College Park – A prominent megachurch pastor staunchly denied on Sunday that he punched and choked his 15-year-old daughter in an argument, telling his congregation the allegations made in a police report are nothing but “exaggeration and sensationalism“.
“I will say this emphatically: I should have never been arrested,” pastor Creflo Dollar said in his first public appearance two days after police charged him with misdemeanour counts of simple battery and cruelty to children.
The pastor got an enthusiastic ovation from the packed church as he took the pulpit on Sunday at the World Changers Church International in an Atlanta suburb. He addressed the criminal charges head-on for several minutes before moving on to his sermon.
“I want you all to hear personally from me that all is well in the Dollar household,” Dollar said.
The 50-year-old 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 US. He was arrested after his 15-year-old daughter called police at about 01:00 on Friday and told a Fayette County sheriff’s deputy that she and her father argued when he said she couldn’t go to a party.