Critics ask questions about Creflo Dollar's spending habits - CBS46 News

Critics ask questions about Creflo Dollar's spending habits

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CBS46 News is taking a closer look a local megachurch and the pastor's plans to buy a new airplane worth $65 million.

Pastor Creflo Dollar wants his congregation to pick up the tab, but critics are asking their own questions about his spending habits. We've learned the pastor likes to keep his finances secret.

Dollar's World Changers Church International already owns a Gulfstream Aerojet, which Dollar uses to fly all around the globe. Flight records show from 2004 to 2007 he traveled to St. Kitts, the Bahamas, Las Vegas, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. While we don't know the nature of those trips, he wasn't meeting with lawmakers in the nation's capital.

Four years ago, a U.S. Senate Finance Committee tried looking into the church's finances - from donations to the swanky mansion Dollar lived in with his family. Dollar refused to answer any questions or comply with any requests. In a series of letters to committee members, his attorneys argued he didn't have to under the first amendment.

The purpose of the congressional inquiry was to examine tax laws which exempt churches like World Changers. Simply put, the church doesn't have to pay taxes to the IRS.

Now critics, including former church members, question Dollar's plans to upgrade his personal aircraft.

Terrell Cameron Kyles protested outside the church during Sunday service.

"If they felt like they weren't doing anything wrong, there would be a level of transparency and I don't think you see the transparency because of how heinous it is, because of how hypocritical it is," said Kyles.

Dollar told the congregation he needs the plane for personal security and he's urging each member to chip in $300 so he can buy a new Gulfstream G650 with a price tag of $65 million.

Some members of the church, including Mary Jones, said they're happy to cough up the cash.

"Most definitely. Most definitely. We support our pastor. That's what we're here for," said Jones.

Where Dollar intends to fly with the new plane is a mystery and will likely remain that way since he has requested that all records of his flights be sealed to the public. We weren't able to obtain any tracking since 2007.

CBS46 spoke with directors from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, a a national organization that exists to help oversee non-profits and churches.

Dollar's World Changers Church International isn't a member, but the council president, Dan Busby, said his organization believes transparency should be a priority.

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