Creflo Dollar is once again in the news in a controversial way. Dollar’s ‘Project G650’ original YouTube video showing the pastor begging his congregants for a $65 million plane previously went viral as reported by the Inquisitr. Now, it’s Creflo’s $80 million-per-year earning church that is causing controversy — in large part due to Dollar’s refusal to disclose what his World Changers Church International does with all that money.
According to CBS, Pastor Dollar and his wife Taffi are living large within a Fayette County mansion in Georgia, located just south of Atlanta.
Dollar and his wife also enjoy a Buckhead condo.
If the mansion and condo aren’t enough, Dollar and his wife Taffi are also drawing criticism for their New York City-area home valued at $2.1 million. For his part, Creflo’s campaign page for his $65 million proposed plane was removed from the church’s website after the world caught wind of the controversy. However, afterward Pastor Dollar defended his actions and blamed God for what plenty of folks viewed as greed.
“If I want to believe God for a $65 million plane, you cannot stop me.”
Creflo went on to talk about if life was discovered on Mars, and he wanted a billion dollar space shuttle, he should be able to get one — presumably funded by the alleged 30,000 people who belong to his churches, and perhaps via his nearly 500,000 Twitter followers.
“Dream for the best house. Dream for the best car. Just ’cause the world don’t have it don’t mean you can’t have it. You are the children of the Almighty God.”
Back on Earth, critics are calling Creflo’s congregational promises a heavenly lottery with the odds in favor of the pastor who rolls around in a Rolls-Royce and Hummers. Christian pundits claim that pastors should live more like the people they serve, in line with their financial status.
Dollar is controversial because he not only refused to turn over the church’s financial records, he won’t even give the names of their board members. The World Changers Church International might bring in $80 million each year from the tithes and offerings of its members, but the church won’t disclose how much of that money is going towards salaries and other luxuries — and how much is actually helping people in the community and via charities.
Although churches aren’t required by law to disclose their financial records, plenty of churches do so right on their own websites in order to foster trust among their congregation and silence their critics.
It’s a move that might’ve helped Elevation Church Pastor Steven Furtick, as reported by the Huffington Post when Furtick drew controversy for his multi-million dollar mansion. Although the pastor defended his book sales income, saying it was separate from his church’s earnings, critics noted that church funds were potentially used to promote the book — so controversy over pastors and their close ties with book and other income married with church monies continues.
That’s the same backlash that continues against Dollar, who refused an interview with CBS46 and wouldn’t turn over audited copies of his church’s financial records for public scrutiny nor the names of his board members. The U.S. Senate Finance Committee called Dollar the least cooperative of the six pastors whose finances were examined back in 2007.
Even though Pastor Dollar doesn’t draw a salary from his church, the for-profit businesses for Creflo’s music and books are so tangled up with church finances that they list the church’s address (World Changers Church International 2500 Burdett Road College Park, GA 30349) and a close by address for Arrow Records, a recording studio at 5917 Old National Hwy, Atlanta, GA 30349, on the official paperwork.
Pastor Dollar makes money via speaking engagements and the above listed ventures, as well as his church taking in tithes and offerings that seemingly go into a black hole — that is, until they are ever disclosed and shouted from the rooftops as the Bible says.
[Images via YouTube/CBS]