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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. Louis

    CNN and other maniac non-Christians here tries to put bad news about Christianity as much as they could..... WE WILL NEVER GO AWAY AND WE WILL ALWAYS DOMINATE THIS COUNTRY! Without Christians = NO America.
    So shut up and go eat our poop

    June 8, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Patrick

      Why aren't you in school, son?

      June 8, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      you know hating will stop you from getting into heaven right Louis? I would hate for you to be a hypocrit.

      June 8, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Great Ceasers Ghost

      We will just have to go back to feeding you to the lions.

      June 8, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      yeah feed new born Christians to the lions

      and i will never hand over America to you guys a nation under god means the death of my people

      June 8, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  2. God

    even i'm an atheist after seeing what i've created

    June 8, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      what you created do you mean a lie,.. because thats the only thing i know you created

      June 8, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  3. Colin Morgan

    He's going to hell for this. You're supposed to stone the child to death for disobeying you, not choke them. FOLLOW THE BIBLE SIR

    June 8, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Kimberly

      Go to hell your moron

      June 8, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • bam

      EXACTLY do exactly what the book man wrote to control man says.....
      to not means u r going against the will of 'god'....
      to then tell someone to go to hell for pointing this out is pure ignorance. dont pick and choose what to follow or shut up and sit down

      June 8, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • A. Goodwin

      Kimberly: "Go to hell your moron"

      Actually, it should be – Go to hell, moron.

      Learn some grammar before calling people out on being a moron...it just makes you look stupid.

      June 8, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Great Ceasers Ghost

      Kimberly

      Go to hell your moron
      ---------–

      I cant find it on the map,
      got directions ?

      June 8, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  4. Kimberly

    My husband is an atheist and he tortures and threatens me every day if I don't do whatever he tells me to do :/

    June 8, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Kimberly, you know god doesn't like liars right? If you aren't lying, maybe you should go to the police.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Are you sure he's an atheist? That sounds more like the Biblical way of doing things.
      Remember, a woman is "more guilty than the man, because she was seduced by Satan, and so diverted her husband from obedience to God that she was an instrument of death leading all to perdition. It is necessary that woman recognize this, and that she learn to what she is subjected; and not only against her husband. This is reason enough why today she is placed below and that she bears within her ignominy and shame." (calvin, christian theologan)

      Now head back under your bridge, Troll.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Jennifer

      Kimberly, you've got to get out of that. Can anyone help?

      June 8, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Gerry Evans

      Well Kimberly, being a atheist has nothing to do with your husband cruel behavior. But his mother and father had/have a lot to do with it. If he was raised in a home where the father was abusive guess where is treatment of you was learned. Don't hesitate to get the hell out of that house and be sure all your friends know what he is doing to you. DON'T blame his non belief of religion on anything but his mean spirit which was learned at home... Good Luck to you.

      June 8, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • bam

      the bible says to do it so shut up and do it.

      June 8, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • A. Goodwin

      I think you are a liar. Its the internet – we all can say what we want. Hell, I'm the queen of England.

      June 8, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Great Ceasers Ghost

      ***a woman is "more guilty than the man, because she was seduced by Satan,

      You people are sick, They both ate from the apple, but you blame eve because she bit first,
      Did she bite first because adam was a gentleman, or did she bite first
      because Adam used her as a guinea pig to see what happened ?

      You use this little story in a fairy tale to hold woman in bondage,
      just like the church.

      Talking snakes my azz.

      June 8, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  5. Tods&tiaras

    A Dollar makes me hollar, Honey booboo child

    June 8, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  6. Tebojockey

    Guess he had to choke a b!tch.

    June 8, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  7. Miriam

    OooooooO another Anti-Christian bigotry from CNN

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

      Reporting facts isn't bigotry. Maybe you people should shape up if you don't want to be criticized

      June 8, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      A very well known rich pastor gets arrested and you think it isn't news?

      June 8, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Patrick

      Reporting abuse of his own child, of all things.

      Plaster him.

      June 8, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Miriam

      I am being persecuted.
      You all hate me.
      CNN is out to get me.
      Boo Hoo Hoo.

      June 8, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  8. God

    I forgot one commandment: Thou shall not strike thine daughter with one's shoe

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

      Or maybe you should remember that a child should honor thy mother and father. Teenagers now a days are so disrespecful, Pastor Dolilar, blew his top. He is human....anyone eho had raised a teenager has probaly had the urge to beat them with a shoe. I know I have!!

      June 8, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  9. Sad but true

    .....................................

    Few 100% true Reasons why Atheism is TERRIBLE and unhealthy for our children and living things:

    † Atheism is a religion that makes you angry, stupid, brainwashed, ignorant & blind.
    † Atheism is a disease that needs to be treated.
    † Atheism makes you post stupid things (90% of silly comments here on CNN blogs are posted by closet Atheists)
    † Atheist are satanic and have gothic lifestyle.
    † Atheists are misguided and causes problem in our religious & public society.
    † Atheists are mentally ill, that's why they have no faith.
    † Atheism won't take you to kingdom of heaven and paradise.
    † Atheism making you agree with Stalin, Hitler (Denied his faith later), Mao, Pol Pot & other terrible mass murder leaders.
    † No traditional family lifestyle, no holidays, no culture, boring and feeling 'outsider'
    † Atheists are angry, drug additcted and committ the most crime.
    † Atheist try to convert people over internet because they feel "safer" behind closet.
    † Atheists do not really exist, they just pretend that they don't believe in God and argue with religious people.
    † Atheists have had terrible life experience, bad childhood and not being loved.
    † Most Atheists are uneducated... No Atheists could run for presidency.
    † Atheism brought upon the French Revolution, one of the most evil events of all of history.
    † Atheism cannot explain the origins of the universe, therefore God exists.
    † All atheists believe in evolution, which means they don't believe in morality and think we should all act like animals.
    † The Bible says atheism is wrong, and the Bible is always right (see: Genesis 1:1, Psalms 14:1, Psalms 19:1, Romans 1:19-20)
    † Countries where Atheism is prevalent has the highest Suicide rate & Communist countries = Atheism!
    **Only 2-3% of the U.S. are Atheists/Agnostics VS. over 90% who believe in God (80% Christians) in the U.S.**

    † † Our Prayers goes to Atheists to be mentally healthy and seek their creator † †

    PS! the USA is a Christian nation and will always be. You know it's true and stop being ignorant and arrogant!
    http://rightremedy.org/tracts/7

    ...............................................

    June 8, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Drew

      There have been a lot of brilliant atheists and a lot of brilliant Christians. Let's not be reductive

      June 8, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Trolltastic post!

      June 8, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Tebojockey

      Well, Sad, unfortunately for you, the USA is a secular nation, and so it shall ever be.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Kimberly

      Yepp 'secular' nation with Christian president, Christian federal holiday(s) etc.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • sleepytime

      Ah, good old Poe's law.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Vartan

      Aethiests aren't stupid.. they are simply not open to believing anything they cannot reason with in their own senses. Unfortunately for them, this inhibits the innate spiritual sense we've been given (often referred to as our heart). God designed us to relate with Him through our heart but because of the nature of sin, our heart has diminished and our physical senses are what's used. This is why Jesus said "Unless a man be born again he will in no way see the kingdom of heaven".

      June 8, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • A. Goodwin

      None of that is true. I'm agnostic and your entire post is bull. But coming from someone who believes in fairies – doesn't surprise me. Doesn't the bible have a commandment that thou shall not lie? Let me guess, you'll confess your sin this sunday and go back to being a lying troll. Good luck with that.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • A. Goodwin

      Kim – it is a secular nation. There are people who are MORE than free to not celebrate any religious holiday. And I'm sure your employer would love for you to come in on those days.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Tebojockey

      Adults with imaginary friends! Such a thing!
      And Kimberly, yes, we are a secular nation. Our holidays reflect what was voted in and are celebrated pretty much the world over. The fact that no one is forced to worship or prevented from worshiping is proof in the pudding of the secularism. I don't know why you people get so butthurt over others beliefs or nonbeliefs.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • mike

      you are very funny

      June 8, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Jennifer

      What a complete load of BS.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • werthrough

      Wow, just looking at all of that garbage you just posted makes me certainly want to be an athiest and any part of that crap!

      June 8, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • A. Goodwin

      Vartan – Not true. I know plenty of athiests who have beliefs – they simply are not about God and organized religion. Some of the best people I know are athiests...good people, warm hearts, that do the right thing.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Rogue351

      How about you worship whatever or whomever you want and stay out of other peoples business. That is exactly the problem with religion. People like you have to be on this constant crusade to change people’s minds. Let people make up their own minds. If they want to handle snakes or believe in an all powerful ghost then let it be. If they want to believe in nothing then let it be. The choice is not yours to make or change regardless of what you have been taught. You want government out of your life but an over whelming religious influence is ok ? That makes no sense, control is control no matter how you look at it or what shape it come in. Live and let live, it is NOT up to you.

      June 8, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Vartan

      @A. Goodwin – you're troll remark is cute. It must make you feel good calling people silly little names. Oh, and I'll take my "fairy-tales" over the lies you believe and perpetuate. Btw – the same rules apply; just because you say God doesn't exist doesn't mean you're right.

      June 8, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • ivanzed

      At least get your facts straight.
      IN the US >>>
      Christians 78.4%
      Other religions (Jews/Muslims/etc) 4.7%
      Non affiliated (Atheists/agnostics or nothing in particular) 16.1%
      Other .08%

      June 8, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Tin

      Your post saddens me. That's why I can't stand going to church, because you've got all these so called Christians judging everyone else and always claiming to know what God wants and how he feels. Christian principles do not advocate the message you conveyed. We are to love one another and leave the judging up to the higher power (God).

      June 8, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • A. Goodwin

      Vartan – You "reported abuse" didn't you. I just posted a fair response to you and it is gone. Not very Christian of you. BTW – My post didn't have anything to do with your retort to me.

      June 8, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • ivanzed

      @ Vartan >>> I believe in the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. My faith is very strong in these figures. I guess that means they really exist. Thank-you so much!!!

      June 8, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      sorry 'sad but true' but what you posted is lies and you are specifically commanded not to 'bear false witness'. That will bar you from heaven if you continue to lie like that.

      June 8, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Azzreal

      Troll abuse.

      June 8, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  10. Ron

    I wonder if his real last name is "Dollar". Sounds a little too convenient. I sincerely believe people like this man will one day have
    to answer a lot more questions to someone for all their lowly deeds. More than the average Joe.

    June 8, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Duck Butter

      50 cents was taken.

      June 8, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  11. Will

    So what’s so wrong with this? I mean my Step-Mom chased us with a Broom handle.. LMAO!!!! Where do these children get off calling 911 on their Parents because they were told No and got chastised because they defied what they were told. Got choked and hit with a shoe.. Well coulda been an Iron Skillet.. ijs… You know the old saying.. I brought you in this World and I can take you out.. HAHAHA!!

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

      I hope your kids (if you have any) see you for what you are. See if they take care of you once you are old and cannot wipe your own ass.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • A. Goodwin

      What is your address so that I can can have DCYF investigate you. If you think PUNCHING and CHOCKING your kids are ok – you have problems. Very serious problems.

      June 8, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Duck Butter

      When i was a kid my dad used to beat my mother all the time, in the name of the lord.
      When i was 16 years old he tried it again, and i beat the living snot out of him.
      He never touched her again.
      I have no regrets.

      June 8, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  12. David

    Great example pastor. You must be so proud. Why didn't you just shoot her?

    June 8, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Fearless Freep

      Its her watch on the street corner.

      June 8, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  13. David

    Praise the lord.

    June 8, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Judas Priest

      Your lord needs to clean house. The money lenders have taken over the temple.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Fearless Freep

      *** Judas Priest

      Your lord needs to clean house. The money lenders have taken over the temple.

      No, they are in the Vatican.

      June 8, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  14. Bob the Cat

    Religion makes us forget that we are ALL HUMANS!

    June 8, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • DJo

      Obviously you have forgotten that you are human. Religion doesn't do this the lies of Satan does.

      June 8, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Fearless Freep

      *** DJo

      Obviously you have forgotten that you are human. Religion doesn't do this the lies of Satan does.
      ------------------------------------------–

      Satan does his work very well.
      He has you convinced that you worship god.
      Take a good look at the picture of Benedict with the upside down cross.
      Its all over the internet.
      The anti-christ is in the vatican.
      You are so blinded, that you cant see it.

      June 8, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  15. Doc Vestibule

    All he needs to do is take the Jimmy Swaggart defense: "God has forgiven me – why can't you?"
    Swaggart got busted with h00kers and coke a couple of times, but that line always got the gullible fools to send him their kids' college funds.

    June 8, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  16. rosethornne

    It sickens me when religious a$$wipes use their so-called 'faith' as an excuse to abuse others.
    No, children are not property. And no, waving your magic paper in the air does not give you the right to attack others who either have a different magic paper or who don't believe in magic papers.
    Obviously this droolslobberer's daughter didn't agree with the magic papers and didn't crawl on the floor as demanded by her male genetic contributor (I wont insult my own father by calling IT a father).
    Strange, if the magic papers full of stories about the sky fairy were "Truth" then wouldn't people all believe in and agree with the papers? Oops, sorry, I know that logic and "thinking" is highly offensive to such types.

    June 8, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Vartan

      It sickens me when faithless dopes resort to brain-dead remarks to criticize people when they are often guilty of far worse things; namely being morally inept.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • I_whoop_my_kids

      Foolishness. A child of mine will never raise there hands at me and not get a beat down. This is a post from a person who has not experience with kids or does not currently know where there kids are or cares. Just like you say we have no business in a gays household you have no business in this one. Especially in the case of a one time indecent.

      June 8, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  17. Jon O

    She's lucky. According to the Bible he should have killed her for disrespecting him.

    June 8, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  18. Rod in Texas

    So not only are those who follow christian teachings hypocritical but even those that do the teachings are hypocrital.

    June 8, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Judas Priest

      Got it in one.
      Not all of them, but enough to give the whole god racket a bad name.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  19. Theistville Dog

    Many young folks have little to no concerns about a father's feelings when his daugther stays out past her curfew time! A father who told their child to be home by a set time and they don't makes the parent worry. Finally when the child gets home, a father's worry turns toward anger and then in confronting their child, the child pushes their father's buttons to reflect being scolded and not wanting to feel shame! If I were Dollar. I would ground her till she reached the age of 18 or she left the home she was raised in! Let her suffer then maybe she'll know the angusih of her staying out past curfew that she put her father thru!

    June 8, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Drew

      Of course its hard raising kids, but his behavior was still WAY out of bounds. This wasn't just a slap or a push, he STRANGLED her

      June 8, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Wow, you always listened to what your mom/dad said and never disobeyed? Here's a medal. Congratulations.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Jon O

      Well, we know you're a violent child abuser.

      You're right, him being worried is excuse enough to lay hands on her and strangler her.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • mike

      Many old folks have little to no concerns about a child's hatred for their abusive parents.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Judas Priest

      So. Being beaten and strangled was not enough anguish? Surely nothing compared to worrying about someone?
      Exactly how much anguish would it take to get you to pull your head out of your colon and learn to think?

      June 8, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Theistville Dog

      You who have responded negatively to my posting might not be elders. Your strawman tactics seems to fit young folks. The "button pushers" who want their own ways no matter what! Dingbats in a cave know more about childishness rants and subdivisioning the anus'es with a good lickin but that too is considered child-abuse! Kids have to be taught sometimes in extreme ways and measures for going against the boundaries set down! I was when I was young!

      June 8, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Vartan

      @Drew – stop exaggerating. You're making it sound like the man was trying to kill his own daughter. Do you honestly think that if he had wanted to strangler her to death a man of his size couldn't have done it? He was angry and probably lost control after she made some smart-mouth remark. Every parent has lost control at one point or another in varying degrees. This happens when you care about them and care about your family. This entire story is slanted against the father; the actions of the daughter are at fault and not the father.

      June 8, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • MK

      His actions have nothing to do with worry, but everything to do with power, the power that he feels like he deserves because he gets it when he stands at the podium every Sunday.

      June 8, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Theistville Dog: Because that isn't against the law either, right? Ever heard of something called forcible confinement? You can't keep your kids locked away until they're 18, at 16 they can leave home and there's not a damn thing a parent can do. Do you want your kids to hate you when they get out in the real world and they grasp the fact that what was done to them was absurd and out of line with what our laws say is acceptable? Think about that the next time you think of locking up a kid.

      June 8, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  20. Ervin

    Hopefully this matter goes to trial. It is in the best interests of the victim that this matter be throughly reviewed in a court of law.The only way for the daughter(s) to put an end to this abuse is to fully ex[pose this psychopath in a public forum with world wide exposure. Everybody needs to be under oath with severe cost for perjury. The best disinfection for a low life creep like this mentally disturbed bully is full exposure of the sunshine of testifying in a court of law.

    June 8, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Will

      How about she just FOLLOW THE RULES of her Father's house? How about that? Or get her own place if she doesn't want to listen...

      June 8, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Yes Will, because you never broke the rules of your house. You were a perfect little child. I'm assuming you've never had kids either and I hope you never do.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Will: Cause violence solves everything, right? Care to give us your address so we can see if that is true? You're not a man if you support what this pastor did, only cowards do this crap to other humans. My husband ever laid a hand on me, he'd be enjoying and 8×6 barred room...fortunately for me, my husband is a man and knows how to treat people.

      June 8, 2012 at 2:05 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.