Controversial Preacher Comes To Oakland

Saturday, September 23, 2006

One of the leading exponents of the so-called prosperity theology brought his ministry to Oakland today. Pastor Creflo Dollar found an attentive audience of believers who don't share the cynicism of his critics.

A crowd of about 2,000 came to hear the word of faith teaching.

Cristina Mora, Tracy: "It's different than regular preaching you know they always just preach about the bible and whatever, but this is changing your mind, how you think."

Dr. Creflo Dollar, pastor of the World Changers Church International based outside Atlanta. Its membership estimated as high as 35,000 doesn't count his reach through other media.

Rita Carlson, Walnut Creek: "TV, and I have some of his tapes, yeah and I watch him on the internet on that streaming faith."

Dr. Creflo Dollar: "Today on changing your world. We must take authority over our emotions."

His message today had a familiar ring.

Valerie McClain, El Cerrito: "What resonated with me was that the principal thing is love as a Christian. Everything begins with love."

Ben Mora, Tracy: "Without love, nothing works."

Derided by some critics for his preaching of prosperity, Pastor Dollar has been accused of misinterpreting the bible, even been called a cult leader.

Pastor Creflo Dollar: "Anybody that teaches out of the bible is a prosperity preacher, because prosperity is to have success in every arena of life. Quit being so scared of the fact that you have a good god who wants to do you good, and make you happy."

Maureen Harrigan, Greenville: "What he has been preaching works, because I worked. I retired with full retirement, and I know how to sow the seed, and god is working. It's working in my life."

Pastor Creflo Dollar: "So when I mention the word 'prosperity' or abundance I am not just talking about money."

James Brown: "Prosperity has been looked upon as a bad word in ministry, because so many people think it's just about money. But like he says, there's got to be money to pay for the bills."

Pastor Creflo Dollar: "Not having no money to be able to do what you need to do in life is bad."

Oakland is the last stop on this latest round of what they call conventions. And the conventional wisdom is the growth of this type of ministry shows little sign of slowing down.

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