Megachurch pastor Dr. Creflo Dollar Jr. early this morning was arrested by Fayette County deputies and charged with simple battery and cruelty to children after an alleged physical argument with his 15-year-old daughter over a party.
Detective Brent Rowan tells CL that sheriff's deputies responded to a domestic disturbance call at the charismatic preacher's family residence off Sandy Creek Road in northwest Fayette County about 1 a.m.
According to the incident report, the 15-year-old daughter told deputies she began to cry after Dollar, the founder and senior pastor of World Changers Church International, said she would not be allowed to attend a party on Saturday night. When Dollar asked why she was upset, she replied, "I do not want to talk right now." The daughter claims the pastor charged at her in the kitchen and "put his hands around her throat and began to choke her." He then allegedly "slammed her to the ground and began to punch her and took his shoe off and started whooping her with it."
Dollar told deputies that after telling her she couldn't attend the party because of her bad grades at school, the daughter:
... became very disrespectful and he approached her and tried to restrain her. Dollar stated that while restraining her, she began to hit back and then he wrestled her to the floor. He stated that while on the floor, he began to spank her on her bottom and the back of her legs. Dollar said after the spanking, his daughter calmed down and he advised her to go to her room.
According to the report, Dollar's 19-year-old daughter told deputies she saw the pastor grab her sister her by the shoulders and slap her in the face. She says the sister then tried to break free but was thrown to the ground, at which point the older sister ran to find her mother, Taffi, whose arrival in the kitchen stopped the argument. At some point during the argument, the older daughter told deputies, she saw "her dad put both hands around her sister's neck and choked her for about five seconds."
Deputies say the older daughter's versions of events changed when asked to provide a written statement. She wrote that Dollar "simply bend [sic] her over and gave her a spanking, nothing that could physically harm her. I changed my story because I thought the situation went out of hand and I didn't want my dad to get arrested." When confronted by the deputy about the change in her story, the older daughter said she "wrote the first statement due to her parents being outside with her while she was writing it." She then wrote another statement which mirrored what she originally told deputies.
After speaking with the daughter and other family members, deputies arrested the 50-year-old pastor without incident. He's been charged with simple battery and cruelty to children. The minor suffered superficial injuries, Rowan says, but did not require medical care.
Dollar was taken to Fayette County Jail, and according to Rowan, has since bonded. According to the AJC, he was released on $5,000 bond.
According to Dollar's bio, the south Fulton native who began preaching to eight people in an elementary school cafeteria now oversees the 30,000-member World Changers Church International in College Park, a 6,000-member congregation in New York, and satellite churches in 10 other cities including Los Angeles, Dallas, and Washington, D.C. He has a goal - "as mandated by God - to establish more than 500 satellite houses of worship around the world.
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