Creflo Dollar

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Creflo Augustus Dollar, Jr.
Born (1962-01-28) January 28, 1962 (age 53)
Residence College Park, Georgia
Occupation Pastor
Spouse(s) Taffi Dollar
Website
www.worldchangers.org

Creflo Augustus Dollar, Jr. is an American televangelist, pastor, and the founder of the non-denominational World Changers Church International based in Fulton County, Georgia,[1] Creflo Dollar Ministerial Association (formerly called International Covenant Ministries), Creflo Dollar Ministries, and Arrow Records.[2]

Some sources report that Dollar's real name is Michael Smith,[3] which Dollar has called an "urban legend".[4]

Biography[edit]

He was born on January 28, 1962 to Creflo Augustus Dollar, Sr. (1936-1993) and his wife. The younger Creflo attended local schools and was raised in the Baptist Church.

Dollar began developing World Changers Ministries Christian Center in 1986.[5] He held the church's first worship service in the cafeteria of an elementary school in College Park, Georgia, with eight people in attendance. He later renamed the ministry as World Changers Church International (WCCI), and the congregation moved from the cafeteria to a dedicated chapel. Four services were held each Sunday, and Creflo added a weekly radio broadcast. On December 24, 1995, WCCI moved into its present location, the 8,500-seat facility known as the World Dome. The church has said that the nearly $18 million World Dome was built without any bank financing.[6] As of 2007, the congregation reported having around 30,000 members, and $69 million in revenue (gross cash collections) for 2006.[7]

In October 2012, Creflo Dollar Ministries leased Loews Paradise Theater in The Bronx for a new church location in New York. The building is a New York City Landmark, built during the 1920s as a movie palace.[8]

In October 2012 a former church employee shot and killed a man during early morning services at World Changers Church International in College Park.[9] Dollar established a donation fund for the victim's family.[10]

On March 15, 2013, Creflo Dollar embarked on a convention tour (the "2013 Change Conventions").[11][12]

Dollar also speaks at conferences and is an author, writing about his gospel of wealth.[13][3]

Finances[edit]

Dollar is known for his controversial teachings regarding prosperity theology, or the gospel of wealth.[13] He has long been criticized for living a lavish lifestyle; he owns two Rolls-Royces, a private jet, and real estate such as a million-dollar home in Atlanta, a $2.5 million home in Demarest, New Jersey, and a $2.5 million home in Manhattan,[13] which he sold for $3.75 million in 2012.[14] Dollar has refused to disclose his salary. Creflo Dollar Ministries received a grade of "F" for financial transparency by the organization Ministry Watch.[13][15]

On November 6, 2007, United States Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, began an investigation of several ministries, including Dollar's. Grassley asked for financial information to determine whether Dollar made any personal profit from financial donations and requested that Dollar's ministry make the information available by December 6, 2007. The investigation also asked for information from five other televangelists: Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Eddie L. Long, Joyce Meyer, and Paula White.[16] Dollar contested the probe, arguing that the proper governmental entity to examine religious groups is the IRS, not the Committee on Finance.[17]

On November 24, 2014, Dollar's private Gulfstream III jet, N103CD ran off the runway at Biggin Hill Airport, United Kingdom.[18] There were no serious injuries.[19] To replace the old jet, Dollar launched a fundraising campaign to get his followers to pay approximately $60,000,000 for a new Gulfstream G650 jet. He suggested his followers each commit to giving "$300 or more." The jet he wants is the "fastest plane ever built in civilian aviation.".[20][21][22] After receiving immediate backlash, Dollar ended his fundraising campaign. The project was kept as an option on the donation page of ministry's website.[23]

Biography[edit]

In 1984, Dollar received a Bachelor of Science degree in education from West Georgia College in Carrollton, Georgia.[24]

Dollar and his wife, Taffi, have five children and live in Atlanta. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Oral Roberts University in 1998.[5]

Sheriff's report[edit]

On June 8, 2012, the Fayette County Sheriff's Office filed a report claiming Dollar committed acts of simple assault/battery and cruelty toward a child. The report stated that his then 15-year-old daughter reported she was choked and hit by her father, Dollar. Dollar informed deputies that he was only trying to restrain his daughter, who, he claimed, was acting disrespectfully after he forbade her from attending a party. He stated that while he was holding his daughter, she began to hit him. He stated he wrestled her to the floor, spanked her and sent her to her room, according to the report.[25] Dollar released a statement after the charges were filed, denying that he assaulted his daughter.[26] In January 2013, prosecutors dropped charges after Dollar completed an anger-management program. Fayette County Solicitor General James Inagawa said Dollar paid about $1,000 in court fees as part of a pretrial intervention program and had complied with all the conditions placed on him to resolve the case. Inagawa noted that the wishes of Dollar's daughter were taken into account before prosecutors allowed the pastor to participate in the pretrial intervention program.[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Contact Us." World Changers Church International. Retrieved on May 25, 2009.
  2. ^ "Creflo Dollar Ministries". Retrieved June 27, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Lavallee, Andrew (August 14, 2001). "The Best Thing About Evangelist Creflo Dollar Is His Audience". New York Press. Retrieved December 10, 2014. 
  4. ^ Raboteau, Emily (January 6, 2013). "My search for Creflo Dollar". Salon. Retrieved January 18, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "About Creflo Dollar". Retrieved January 17, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Dr.Creflo A. Dollar Biography." World Changers Church-New York. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Jun 2010.
  7. ^ "Figures released by megachurch". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. November 11, 2007. Archived from the original on November 14, 2007. Retrieved November 17, 2007. 
  8. ^ DANIEL BEEKMAN (December 2, 2012). "Iconic Paradise Theater on Grand Concourse set to begin next act as megachurch of Creflo Dollar". The New York Times. Retrieved July 7, 2013. 
  9. ^ Menzie, Nicola (October 25, 2012). "Creflo Dollar Addresses Fatal Church Shooting, Thanks 'World Changers' for Prayers". Christian Post. Retrieved January 17, 2015. 
  10. ^ EurPublisher (October 29, 2012). "Creflo Dollar Appeals to Parishioners to Pay Bills of Slain Church Employee". EurWeb. Retrieved July 7, 2013. 
  11. ^ Elev8 (February 6, 2013). "Dr. Creflo Dollar Announces 2013 "Change Conventions"". Elev8. Retrieved July 22, 2013. 
  12. ^ Travel and Tour World (October 9, 2013). "Creflo Dollar’s ‘Change Experience’ to Impact Thousands in Orlando Oct. 11". Travel and Tour World. Retrieved November 11, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b c d Michael Luo (January 15, 2006). "Preaching a Gospel of Wealth in a Glittery Market, New York". The New York Times. Retrieved June 27, 2010. 
  14. ^ Kim Velsey (April 25, 2012). "Televangelist Creflo Dollar Sells Manhattan Condo (Pictures)". The New York Observer. 
  15. ^ http://www.ministrywatch.com/profile/creflo-dollar-ministries.aspx
  16. ^ "Sen. Grassley probes televangelists' finances". USA Today. November 7, 2007. Retrieved April 30, 2010. 
  17. ^ http://www.creflodollarministries.org/About/documents/LegalResponse03032008.pdf
  18. ^ http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=20141124-0
  19. ^ http://www.airliners.net/photo/Gulfstream-Aerospace-G-1159A/2545472/&sid=94a66c7d71e5874c76cdf14eeb5ceb94
  20. ^ Stringer, Sam (March 14, 2015). "Minister Creflo Dollar asks for $60 million in donations for a new jet". CNN. Retrieved March 15, 2015. 
  21. ^ "Creflo Dollar launches appeal to buy $65 million private plane for evangelism - Christian News on Christian Today". christiantoday.com. Retrieved March 13, 2015. 
  22. ^ http://www.creflodollarministries.org/ProjectG650/Default.aspx
  23. ^ King, Michael (March 14, 2015). "Televangelist Dollar's plea for $65M to buy jet now offline". WXIA-TV (Atlanta, Georgia). Retrieved March 15, 2015. 
  24. ^ "2/10 Creflo Dollar – Winning the War in your Mind ." Download Christian. N.p., n.d. Web. June 23, 2010. http://www.download-christian.com/?p=147
  25. ^ http://www.11alive.com/assetpool/documents/120608125907_creflo_arrest.pdf Fayette County Sheriff's Office Deputy Report
  26. ^ "Megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar denies punching, choking daughter". The Washingtion Times. Retrieved March 13, 2015. 
  27. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/25/creflo-dollar-abuse-charge-dropped_n_2552369.html Reuters: Creflo Dollar Abuse Charge Dropped After Pastor Seeks Anger Management

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