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Creflo Dollar - Year In Review



Vic Bolton: Now Creflo, you are in Africa so much that when we don't see you on a Sunday, we assume he's in Africa somewhere. Talk about your connection to the African continent and why you feel so driven to be active in that space.

Creflo: Well, it started off with a word from the Lord. God told me, "I want you to spend a lot of time on the continent of Africa, but don't open up any doors for yourself, I'll open the doors up and let you know where I want you to go". And that began to happen, and, you know, to be able for them to see somebody that looks like them bringing the gospel, that's the reports I get from a lot of guys. Why is that so important for me to be there? Because we can see something in you that gives us hope that we can have the same thing. But the root of the whole thing is that it was God's plan, and it was God's idea.

Vic: And how has the African continent received the message of grace?

Creflo: You know, I didn't know what was gonna happen when I first started it. I thought, "Oh, my God, you know, this is probably gonna be the roughest place in the world to preach it", but I mean to tell you, they grabbed a hold of that with tears, with repentance, with joy, with excitement. But it's been a great joy to me to see how they've received this message of grace. With hunger, with intensity, and with great excitement, and that's the tagline. They're understanding grace, they're being empowered to change. Taffi and I were in the nation of Nigeria and we did a question and answer with relationships, and she taught on Biblical equality, and that evening we had questions. And I mean to tell you, it was the most radical session I've ever been a part of. We would answer questions, then people would break out in cheers, it was really action and response to everything that happened. And to see that decision made, I choose Christ over my culture, and it seems like sometimes it's a little harder for the men, based on what country you're in, a little harder for the men than the women, but we see something happening now. Zimbabwe, Nigeria, South Africa, these places, you see a really strong move, even in the political realm, of making adjustments where women are now having more rights to a whole lot more things than they used to, and I believe it's because of that seed of Biblical equality.

Taffi Dollar: Praise God.

Vic: Sounds like Africa is gonna continue to see you in 2020.

Creflo: Yes, sir, yep.

Taffi: Yes, me too.

Vic: Now, in the summer of 2019, we had our Grace Life Conference where we came together as a family for all the things that we do in terms of equipping one another, and fellowshipping, and all of that. Talk a bit about how the Grace Life Conference went this past year.

Creflo: Whoo, it went to another level.

This is amazing grace. This is unfailing love. That you would take my place. That you would bear my cross.


Creflo: Each year it goes to another level. It's so revelatory that we are finally unveiling Jesus and removing that filter of who we thought Jesus was. As we unveil Jesus and people begin to see Jesus, this unveiling of Jesus, they become more like him. Religion kept us stuck and we never grew, we never made any progress. But the Grace Life Conference is simply an opportunity to immerse in 25 sessions, to get you so into God's Word on grace, because that's what it's gonna take to attack religion. And we believe that's exactly what's going on. It was a great, great, great time.

Vic: So, what was it like for you to actually hit the 100th session of Grace Life Conferences?

Creflo: It was fast. It went fast. I mean, 100 sessions of Grace Life Conference. In other words, what it said to me was we have available 100 sessions to help your world, your children, and their children's children to be able to access information that's now in the earth. What it always means to me, every time we do a teaching, every time we write a book, every time we do things like this, we are making available for present and future use, information that's in the earth that wasn't clearly in the earth and with the impact that it has today, 30 years ago, 20 years ago. And now it's available, so that younger ministers, or Christians won't have to go and reinvent the wheel, that if they'll access this information that has come through our ministry, instead of having to go and rediscover it again. I think the worst thing a person can do is ignore all of the things that God has done through people's lives and try to reinvent it all by yourself when he's already spoken.

Gregory Dickow: He said we gotta activate this stuff. Jesus did it all, but we gotta give him something to work with.

Vic: Were there any highlights that stood out for you from the 2019 Grace Life Conference?

Creflo: Yeah, I think it was the night where we realized that in Hebrews chapter 11, all of these heroes of faith were not of the law. And the revelation that showed up that was really radical, that most Christians were of the law and not of faith. And that just simply meant we spent most of our time trying to earn something, trying to do something to get something. And so, what stood out to me this past Grace Life Convention was the fact that a religion of performance-based Christianity has been created by church folks, and it was the thing that was keeping people out of the finished works of Jesus, keeping people from operating in the finished works of Jesus, because we were so busy trying to work to earn it versus believing to receive what Jesus has already done, so that was life-changing.

Vic: So, what can we expect from this year's Grace Life Conference? I assume we're having one, yes?

Creflo: We are.

Taffi: We are, I mean, we're excited because I've thought about the worship, too. We had Karen Clark Sheard, and Brian Courtney Wilson, right?

Creflo: Yeah, that was good.

Taffi: And so, the music is always just so impactful and powerful. I always look forward to that in all of our conferences, so yeah, more of the same.

Creflo: Well, it's gonna be more of those great artists that are gonna be there sharing in their gift, and, you know, every year we're expected to go deeper. Here's the thing with expecting, whatever level we were at last year, it's gonna be a whole 'nother level this year. The 100 sessions have gone from revelation, to revelation, to revelation, and now we're attempting to see how deep, how high, and how wide this thing really is.

Vic: Well, you know, we wanna share some of the other things that go on around here. With a church this large, with the scope that we have, a lot goes on that folks may or may not be familiar with. One of those things are our back-to-school events, which we have not just in College Park, but at churches all over the country, and indeed other parts of the world. Talk a bit about why you're so committed to those back-to-school events.

Taffi: I mean, it's expensive to have to get all those supplies every year, particularly if you have multiple children. The school list is super long, and calculators, and all kinds of things, so it's a blessing that we can be able to help support families in our community to give their kids the tools that they need, so they can just focus on learning.

Male: Amen, it's good that y'all doing this for the community. Like, it's good to see this.

Female: Where I'm from down there, we don't have things like this, programs like this.

Male: And I think that this is just something that the kids really need.

Male: It's very important for us to give back to the community, man. Each one teach one, and this is what I wanna do with the kids, so I just wanted to give back to the community and to the church, because you are all world changers.


Creflo: I remember a friend of ours, Ray McCauley, years ago said, "If your church closes and the people don't miss you, then you didn't have any impact anyway". And, you know, Taffi taught a series of sermons on influence, and I believe that every church should have influence in their community. You know, we can't be accused of ministering to people overseas and ignoring people right in our backyard. We do both of them. We minister to people in our community, and here's what this looks like. They come in and they get food. They come in and they get medical examinations, eyes checked, screening. They get the book bags, they get haircuts, they get all kinds of help. There's free legal counsel that we give people.

Taffi: Immunizations, all kinds of things.

Creflo: All kinds of stuff that we make available in the churches here in Georgia, in the churches in New York, in the churches, so when we have impact, we have impact in 30-something different cities and a couple of nations at the same time.

Taffi: We do, and continents.

Creflo: Yeah, well, we go clean up. And somebody says, "Well, why do you all go clean up the community"? Because I think a cleaner community sometimes translates to a safer community. We, in New York, paint over the graffiti, and yeah, they come back, but we continue to paint over it, to do what needs to be done. And I think what happens is, sometimes, you know, we probably need to do a better job in telling our story, so that people can realize that no, we're not just having church, and we don't just have Bible studies, doing work time, but we're actually trying to reach out to make a mark in the lives of people that can never be erased. And yes, it costs money. It costs money to do everything that we do, and especially us not doing it just here in College Park, but when we do something, it's worldwide.

Vic: Well, and I hear a passion from the both of you regarding giving back to the community. So, why is giving back in our various communities that we serve so important to you?

Taffi: Well, I think it's a way that you can minister to people, too. I mean, what better way to feed, and to give school supplies, and to give turkeys? It just shows people that you care, that you're concerned, that you want them to have the tools in their family to be able to have a good experience in school, and to have a Thanksgiving that they can enjoy.

male: And there are testimonies born out of those events, are there not?


Taffi: Absolutely.

Creflo: And we don't give just on Thanksgiving, even. We feed people every day. We clothe people every day. This is something that goes on every day. I mean, Taffi's pulling ladies off poles and putting them in places to stay. And we have to be equipped to do this all the time, every day.

Vic: Shifting gears real quick, let's talk about more than ten years ago, the Lord called you to minister to women who were sort of trapped in the adult-entertainment and various other adult industries. And I know that was quite the challenge, and it took a great deal of courage to pull a bunch of women together and go out into the streets of Atlanta at night, and pop into clubs, and deal with the bouncers and all the negativity. Talk a little bit about Prestige and how it has impacted the community.

Taffi: Oh, we're seeing great testimonies. We just, on last month, the last outreach that we had, we had two ladies who were rescued, who came into the ministry. In fact, the outreach team was on the street, and apparently, this individual was being kicked out of a car. The car was moving, or something of that nature, and just wanted to leave the situation, so we have situations where our volunteers, on the spot, women will want to up and leave, and thank God for security, and additional vehicles where we can make sure that our volunteers are safe, but they can come back to the ministry and be assessed and have the resources to house them for a night or get 'em to a safehouse.

Female: My interest in Prestige is because I saw a ministry that was reaching young ladies who might not necessarily have been thought about, and they're going into the place where they are. They're not waiting for 'em to come to the church. Just from the orientation that we've gone through, it kind of opened my eyes about some things I don't think I was really expecting, but knowing that I need to be prepared. That we may see some things that we're not necessarily used to seeing, but we have to make sure that we remain non-judgmental.

Female: So, tonight we're very, very excited about the seeds that have been sown tonight. Some have been watered, some have been planted, but only God gives the increase. We're very, very excited. We had a great night tonight. We had great volunteers, and we're just looking to do it again next month. So, we just thank you, bye-bye.

Male: Go Prestige.


Taffi: Two of them got employed recently as a result of just making the decision to turn their life around and come off the pole, come off the street corner, leave the hotel room. And this lady, she was just in the middle of just getting ready to go out and sell herself, but she said, "You know what? I don't wanna do it anymore. I'm leaving everything in the room, and I'm out".

Vic: Well, you know, you've seen the grace of God at work in that world. You know, the way that you were received when you first went out there by the owners, and the bouncers, and folks, versus the, talk about the evolution over time of how you are welcomed into the environment now when they really pushed back at first.

Taffi: They did in the beginning. It really was more of the ladies who were pushing back. A little skeptical about why we were in the clubs, what are we doing there, you know. The church ladies are here to try to, you know, shame us into coming to church, and, "Put your clothes on. You know your mama wouldn't want you looking like that", kind of thing, but now, it's where they're seeing that our motive is to love them, to show them the love of God, and to help them realize that you can't do this all your life. Your body's gonna change, the economy is changing, you're getting older, and so you've gotta start thinking about your future. And so, that's what Prestige is there for, to help them to identify with the Christ that's on the inside of them and to elevate their thinking and where they are.

Vic: And as the ministry has grown and evolved, it's been recognized and come to the front in government and other environments where you've bene given awards and things for that. What's it like to have that thing that you birthed way back when rise to a level of visibility?

Taffi: Oh, it's so fulfilling. I mean, I just get excited when we get the calls where the ladies just show up at the church office and we get the call from Pastor Ken's office, and they say, "Hey, we got somebody down here who says they, you know, had a Prestige card and want help". So, and along with that, the accolades that come along to validate that what you're doing is meaningful and helping people is certainly a cherry on the top.

Vic: Well, go ahead and share real quick, for those that don't know, when Prestige does ministry, and then what you see coming in the future.

Taffi: We minister one Friday out of every month, and we've been doing that for 12 years now. And it's primarily in the streets of Atlanta. We go to areas that are predominately prostitute-driven, prostituted women, and areas where there's suspected human trafficking going on. So, we partner with law enforcement. We are involved with Governor Kemp. You've introduced me to Marti. She has an initiative called Grace Commission, so we're doing a roundtable with her on human trafficking. Mayor Keisha Bottoms, things that are going on in the mayor's office, so Prestige is involved on not just the foot-traffic level, but we're on the legislative level, educational level to create awareness.

Vic: And if people are looking for a place they can have impact, what a wonderful ministry to volunteer.

Taffi: Yes, they can. They can volunteer by sowing their seeds and helping us to get the women off the poles, and get 'em into establishing a reputable, dignified lifestyle.

Vic: Just how has this been a year of the supernatural for the two of you?

Taffi: Oh, my gosh, it's been, what would you say?

Creflo: I mean...

Taffi: It's been a lot.

Creflo: There's no part of this past year that we can really take credit for. I don't know how we do it. I really don't, physically, financially, emotionally. It was a lot of brokenness, and hurts, and pains, and ignorance, and the whole deal. And, you know, it just felt like we were going, and going, and going, and going, and going, and going. You know, we enjoyed ourselves. You know, every now and then, we paused, you know, and ate a gyro or something like that. We literally ate a gyro.

Taffi: So, it's been a lot of that, too. Where it's been the natural things, but it's also been God showing up.

Creflo: Very rewarding, very rewarding.

Taffi: In our family, in our marriage, in relationships, and in our church, churches.

Creflo: So, supernatural because I'm saying you live in a fool's paradise if you think it was by your own efforts that you did it. And at the end of the year, we have to pause and say, "How great thou art".

Vic: Then sings my soul.

Creflo: Yes, sir, yes, sir. Them Baptists still got the hymns that can say it all in one line, huh?

Vic: And, you know, every time you do that on a Sunday, you know, it's like goose-bump city. That simple, old, basic song, there's just something about it that moves you to a whole other place. So, what are some things you're looking forward to moving into the year 2020?

Creflo: I'm looking forward to stepping away from the position of CEO, and finally stepping into a full-time call as pastoring our church and our pastors and other churches. That's what I'm looking forward to. I'm looking forward to seeing new leaders blossom, and I'm looking forward to our ministry moving from the tape age to the digital age, and things changing. You know, if it was left up to me, if it ain't broke, don't fix it, but I realize things don't have to break in order to be fixed. Sometimes it's just time for renovation around here, you know. The little globe that's been in the dome for I don't know how long here, it's time for it to go. They get it, that's a world, it's time to put something else up there. So, I'm looking forward to being able to come up with new and innovative ways of getting the gospel into the lives of people thorough technology, social media. I'll do what they tell me to do. I don't understand a whole lot about the technology that exists, but I do know that as a church and as a ministry who's involved in trying to get the gospel into the lives of people, I've got to learn and to continue to learn to submit to the things that are available today. So, I'm really looking forward to doing what I feel like I am really graced to do, and that is to pastor people, and I'm looking forward to that. I'm looking forward to moving out of my office that I've been in for a long time. My wife and several others don't think it's gonna really happen, but I've already booked the truck and I am moving out, and I'll leave a bye-bye card on the wall. But yeah, I'm looking forward to this. This is gonna be probably, in my opinion, I think it's gonna be 2020, the year of clarity. And not only clarity in our lives, but we believe that people are going to be able to see and understand with 20/20 vision what they need to be doing for the kingdom.

Vic: And Taffi, when he was speaking, I thought about the influence that you've had on him, and us, and our church from a digital aspect, social media. You drove a lot of the change that we've seen in terms of you guys now being regulars on Instagram and things that probably wouldn't have been his first choice. What are you looking forward to moving ahead?

Taffi: Yes, I am looking forward to connecting more with people. I think that's why we are here and doing what we're doing, going on 34 years. It's because we have such great relationships that we can discover and have with sharing with people what we know, and the fact, like Creflo was saying, that this is a year of clarity, and I'm just believing that we'll have more stories, more testimonies, that people will begin to see God in their families, seeing God's plan for their individual lives in a way that they've never seen him before. For us, as pastors, to really know specifically things that need to be done as leaders over such a great group of people and body of congregations. So, yeah, so any innovation, renovations, things that will help us to get better and evolve, I'm all for it.

Vic: Well, I just wanna thank the both of you for allowing us to walk with you on this journey as you continue to change our world. It's a blessing and an honor to spend this time together, so thank you.

Creflo and Taffi: Thank you.

Vic: So, thank you for tuning in for today's special edition, our year-in-review look at 2019. We pray that you were blessed by today's conversation with the best pastors on the planet, and if you haven't yet, we urge you to become partners with us today, so that we can continue to spread wisdom and the message of grace all around the world, and bring healing to broken families through the revelation of Biblical equality.
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