably elsewhere, too. Don't forget all those virgins. Is it seventy-seven? I've lost count.

    June 9, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
  14. Snik

    This article is so biased that it is not funny. From the article:

    "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."

    So let me get this straight ... the article is implying that Dollar paid $100,000 just to get off two traffic tickets? Really?

    June 9, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • a pimp named slickback

      thats nothing, i wipe my butt with $100 bills, it aint nothing to a brotha with money. Creflo could give $100,000 to every member of his church and still have 18 million left over. You sir, simply don't have enuf money where such large sums are nothing, nothing but a bottle of soda pop n chewing gum

      June 9, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • violet weed

      I am not a follower of Creflo Dollar because there are other Christian ministers I prefer (Ravi Zacharias, etc.) but I do not believe this story at all. Did he strike his 15-yr-old daughter? Oh I CAN believe that! But what teenager doesn't drive their parents to distraction at one time or another? Did he try to strangle her? I do not for a moment believe that even if the older daughter 'backed up' her kid sister. As for giving 100,000 to local police, good for him! He's got the money, he should be helping people and who better than police? (If he gave them money so they will not harass him bc he is black, well, you do what you think you have to do... but we don't know why he gave that muich money, we just know he could afford to do it. Good for him. As for 'strangling' his daughter, hmmm, social services have interferred with and ruined many family relationships, they are sometimes VERY evil. As for cnn publishing this 'journalistic tale' it's more sound and fury by amateur writers signifying nada da nada. cnn is simply members of the devil's minions after all.

      June 9, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
  15. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things-

    June 9, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
  16. Snik

    All they have to do is pack the jury with the parents of teenagers, and he will walk.

    June 9, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • a pimp named slickback

      Sounds like we need to arrest a lot of parents

      June 9, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Doodlebug2222

      Not really.. I have five children I raised for 9 years on my own after the divorce and saw each through their teen years. The secret it – talking with them > and not to them. And.. never asking them to do something you would not first do yourself.. and never do or say – anything to them you would not do infront of your employer, church, their grandparents and-or your friends.

      June 9, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
  17. michele

    He has the right as a father to chasten his rebellious daughter, critics will talk regardless because if this 15 child would have gone out and got into trouble then they would say "where are her parents and why is a 15 yr old out in the street at 15 yrs old". So mind your business and handle the problems in your own house first.

    June 9, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • a pimp named slickback

      in the bible, we got the right to stone you to death.. are you gonna stand there and let us do it?

      June 9, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • Doodlebug2222

      Actually no he does not. It is illegal to abuse your or other children. The law is there to protect those that cannot or are incapable of protecting themselves.

      Your child will one day carry your teachings forward with them – as your days dim. They will echo your teachings, retell your stories and of course memories... So, how do you want this to come out – that you strangled them and beat them or that you excused yourself when angry, walked way to cool down and came back – like a mature adult and talked with (not to) the child. Most times children are rebellious because they are trying to get their parents attention any way possible and that certainly works.

      June 9, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • John

      No, there is no instance I can think of where a large man should tackle, choke and beat his daughter, even when she's crying before doing such.

      June 9, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • Max

      That was AWESOME! I'm so bummed we misesd that event. After watching that video I want cake and frosting and art and I don't remember what else I was subliminally subjected to, but I'm sure it'll hit me throughout the day/night. I remember you telling us about this video. Yay!

      July 29, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  18. Tina Turner

    I would be happy to play Creflo's daughter in the upcoming movie, The Dollar, the Shoe and my behind. I'm not 15, but I have been beaten with a shoe and can do the role justice.

    June 9, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • violet weed

      Only beaten with a SHOE?? Unless it was steel-toed workboot, big deal! Try being beaten with a belt or a willow switch, like myself and my 13 siblings were. AND we generally deserved it too! Certainly we all grew up fine and are all successful adults, parents and marriage partners. What is a little chastisement for bad behavior as a child? Deserved! It is the social services who are evil. Besides the beatings we got as children were more 'scary' than painful and not that frequent. Usually one whipping (10 strokes) will cause one to hesitate in the future before disobeying parental commandments.

      June 9, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Tina Turner

      13 kids and you all let 2 child abusers beat you? You should have all beat those fo ols with a shoe, made them think twice before beating a child with a belt. da mn straight, dont you let no one beat you, not with anything.

      June 9, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • Doodlebug2222

      Violet – You are incorrect. Children deserve our love, our understanding and not to be beaten. When the parent raises the hand they have time to reconsider but once they strike, that child – the baby they kissed upon birth, the one they diapered and pampered and wanted the entire world for – will never, ever – look at them the same way – ever again.

      And well all know, this is wrong. When a parent, cannot work around physically hitting thier children or verbally berating them – something is seriously wrong. If you do not think so – tell me.. would you honestly do same infront of your churh, your parent-in-laws, your relatives, your neighbors, your friends, your employer, your religious leader? No.. why? Well.. because it is wrong... and no matter what you say, you wouldn't...

      June 9, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
  19. Boinking

    Black women and black girls are very nasty and violent. I hope he throws his daughter out of the house for this.

    June 9, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
  20. rob public again

    How times have changed – "Spare the 'Shoe' ; Spoil the Child"

    June 9, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • a pimp named slickback

      burn that shoe b itch, its an eye for an eye, you beat me i'm gonna beat your a ss back and you better not get up

      June 9, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • what about justice

      allegations are not convictions but do let us know how your lynch mob thingy is working out for ya.

      June 9, 2012 at 8:47 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.