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. Yeoman

    The only judge is God, the same judge who will judge all of us. So the judgement one uses on others are the same judgement God will use on them. So to all you player haters out their so quick to tear down remember vengeances belong to the Lord and he will repay. Mr. Dollar, Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY," says the Lord.<>. This goes for all the evil cops who target people because of race and think they are getting away with it, but no one get away from nothing you will be re-paid for your evil hearts and minds just as we all!

    June 11, 2012 at 7:54 am |
    • Jesus Jones

      Here's a perfect example of what i'm talking about (sigh).

      June 11, 2012 at 8:02 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      So your basically saying should we abolish courts and the rule of law. Well, I suppose it's a change from the usual Christian tactic; legislate our beliefs onto everybody else.

      June 11, 2012 at 8:05 am |
    • Q


      June 11, 2012 at 8:11 am |
    • Bdert

      There are also Judges on earth who can send u to jail if its found that u broke the law on earth...So keep that in mind as a myrmidon of a mountebank!!

      June 11, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • Primewonk

      You seem to be under the impression we are a theocracy.

      We aren't.

      Whatever your version of a cobbled together god wants, needs, desires, or demands, is irrelevant, because he has no standing in our secular laws.

      June 11, 2012 at 8:26 am |
  2. Get Real

    Over the years I have disliked the Pope, He has a bullet proof car, a gold encrusted coat, a diamond studded hat and access to more real estate holding than anyone on earth, He also lives in his own city/state on the Italian Riviera , His minions have year after year have been accused of molesting boys and children, and yet millions give to this charlatan. His claim to his followers is that you can't talk with Jesus/God directly, but have to come to a priest to gain access. And yet he flourishes. .IN comparison to Pastor Dollar, he is several time over more the con artist, and yet.........See how silly this argument gets! How about we let the law do its thing...

    June 11, 2012 at 7:51 am |
    • Ted

      Well put my friend.I hope to live to see the day when people stop worshiping men and try to find something more in their lives.Whatever that may be.

      June 11, 2012 at 7:59 am |
  3. B Tyree

    This quote is in your story is incorrect. Dr. Dollar did not (blamed the devil for causing the controversy, saying that to discredit his message of "prosperity gospel," the enemy must discredit the messenger). What he is said is the message of "Grace" is being attacked. Please, please, please write responsibly.

    June 11, 2012 at 7:44 am |
    • Get Real

      People hear what they want to hear! No thanks to inaccurate reporting.

      June 11, 2012 at 8:02 am |
  4. Ted

    Frankly I am surprised he did not cry ,blame Satan and ask for forgiveness like Swaggert.These televangelists make me sick.In the bible it says go in the closet and pray.Jesus never meant anything like these money making scam artists we have now.Just hate filled and full of bigotry and greed.

    June 11, 2012 at 7:42 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Wednesday I watched Jimmy Swaggart
      Watched him weepin' all over the place
      An' I watched him weepin' an' weepin' an' weepin'
      And that s.hit rollin' down his face
      (Oh . . . I sinned!)
      An' then I watched him weep some more
      An' he kept on weepin' again
      (Oh, forgive me, Assembly O' God!)
      And they smacked him on his little hand
      And he went out makin' more money

      Frank Zappa

      June 11, 2012 at 7:47 am |
  5. pamik

    Well this is only going to make him richer. There's nothng wrong with being a rich Christian however, it's just how you come about getting that money. To liken himself to Jesus is just disgusting. There's a sucker born every minute. For people to give their money to charlatain like Mr. $$ and hope to buy their way into heaven is sad.

    June 11, 2012 at 7:30 am |
    • AB207

      pamik, can you give me some information on creflo dollar's richness, you said that he got wealthy the wrong way, well please give me some information or evidence reflecting what he did wrong to become wealthy. When we do as God has requested, we do get wealthy, God owns this earth and the fullness of it, and he afford wealth to each of us, but their are requirements behind blessings, which does not mean that we are perfect, we do everything right, but the key is faithfulness, truly striving towards being as God would want us to be vs sitting back whinning and complaining about what someone else has that we don't have. I am NOT wealthy by any means, as a matter of fact, I need things right now, but I have faith to know that all things are going to work out for me, but I also know that my situation is mostly my fault. I can't blame my brokeness on those that are not broke. Read the word of God for yourself! Find out the truth before you make assumptions or base your thoughts on what you have not seen for yourself

      June 11, 2012 at 7:59 am |
  6. Bootyfunk

    poor girl. he's rich, has high price lawyers, and he's already convinced his daughter that daddy really loves her and will send her on a trip to europe if she'll shut up. and he'll do it again. think this was the first time? doubtful. but she's likely confused about what to do, so she'll probably live at home in fear of that @ss. hope he's too scared of losing his reputation/jail to ever touch her again, but bully fathers usually keep up their violent ways. only hope she'll pull the trigger a 2nd time and call the cops if he abuses her again.

    June 11, 2012 at 7:21 am |
    • AB207

      Bootyfunk, it appears that you and mos people on this site have made your on conclusion and convictions based on what he young girl said, I've never seen Mr. Dollar personally and really don't know him other than listening to his ministry occasionally. How many time have you or anyone you know or have known including yourself as a young kid, teenager or whatever, get angry and falsely accuse their parent or a teacher etc? Some kids these days are so out of control that they have no respect for anyone and will kill you on site, if neccessary, these kids will even kill their parents just to be with the so call love of their young lives (boyfriend girfrend), its been all over the news and so many occasions, I think personally that Creflo's young daugther was told that her butt was not going to the party and she became very angry, got out of control and he paddle her butt with a shoe, she became infuriated and called the police and then of course the news mediate as always throw every incident out of proportion, and people like you always base your theory on the news media's point of view.

      June 11, 2012 at 7:43 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      true, and i shouldn't rush to judgement without seeing the evidence myself. but man, this guy is such a dirtbag, it's just not hard to believe.

      June 11, 2012 at 8:24 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      "he paddle her butt with a shoe"

      That in and of itself is child abuse. She is 15 and physical discipline is not required to control her or anyone else. There is never a point in laying a hand on anyone...it proves nothing more than the fact that the man is not capable of being mature and handling the situation properly as an adult would-send her to her room, cool down and talk about it...instead he took the cowardly way out and harmed her. Grounding a child by taking away privileges hurts them more in the end. What he did is deserving of criminal prosecution.

      June 11, 2012 at 9:00 am |
  7. sadie456

    As long as there are human 'sheep' who believe that handing power and money to charlatans and control freaks is the way to spiritual growth, there will be exploiters like Pastor Dollars. Is there no end to the gullibility of people??

    June 11, 2012 at 7:21 am |
    • sam stone

      No, there is not. What a gig, eh?

      June 11, 2012 at 7:24 am |
    • AB207

      You are right, gullibility...and that is what you are, gullible! Apparently you have never listen to several of his full ministies, because if you had, you wouldn't have made your comment. First of all it is more than money prosperity, prosperity comes in all forms, money, love, peace, and more, and these things are available on this earth as well as in heaven. God has never said we have to walk around broke, angry or anything else, what, are we suppose to live a life of brokeness? Tell the bill collector! Creflo Dollar and other leaders teach you how to attain the things that God said in his word that is afforded to us by God and some will never receive these blessings because of unbelief! Read it for yourself vs running your mouth, not knowing what you are talking about

      June 11, 2012 at 7:50 am |
    • AB207

      Sadie456, where is your evidence that Creflo Dollar is exploiting anyone? What are you basing your comments on? Are you angry because of your own financial situation? Where is you evidence?

      June 11, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • Ted

      @ AB207--Since you are the ones who claim to know the "truth".Where is your "evidence" it's true?The burden of truth lies with you.pPease do not quote scripture as evidence and make a fool of yourself.That's not evidence.

      June 11, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • Ted

      Excuse my typo on the word "please".Thank you.

      June 11, 2012 at 8:18 am |
  8. boinky

    In a lot of places in this country you all a woman has to do is accuse a man of domestic violence and he will get arrested.

    June 11, 2012 at 7:18 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      a lot more places where a man can abuse a woman and there's no one she can call, police/law on his side.

      June 11, 2012 at 7:26 am |
  9. Atheist

    What a shameless tool this so-called "man of god" is. He's accused of beating his teen daughter, but it's obvious he only cared about maintaining his image to the flock in that "sermon". He hung her out to dry. And of course, all the sheeple in the congregation swoon and shout "you da man!!!!"

    Another bit of nauseating nonsense is his "Paul ... Jesus ... and Creflo" comment. He uses charges of child-beating as an excuse to prop himself up next to the two biggest icons of the Christian Church. Interesting how he mentions Paul before Jesus, very telling as most Christians follow Paul and pretty much ignore Jesus. Of course, Dollar follows the almighty buck more than either Jesus or Paul.

    June 11, 2012 at 7:14 am |
    • What EV


      June 11, 2012 at 8:02 am |
    • Ted

      I second that opinion.He will lie like Swaggart and get out of it though.Satan did it I suppose.Some nonsense excuse.

      June 11, 2012 at 8:12 am |
  10. Saywhatyoumean

    1 Blessed are those who force others to live by their interpretation of the Scriptures : for the
    rule of the land shall be theirs.
    2 Blessed are those seeking the glory of riches over the needs of the poor : for they shall be wealthy
    in the sight of God.
    3 Blessed are those seeking vengeance instead of forgiveness : for mercy is for the weak.
    4 Blessed are those who persecute others for their own self-righteousness : for theirs is
    the kingdom of heaven.
    5 Blessed are those seeking to make war : for peacemakers are fools.
    6 Blessed are those who live a double life : for they shall not receive judgment.
    7 Blessed are those who claim the end is here : for many before them have done so.
    8 Blessed are those who expect others to live by what they say : for they themselves do not
    need to.
    9 Blessed are you when men fall on their knees to worship you : for you are their god.
    10 Blessed are those who claim to speak for God : rejoice and be glad, for God does not mind.

    June 11, 2012 at 6:39 am |
    • Ted

      Bravo...Well put and exactly right.

      June 11, 2012 at 7:36 am |
  11. mttrailboss

    Over the years, I have disliked Pastor Creflo Dollar $$, because I believe, he is a fake and phony, that wants your money $$, and not bringing you to Christ, as a true Christian. In this instance, I don't believe him either, concerning the situation with his own daughter. Many religious watch groups, follow Pastor Credflo Dollar $$ and they too, believe, that he wants more attention, power, money $ and greed $$. However.., I believe, that God, loves ALL of his children, including Pastor Dollar. Although.., there is NO reason for Pastor Dollar to lie about, what happened between his daughter and himself. God does NOT condone a lie or one who lies', as in this instance. It's all about attention, power, money and greed, and a man with an anger problem, which has now come to light. He is a fake and phony, and I feel sorry for his parishioners', and people, that has given him, their hard earned money. Mike in Montana

    June 11, 2012 at 6:19 am |
    • AB207

      mttrailboss, I feel sorry for you, you don't like creflo b/c you think that millions of people are stupid, right? Well I am NOT stupid, I read the word of God for myself, not just in the King James version etc., plus I pray and meditate over anything that I hear, read etc., waiting and seeking God's voice! You are a fool, have you read anything for yourself, whenever I listen to Creflo I follow the scriptures as he preach and I do my research as well, do you, like I said you are a clown, no go get paid for being a clown

      June 11, 2012 at 8:20 am |
  12. Anonymissjane

    What "preacher" uses a fake last name like Dollar? Come on.....it's laughable. Why would anyone believe a guy like that?

    June 11, 2012 at 6:08 am |
    • Kim

      It's not a fake last name... He was named after his father Creflo Dollar Sr. Do your research.

      June 11, 2012 at 6:21 am |
    • odk1

      plain ignorant.

      June 11, 2012 at 7:10 am |
    • Ted

      His last name really is Dollar.Appropriate for the scams he is running though.Jesus never had a mansion like he has.What about the rich never getting into heaven does he not understand?

      June 11, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • AB207

      What a dummy, and a dummy comment

      June 11, 2012 at 8:04 am |
  13. doctore0

    Dont forget the all loving bible.. says you should KILL unruly kids... The bible is all about killing to keep control.. and killing all who do not have the same stupid magic book;
    Religion is primitive tribalism with an imaginary boss that controls through idiots

    June 11, 2012 at 5:43 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      yep, the bible supports violence throughout. kill g.ays, disobedient children, non-virgin brides, anyone working the weekend and so on. god kills lots of people himself, sometimes specifically children, multiple times. he also directs people to kill people, sometimes specifically children. yahweh loves blood sacrifice and the smell of burning flesh, so the bible says. god killing every single thin on earth but one family and two of every animal makes yahweh the heavy weight champion of mass murderers. of course he must have drowned babies and pregnant women, as well as all the poor animals.

      and people fall on their knees to worship this maniac deity?

      June 11, 2012 at 7:14 am |
  14. henry

    why poison his dog u freaking sicko?

    June 11, 2012 at 5:37 am |
  15. henry

    i would have beat her ass to kids dont have any sense these days they want to do watever they want

    June 11, 2012 at 5:32 am |
    • John

      You'd beat her azz for being less intelligent than her peers at school, and crying when she's grounded for it, while begging to go to a party with her friends.

      You make me sick.

      June 11, 2012 at 5:37 am |
    • sam stone

      wow, henry, you sure are a tough guy

      June 11, 2012 at 5:50 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Henry: Please explain what beating a child teaches them. She was beaten for having low grades and for wanting to be a normal teenager. The low grades issue is easily resolvable...figure out where the problem lies and get her help. The partying is typical of most every teenager out there...grounding would have worked wonders here. Violence only teaches violence.

      June 11, 2012 at 6:28 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      be a good parent and teach your children respect by example and you won't have to hit them at all. when you hit children, you are teaching them to be a bully, to use violence to get what their way, as you are doing to them. you teach them that might makes right. i am bigger than you - do what i say or i will physically hurt you. there's better ways. you don't have to be the lame parent that let's their kids run wild "you're getting a time-out", but the answer isn't hitting children. there's a way to teach them respect without resorting to violence.

      June 11, 2012 at 7:06 am |
    • Ted

      I will bet your sitting in the first pew.

      June 11, 2012 at 7:52 am |
    • AB207

      I feel the same way, a lot of these spoil ass kids need a good butt whipping! Like I said, some are so out of control, if they do not get their way, they are subject to kill their very own parents, for those of you who are passing judgement on Creflo Dollar, hope that you have no kids, if you do, hope that you jump thru hoops for them to make sure that you do not go to jail. I have seen so many kids while out and about disrepecting their parents. I look at it like this, true love punish when wrong is done, I will not have any kid of mine talk to me any type of way, do as they please or anything else. The bottomline, if you do not like my rules, then move out and get your own place to live and when you move do not take the clothes that I purchased you, do not take anything that was use by me to support your little grown butt, get out there and work for what you want. You will not live under my roof and do as you please, period!

      June 11, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • Hear This


      Your parents did not educate you very well... neither in writing nor in thinking.

      June 11, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Hear This


      The sooner those children get away from you the better.

      June 11, 2012 at 10:53 am |
  16. alan sikes

    Where is the daughter now??? Is she safe, or back in the "Dollar" household?

    June 11, 2012 at 4:51 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      yeah, seriously, that's my biggest concern.

      June 11, 2012 at 4:56 am |
    • John

      I can not imagine any court system allowing the suspect anywhere near the victim with a child cruelty charge in play. The judge would have to review the arrest papers, injury photos, discussion with the DA, his lawyer, and her lawyer. The state agency dealing with the child's safety would be responsible for her well being, and with what she described, that's one violent lunatic attacking a crying girl and scaring the older daughter out of the room in fear.

      This assumes they haven't all been paid off. That's a big question, how much would it cost to pay all of them off to ignore it?

      June 11, 2012 at 5:29 am |
    • odk1

      do you wish to adopt her?

      June 11, 2012 at 7:12 am |
    • AB207

      It amazes me how everyone have came to the conclusion that the girl told the truth about her father, I think most of you do no have children, because they will lie, ok.

      June 11, 2012 at 8:15 am |
    • John

      It amazes me that you think 2 daughters would lie about their dad behaving like a violent lunatic.

      June 11, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • sam stone

      AB: And adults with huge streams of income to lose never lie, right?

      June 11, 2012 at 8:37 am |
  17. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things*

    June 11, 2012 at 4:42 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      Fun Fact from the bible:

      Has your p.enis been cut off? Have your t.esticles been wounded somehow? If you answered "yes" to either of these questions (and I hope you have not), you are not allowed to go to church. Sorry, John Bobbit. 🙁

      "He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord."(Deuteronomy 23:1)

      June 11, 2012 at 4:56 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      No matter how ridiculous the morality of The Bible is, you can't argue how wide ranging the impact of The King James Bible has had on language. I never realised "stones" was Biblical.

      June 11, 2012 at 7:17 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      it definitely has had a very large impact on the language, though i'm not sure stones is specifically biblical as much as a polite vernacular used at the time of the author's writing.

      June 11, 2012 at 7:24 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Stones doesn't really seem apt either. My balls are far from stone like. Twice in my life I have received a full-force kick in the balls, both times I collapsed and lay on the ground in agony for about two hours.

      June 11, 2012 at 7:30 am |
  18. Wow

    What is the brand of shoe used to convince the daughter that raising the roof at 1 am about a party is not a good idea. Could be a new fund raiser scheme: Parents! Hurry get your Dollar shoe now! Don't shoe me bro!

    June 11, 2012 at 4:24 am |
  19. The Lord of Excess

    Those in the church will turn a blind eye to this, and he will go on making millions. Hypocrisy thrives in these environments, like no other. Many posts have pointed out what we all know. The event happened as reported, but later, slick, high paid attorneys and a recanting of the story after some pressure ... well the outcome is he gets away with it. This man should be a paragon of virtue and by lies and deceit he proves what he is.

    June 11, 2012 at 4:23 am |
    • AB207

      She probably needed more than a shoe! Now call the police

      June 11, 2012 at 8:13 am |
  20. Wow

    If the shoe fits, pop the daughter again! Disipline is not child abuse. She was out of line. She took it to the next level and daddy-o matched her. Think a beating would leave more than a scratch.. so definition of abuse does not apply. What does Al Sharpton say?

    June 11, 2012 at 4:20 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      you think it's okay to choke your child? sounds like you'd be father of the year.

      June 11, 2012 at 4:58 am |
    • John

      I'm sure Al would do his best given the short notice and lack of white people to blame:

      "A shoe to the but, Creflo's not a nut"

      "Daughter speaks whack, dad must attack"

      "15 year old complains, bash her brains"

      "Two girls called a cop, payoffs will hit the top"

      June 11, 2012 at 5:13 am |
    • sam stone

      next time, when the big macho preacher boy decides to do the same, i hope she produces a sidearm and arrrange for a meeting with Daddy and Jesus

      June 11, 2012 at 5:52 am |
    • withoutgod

      Sure, discipline is not child abuse. But, violence is not discipline. If it were, you personally would be assaulted by someone larger than you for every perceived transgression. No chance for appeal, no recourse, you just get beaten and have to live with it, and hopefully it will make you a better person. If you don't think that would be appropriate for you, as an adult, to be treated this way, then you will see why children shouldn't either.

      June 11, 2012 at 7:05 am |
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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.