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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. A Fools and his money

    With Dollar, the buck really was stopped here!

    June 10, 2012 at 10:36 am |
  2. Get Real

    As a boy Jesus family was presented with Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.....very expensive gifts for the day. As a man, Jesus ministry had a treasurer, who stole from the pot, but because Jesus was well financed, it did not affect his ministry. Stop pretending that Jesus was some broke guy who just begged for a living. It doesn't fit! People gave willingly to support him. Feeding people cost money, Building housing and shelters cost money. Who is going to do it?

    June 10, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Budda belly

      "Stop pretending" Exactly

      June 10, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • joey

      'Feeding people cost money' so are you saying that feeding the thousands of people story is indeed just a story, or was that just a one time trick he had up his sleeve?

      June 10, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • John

      Do you think the jets, rolls, and mansions feed a lot of people? I doubt any of those taste anything like food.

      June 10, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • JWT

      He's picked a great job to be rich. On a social value scale of 1-10 i;d rate him as a -5. As a parent lower than that.

      June 10, 2012 at 10:52 am |
  3. Frank

    We read about the GOD BLESS AMERICA song being banned from high schools. I just read that in other parts of the world the Mus lims are throwing hand grenades in Churches and locking them inside and burning them ALIVE. The Mu slims have established Sharia Law in Timbuktu and are now beating women with canes for not wearing head bags and beating and murdering Christians at will, this is happening all over the world, Libya is establishing Shariah Law and attacking Christians. Where are these stories CNN?

    We have MASS GENOCIDE OF INNOCENT CHRISTIANS WORLD WIDE UNDER ATTACK BY ISLAM AND THE MU SLIMS and not a PEEP out of the liberal media, we have articles like this that attacks another Christian over one kid. But the attack on Christianity in the U.S. continues! Just what ISLAM needs to take over our nation! Liberals to facilitate the demise of not only the U.S. but THEMSELVES! What M or ons.

    June 10, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • JWT

      What attack on christianity is that ? Christianity is not the nation anyway.

      June 10, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • joey

      there is no god but allah

      June 10, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  4. Mrs. KATZ

    Hemlock kreplach for Creflo....... Hee hee!

    June 10, 2012 at 10:24 am |
  5. gclaheh

    I saw this guy a couple of times on TBN more than fifteen years ago. I stopped watching after he said some racist things about Whites; I didn't really like him anyway he was too loud. He never really said anything important-just yelled a lot.

    If he is really preaching the prosperity gospel, I don't think he is really a man of God. Jesus said that Christians have to take up their crosses and follow Him; He told a wealthy man to give up everything that he had to follow Him. Anyone who says if one practices a certain religion will become rich is lying. I feel sorry for Dollar's followers, he is telling his followers things that they want to hear rather than things that will truly help them. If a person wants to do better financially, they need to learn a skill and live in a place where they can find work or start their own business. Either solution requires hard work, which is what Dollar's followers don't want to hear. I guess they like being lied to.

    June 10, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Get Real

      As a boy Jesus family was presented with Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.....very expensive gifts for the day. As a man, Jesus ministry had a treasurer, who stole from the pot, but because Jesus was well financed, it did not affect his ministry. Stop pretending that Jesus was some broke guy who just begged for a living. It doesn't fit! People ga

      June 10, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • joey

      where are you getting this info. links or it didn't happen

      June 10, 2012 at 10:36 am |
  6. snowwhite33

    We all have faults. We all make mistakes. However, physical abuse is not acceptable in any line of leadership, especially a pastor. I think he needs to step down for awhile and take anger management classes. Sounds like he needs a break to readjust.

    June 10, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • memememe

      Very well said.

      June 10, 2012 at 10:36 am |
  7. Mrs. KATZ

    If this cowardly B**CH tried to put a hand on me he'd draw back a nub.

    June 10, 2012 at 10:13 am |
  8. chica

    the girl definitely had her mind made up...and though she probably pay not one bill in that house, from the food she eat to the roof over her head was provided by that man...but yet she feels she have a right to do what she want...I don't blame him i would have lost my mind on her ungrateful ass...you want to do what you want to do...then get your own place...till then my house my rule or you will get choke slammed!!!

    June 10, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • Grrrl

      Wow. Classy.

      June 10, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • Rob

      You're right Chica! If I provided for my child as a proper adult and if she had the AUDACITY to try and do something against my man-will? Chokes! Beatings! That's certainly the proper and legal way to deal with things, right?

      June 10, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • CNNNN

      He does not have the right to CHOKE her for being disobedient, you idiot. What if his wife was being "disobedient" does he have the right to choke her, too?

      June 10, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • chica

      how about she won't try that crap again!!! And a wife and a daughter is apples and oranges you moron...so you would treat you grown wife like a child daughter...that the problem fool....that child is still being raised...you don't raise your wife...

      June 10, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • John

      If you do that to your kids, you will end up in the slammer too, just like him.

      June 10, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • chica

      do you think the cops will do less to a disobedient child...they are trained in choke holds, pepper spraying, taser guns...is that not abuse....if you don't teach them to live by rules and boundaries trust the cops will...they have choked slammed, kicked and more...what creflo did was nothing compared to what they will do.

      June 10, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • joey

      hahahaha, ghetto woman

      June 10, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • Bozo finder

      Did your cat type this or are you really that unaware of how to use grammar correctly? Of course you side with him, you're too stupid to reason with your children or anyone else. Put down the malt liquor and pick up a book.

      June 10, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • JWT

      Sometimes children do not do as their parents insist – and sometimes those children are right. A beating, while it does solve things is never the way to go. Rule trhough fear – what awonderful lesson (sarcasm) to teach a child.

      June 10, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • John

      Read this carefully, I'm telling you the truth, if you do the same things it was reported that he did to his kids, you can/will end up in jail, just like him. This isn't a who is more powerful game, it's a you can go to jail for this game. That's right, you can go to jail, and your kids can end up in foster homes provided for by the state while you sit in jail. This is the reality of what it's reported that he did.

      June 10, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • chica

      Actually I am from NC never seen what you fools call a ghetto...but i deal with and see law enforcement.

      June 10, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'll bet you dropped out of high school, chica. You're dumb as a post.

      June 10, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • chica

      Nope...Graduated and went to college but you probably didn't...how do you like the unemployment line???

      June 10, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So you just write like ghetto trash that couldn't get a GED? On purpose?

      Fraud.

      June 10, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      chica brays: "though she probably pay not one bill in that house, from the food she eat to the roof over her head was provided by that man...but yet she feels she have a right to do what she want.."

      Izzat you, Buckwheat?

      June 10, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • Buckwheat

      Izme Dahlah! 😮

      June 10, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • chica

      Through with you poorly raised, uneducated , trailer trash, morons...

      June 10, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Looking in the mirror, are you, chica? Don't let the door hit you in the butt, little troll.

      June 10, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
  9. joey

    people need to just start wearing condoms and quit creating worthless clones of themselves.

    June 10, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • chica

      let's start with you...wrap it up!!!

      June 10, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • joey

      done!

      June 10, 2012 at 11:18 am |
  10. mariska adler

    religion is the root of ALL EVIL!

    June 10, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • Budda belly

      Not ALL evil but certainly a go percentage of it.

      June 10, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • rinn979

      This has nothing to do with religion, and everything with him being a bad person, and if he had just been a plain old politician or normal celebrity, that's what you would have focused on, instead of the religion he claims. If I used your same logic, I could now say than non-religion or even anti-religion is the root to all loss of simple reasoning and critical thinking skills, or the root of all bigotry (because yeah, blaming everything on religious people is bigotry). The root of all evil is humanity. Bad people, and people who think they're good who are just plain bad. You just joined the second group.

      June 10, 2012 at 10:44 am |
  11. Michael

    Kids are so slick these days, this girl was so obsessed with going to the party, never mindful of her grades, THE WORD NO! was not an option! This was her opportunity to embarrassed her dad for revenge! When you got cell phones, computers, tablets and the world at your fingertips, you lose all sense of reality and think the world revolves around you, this is why dollar, is paying the price for creating that world for his precious brat!

    June 10, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • Grrrl

      So your logic is that it is then okay for her father to hit her? Impressive.

      June 10, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • Rob

      You know all this information from the article? Don't project your own dated and misogynist assumptions onto this, please.

      June 10, 2012 at 10:20 am |
  12. MusicLover

    She should put her headset on and blast as loud as she desires.

    June 10, 2012 at 9:50 am |
  13. Bobby Dias

    This is big news? One person beaten is news? Barack Obama's pastor, Reverend Wright, preaches killing all the white race and all the brown race and all the asians. John Murgatroyd and John Blake have small minds to miss the really big news.

    June 10, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • JBS

      Uh huh. Still going on about that? You poor thing.

      Yeah, this preacher was just beatin' the LAWD into his daughter! That's ok by you?

      June 10, 2012 at 9:54 am |
  14. Thoughtpolice

    God, aka the dude in the sky wearing sandals, must be one funny guy. Priests molesting children, this guy beating his daughter. But god must have wanted it? That's what all you fools causally believe? As for evolution and it's theory, at least there's some if not a lot of credible evidence. There isn't once shred of evidence that any God exists or existed. Just some sheep who are sticking with a best selling book that was written when people believed storms were Gods being angry and the earth was flat.
    Watch Religulous, it will even show you that Christianity was stolen from earlier thoughts.
    It's hard to believe that so many people believe in someone and something that doesn't exist. Scary actually

    June 10, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • joey

      eh, bill maher is on too much of a crusade against religion for anyone to take him seriously. even as an agnosticist the guy makes me want to punch him in the face. also, i wish people would stop saying that evolution is a theory.... evolution is fact.

      June 10, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • Budda belly

      Yeah Joey true, but he does reveal all of the inconsistencies with Christians and their beliefs. As for evolution, technically still a theory probably because people are afraid to follow all the evidence for fear of being ostracized for being smarter than god squad.

      June 10, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • joey

      yea, actually my fault, it's de facto, as in accepted by the scientific community but not an established "fact" as i was making it out to be. but yea, like you said, all that means is that people aren't ready to accept it.

      June 10, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • Bob Bales

      If you want to berate Christians for what they believe, fine. Just don't berate them for what they don't believe:
      Christians don't believe God is a dude in the sky wearing sandals.
      Christians don't believe God thinks it is okay to molest children.
      Christians (at least the vast majority) don't believe God thinks it is okay to beat children.

      You may think there is not a shred of evidence for Christianity, but that is only your belief. A number of people, including Simon Greenleaf (a nineteenth-century legal expert) took up the study of Christianity in order to disprove it, and ended up as believers. Millions of 'ordinary' Christians believe as the result of evidence they see. That people believe in God is no more scary than that you don't.

      June 10, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  15. Bill

    With all the antics of the so-called "Christians" (Jimmy Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, Nazi Popes, abusing priests, and legions of others), Christ must be rolling over in his ossuary.

    June 10, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • joey

      if i were christ i'd keep myself from being associated with "christianity" and form a new religion just to get away from all the idiots.

      June 10, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • Mike1

      Jesus is not in a ossuary.

      June 10, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • reality check

      Even Jesus was smart enough to not be a Christian but remained a faithful Jew. It was Paul that started the Christianity that is actively practiced today.

      June 10, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • JWT

      sadly the actions of the bad cast a dim light over the vast majority that are good people.

      June 10, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • AGuest9

      Ossuary? No, rotting in the ground somewhere after being hastily "resurrected" by his followers.

      June 10, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • Bill

      I'm with you, Joey. Christianity is obviously a failed experiment that appeals to the feeble minded..

      June 10, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Bill

      Brilliant observation, Realty check

      June 10, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
  16. jamesholiday

    There are folk who love to point finger at a preacher. Children are empowered to believe they can exchange places with the parents. They tell momma n daddy what to do. They think they can go and come when they get ready. I thank God for my parents. When they said no it was no. You did your chores without backtalking. You better not even show it on your face or body language that you are upset or mad. What happened to a parent handling their children. I think It's a sad day for Christian Families.

    June 10, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • joey

      there are definitely a lot of punk ass kids back talking nowadays, and then we also have a lot of parents indoctrinating their children at earlier ages to fix their brains while they are young. anyone who actually thinks for themselves knows christianity is a sham

      June 10, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • joey

      the whole 'cause i said so' mentality is incredibly prohibitive of human progression. children should be taught to question everything, and not just do something because they were told to by someone who has authority for the simple fact that they have seniority.

      June 10, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Bob Bales

      People who think like you do believe that Christianity is a sham. Just because someone thinks for themselves doesn't mean they think like you do. It is a fact that many people have become Christians after not having been 'indoctrinated' as children and after thinking for themselves.

      June 10, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  17. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    June 10, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • joey

      religion is not healthy for children and other living things, pragmatic thought changes things.

      June 10, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • without God

      there would be no you to think

      June 10, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • joey

      umm, fyi, evolution is no longer theory. it's fact. god had nothing to do with it

      June 10, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • nope

      @ joey
      Nope,
      still only a theory and not a very convincing theory at that.

      June 10, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • joey

      lol. well. you've made up your mind, and no point in arguing about it even though, objectively, you are absolutely wrong. lrn2google

      June 10, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • Prayer changes nothing.

      Any logical human being can tell you that.

      June 10, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • nope

      @joey
      hard to view science with you head stuck up there like that.

      June 10, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • joey

      hahaha, if you had any sense of logic you'd realize how blindly you follow an idea that has been shattered time and time again. but i mean, ignorance is bliss. i'm actually a bit envious of you

      June 10, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • No no, the bearded old man in the sky is much more convincing.

      I don't understand how someone can fervently believe in something who's very existence cannot be tested or proven.

      June 10, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • joey

      i was indoctrinated at an early age so i can definitely see how people believe that nonsense. once you've held a belief for so long you become afraid to question your own views. once you reach an age where you understand the difference between reality/fiction, you're already too scared to admit that everything you learned growing up about christianity is utter nonsense

      June 10, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • Cadillacjoe

      For hundreds of years, the Romans and Greeks worshiped their gods that we now call mythology. They were just as convinced that it was the absolute truth. Time to recognize that Christianity is just another version of that. People cling to religion in the desperate hope that there is something out there to tell them how to think and what to do. Wake up, think for yourself, and do the best you can while you are here, because no one is coming for you when you are gone.

      June 10, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • joey

      AMEN

      June 10, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • StopTheJesusTroll

      Keep brainwashing children and pretending you have even the smallest moral leg to stand on. I think most of the people who have seen your spam on here on a daily basis can see that you have some serious issues, and were probably brainwashed yourself as a child which is why you're spamming this nonsense over and over (the truth hurts and makes us angry, doesn't it?), yet sticking your fingers in your ears like a little child and refusing to answer even the intelligent debates offered towards you. Christian or not, you're a troll thru and thru. You give other Christians a bad name and make yourself look like a self-righteous deluded idiot every day you're own here posting this crap over and over.

      June 10, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • Kim

      As long as science can't prove that God doesn't exist, then there's no point in arguing. God and Science are not mutually exclusive.

      June 10, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Bill

      ONLY a theory??? Are you confusing theory with hyopothesis? Or do you understand the difference? A scientific theory is “a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly CONFIRMED through observation and experiment.” Scientists create scientific theories from hypotheses that have been corroborated through the scientific method, then gather evidence to test their accuracy.

      June 10, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Bob Bales

      Evolution is not a fact. In science, a fact is something that has been witnessed and replicated. Evolution, in the sense of all life resulting from a common ancestor has never been witnessed, and even its proponents agree it will never be replicated.

      June 10, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Bob Bales

      'A scientific theory is “a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly CONFIRMED through observation and experiment.”' Exactly. But despite all the claims made, there has never been an observation or experiment to show that all life did, or could, evolve from a common ancestor.

      June 10, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  18. joey

    lol. another hypocrite christian. nothing to see here, move along

    June 10, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • Grrrl

      Right? This is so not surprising. What IS surprising on this thread are the amount of people who are advocating for his abusive behavior.

      June 10, 2012 at 10:19 am |
  19. Bill

    A minister named Dollar? Now isn't that appropriate?

    June 10, 2012 at 9:13 am |
  20. Guy

    Please don't forget that no man are perfect, we all are gulty on face of Jesus... Never forget that Jesus is the justice and is justice may be diffeent than what we thinking.... May God forgive him if the story is thrue and forgive all of us and God blessé us

    June 10, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • Bill

      Huh??????

      June 10, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • JWT

      I don't need the sky fairy's forgiveness. You can believe in though – that's cool.

      June 10, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • Max Powers

      Yeah, you can be forgiven, but you still have to go to jail when you choke a child.

      June 10, 2012 at 1:04 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.