FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — If everyone donates $300, he’ll use the money to buy a $65 million private jet. That’s what Pastor Creflo Dollar of World Changers International Church told his congregation. Since then, he’s been taking a lot of heat.
CBS46 stopped by the megachurch based in Fulton County to give Dollar a chance to explain himself, but our news crew was met with hostility from the beginning.
Members of the congregation seemed interested in expressing their opinion on the subject, but off-duty Fulton County law enforcement officers hired by the church were ushering them away from our cameras.
Next, the security team ordered the news crew to get as far away from the church as possible under threat of arrest. One deputy dangled handcuffs in a reporter’s face to show that he was serious.
They threatened to charge journalists with trespassing unless they stayed on the other side of Old National Highway, which is nearly 500 feet from the church entrance. Our cameras were prevented from recording anything taking place on Burdett Road, because according to the officers, even the sidewalk alongside the street belongs to the church.
“If they felt like they weren’t doing anything wrong, there would be a level of transparency,” said Cameron Kyles.
Kyles and a group of activists stood outside World Changers on Sunday with the intention of distributing literature and speaking against church practices. They too, were forced to stay a tremendous distance away.
Shamora Barnard was part of that group and she is a former member of the congregation.
“Creflo Dollar didn’t have a jet when I went to church here, and now that he has one, he’s asking for another one. At what point does my 10 percent actually go to my community?”
Barnard said every member of the church is encouraged to donate 10 percent of their paycheck each week.
Mary Jones was one of the few parishioners we could address from our distance. She comes all the way to World Changers from Decatur. Even though she rides a bus to church, she said she would gladly answer the pastor’s call to pitch in for one of the world’s most expensive private jets.
We asked her if she would give Pastor Dollar the $300 he was asking for.
“Most definitely. Most definitely. We support our pastor. That’s what we’re here for. The work that he’s doing, where the Lord has him traveling, he doesn’t need a cheap airplane. He needs the best.”