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. LaughingAtYou

    Hey Tricia if you can't think of any other way to discipline your kids than choking and punching them, just don't have kids. It's really that simple. If you guys think that criminals and thugs got that way because they weren't beaten as children then you are a headcase.

    June 10, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • Janet

      That would require birth control & usually folks who believe in beating their children to no end, don't believe in using birth control. Oh, yeah & any new idea is evil & should not be considered.

      June 15, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  2. tricia

    tell me america, so parents are not allowed to descipline their kids when they do wrong? i know man loves his children and wants the best for that child. he said he would not allow her to out for a party. it is simple as that and she has to obey. as a child or teenage, you can walk over your dad. mercy on this country!!

    June 10, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      tricia learn to talk and/or try again later when you are sober.

      June 10, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • JWT

      Of course parents can dispcipline their kids. They just cannot beat them as discipline. Simple enough to understand.

      June 10, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • Hello

      the only thing you teach a kid by beating the krap put of them is to hate you... and someday when you get old and feeble, they will do the same to you....
      what goes around comes around....

      June 10, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • sam stone

      beating your kids teaches them to beat theirs when they have them

      June 10, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • me

      Alien Orifice
      There you go again! You are unable to speak without insulting people. There is a classification for that behavior. IT IS CALLED LOW SELF ESTEEM.

      June 10, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  3. Drew

    What's the big deal? According to the bible he was in the right. She's just lucky he didn't round up the whole village to stone her

    June 10, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      I agree. She is lucky he is not a "real" Christian. Just one of the standard hypocrites.

      June 10, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • Mike

      You're an idiot.

      June 10, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • Drew

      I'm not an idiot, just a fundamentalist

      June 10, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  4. SwitchSmokeDotCom

    Watch his body language as he is speaking,

    He constantly looks down while he makes his statements referring to the choking.
    Right after these statements his body language is much different, and he no longer looks down.

    This is a classic sign that someone is lying if they keep looking down, eyes darting, and looking away.

    June 10, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • jack123

      haha .... you know, just because you watch 'lie to me' doesn't make you a micro expression expert

      June 10, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • thepastorisafake

      You're right Switch, it's the classic tell-tale sign of someone that's lying.

      June 10, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • jack123

      wait, do you guys work for the fbi or something?

      June 10, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Boyd's mchuntreik

      Classic symptom of lying is saying "the truth is". FBI nothing try jr high psychology

      June 10, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  5. Boyd's mchuntreik

    Does Creflo Dollar need to choke a bicchh?

    June 10, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Boyd's mchuntreik

      Sorry Wayne Brady

      June 10, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Yeah!! Dave Chapelle classic!!

      June 10, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Boyd's mchuntreik

      Instances like this are what that skit was written for. Sorry pos charlatan. He had a chance to deny/explain. Hiding behind the pulpit days later makes him more of a liar. I wish I didn't have a conscience, I could be richer than Creflo without having to choke out my kids.

      June 10, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  6. Pelegrim

    Beyond the universe there is nothing and within the universe the supernatural does not and cannot exist. Of all deceivers who have plagued mankind, none are so deeply ruinous to human happiness as those impostors who pretend to lead by a light above nature. Science has never killed or persecuted a single person for doubting or denying its teachings, and most of these teachings have been true; but religion has murdered millions for doubting or denying her dogmas, and most of these dogmas have been false.

    June 10, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • jack123

      so how did the universe originate?

      June 10, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • larry

      Stop trying to talk sense to sheep that want to be sheared.

      June 10, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      We just don't know yet my son. And it is OK not to know something. But we keep searching, that is what science is all about. Answering unanswered questions. Jack, you are smart enough, you are good enough, and doggonnit, you can't help being stupid.

      June 10, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • jack123

      larry, i'm just asking a question ... can you answer it?

      June 10, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • jack123

      alien, its always strikes me funny that 'your' side always resorts to insults at some point in discourse ... aren't you supposed the be educated and rational ones?

      June 10, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      WHAT?? Name one thing I have said on this blog that is not true. ONE THING.

      Oh, and what is "my side" ? Are you suggesting you understand my beliefs?

      June 10, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • Janet

      True religion has butchered & continues to buther billions. However, Jesus condemned the Jews for turning what God gave them into religion. Yet the Christians did the same thing. If everyone followed the actual teaching of Jesus "Pray for your enemies, love..." there would actually be world peace. The problem is no one really wants to follow Him. If he were alive today, He'd still get butchered. A lot of people like harming others when they can't have their way or when someone is different & they use religion as an excuse to do it.

      June 15, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  7. polycarp pio

    If you want to prosper give to a minister who works directly with the poor, not a middle man or a secular organization. Jesus said the poor have the gospel preached to them, helping the poor without giving them the gospel is wrong and cheating them. If you attend a church it is your duty to help tha tchurch financially, it costs money to keep the doors open and if you dont give you are a thief and a thief will not be blessed. Again you cant go wrong giving to the poor. PP

    June 10, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Hello

      what a bunch of krap....

      June 10, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • Hello

      you want to help the poor .. give them a shovel... let them dig.. till they realize .. getting an education is better than a handout.

      June 10, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  8. Kindness

    For you.
    A thought to consider without an ego response

    Accept Jesus christ as your lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Transcend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ (for me) resulted in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Also... much the world arranges "surrounding dark matter into something to be debated" in such a way that protects/inflates the ego.

    The key is be present and transcend our own desire to physically see evidence. We don't know anyways by defending our own perception of dark matter.

    Currently.... most of us are constructing our own path that suits our sin lifestyle. Were all sinners. Knowing that we are is often an issue. But both christians and non are sinners.

    We don't like to Let go and let god. We want control to some degree. This is what Jesus asks us to do. "Follow me".
    It's the hardest thing to do... but is done by letting the truth of scripture lead you (redemptive revelation)... as I said .

    Try reading corinthians and see if it makes sense to you. Try it without a pre conceived notion of it being a fairy tale.
    See the truth...
    do we do what it says in todays society... is it relevant... so many have not recently read and only hinge their philosophy on what they have heard from som other person...which may have been full of arogance pride or vanity..

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancsend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find any truth you can take with you ....in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life..... You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf.... the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed..... your good deeds will be forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated..... your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over . This is truth .

    Trancsend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Understand you are a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent.... Repent means knowing (to change) The Holy spirit (within) will convict you beyond what you think you can do by yourself. Grace is given to those who renounce the world. That are" in" the world but not "of " the world.

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Faith comes by Reading or Hearing the word of god from the bible . Ask Jesus in faith for dicernment and start reading the new testament... You will be shocked when you lay down your preconceived notions and ....see and hear truth ... see how christ sets an example ... feel the truth....

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth in Christ.

    Sell all your cleverness and purchase true bewilderment. You don't get what you want ....you get what you are in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.
    You will also see how the world suppresses this information and distorts it

    You're all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.
    I'ts a personal free experience you can do it free anytime . Don't wait till you are about to die.. START PUTTING YOUR TREASURES WHERE THEY REALLY MATTER >
    Its awsome and It's just between you and Jesus

    my testimony

    June 10, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Pelegrim

      Come on, get real.

      June 10, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Hello

      more mythic krap.... there never was a Jesus.....
      Read Caesar's Messiah....

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

    A pimp daddy doing what apimp daddy does, keeping his women in line the o nly way he knows!

    June 10, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  10. Mudman

    Keep leading those sheep Creflo

    June 10, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  11. Boyd's mchuntreik

    AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH Inn chokes nobody. Please continuum to senn dose Chex ta mah minus tree

    June 10, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  12. Boyd's mchuntreik

    Homily cheep chit jethro, tis be outrageoussss

    June 10, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  13. Jose M. Pulido

    "'The truth is, she was not choked. She was not punched,' Dollar said." He talks like a Republican in passive voice, instead of saying: "The truth is, I did not choke her. I did not punch her." Statements made in passive voice make it sound as if it had been someone else who attacked his daughter.

    June 10, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Boyd's mchuntreik

      Anytime someone says "The truth is" they are lying.

      June 10, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • Hello

      yep.. telling the world his daughter is a liar...I'm sure that will go well with his relationship with her for the rest of his life.

      June 10, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  14. PaulC

    Another self-appointed holy man. The sad aspect is the thousands who swallow the gibberish and give their hard earned money to this charlatan to buy $3,000 suits, luxury cars and fine homes while they shop in the bargain bins.
    God same me from organized religion.

    June 10, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Hello

      He is desperately trying to save his tax free income.. claiming his daughter was lying.... this will come back to haunt him in the future.. you can be sure...

      June 10, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  15. Boyd's mchuntreik

    It cleerly be da wite man foot.

    June 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  16. me

    To Alien Orifice:
    Speaking of "Grammar", and your relentless attempts to correct people postings; PLEASE NOTE: THE USE OF VOCABULARY, DOES NOT ALLOW YOU TO BEGIN A SENTENCE WITH "MAYBE". It is an incorrect use of the English grammar. Also, since you are smart (I assume), please do check your punctuations.

    June 10, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      You make the same typo-s as me and everyone else. It is only when someone is grossly incoherent that I mention it.

      June 10, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • jack123

      backpedal much, allien?

      June 10, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • me

      Alien Orifice:
      That would be "You make the same typo-s, as do I"........ First, let me be clear: All postings have typographical error(s) in them. I do not have any desire or interest to waist my time correcting people. I only respond to the arrogance exhibit by some people with respect to other people's posting, including mine.

      June 10, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • Hello

      you need to go back to Jr high so you can use your bully games there...

      if you think people are going to follow the ENGLISH language rules on these forums, then perhaps you need a refresher in
      School is out.... tests are over.. as we write as we please....
      take your english book and leave...

      June 10, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Hello

      Well you sure take the guess work out on who was the teacher's pet and class stool pigeon.

      I bet you even corrected the grammar graffiti on the bathroom walls. Could not leave until until it was all correct.
      do you stay up all night worrying about bad grammar? How about what other people do with their privates, does that bother you too?

      June 10, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • The teacher

      Um, Mr "me" it's "waste" my time not waist. That's not a typo, that's stupidity. Perhaps you should ask God for a redo on your brain before criticizing the Alien?

      June 10, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • me

      Okay, if it pleases you, I stand corrected. Call it "waste". As I recalled, I am not a regular in posting forums. I simply made a comment which inadvertently contained typos. It ended up with bombastic elements as you, trying to correct me but doing with insults. So.... newsflash for you: I do not "stay up all night worrying about [your] bad grammar". I just hate stupidity; that may or may not be you. It's entirely your call. Next time pay attention to the teacher, and do not be so eager to correct people unless you can do so flawlessly.

      June 10, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  17. miketofdal

    this jerk should be ashamed for putting himself and his career ahead of his family. such is what christianity does to some.

    June 10, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  18. Pat D

    Alien Orifice guess what? GOD LOVES YOU!!!!!! JESUS DIED FOR YOU TOO.

    June 10, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Sam

      Keep on living in fantasy world. Bible is a man made fantasy. Islam and Christianity are the two most dangerous and violent
      religions in the world.

      June 10, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  19. Pat D

    MaryM you are showing who you really belong too.

    June 10, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • MaryM

      Pat D, you are siding with a child abuser. YOU are showing who you really belong to

      June 10, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  20. Alien Orifice

    Hey PJAA, why don't you answer my question?

    Ok, God is Jesus, Jesus is God. God wanted (needed?) to have a physical manifestation of himself on Earth and though he created the heavens and the Earth, Adam and Eve, he couldn't manage a “Jesus” so he knocked up a virgin by proxy who then gave birth to Himself and then he waited for himself to grow up so that he could preach the "truth" to those who would listen.

    Then he set up his own death (suicide) so that he could suffer on a pole to "die" (even thought he can't die) for the sins of all the many billions of people who would be born who had not yet committed any sins but for whom he has a plan and that plan includes sinning for some unknown reason so he needed to die for them. Then he becomes a ghost, takes a little trip to Hades to hang with the red guy and then he "rises" and walks about frightening people and then disappears after telling everyone he would return (an apparent lie) and never shows his face again.

    So my question would be, why?

    June 10, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • me

      That would be Cross, not "pole", genius. You asked "why?", so you can live, FOOL!

      June 10, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Sorry, my bad. I saw where you answered it previously. No educated person would take anythng you said seriously but I did get a good chuckle and thanks for responding. That's cool.

      June 10, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      You tire me. You know nothing.

      June 10, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • me

      Yeeeaaaaah!!!!! whatever...... just keep on living. God loves you equally so, in spite of your flaws. May he have Mercy on You.

      June 10, 2012 at 5:35 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.