Prosperity preacher Creflo Dollar has seen his share of headlines in recent months. The pastor of World Changers Church International (WCCI), which is headquartered in Atlanta, was arrested this past summer on allegations that he had assaulted his fifteen-year-old daughter. In October, a former employee of WCCI entered the church, shot and killed a church volunteer who was leading services. Now making headlines with a different type of story, WCCI has signed a lease to move its New York satellite church into the Paradise Theater, an iconic 83-year-old venue in the Bronx.
The Paradise Theater was “built in 1929 to resemble a heavenly paradise,” reports the NY Daily News. In its early days, it served as a movie and play house. It was shut down in 1994, only to be revived again several years later as a live entertainment venue. Now the building will house the New York satellite location of WCCI, and will feature the teaching of prosperity preaching mogul Creflo Dollar.
The NY Daily News notes that not all locals are excited about the transition. It is not Dollar’s aberrant theology that upsets them, however, but rather the belief that “the theater should remain an entertainment venue.” Of course, with teachings such as the idea that one must speak certain words in order that angels may deliver prosperity, or the teaching that criticizing one’s pastor on Facebook may elicit a curse, some would argue that Dollar is offering his own, heretical form of entertainment.