Creflo Dollar gets shy about his finances
Creflo Dollar, founder of World Changers Church International, has repeatedly refused to be open about his finances, according to a report by the Daily Mail Online.
The American televangelist came under fire for his decision to launch an appeal to fund a $65 million private jet – an appeal that he withdrew as a result of the criticism online.
Documents recently obtained by Daily Mail Online show that Dollar refused to provide information about his income in a civil divorce case between boxer Evander Holyfield and his second wife Janice Itson and as a result Dollar was held in contempt of court.
According to Itson's lawyer, Holyfield made donations of up to $4 million during their marriage, the majority of which was transferred 60 days before Holyfield filed for divorce.
The lawyer asked Dollar to explain exactly how much money he had received, and when he refused, the judge held him in contempt of court and ordered him to be held in Fayette County jail.
But Dollar's lawyers appealed to Georgia Supreme Court and he never spent time in jail.
The Mail reports that he even refused to cooperate two months later when the judge wrote to him, appealing for him to cooperate with the law as a "man of God".
In a Senate finance committee inquiry into the finances of six televangelists conducted between 2007-2011, Dollar was reportedly the "least cooperative".
The inquiry was set up over concerns that the televangelists were using their ministry's tax-exempt status to fund multi-million dollar lifestyles.
The other evangelists investigated were Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Copeland, Eddie Long and Randy and Paula White.
But the committee's work was hampered by the fact that four of the six refused to hand over all the necessary information.
Although the ministries of Hinn and Meyer complied in full, and the others provided partial responses, Dollar refused to give any information, including refusing to say how much he earned.
Ultimately the report issued by Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley did not reach any specific conclusions and no penalties were given.
Dollar, who was mentored by Copeland and preaches a prosperity gospel message, owns a $2.4 million mansion in Fayette County, Georgia as well as a house on a private estate in Bergen, New Jersey, the Mail reports.
At the time of the 2007 investigation Dollar also had two Rolls Royce cars and the ministry had a private jet – the one which currently needs replacing as a result of mechanical failures.
Since the appeal was cancelled, a spokesmen for the ministry told the Christian Post that Dollar and his team would continue to use commercial flights instead.
Dollar told the Associated Press in 2007 that he no longer took a salary from World Changers Church, although he told a New York Times journalist the previous year that his salary was set by a compensation board at the church.
In an interview with Art Franklin for WAGA-TV, Atlanta in 2006, Dollar said that he defined the prosperity message as: "Prospering in your spirit, prospering in your soul, prospering in your physical body that's healthy, prospering in your relationships, prospering in your job and prospering in your finances."
Among the books he has penned is '8 Steps to Create the Life You Want'.