Last week, media outlets across the nation began a flurry of reports about 50 year old Atlanta-based megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar. Dollar was arrested after his 15 year old daughter called the police alleging that he had physically abused her.
His daughter told the sheriff’s deputy that she and her father argued after he told her she couldn’t go to a party.
According to a police report, she then went on to say that her father charged at her, put his hands around her throat and begin to punch her and hit her with his shoe. The deputy noted that there was a scratch on her neck.
The deputy also interviewed Dollar’s 19-year-old daughter, who said her father grabbed the younger girl’s shoulders and slapped her in the face and choked her for about five seconds. She said her sister tried to break free, but did not fight back. When her father threw the 15-year-old on the floor, the older girl ran to get her mother.
The deputy also spoke to Dollar’s wife, Taffi, who said she did not see the fight.
Dollar is one of the most prominent African-American preachers based around Atlanta, with 30,000 members in the Atlanta area and a ministry of satellite churches across the U.S. After the incident, Dollar addressed his congregation, at the World Changers Church International, denying the allegations of choking her. IT should be noted that he did however, admit to the police that he tried to restrain his daughter.
“I will say this emphatically: I should have never been arrested,” Dollar said Sunday in his first public appearance two days after police charged him with misdemeanor counts of simple battery and cruelty to children.
“The truth is that a family conversation with our youngest daughter got emotional,” he said. “And emotions got involved and things escalated from there.”
He said the mark on his daughter’s neck had been there for about 10 years and was caused by a skin condition, eczema.
“The truth is she was not choked, she was not punched. There were not any scratches on her neck,” Dollar said. “But the only thing on her neck was a prior skin abrasion from eczema. Anything else is exaggeration and sensationalism.”
Before beginning with his sermon, he ended his address to the congregation on the matter by saying, “I will never put any fault on my children, as Jesus would never put any fault on me.”