Creflo Dollar Is a Husband and Father of 5 Kids — Glimpse into the Televangelist's Family
Ministers are community leaders and are often held up as role models for husbands and fathers. Atlanta televangelist Creflo Dollar's family life seemed picture-perfect, until 2012.
Creflo Dollar, the founder of the World Changers Church International and co-pastor with his wife Taffi Dollar, is one of the most successful televangelists in the U.S.
His impassioned preaching has inspired millions, and part of his appeal has always been his staunch image as a dedicated husband and devoted father-of-five. That image was abruptly shaken in June 2012, when 911 received a distress call from Dollar's house.
Lauren's older sister Alexandria, who witnessed the incident, would convey the details to the responding officers, but when she was asked to make a written statement in front of her parents, she recanted
A CRY FOR HELP
"I just got an altercation with my father. He punched me and ...(inaudible) choked me. It's not the first time it's happened. I feel threatened by being in this house."
The young girl went on to identify herself as Lauren Dollar, daughter of Creflo and Taffi Dollar. A police unit was dispatched to the address in answer to the complaint, which eventually led to the televangelist's arrest on charges of battery and cruelty to children.
TELLING THE STORY
Lauren revealed that the argument with her father erupted after he forbade her from attending a party because of her grades. Lauren recounted that she started crying and walked out of the room, after which her father followed her, and when she refused to talk, he exploded. Lauren told the 911 operator:
"He went off. He came, put his arm around my neck, choked me, and bent me over the table."
THE SISTER'S TALE
Lauren's older sister Alexandria, who witnessed the incident, would convey the details to the responding officers. Still, when she was asked to make a written statement in front of her parents, she recanted.
Alexandria would later reprise her original testimony in writing, in the absence of Creflo and her mother, which stated:
"[Creflo] put both hands around her sister's neck and [choked] her for about five seconds."
THE MOTHER'S TALE
Taffi, the author of over 20 books, many of them on family life and child-rearing, told the responding officers that although she had been in the house, she had not witnessed the incident. She only confirmed that she had seen her daughter on the ground.
"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."
BREAKING: Megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar arrested on battery charges. Live update on Ch 2 Action News at Noon: http://t.co/teak9xK7— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) June 8, 2012
Creflo would later address the issue with his 30,000-strong congregation, admitting that there had been an altercation between him and Lauren. He said from the pulpit:
"The truth is that a conversation with our daughter got emotional and things escalated from there. The truth was that she was not choked, she was not punched."
The devoted congregation rallied around him, defending his chastisement of his daughter, and claiming that Creflo was being persecuted for his faith and beliefs, not his actions. The incident did not appreciably affect Creflo's standing or his credibility with the faithful.
PREACHING FOR THE CHILDREN
Ironically, Creflo had delivered a particularly impassioned sermon in 2008, in which he denounced hitting children to discipline them:
"We're responsible for not abusing our children but for disciplining them. There's a place for it, and it should only be administered with temperance. You don't go lose your temper on your child, that's abuse."
Creflo Dollar’s son Gregory Dollar that he adopted when he was 17 years old is about to release a book. I wonder will it be a best seller like his dad’s books? Read this article about it and tell me what you think https://t.co/gmKrP7lIXL pic.twitter.com/tO7P0sSRTS— LarryReidLive (@LarryReidLive) October 8, 2019
The charges against Creflo were dropped with the proviso that he attend anger-management courses, which he did. Since then, as far as it is known, all's been quiet in the Dollar family.
Aside from Lauren and Alexandria, now 23 and 28 respectively, Creflo and Taffi share three more children: sons Gregory and Jeremy, and daughter Jordan.
Son Gregory was a troubled white 17-year-old boy when Creflo adopted him and has written several books, including the autobiographical "Love in the Darkness: My Life as Creflo Dollar's Son." Gregory is the single father of 3 children and works in his father's ministry.
Daughter Jordan is a successful singer who often performs in her father's church. Creflo's relationship with Lauren also seems to have recovered, and the minister has posted loving messages to his youngest daughter.