David G. Bromley & Michaela Crutsinger

World Changers Church International


1962 (January):  Creflo Dollar was born on January 28, 1962 in College Park, Georgia.

1980:  Dollar began hosting Bible study sessions in his college dormitory room.

1981:  Dollar established a ministry at West Georgia College.

1984:  Dollar received a B.A. degree in Education from West Georgia College.

1984:  Dollar began working at Brawner Psychiatric Institute in Atlanta.

1986:  Dollar experienced the vision for the World Changers Ministries Christian Center (WCMCC).

1986:  Dollar expanded his prayer group meetings and started to meet at the Kathleen Mitchell Elementary School.

1986 (December):  Creflo Dollar and Taffi Bolton married.

1988:  The WCMCC had outgrown the building and acquired the former Atlanta Christian Center Church in College Park, Georgia.

1991:  The WCMCC built a new facility in College Park, Georgia, referred to as the World Dome.

1995 (December):  The WCMCC moved into the new facility.

1998:  Dollar earned a masters and doctoral degrees in counseling.

1998:  Dollar was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Oral Roberts University.

2005:  Dollar began traveling to New York City each week to preach in Madison Square Garden.

2007-2010:  Dollar was among six televangelists to be questioned by a U.S. Senate committee regarding their personal use of church owned properties.

2012 (June):  The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office reported that Dollar had committed simple assault/battery and cruelty to his fifteen year-old daughter.

2012 (October):  A new church location was purchased in the Bronx, New York.

2012 (October):  A shooting occurred at the World Dome, and one church employee was slain.

2013:  Assault and battery charges against Dollar were dropped after he completed an anger management program.

2013 (March):  Dollar began his Change Conventions to celebrate the anniversary of the World Changers church.

2014:  Dollar acknowledged that he has been struggling with prostate cancer.


Creflo Dollar was born on January 28, 1962 to Creflo Dollar Sr., and Emma Dollar in College Park, Georgia. His father was a police officer, and his mother worked in a local elementary school that Dollar later attended. Dollar did not aspire to be a preacher, though he did attend church each Sunday with his parents. He was the first black student to attend Kathleen Mitchell Elementary School, a location he later chose to serve as his own church (Mumford 2011). He attended high school at Lakeshore High School, where he played linebacker on the school football team as well as served as the student body president. Those who attended school with him remembered him as a “good guy” but not as particularly religious (Mumford 2011). His goal after high school was to play professional football, which his family and friends supported. However, Dollar was unable to pursue an athletic career due to an injury.

After completing high school, Dollar was accepted at West Georgia College in Carrollton, Georgia. During his first year of college, he accepted Christ and began hosting Bible study sessions in his dorm room. The sessions became popular, with over 100 people in attendance on some evenings. He referred to them as “World Changers Bible Study” (Mumford 2011). During this time, Dollar also met his future wife, Taffi Bolton. He graduated from West Georgia College in 1984 with a degree in Education and immediately began working as a teen counselor at the Brawner Psychiatric Institute in Atlanta. Two years later, Dollar and Taffi Bolton married. The couple went on to adopt two sons and have three daughters of their own. In 2014, Dollar acknowledged during a television broadcast the he was combatting prostate cancer (Bloodsaw, 2014).

Dollar then established the World Changers Ministries Christian Center in the cafeteria of Kathleen Mitchell Elementary School, where eight people attended on the first Sunday service. The new ministry prospered, and in 1988 the church bought the former Atlanta Christian Center Church in College Park. The ministry expanded to offer four Sunday services to accommodate a growing congregation, composed predominantly of middle-class African Americans, and added a radio broadcast to reach a larger audience. In 1991, the World Changers broke ground on the current location of the ministry, the World Dome, located in Atlanta, Georgia. The 8,500-seat building cost nearly $18,000,000 and was paid for without any external financing. In addition, the name of the ministry was changed to World Changers Church International (WCCI) to reflect its increasing membership and global presence (“Creflo Dollar Ministries” n.d.). WCCI has established offices in England, Australia, Canada, and Nigeria. WCCI has announced plans to open as many as 500 fellowship churches in to accommodate for those who cannot attend the services on the main campus (“World Changers Fellowship Churches,” n.d.).


The World Changers “International Statement of Beliefs” contains a number of theological doctrines that are found in many Christian denominations: the Bible as the written and inspired Word of God; Jesus as the Son of God, crucifixion and resurrection; water baptism for those who accept Christ; acting on the word of God and evangelizing; tithing in support of the local church; alms to the poor and homeless; speaking in tongues as evidence for the acceptance and baptism of the Holy Spirit (“About Creflo Dollar Ministries,” n.d.). World Changers also believe that when the Rapture occurs, those who did not follow Christ will rise first; those that are left and who had accepted Jesus will rise up to meet him. After death, one will spend eternity in either Heaven or Hell, depending on whether or not they accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior (“Statement of Beliefs,” n.d.).

WWCI draws primary doctrinal inspiration from the less widely accepted Word of Faith tradition, which synthesizes the positive thinking and the capitalist success ethic (Baer 2010;582). The basic doctrinal profession in the Word of Faith tradition in Christianity is that adherents will achieve prosperity (defined broadly as physical, emotional economic, interpersonal, and spiritual) through positive confession. The doctrine is based in part on a passage in Mark 11:22-23 which quotes Jesus as stating that the faithful will have whatever they ask for or pray for with faith. Word of Faith adherents believe that this promise is included in Christ’s atonement for humankind’s sins. Prosperity is always available to believers; it is Satan who creates suffering. Adherents must not allow Satan to have authority over their lives but rather profess their faith to God. In order to gain healing, for example, adherents should make a positive confession by asserting with full belief that they have already been healed. Verbally asserting one of God’s promises creates a “force” that can make that promise real. By the same logic, of course, “negative confessions” can produce negative results.

Creflo Dollar’s ministry reflects the Word of Faith doctrinal precepts. His teachings center around positive thought and the powerit has to bring prosperity to his followers (Hinton 2011; Harrison 2005). A main message is “total life prosperity:” If individuals accept Jesus as their savior, then they will be prosperous in all ways, worldly and spiritual. Indeed, Dollar’s definition of prosperity is much broader than financial success: “When I define prosperity, I define it from a biblical point. If you go into the Hebrew version of the Bible, prosperity is define as peace, wholeness and continuing well being” (Brumback 2012). According to Dollar’s “total life prosperity” message, the covenant between God and humans secures wealth and blessings in all areas of their lives. The Bible is essentially a contract between humans and God that involves three principles. The first principle is knowing who one is in Christ; the second is the principle of “positive confession;” and the third is material wealth and physical well-being as the rights of every Christian. Dollar states that these three principles are necessary for gaining success in this world (Hinton 2011). In his sermons, Dollar cites biblical texts to emphasize the dominance that humans have over the Earth. Humans are as powerful as and have the same rights as Christ, and if they can recognize themselves in Christ, then they can access these powers. Knowing oneself in Jesus is not enough, it must be demonstrated in words through positive confession, and in the things that one does, such as sharing the word and giving back to the church (tithing). God is pleased by the faith of His children and takes pleasure in providing them with all he has to offer in response to prayer and positive confession. With regards to prayer, Dollar says, “It is your guarantee to get results. You can count on it” (Hinton 2011).

One extension of Dollar’s total prosperity doctrine, which some other Word of Faith leaders share, is the “little gods” doctrine. According to this doctrine, God, who is Spirit, created humans in His image and likeness; therefore, those who are born again, like God, also are Spirit. As Dollar has put the matter (“The Church of the Divine Lucre n.d):

Creflo Dollar: “If horses get together, they produce what?”
Congregation: “Horses!”
Dollar: “If dogs get together, they produce what?”
Congregation: “Dogs!”
Dollar: “If cats get together, they produce what?”
Congregation: “Cats!”
Dollar: “So if the Godhead says ‘Let us make man in our image’, and everything produces after its own kind, then they produce what?”
Congregation: “Gods!”
Dollar: “Gods. Little “g” gods. You’re not human. Only human part of you is this flesh you’re wearing.”

Dollar also teaches a version of the controversial “spiritual death” (separation from God’s provision) doctrine. According to Dollar “When Adam committed high treason in the Garden of Eden by turning his authority over to Satan, death, sin and the curse entered the earth. Adam’s connection to God was immediately severed, and Satan became his god instead.” His atonement for human sin involved both physical and spiritual death: “When Jesus died on the cross and descended into the depths of hell to pay the price for your sins, He died both physically and spiritually.” After three days in hell, God resurrected him, body and soul. Contemporary believers may likewise be born again: “That simply means that your spirit was transformed from a state of spiritual death to life in a split second of time.” It is this expression of faith in God’s power that allows adherents to fully experience God’s promise (“Articles” n.d.).

Dollar communicates the power of God’s promise through various teachings. One is his teaching on children and childbirth. Dollar states that all true believers, through positive confession, will be able to have and raise healthy children even if apparently face medical challenges that would make this impossible. Dollar also encourages entrepreneurship among his followers, and teaches that God wants his believers to own their own businesses and run major international corporations. In one sermon, Dollar claimed that he had a vision that the believers would eventually control the government system in the state of Georgia (Hinton 2011).

Creflo Dollar’s approach to empowerment thus focuses on individual transformation and stands in sharp contrast to more social oriented approaches within the African American Community (Blake 2005; Johnson 2010). Individual transformation must precede world transformation. And Dollar is quite clear on this. He has stated that “Dr. King stood for the freedom of all people, and I believe that deliverance from debt is an integral part of that freedom….When a man is out of debt, he is better able to accomplish God’s divine purpose for his life by being a blessing to others.” He goes on to stat that “Rather than focus on what’s wrong with our society, we choose to focus on sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with every person we possibly can,” Dollar said. “If people would make a decision to live their lives by the principles of the Word of God, all of the social ills in our society would cease to exist.”


The World Changers Church International is an independent, non-denominational church but identifies itself with the larger Worldof Faith movement, which consists of approximately four thousand churches internationally. The College Park, Georgia headquarters draws over 20,000 to its services and has more than 350 employees. The campus contains the WCCI, a daycare center, a television studio, a bookstore, a publishing house, and various outreach committees. Dollar has stated that God has asked him to construct a 60,000 seat World Changers Stadium which would supplant The World Dome (Sanneh 2004:56). The ministry operates on an annual budget of around $80,000,000.

Creflo Dollar Ministries is responsible for all outreach that WCCI undertakes, and conducts various conferences in the U.S. and around the world. There are WCCI offices on six continents. The Ministerial Association, which consists of leaders from around the world, supports these activities (Hinton 2011). The ministry also publishes a magazine titled CHANGE . In 1990, Dollar began to take advantage of the effectiveness of television in reaching his followers, and established the Changing Your World television and radio broadcasts. The television program has the capacity to reach almost one billion homes around the world and is aired on more than 100 stations. Church services are broadcast to the fellowship churches, as well as on cable television. With the advent of widespread internet availability, they began to stream the show live online, as well as provide archives of previous videos (“Creflo Dollar Ministries” n.d.).

Creflo and Taffi Dollar serve as co-pastors on the main church campus. Dollar travels to New York City to preach at the World Changers Church located in Brooklyn. Taffi Dollar is the CEO of Arrow Record music label. In addition to preaching each Sunday, Creflo Dollar travels to conferences around the country, speaking about how his members can be better and more prosperous Christians. He began actively writing in 1992 and has written over thirty books on a variety of topics, including textbooks that are used by Christian schools across the U.S. (Dollar 1992). His books focus on self-help, family issues, and debt management, among other themes (Brumback 2012). For example, one recent book that articulates the prosperity gospel is You’re Supposed to Be Wealthy: How to Make Money, Live Comfortably, and Build an Inheritance for Future Generations (Dollar 2014).


In June, 2012, a shooting occurred at the WCCI headquarters in Georgia, killing church employee Greg MacDowell, who was leading prayer. Floyd Palmer, 52, was taken into custody and charged with shooting MacDowell. There was no evidence that the incident was connected to the church or that Dollar was a target. Dollar was not present at the time, but later discussed the tragedy in his sermons and comforted his followers. Dollar decided to call on the church to pay the bills of MacDowell’s family, and asked members to donate the goal of $234,000 to support the family (Garner 2012).

Dollar has, however, triggered controversy on other grounds. In October, 2012, Dollar was arrested for allegedly choking and assaulting his fifteen year-old daughter in their home in Fayetteville. The two had been arguing after his daughter brought up attending a party, which angered Dollar. He was initially charged with battery and cruelty to children, but the charges were dropped once he completed an anger management program and paid the court costs (Beasley 2013; Gold 2012).

The most persistent controversy attends Dollar’s promotion of the Prosperity Gospel, his use of church funds, and his personal display of wealth. Numerous Christian groups decry the biblical support he claims to find for the Prosperity Gospel (“Evander Holyfield” 2010; Gray 2012; “Prosperity Pastor” 2008). Dollar is unapologetic about his personal wealth, which is estimated at over twenty-five million dollars. He has stated that : “ Because I am the righteousness of God, angels have been sent to minister to me. They respond to the Word of God which I speak. Therefore, I loose angels with the words of my mouth. I say today, let the Lord be magnified who takes pleasure in my prosperity. In the name of Jesus, I command the angels to bring to me prosperity in my spirit, in my home, in my body, in my family life, and in my finances (“What’s in a Name?” 2008) .

From 2007-2010, Creflo Dollar was among six televangelists to be investigated by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, after questions about the luxurious planes, cars, and properties the church owned. He was questioned about his usage of church money in general, but the report came to no conclusive results about wrongdoing (Simmons 2012). However, the corporation was reportedly among others that did not cooperate during the investigation (Gold 2012).

The controversy over prosperity gospel based donations advocated by Dollar arose again in 2022. This time it was Dollar himself who brought attention to the issue and revised his previous teachings on the matter with a June 2022 sermon on “The Great Misunderstanding.” Dollar asserted that he is “still growing” and then stated that

the teachings that I’ve shared in times past on the subject of tithing were not correct. And today, I stand in humility to correct some things that I’ve taught for years and believed for years, but could never understand it clearly because I had not yet been confronted with the gospel of grace, which has made the difference.

While he stated that he was not apologizing because the change was a product of his personal spiritual growth, he did say to his followers that “I have no shame at all at saying to you, throw away every book, every tape and every video I ever did on the subject of tithing unless it lines up with this.” Dollar explained that the basis for his revised teaching was that the Old Testament stipulates a ten percent tithe while the New Testament leaves the amount to the discretion of the individual.


“About Creflo Dollar Ministries,” n.d. Accessed from http://www.creflodollarministries.org/About/Welcome.aspx on 20 July 2014.

“Articles.” n.d. Accessed from http://www.creflodollarministries.org/BibleStudy/Articles.aspx?id=18 on 20 June 2014.

Blake, John. 2005. “Pastors Choose Sides Over Direction of Black Church.” The Atlanta Journal – Constitution , 15 February, A-1.

Baer, Jonathan. 2010. “Holiness and Pentecostalism.” Pp. 569-86 In The Blackwell Companion to Religion in America, edited by Philip Goff. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Beasley, David. 2013. “Creflo Dollar Abuse Charge Dropped After Pastor Seeks Anger Management.” Huffington Post, January 25. Accessed from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/25/creflo-dollar-abuse-charge-dropped_n_2552369.html on 20 July 2014.

Bloodsaw, David. 2014. “ Creflo Dollar Speaks About His Prostate Cancer.” All Christian News, February 3. Accessed from http://allchristiannews.com/creflo-dollar-speaks-about-his-prostate-cancer/ on 20 July 2014.

Brumback, Kate. 2012. “Megachurch Pastor Creflo Dollar Arrested.” Associated Press, June 8. Accessed from http://bigstory.ap.org/article/megachurch-pastor-creflo-dollar-arrested on 20 July 2014.

Collingsworth, T. Dexter. 2111. JESUS Inc.: Deprogramming from the Word of Faith Movement Paperback . Raleigh, NC: Lulu.com.

Dollar, Creflo. 2014. You’re Supposed to Be Wealthy: How to Make Money, Live Comfortably, and Build an Inheritance for Future Generations. College Park, GA: Creflo Dollar Ministries.

Dollar, Creflo. 1992. Understanding God’s Purpose For The Anointing. College Park, GA: Creflo Dollar Ministries.

“Creflo Dollar Ministries.” n.d. Accessed from http://www.creflodollarministries.org/default.aspx on 20 July 2014 .

“Evander Holyfield Bank Account Is Headed For Empty While His Pastor Creflo Dollar Is Still Sitting Pretty.” 2010. Newswire , October 8. Accessed from
http://www.i-newswire.com/evander-holyfield-bank-account/65218 on 20 July 2014.

Garner, Marcus. 2012. “Creflo Dollar Asks Members to Donate $234K to Church Shooting Victim’s Family.” Atlanta Journal Constitution, October 28. Accessed from http://www.ajc.com/news/news/crime-law/creflo-dollar-asks-members-to-donate-234k-to-famil/nSqTH/ on 20 July 2014.

Gold, Jim. 2012. “Televangelist Creflo Dollar Arrested in Alleged Choking Attack on Daughter.” NBC News, June 8. Accessed from http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/06/08/12126777-televangelist-creflo-dollar-arrested-in-alleged-choking-attack-on-daughter?lite on 20 July 2014.

Gray, Melissa. 2012. “Creflo Dollar’s Prosperity Gospel Finds Followers and Critics.” CNN, June 10. Accessed from http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/10/living/prosperity-gospel/ on 20 July 2014.

Harrison, Milmon. 2005. Righteous Riches: The Word of Faith Movement in Contemporary African American Religion. New York: Oxford University Press.

Hinton, Mary. 2011. Commercial Church: Black Churches and the New Religious Marketplace in America. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Johnson, Sylverster. 2010. “The Black Church.” Pp. 446-67 In The Blackwell Companion to Religion in America, edited by Philip Goff. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Mumford, Debra. 2011. “Rich and Equal in the Eyes of Almighty God! Creflo Dollar and the Gospel of Racial Reconciliation.” Pneuma 33:218-36.

“Prosperity Pastor Creflo Dollar: Abusing the Gospel.” 2012. Beginning and End, June 26. Accessed from http://beginningandend.com/prosperity-pastor-creflo-dollar-abusing-the-gospel/ on 20 July 2014.

Relevant. 2022. “Prosperity Preacher Creflo Dollar: My Past Teaching on Tithing ‘Was Not Correct’.” Relevant Magazine, July 7. Accessed from https://relevantmagazine.com/faith/church/prosperity-preacher-creflo-dollar-my-past-teaching-on-tithing-was-not-correct/ on 9 July 2022.

Sanneh, Kelfa. 2004. “Pray and Grow Rich.” The New Yorker, October 11, 48-57. Accessed from http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2004/10/11/041011fa_fact_sanneh?printable=true&currentPage=all#ixzz35OiXVUzy on 20 June 2014.

Simmons, Lynda. 2011. Senate Finance Committee, Minority Staff Review of World Changers Church International (WCCI) (Creflo and Taffi Dollar). Accessed from http://www.finance.senate.gov/newsroom/ranking/release/?id=5fa343ed-87eb-49b0-82b9-28a9502910f7 on 20 July 2014.

The Church of the Divine Lucre. n.d. “Quotes.” Accessed from http://lucre.ourchur.ch/quotes/ on 20 June 2014.

“Statement of Beliefs.” n.d. Accessed from http://www.worldchangers.org/Statement-Of-Beliefs.aspx on 20 July 2014.

“What’s in a name? Just ask Creflo DOLLAR.” 2012. Defending.Contending, June 26. Accessed from http://defendingcontending.com/2008/05/31/whats-in-a-name-just-ask-creflo-dollar/ on 20 July 2014.

Winston, Oretha. 2014. “Creflo Dollar Opens Up About His Prostate Cancer Battle.” elev8.com , January 30. Accessed from http://elev8.com/1217884/creflo-dollar-cancer-battle-video/ on 20 July 2014.

World Changers Fellowship Churches. n.d. Accessed from http://www.creflodollarministries.org/SatelliteChurches/SatelliteChurches.html on 20 July 2014.

Publication Date:
31 July 2014
9 July 2022