GEORGIA – Rev. Creflo Dollar has appealed to his congregation to help raise nearly a quarter of a million dollars for the family of a volunteer church employee who was killed at his World Changers Church International.
Speaking to parishioners on Sunday, Dollar challenged members to clear all the debt held by the family of Greg McDowell, who was gunned down Wednesday by former World Changers employee, Floyd Palmer.
Dollar urged them to take up an offering of $234,000, reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC). The paper writes that Dollar said, “We want to completely eradicate all debts in their lives… house, cars, everything. Let’s now show the world the power of a mega church,”
“In my book, he’s a hero,” Dollar said referring to the 39-year-old victim. “If those bullets hadn’t been trained on him, there would’ve been more people that would’ve died.”
“It’s a megachurch with a big heart,” Robert Herbert, a member of the church for more than 23 years, told theGrio. “We take care of our own.”
As previously reported by theGrio, McDowell was killed as he led a mid-week Bible study for a group of about 25 people. Eyewitnesses said Palmer, a former maintenance employee at the church, calmly walked into the chapel and fired multiple shots.
Palmer was later tracked down by police at Atlanta’s Lenox Square mall and taken into custody. He has been charged with murder.
World Changers Church members told the AJC that Dollar’s appeal to support the family during their time of grief was no surprise.
“It didn’t surprise me at all,” Juliet Hilton said. “He did tell us on Wednesday (night) that he was going to take up an extra offering.”
Mike Howard said Dollar’s request was just part of belonging to the church. “The McDowells are family,” Howard said. “We take care of each other here.”
Marcia Danielson said the gesture reflects Biblical scripture, which instructs the church to take care of its members when the need arises. “If it were me, I would’ve wanted that for my family,” she said. “That’s an incredible burden lifted.”
Indeed, Dollar highlighted such burdens when he asked the church to help McDowell’s family. “It’s enough to have somebody torn away from you,” he said. “And at the same time have to be worried about all of the debts.”
It has not been confirmed how much was raised Sunday but donations are still being accepted via the World Changers website, under the Gregory McDowell Family Fund. An account has also been established at Regions Bank in the McDowell family name.
It’s been reported that McDowell’s funeral will take place on Tuesday. Dollar will officiate.
McDowell is survived by his wife, Rosetta, and their two sons, Ethan and Trevor.
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