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Megachurch pastor Dollar, arrested for choking daughter, says charges were "exaggerated"

Atlanta, Georgia]--At first I thought it was a story of a pimp hurting young girls when I heard the name, then I learned that Creflo Dollar was the name of a pastor at an Atlanta mega church.

Pastor Dollar, who was arrested Friday for choking his 15-year-old daughter, has taken to the podium to deny the charges. Calling them "exaggerated," the man of God said his daughter's bruises around the neck was as a result of eczema not because of any choking on his part and that he has never hurt any of his children.

Reports say police were called to his home in Fayette County around 1:00 a.m. to deal with a domestic abuse incident. His 15-year-old daughter was the one who called 911 on her father. Apart from the alleged choking, she accused Pastor Dollar of hitting her with a shoe.

Though his other 19-year-old daughter has backed up her sister's story of abuse, Pastor Dollar continues to declare his innocence and says he was only trying o prevent his daughter from going to a party when she started mouthing off.

Controversy is not new to Dollar, for many have criticized his flashy lifestyle and Sunday morning sermons where he reportedly preaches God wanted us all to be rich. Reminds me of that other perpetually smiling pastor Joel Osteen, you know the one I mean, who preaches prosperity is a good thing and God would want us to have riches. He certainly has a lot of it. If Pastor Dollar's name is any indication, like Olsteen, God must be blessing him abundantly.

Members of his congregation were seen on CNN Monday, defending their pastor. One called him a "good man of God" and a woman said if her daughter acted up, she too would be "dealt with," and that Pastor Dollar did nothing wrong.

Dollar now faces misdemeanor charges of simple battery and cruelty to children.

According to The Times, the 50-year-old is the head of the Creflo Dollar Ministries and also the pastor of the World Changers Church International in Atlanta. His congregation is 30,000 strong. He also has 4 satellite churches in Georgia as well as additional ministries in Dallas, Cleveland, Washington, Los Angeles, Indianapolis and Houston. Sounds like a chain of retail stores, doesn't it?

Reminds me of another controversial preacher, also from Atlanta, who had his share of scandal, this one of a sexual abuse nature. Incidentally, he also was criticized for his lavish, flashy lifestyle. Teddy Long, was sued by four young men who accused him of sexual abuse. Pastor Long reportedly paid millions to these young men, a sum decided by an arbitrator not a judge. The proceedings were sealed from the public so the exact number of millions is not known.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article