Creflo Dollar’s date with destiny was marred with racial bigotry because he was the first Black child to enrol in the segregated Kathleen Mitchell Elementary School in Collage Park, Georgia. Creflo grew up aware of racial prejudice; kids crowded around him at recess to rub the colour off his skin. Eventually Creflo made friends, and by his senior year of high school, he was a straight A student and was elected student body president. As the years passed the Lord directed him onto his path. “You will minster to thousands,” said a man to Creflo Dollar after his water baptism in an apartment swimming pool. “You will counsel, and you will preach to thousands, and then to hundreds of thousands.” Walking away from the the stranger, Creflo wondered: Is he crazy? He must be, because I’ll never be a minister.
The Path Desired
Creflo was at the forefront of Southern integration, but racial issues weren’t his passion. Football was. Creflo played football all the way to West Georgia College where he suffered an injury in the first few weeks of the season. Injuring the ligaments in his hips allowed the doctors to discover a hernia that required surgery. The doctors warned Creflo that one direct hit could result in internal bleeding so he was sidelined. As the reality of football started to fade, a disheartened Creflo called a friend at the University of Alabama, “my life has disappeared,” he moaned.
Creflo’s friend didn’t sympathise with him, instead shared something that would change his life forever. He introduced Creflo to the Star of all stars – the One called the Bright and Morning Star. The One whose name is Jesus. “I was raised in church,” Creflo says, “and I directed a gospel choir in collage, but I had never met Jesus. Soon after I was born again, I received a Baptism of the Holy Spirit.”
After years of religion, a relationship with the Lord Jesus was like winning the Super Bowl. Creflo shared his salvation experience with his family. One by one, they were born again. At collage, he witnessed to one girl. She told five others. Soon, 20-year-old Creflo Dollar was leading World Changers Campus Ministry – a Bible study attended by more than 100 students. A young girl named Taffi gave her heart to the Lord at Creflo’s first campus Bible study. He had no way of knowing then that meeting her was part of his God-ordained destiny.
The Path Destined
A few years after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Education, Creflo was directed by the Lord to start a church. In seeking the Lord, Creflo was directed to make reservations seven months in advance for the 1987 Southwest Believers Convention in Fort Worth. “The Lord gave me four keys to making the church successful,” Creflo said, “First, He told me to make prayer our foundation. I was instructed to teach the people to pray for an hour a day. Second, He told me to make the church a Partner with Kenneth and Gloria (Copeland). We were to tithe and sow seeds into their ministry. Third, He told me to teach the Word of God so simply that people could do what I taught. Fourth, He told me to be consistent. As soon as I heard Kenneth and Gloria preach, I knew they were my spiritual parents. I bought every tape Kenneth and Gloria offered, and listened to them until I started to sound like Kenneth. I also put the keys God gave me to work! The church took off!”
Creflo was able to attend the first Ministers’ Conference held on the grounds of Kenneth Copeland Ministries. Creflo watched as Brother Copeland motioned for someone to come up to the pulpit, and said “Say whatever God puts on your heart.” He is talking to me! Creflo realised. For a few minutes, Creflo stood at Brother Copeland’s podium. The experience left him shaken. There was no mistake about it – Kenneth had been observing Creflo.
When Creflo attended the second Ministers’ Conference the following year, he was invited to the Coopelands house for fellowship. During the fellowship, Brother Copeland’s blue eyes connected with Creflo’s brown eyes, “I believe,” Brother Kenneth said, “that today, destiny is looking one another in the eye.” Brother Copelands words did not leave Creflo, as he drove away he shifted uncomfortably in his car and remembered the prophecy spoken to him the day he’d been baptised: You’ll minister to thousands…and hundreds of thousands.
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