Creflo Dollar, pastor of World Changers Church International in Atlanta, Georgia and head of Creflo Dollar Ministries, was arrested Friday morning on charges of domestic violence. The Associated Press reports that an argument between Dollar and his daughter soon became physical, causing the teenager “superficial injuries”. Creflo was charged with simple battery and cruelty to children, both of which are misdemeanors. He was released on bond, and is expected to preach this Sunday.
The 15 year-old reportedly told investigators that her father charged and choked her after following her into the kitchen. Deputy reports stated that the Dollar “slammed her to the ground and began punching her and took his shoe off and started whooping her with it.” The pastor claims he was only trying to “spank” her.
In a statement issued by his lawyer, Dollar explained, “As a father I love my children and I always have their best interest at heart at all times, and I would never use my hand to ever cause bodily harm to my children. The facts in this case will be handled privately to further protect my children. My family thanks you for your prayers and continued support.”
World Changers Church International is considered a “megachurch”, which, by definition is “a church having 2,000 or more in average weekend attendance”. According to World Changers’ official website, Dollar’s ministry sports 30,000 members and nearly 6,000 weekly worshipers. The pastor himself has often been the center of controversy, drawing criticisms from many for his extravagance and his philosophy that prosperity is good.