Pastor Creflo Dollar wants to show the world “the power of a megachurch” by taking up a $234,000 offering from World Changers Church International members to clear all the debt held by the family of Greg McDowell (pictured above), the man gunned down by former church employee, Floyd Palmer (pictured bottom right), while leading a prayer service in the church, reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
“In my book, he’s a hero,” Dollar told his congregation of the 39-year old husband and father. “If those bullets hadn’t been trained on him, there would’ve been more people that would’ve died.”
See news report below:
Photo Credit: CBS Atlanta/L-R: Gregory McDowell, Floyd Palmer
As previously reported by NewsOne, Palmer, 52, a former maintenance worker at World Changers, calmly walked into the chapel last Wednesday morning, where approximately 25 people were gathered for prayer, and opened fire on McDowell, who was struck 5 times.
“He left as calmly as he came,” Fulton County Police Cpl. Kay Lester said.
Palmer was later located by police at Atlanta’s Lenox Square and taken into custody.
Pastor Dollar, who was not present at the time of the shooting, has challenged members to give as much as they can to the McDowell family during this unimaginable time of grief.
“The goal is $234,000,” Dollar said, telling the congregation he wanted to raise that amount by the end of the day Sunday. “We want to completely eradicate all debts in their lives … house, cars, everything. Let’s now show the world the power of a megachurch.”
Members told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution they expected Dollar’s response to the tragedy.
“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.”
“He has a love for people,” Debbie Taylor said.
Mike Howard said Dollar’s actions, and the acquiescence of the church members 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 Bible scripture that directs each 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.”
In addition to an account established at Regions Bank in the McDowell family’s name and bins set up near the church’s exits for donations, according to Pastor Dollar, contributions can also be made at World Changers online.