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June 10th, 2012
02:07 PM ET

Megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar on his daughter: 'She was not punched'

By Steve Almasy, CNN

Atlanta (CNN) - Telling thousands of parishioners that he should never have been arrested, Pastor Creflo Dollar said at his Sunday morning service he neither choked nor punched his 15-year-old daughter, as she claimed in a report to police.

Dollar, senior pastor of World Changers Church International in suburban Atlanta, told congregants in the sprawling megachurch and listening at one of more than a dozen satellite churches that when the facts of the case come out, they will be "appalled."

"The truth is, she was not choked. She was not punched," Dollar said.

On Friday, deputies responding to a 911 call photographed a scratch on the daughter's neck and arrested Dollar on charges of simple battery, family violence and child cruelty. Dollar said the mark on his daughter's neck is more than 10 years old, the result of eczema, a skin condition.

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"I want the church family to know that all is well in the Dollar household," he said, in his first public comments since spending more than 12 hours in jail. He immediately addressed the issue upon taking the pulpit Sunday, speaking for nearly eight minutes about the challenge of raising children and denying he had hurt to his daughter.

After Dollar told the crowd about the skin abrasion, one man yelled, "Case dismissed!"

Dollar's daughter said she argued with her father over attending a party, investigator Brent Rowan of the Fayette County Sheriff's Office told CNN on Friday.

Rowan said the daughter 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.

Deputies also spoke with another daughter, 19, who corroborated her sister's account of what happened.

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Dollar blamed the devil for causing the controversy, saying that to discredit his message of "prosperity gospel," the enemy must discredit the messenger.

Prosperity ministers preach that God rewards the faithful with wealth and spiritual gifts. Pastors such as T.D. Jakes, Dollar and Joel Osteen have become the Prosperity Gospel's most well known preachers, building megachurches and business empires with a message equating piety with prosperity.

Dollar's church claims about 30,000 members and has an $18 million, 8,500-seat sanctuary about 15 miles from downtown Atlanta.

Friday's incident was emotionally charged and escalated from an argument, Dollar said Sunday. But he never intended bodily harm to anyone, he assured the audience.

"I love her with all my heart," he said, shaking his head with conviction.

Creflo Dollar's Prosperity Gospel finds followers and critics

He cited a Bible verse from Psalms that talks about malicious witness against the good man, and evil men delighting when he stumbled.

He later, during his sermon, also joked about the arrest, saying that being a religious man sent to jail "upped my resume."

"Paul ... Jesus ... and Creflo," he said to a huge cheer.

The pastor, known for his pinstriped suits, laughed at being clothed in a yellow jumpsuit and sandals while being handcuffed and being held in a cell.

For most of the service, Dollar spoke of the people being "the righteousness of God by faith," the third in a series of sermons he prepared weeks ago, he said.

"No weapon that forms against you shall prosper," he reminded the audience, citing scripture.

At the end of the more than hourlong appearance, he said that he was persevering thanks to God's love.

"And we couldn't do it without the love of you brothers and sisters."

After the service, congregants declined to comment on Dollar's appearance.

Since he started his ministry in an elementary school cafeteria in 1986, Dollar has earned praise and criticism.

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," and say his message perverts the Gospel.

CNN's John Murgatroyd and John Blake contributed to this report.

- Producer/Writer

Filed under: Christianity • Church

soundoff (2,056 Responses)
  1. walt

    Greetings to those who seek the real truth of God's-Elohim's word.When time permits read this little lesson or message and you can discern for yourself, if there are any true men of God out there commissioned or authorized by God for today.

    June 10, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      the ethics of Humanism are far superior to the "morals" of the bible. the bible says the preacher didn't go far enough. the bible says to stone disobedient children to death. horrifying.

      http://www.americanhumanist.org/
      a much better site.

      June 10, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
  2. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    What always cracks me up is how the thumpers relish their belief that everyone who doesn't kowtow to their beliefs will roast on a spit in hell. You can see from their every post how they just LOVE to visualize those who don't lick their balls suffering from the horrors of the nether world! They are enamored of the idea that they'll be strumming their lyres in Valhalla while anyone who doesn't see god their way will suffer in the lake of fire.

    I'll bet they'd stomp on kittens if they could get away with it.

    June 10, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • pierre

      Give them a break. If they don't relish the idea of everybody else being tortured for eternity, it would mean their entire lives were being wasted, which is clearly unacceptable.

      June 10, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I know. I just love watching them squirm when they're called on their hypocrisy.

      June 10, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
  3. fsmgroupie

    she is lucky that she can still see - The eye that mocketh at his father and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eages shall eat it. - Proverbs 30:17

    June 10, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So you'd love to blind your own child. No further comment is needed from me to see that you're a sick SOB.

      June 10, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • ReligionKills

      Thanks for proving my point. Let's see how Get Real and the other religious nutcases feel about what their book says.

      June 10, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • Nothing fails like atheism

      Its funny how many atheists resort to childish name calling.

      June 10, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's funny how many dimwitted believers deserve to be called names.

      June 10, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
  4. Constance Leigh Craven-Cox

    ANY 'preacher' with a name like Dollar CANNOT be trusted. This guy is as big of a joke as Eddie Long. When will people get a CLUE??

    June 10, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • pierre

      Truth in advertising, I'll give him that. And why would you trust *any* preacher, even if their last name is Pureasmilk?

      June 10, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
  5. ReligionKills

    As we can see by these comments, religion fosters violence and death.

    June 10, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
  6. M Martin

    A fifteen year old going out to party at 1a.m.Wow, she must have a job and own her own house!!!

    June 10, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
  7. HRPuckinfutz

    Spare the strangle, spoil the child......

    June 10, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • bart simpson

      D'oh

      June 10, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
  8. south4evr

    I'm still waiting for Al and Jesse to jump in and chastise their brother pastor!! He must have profiled his daughter, then stomped a mudhole in her!!! JUSTICE FOR THE LITTLE DOLLAR!! DEATH PENALTY FOR CREFLO!!

    June 10, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
  9. rick jolie

    I'm a pastor, I would never touch a child!

    June 10, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
  10. cman79

    would love to be contacted about Creflo... I once served in Church in Panama City, Florida Called FaithChristianFamily Church. Look up Markus Q. Bishop and see if this story seems similar. I know for a FACT he is lying. I watched the same thing happen in Panama City and these two pastors are in cahoots and frequently spoke in each other's churches. So please look deeper!

    June 10, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • cman79

      there are people who BLINDLY follow a man rather following Jesus.... using scriptures out of context without digging deeper. shielding their sin because they are cowards and to close corruption to see that they are out of touch.

      June 10, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
  11. skip

    I don'i believe that he did that to hurt his child he were just trying to keep her from getting into trouble now if he had let her went to that party and had she got arrested then yall would have said why would a pastor let his child out at that time of night. The devil is just trying to attact men and women of God so he can get more on his side if no word then no souls will be save I am for you pastor you are the man of your house so you have to take charge.

    June 10, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      choking someone is abuse. choking your own child is child abuse. you can take charge and lead your household without abusing your child. it's much easier to be a bully, to teach that if you don't do as i say, i will physically hurt you. much harder to be a loving, responsible father.

      June 10, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • cman79

      taking charge does not mean starting violence.

      June 10, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • John

      Beating and scaring 2 teenage daughters to the point of them calling the police, is sick.

      June 10, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • ReligionKills

      Who said he had to let her go out to the party? That's a totally dumb argument. Are you saying the only two options were let the child go to a party or strangle and punch her? I guess you're too much of a sheep to allow for reason. There are only those two extremes. No wonder you Creflo gets so many people like you to follow him. You're not particularly bright.

      June 10, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • sam stone

      Hey, skippy, spend a lot of time on your knees, do you? Good if you are a slave, not a free man. Which is it, boy?

      June 10, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
  12. Victor Hayes

    If the child was being disrespectful to her fsther she got was she deserved! That's the problem with Monday morning quarterbacks when it comes to disciplinig a child everyone wants to tell you what they would have done!

    June 10, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      so she deserves to be choked and punched? you sound like you'd make a wonderful parent.

      June 10, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • ReligionKills

      Psycho. Seriously Victor, seek help.

      June 10, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
  13. Dan

    Maybe we will get lucky and he will start handling snakes next.

    June 10, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
  14. P Ness

    30,000 idiots follow this snake

    They pass the donation plate after his denial?

    June 10, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • skip

      you need to follow him too

      June 10, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • Ted

      Nobody screens for stupidity on this thread.

      June 10, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • cman79

      @ skip... following Creflo Dollar for nearly 17 years... he is as corrupt as they come.... for a church of that many... they literally have no record of big giving in their city... helping others.. but think that driving a mercedes makes you close to God.... FALSE!

      June 10, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
  15. Ajoyful43

    My heart goes out to Pastor and First Lady Dollar. Our then 15 year old daughter cursed me and my husband out and tried to walk away from us when we told her to stay and discuss her behavior. My husband blocked her path and she pushed him and stumbled hitting her neck. She ran upstairs to her room cut the storm window out, jumped down and ran off. The police came and said she said we tried to choke her. She also scratched her own face and said her dad had done it. Fortunately the police cut through her lies to the truth, unlike those ATL cops. This is so common among teens accusing their parents falsely of wrongdoing, and parents should be supported in trying to discipline their children. Don't believe the hype.

    June 10, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      you should follow the bible's advice and stone your daughter, a disobedient child, to death. god bless.

      June 10, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Nothing fails like atheism

      bootyfunk is just jealous

      June 10, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And you're just stupid, but who's counting?

      June 10, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      heya, Tom.

      have you met my admirer? lol. i think he has a crush on me.

      June 10, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • ReligionKills

      Thank you so much for your personal anecdote that dispels the myth that kids are actually being abused. It's all lies. Your personal experience proves it. Your one experience proves just how wrong FBI data on child abusers is. It explains away all the trials for people convicted. It explains away all the statistics on child abuse. Thanks for clearing all of that up.

      June 10, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Idiots abound, Booty. Flick the nitwit off your shoulder like a flake of dandruff.

      June 10, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • skip

      Amen so many wants to be grown before there time and dont want to follow no rules and dont want you to tell them what to do and when to come home but now when they get into trouble someone have to tell them when to eat what time to get up what time to lay down its funny you have all your freedom until you are in trouble.

      June 10, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "First Lady Dollar"?? Since when is a pastor's (and I use the word "pastor" loosely; I doubt this idjit qualified as a minister through any of the approved channels) wife a "first lady"? You presumptuous dweebs! What a laugh. No wonder people discard your claims out of hand. You are the ones who devalue your own currency by cheapening it!

      June 10, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
  16. herbert

    he is a big man he choked her and punched her but all police saw was a scratch on her neck something does not sound right

    June 10, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • ReligionKills

      You're right man. Both his daughters were so desperate to go to the party that they wanted to get their father locked up.

      June 10, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • Ted

      Herbert watches too much CSI.

      June 10, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
  17. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    June 10, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      actions change things; prayer wastes valuable time.

      June 10, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • you could benefit

      From an extended conversation with God.

      June 10, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Atheism is would benefit from an extended conversation with a dictionary and a science textbook. Too bad it isn't competent to comprehend either.

      June 10, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • Jen

      It is funny though... atheist take more responsibility for their actions and for the world around them because they believe there is not a god up in the sky that will swoop in and make everything o.k. I don't see how that is unhealthy "children and other living things." It seems a lot healthier than encouraging them to wish really hard.

      June 10, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
  18. No proof of no God? That's a claim without proof

    Case closed!

    June 10, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • sdsad

      That sort of backward ass reasoning doesn't work. There's no proof of god, therefor there's no argument to be started.

      June 10, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • Nothing fails like atheism

      yet YOU believe that only God doesn't exist leaving out all others.

      Strong statement so thus YOU also need proof

      June 10, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, you retarded hyena. No one needs to prove what doesn't exist. YOU need to prove what does. Get a friggin' clue, dumbazz.

      June 10, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • Nothing fails like atheism

      Yet the proving also relies on you.

      Amen

      June 10, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • noah

      I agree case closed...door closed... poor atheists left outside in the rain.

      June 10, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The onus is on you, idiots. You've failed on every try. Tough toenails.

      June 10, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • noah

      sorry about you tom... case closed

      June 10, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • Nothing fails like atheism

      Seems like you have a hard time accepting truth.

      You claim you prove

      June 10, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • Jen

      Please prove that there is not an invisible dragon in the sky, breathing hot air, which is in turn responsible for the wind. Thanks.

      June 10, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • Nothing fails like atheism

      There is.His name is bobo.

      Proven

      June 10, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      We'll see. Your 'case' is hardly closed, you moron. You wouldn't know a case if it bit you on the azz.

      June 10, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Nothing fails like atheism

      yet I can sit here all day if I want saying crap that I know is false but will tick people off anyways because I have no prove nor can I admit it to myself.

      Sounds about right for the atheists right? We(believers) admit we have none but you cannot accept.

      Talk about denial.

      June 10, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Gosh, I hardly know what to say. Because I have no idea what that post means. It's complete drivel. Like everything else you imbeciles post.

      June 10, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Did that post make sense to you when you weren't completely stoned, you dip wad?

      June 10, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • DB

      @Jen – a dragon is, by definition, a mythical creature that does not exist in reality. So, your request amounts to this: “prove that a creature that does not exist exists.” Something that does not exist cannot exist, so your invisible dragon has disproved itself.

      June 10, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • DB

      @Tom – I find the OP’s claim quite valid. Atheism is a belief system which lacks evidence. You claim you don’t need evidence because you simply don’t believe in theism. But your unbelief IS a belief, namely that there is no God. You believe that, but you cannot prove it. I don’t see where the OP went wrong.

      June 10, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Nothing fails like atheism

      if I said disprove Santa clause you wouldn't react in a harsh manner.but If I said disprove God you react in a very harsh manner.

      Same thing goes for if I said disprove Zeus.You wouldn't react in a harsh manner but for God..well the proof is in the pudding

      June 10, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
  19. truth

    Arrrrr Serpents has nothing to do with Saints. Creflo means Serpent.

    June 10, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
  20. shadowdiver

    "Paul ... Jesus ... and Creflo,"

    Wow, nothing says religion like humility.

    June 10, 2012 at 8:18 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.