home
RSS
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.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

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.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

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. SAKIRA PARI

    Tired of trying to find the right leaders for the positions in your church? Let us help you find the key people you need.
    We know that each church is unique and that it requires that their leaders fit with the culture of the ministry.

    Please visit this web site: http://www.theaspiregroup.org

    November 11, 2012 at 10:45 am |
  2. icons design

    Bravo, excellent idea and is duly

    October 8, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
  3. icon designs

    It seems to me, you are mistaken

    October 4, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
  4. Jean

    Creflo Dollar is very intelligent and talented.

    But he is a very poor spokesman for Jesus.

    He is part of the political cultural wars and in favor of an idea that the rich are more blessed than the poor, the straights more
    beloved than the gays, and that when he is right he can beat his daughter.

    By his fruits you shall know him.

    September 22, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
  5. Bob

    I can remember coinmg home on report card day and trying to put on as many extra underwear as would fit under my pants (and not show). Every C, D, or Lord forbid, an F earned my brother and I a beating with the belt. I can recall several times having to wear long pants to school for a couple weeks afterwords to hide the cuts and marks left on the backs of our legs.As a parent of three, I know first hand how frustrating kids can be. But I cannot fathom what would drive someone to treat a child in that manner.Thank you for sharing your story Mitzi.

    September 6, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  6. Theresa

    Posted on I vote Not a Fail too. He's far too cute! Next time, just turn one of the left ears over and VWA-LA: right ear!Your boys sure have a loving mama!Sharon CBL’s last blog post..

    July 31, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
  7. Joselyn

    Helen, it makes my blood boil when I read of how much funding other osatnirgaions are given in comparison to domestic abuse charities. When will they wake up and realise that osatnirgaions like Refuge actually save lives. Thank you for your lovely comment. Jude xx

    July 29, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
  8. Valeria

    The police rrtpeos will be included as usual in the near future. Because this is a new site, the archived news and police rrtpeos were not immediately available. That information will be added soon.

    July 29, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  9. Diias

    Crystal Meth Abuse Dot Net welcomes our viostirs to go ahead and place comments and share their opinions on the topic of Crystal Meth Abuse and other related drug abuse issues.

    July 29, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  10. Concerned Christian

    This man has done nothing wrong. Children must be corrected sometimes with the rod. America does not do that and that's why our youth today have lost their way. There is no discipline in the home. Authority does not allow good parents to correct there children, they do need the rod sometimes. Prov. 23:14 says "thou shalt beat him with the rod and shalt deliver his soul from hell."

    July 20, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
  11. jonni

    you see the pastor was not thinking proper. in a monent like that he should of calmly talk to her ever if she goes to a partly his b ehaviour is unacceptable. i guess as a pastor, did not want the community out there to say a big pastor child that there boy. sp what? don't you christian people realise going to a party is not a bad thing but a good one. she could have change lives out there. you have to go in the by-ways and high-ways to get the flock for jesus.

    July 12, 2012 at 10:17 am |
  12. Whoopingcough

    the daughter is obviously spoiled and stupid. tough love kiddo. now you put your breadmaker into jail. good luck finding a proper foster home that will take you in voluntarily.

    July 7, 2012 at 11:09 am |
  13. films streaming

    Excellent goods from you, man. I have take note your stuff previous to and you're just too great. I actually like what you've acquired here, really like what you are saying and the way in which through which you assert it. You make it enjoyable and you continue to take care of to keep it wise. I cant wait to read far more from you. That is really a terrific site.

    July 5, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  14. johnsonj3

    She would not live in my house any longer, foster care will work for her behind.

    June 20, 2012 at 8:28 am |
    • D Gill

      A priest should never use violence especially some one who claims to preach the gospel. We all must look to the finished work of Jesus at the cross, the pastors poor behaviour. It was never about our performance anyway it was always about the life of Jesus and all He won for us at the finished work of the cross. We are weak but He is strong Jesus has paid in full. Its by grace that we live this life of peace and provision not your performance, your confession, your works. We can have grace for this pastor because we all fall short at differnt points in our life but I think he should consider standing down in the church, some time off might help him find time with the Lord. If his daughter reads this don't be too hard on your Dad he loves you unfortunatley he is not perfect unlike Jesus so please make up and work things out with him. He deserves that much grace. Be blessed, be free, be happy and most of all remember it was the perfect lamb that was slain, He was without sin not your daddy x

      June 30, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • D Gill

      A priest should never use violence especially some one who claims to preach the gospel. We all must look to the finished work of Jesus at the cross, not the pastors poor behaviour. It was never about our performance anyway it was always about the life of Jesus and all He won for us at the finished work of the cross. We are weak but He is strong Jesus has paid in full. Its by grace that we live this life of peace and provision not your performance, your confession, your works. We can have grace for this pastor because we all fall short at differnt points in our life but I think he should consider standing down in the church, some time off might help him find time with the Lord. If his daughter reads this don't be too hard on your Dad he loves you unfortunatley he is not perfect unlike Jesus so please make up and work things out with him. He deserves that much grace. Be blessed, be free, be happy and most of all remember it was the perfect lamb that was slain, He was without sin not your daddy x

      June 30, 2012 at 9:26 am |
  15. anonymous

    Sing it like I tell ya anna may!!

    June 17, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  16. jwadiddy

    Come on folks!!! everybody got family issues these days. Raising kids in this world is not getting any easier. Who hasn't had their butt whipped by their parents while they were growing up. There was once a time when you didn't talked back to your parents and get away with it. These days kids can almost do or say anything they wantt. Next thing you know they'll be telling you (the parent) what to do in your own house. There are more weak parents these days than ever. Look at the ever increasing high school dropout rate. Let the man raise his family.

    June 14, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • anonymous

      You made some good points. Discipline is necessary for correction. Just as long as its not too extreme. It's called tough love. Love isn't alway gentle. It can also be tough. Especially for those hardhearted children who are very rebellious. Even God the Father disciplines those he loves. It's necessary to teach the children so they can bear fruits unto repentance and to escape the condemnation of hell itself.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  17. streaming films,streaming film,streaming series

    Hello my loved one! I want to say that this post is amazing, nice written and include approximately all important infos. I would like to see extra posts like this .

    June 12, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
  18. EdL

    Did Creflo change his name to Dollar when he began his 'ministry'?

    June 12, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • howart Dao

      Yes, because Money$ is too confusion for his flock 🙂

      June 12, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • anonymous

      No he did not. That's his real name. His fathers last name is creflo.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  19. NarrowMinded

    He should have just taken a strap to her back side and raised a few blisters, the way good dads used to do it. And he should certainly take her music away and get her away from her "friends". If the social workers don't like it, let them take her home with them.

    Dollar is a barrel of a man, if he had meant to hurt that girl, she wouldn't have been able to call 911.

    June 11, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • sam stone

      dollar is a punk, fleecing sheep

      June 12, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Paul

      NarrowMinded could not be a better name for you.

      June 13, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  20. JaylikeBird

    His 15 year old daughter has more b@!!$ than that clown's entire congregation. Golden-domed, seriously. I hope she laughs in his face on a regular basis.

    June 11, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • JWT

      I just hope she grows up to be a better person than her father.

      June 11, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54
Advertisement
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.