Creflo Dollar, pastor of a 30,000-strong congregation in Georgia, is drawing an outpouring of support and prayers amid reports that he assaulted his teenage daughter.
Supporters are coming to Dollar's defense on his Facebook page, telling the public to stop judging the pastor and expressing empathy as the parent of a teenager.
"I support my pastor fully! My 12 year old is already going through the terrible teens and I full understand how this situation can happen. Shame on the daughter for not following his word at no, then becoming combative and calling the police to embarrass her father. I will be praying that the get everything straightned (sic) out," Leslie Ayo commented.
Dollar, pastor of World Changers Church International, was arrested early Friday on charges of simple battery and cruelty to children.
According to Investigator Brent Rowan of the Fayette County Sheriff's Office, Dollar got into an argument with his 15-year-old daughter over whether she could attend a party. The Atlanta pastor allegedly choked his daughter, threw her to the ground, punched her and hit her with his shoe.
The daughter called 911 around 2 a.m.
In a statement Friday, Dollar said, "I just love my kid. Love 'em. Same problem every parent's going through," as reported by CBS Atlanta.
Dollar was released from the Fayette County Jail after his wife and son posted bond.
A tweet posted on Dollar's Twitter Friday morning reads: "Once you believe that you are righteous, you will begin do what is righteous. –Creflo Dollar #CaseDismissed."
Dollar is known for preaching a controversial teaching known as the prosperity gospel. He was among six ministers who were probed in 2007 by Sen. Charles Grassley over opulent spending and possible abuse of nonprofit status.
The investigation ended in 2011 with no penalties given. But a federal advisory committee was formed to ensure religious organizations comply with laws.
Hundreds of people have expressed their support for Dollar following Friday's highly publicized incident.
"Pastor, I support you, because throught (sic) the Lord, you have taught me more about my walk with the Lord than anyone else. And we have to discipline our children no matter what anyone else thinks or believe," said Janet Jenkins-Rodriguez on the Creflo Dollar Ministries Facebook page.
Wanda Espinosa also commented, "Stop Judgement (sic) on Pastor Creflo Dollar for he is a very good father and husband...We are Christians we need not Judge but let God take care of this...His daughter disrespected him when he told her she could not go to that party ...teens are running wild with the thought that they could get away with everything in this world..he is just a father trying to protect his daughter."
Marilyn Taylor posted, "Praying for your family Pastor Dollar...sometimes our children will take us there!"
Dollar and his wife, Taffi, have five children.