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. gastronomia toledo

    Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am inspired! Extremely useful information specially the remaining section 🙂 I take care of such info much. I used to be looking for this particular information for a very lengthy time. Thanks and good luck.

    September 16, 2012 at 3:23 am |
  2. lovetta jones

    i love taffy and creflo dollar ministers it has help me in my life as a saint in how to live for god it has open confirmation of gods word unto me if you want to be blessed get ready to be hated on i know that right pastor kept going froward as taffy preach and god will do the rest i think god for the both of you and may he coutiune to bless you and your family.

    September 15, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  3. June Seemore

    Please get the quote correct. He did not say that the devil was coming against his prosperity message, but against his message of grace.

    August 16, 2012 at 6:33 am |
  4. Emad Kawar

    Pastor Creflo.. You are man of God.. this is part of the war against you from satan... don't worry, they did this to Jesus before you.. go ahead and preach Jesus.. you are in our prayers man of God...
    emad / Amman- Jordan

    August 12, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
  5. Moslem

    Having lived in svreeal svreeal countries with coins denominated near or above the value of US $1, I must say that I prefer the paper. I've you've got enough cash to get there and back on a bus, plus you get change from a purchase, then you have enough weight in your pocket to improvise a very effective sap.

    August 1, 2012 at 3:18 am |
  6. Ranggas

    I want to read Saving June so much. I keep hearing such aznimag things about it.Also I LOVEd Piper from Five Flavours of Dumb, such a great book. Oh and Just Listen I love, I have it on audio too and it\'s great.I have To Die for on my shelf so I must get to it as we seem to like similar books 🙂

    July 30, 2012 at 12:40 am |
  7. Scott

    All 30,000 members of Lord Creflo's blasphemous ministry run for your lives !!! Not forgetting 2 of his own family have accused him of verbal & physical abuse again&again/2 Cor.13:1&1Tim.5:19/ but Dollar's Prosperity message preys on those prideful,greedy,self centered,sinful people who want to be rich.Do some soul searching and repent if this applies to you; you've been sadduced into thinking God wants you to be rich by a con( CreativeFlowDollarMinistry) The only prosperity he's interested in is his OWN !!! For those of you quick to run to Creflo Dollar's defense,don't become gods as he would like you to believe(Lord Dollar recently misquoted Phil. 2:5-11 which states "Let this mind be in you as was in Christ" and " Jesus thought himself to be equal to God" so, since God is in Jesus& Jesus is in me than my mind set should be like Jesus that I'm equal to God.Really WOW ! In fact ,Creflo went even further trying to convince the congregation that he was a god & so are they all. People that's exactly what the serpent or Devil said to Adam & Eve convincing both that they could be gods. Read Phil.2:5-11 in its entirety;the message is clear we're all to live a humble life,confessing the Lord Jesus Christ,to the glory of God the Father.Ofcourse ,Jesus is God who took on the form of man,good news but what does that have to do with us being gods? NOTHING in fact it sounds like Mormonism & other religions around world. BE CAREFUL AND WATCH !!!! Alot of false prophets out there&you'll know them by their fruits! Open your eyes , look beyond Creflo's thousand dollar pin strip suits at his fruits(DOLLARS) mansion(s)material goods of all sorts and character ! DON'T BE FOOLED by DOLLARS CREATIVE FLO MACHINE anymore or any of these LETS GET RICH preachers onTV who are rich themselves by INFOCOMMERCIALS using just enough of truth God's Word mixed with lies to deceive the masses.Lastly,remember Jesus said, It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle,than it is for the RICH to enter into the kingdom of God. Godbless all that have ears to hear!

    July 23, 2012 at 1:15 am |
    • lovetta jones

      scott god also told us not to judge, so let cleflo do cleflo and you do you if you dont understand how to percieve gods word than it could also be you i remember when i first got saved i was taught a lots of religion stuff but i kept running after god and not after man and he revile some things to me thur his holy spirit watch what you say about gods people cause we all have issues and with that being said be blessed and if hes doing wrong by gods word than he has to answer to god not you so why set yourself up to be curse for it god dont need your help in nothing stay free cause who god set free is free indeed.

      September 15, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  8. michael

    I think if people read the bible and not just listen to what other people say they will be shocked and amazed .The bible says you will know them by the fruits they bear .Look at the fruit

    July 8, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
  9. skeptic

    He is a prosperity minister and his last name is Dollar. What are the chances??

    July 6, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
  10. Gina

    It's very interesting how people can make judgement about someone else. Let us look into your home life shall we and what crazy things would we find! If people took more time to make sure their own life was "perfect" before they judge another person's life I believe we would be farther along in life then we are right now. I am not excusing abuse if there was any but take time out to get your own life in order then you'll see you don't have time to comment on another person's life!

    June 29, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Pecan

      Why is it when God expose evil in the lives of Christians, we're so quick to accuse one another of "judging" & want folk "to look at themselves" WHAT ONE CHRISTIAN DO EFFECTS ALL CHRISTIANS BECAUSE QE ARE ONE BODY IN CHRIST & WE'RE CONNECTED...Call a spade a spade and PRAY & keeping loving one another...

      July 13, 2012 at 1:05 am |
  11. joe face

    I'm submitting a law that all churches, especially megachurches, are to be sold, the money used to feed the poor, and homeless, and their congregations can hold their services in tents. CREFLO DOLLAR IS A HYPOCRITE TO THE MAX.

    June 26, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
  12. Name*Beverly Grant

    The Devil is Busy ... But he looses once Again. Enough said... God bless you. your awesome Mr dollar

    June 25, 2012 at 9:15 am |
  13. Fred8680

    I wanted to believe in God. I tried. But religion turned me off of it. Also I read the Bible. Has anybody really read that? Don't just search your favourite verses. Read the whole thing and it might make you atheist.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Niece


      Thank you for at least taking the time to read the bible but, next time you read it and I hope u do. Open your heart and mind to to receive gods message. Pray first, if you are who you say you are let your words speak to me. I come to you with a humble heart and an open mind. I promise you that same bible will seem like a totally different book then when u read it the first time. I love you with all my heart and soul and God does to.

      July 8, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Lis

      More and more I read the word of God...more I believe in Him! He doesn't like religion, He likes relation! Not easy because of this world, but possible. He is who allows you to breath every day, that is enough for me to say Thank You, Lord! Count the blessings...Remember He just want to be close to you...follow the word of God (book of instructions).

      July 12, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • lovetta jones

      fred8680 gods word is the word of life and if you cant recieve it than thats your soul going to hell cause its your choice.

      September 15, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • d

      you have not known God......but you will. Good luck.

      October 11, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
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  15. F.E.S.

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

    People still use this character as a scapegoat?

    June 18, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  16. Ethel Bailey

    Children disrespect their parents will not lived their days out. whatever she did to cause thing to get out of hands and to get her father arrested is not a good thing.

    June 17, 2012 at 10:52 am |
  17. Janet

    Now she can write a book and do talk shows & earn millions of dollars & hangout with the Kardashians & Snooky. She can buy her own mansion & hangout all she wants to at 1:00am whether it's true or not. She just has to survive 3 more years.

    June 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  18. ThomasM195

    He is a con-man and a liar. He should be taken out of that church and he should be put in prison for a very long time.

    June 14, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • jwadiddy

      Why because he's trying to keep his 15 year old daughter out of the streets after midnight.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Lisa

      No Jawadidity, because he is a crook. He put himself in the spotlight with the daughter calling 911 on him, but he and all the other crooks using religion should be put in prison. They will be the first God takes vengeance on. They are like the scribes and pharisees in M A T T H E W. Hypocrites.

      June 14, 2012 at 5:27 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.