As if it were all just a dream, Pastor Creflo Dollar, arrested Friday for allegedly choking, punching, and slamming his daughter to the ground, will deliver his first sermon since the attack, with live streaming online.
They've tweeted. They've prayed. And now, the legions of supporters of the beleaguered 50-year-old pastor will be rewarded with a sermon streamed live.
According to World Changers Church International’s website, the service is set to air on Sunday, June 10, 2012 promptly at 10 a.m. ET.
While supporters aren't shocked that their Shepard will stand tall this morning, critics question his decision.
"Here we see someone who espouses Christian virtues being arrested for battery. Perhaps that's a real signal that they need to step down from the ministry for a while. How do you get up in the pulpit and preach on Sunday?" said Anthea Butler, a Professor of Religious Studies and Graduate chair at the University of Pennsylvania, to ACJ.
Dollar's attorney, Nikki Bonner, has an answer: Dollar doesn't think he is guilty.
In the statement released Friday, after he posted bail, he said as much. "As a father I love my children and I always have their best interest at heart at all times," Dollar said in a statement released by Bonner, according to the Associated Press. "I would never use my hand to ever cause bodily harm to my children,"
His congregation appears to to think he's not guilty either.
"It's just something that's been blown out of proportion," said Randi Garrett, a longtime member of Dollar's World Changers Church International, AJC says. "Kids misconstrue things, and they take them out of context."
Not only do kids misconstrue things, Sandy Martin adds kids also rebel saying on Dollar's Facebook page,“anyone with or who has dealt with a rebellious teen in this day and age should be able to read between the lines.”
What's between the lines?
"The devil is a liar," thrashedntrash tweets early Sunday morning, telling others to pray for the pastor.
Linda Kaye agrees. His daughter, she writes, "INTENTIONALLY TRIED TO BRING SHAME AGAINST THE YOU ON BEHALF OF THE DEVIL."
The shame she seemed to cause was causing her father to be charged with simple battery family violence and cruelty to children, by calling the police on the prominent pastor.
It was early Friday morning with officer Everett responded to the Dollar household. When questioned his youngest daughter told the officer that the attack happened after an argument about a party she wanted to attend the next day, Saturday night.
When her father told her no, she walked into the kitchen with her sister, later identified as 19-year-old daughter Alexandria.
According to the police statement:
She said that while they were in the kitchen, Mr. Dollar walked in and found her crying. He asked why she was crying and she stated to him "I do not want to talk right now".
Juvenile Victim LD said when she said that to Mr. Dollar, he charged her, and put his hands around her throat and began to choke her.
She said he then slammed her to the ground and began to punch her and took his shoe off and started whooping her with it.
Then Dollar was asked about his side of the story:
public police report/ screengrab
Fayette County Sheriff incident report, statement of Creflo Dollar
The AJC writes, the lone witness, who was put in the middle of Friday morning's altercation, Dollar's 19-year-old daughter Alexandria, confirmed her sibling's account, telling deputies their father "put both hands around her sister's neck and choked her for about five seconds," the incident report said.
Alexandria Dollar said she then saw Dollar grab her little sister by the shoulders and slap her in the face. She says her sister tried to break free but was thrown to the ground, at which point Alexandria ran to get her mother, Taffi, whose arrival in the kitchen ended the fight, the incident report states, according to the AJC.
Despite the release of this information, David Gay writes on Dollar's Facebook, "I know the difficulty of having a child rebel to the point of trying to hurt a parent's public image."
It's an image he's been building since the day the "Spirit of God" spoke to Dollar regarding a vision of World Changers Church International while attending West Georgia College in Carrollton, Georgia as an undergraduate student.
He held the first service, in front of only eight people, in the cafeteria of Kathleen Mitchell Elementary School in College Park, the website says.
His ministry grew quickly, moved into a modest-sized chapel and was renamed World Changers Church International. The church moved into its present location, an 8,500-seat sanctuary called the World Dome, on Dec. 24, 1995.
It would be here where Dollar, whose church website says he serves more than 30,000 members at the College Park campus and another 6,000 at an affiliate church in New York, would educate his members on using corporal punishment.
In 2006, Dollar told congregants, "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," he said. "You don’t go lose your temper on your child, that’s abuse. But you don’t throw the baby out with the bath water either."