Eight-year old Gregory Crampton is startled awake on a chilly winter morning to find he is alone. In a state of terror, Gregory wanders helplessly through the ransacked and bloodstained apartment.
COMPLETE BOOK SYNOPSIS
As if in response to his panic and desperation, the phone rings and he hears the voice of his mother. Calling from the hospital, Sondra reveals to him that his estranged father tried to kill her the night before while Gregory lay sleeping in an adjoining room. Gregory is to discover later in life that this was not the first attempt on his mother's life. The first was while he was still in his mother's womb.
As a child, Gregory lives as a gypsy. Born in California, Gregory is forced to trail along after his mother who is an International actress throughout Europe and Asia. She cannot cope with knowing that she is raising the son of the man that tried to kill her and sends Gregory to live with his grandparents in America.
Near his eleventh birthday, Gregory is returned with his mother in Atlanta, Georgia to begin a so-called new life together. Unfortunately, he soon finds that his mother has not forgotten the past. Her despair and anguish over the tragedies of her life have turned her into "Mommy Dearest". For the next five years Gregory is forced into a state of constant fear. Through a stream of lies and deception, Gregory will live a life of cruel and unusual punishments.
Now carrying the newly adopted name of his stepfather, which is brainwashed by Sondra, Gregory Campbell is forced to grow up too fast and too hard. To add insult to injury, Gregory the teen, is forced to raise his half-brother. This begins Gregory's downward spiral into a dark and fearsome world. A world wrought of depression, drugs and countless nights of suicidal visions of escape.
Prone to showing off his scars, bloody scabs and bruised body to other students in school, Gregory's abuse is brought to the attention of a teacher. Unfortunately, the psychological enlightenment of the twentieth century is still far from reality. Upon examination, Gregory himself is deemed a troubled and disturbed adolescent. Gregory is quickly shipped off to an endless stream of psychiatric doctors and institutions. It is officially declared that Gregory will never live to see his twentieth birthday due to his self-destructive nature.
While undergoing treatment at Brawner Psychiatric Institute, Gregory meets Creflo Dollar, Jr., a black educational therapist and minister. Creflo, with his girl friend Taffi, has started a new church, World Changers Ministries boosting a membership of eight.
Creflo looks past the calloused and hardened shell that Gregory flaunts defiantly. Creflo is pushed beyond his norm. Being lead by God, he believes in the potential of this disturbed and abused adolescent. He finds the hidden silver lining within this boy that no one has ever seen. Being the only one that has any hope for this teenager, Creflo establishes a deep and lasting bond with Gregory.
Gregory is later transferred to another facility with more freedom than previously allowed. The authorities agree that Creflo has made such a measurable impact in Gregory's life that their continued "professional" relationship would do him good. (Little did anyone realize that God was already working through this relationship to build a foundation for the bigger vision that was yet to come).
Creflo and Gregory's relationship deepens and develops. On one special occasion, Creflo opens his heart and tells Gregory that he loves him, but Gregory does not understand the meaning of the word "love". Creflo explains the basis of unconditional love to him. Using as an example the picture of a parent and a child crossing the street. The parent notices much too late that a truck is going to inevitably hit the child. The parent pushes the child out of danger knowing that in doing so he will be struck and killed by the truck. Creflo said "This is how much I love you, that I would sacrifice myself in order to save you". Gregory amazed, responds, "Then I love you, too." This event would become the foundation to their relationship as father and son.
Knowing that he was legally considered an adult at the age of seventeen, Gregory decides he has had enough of institutional life and runs away from Laurel Heights Psychiatric Institute. Gregory is determined to find his beloved father figure Creflo Dollar. The two are once again united and it is not long before Creflo decides he needs to officially adopt Gregory in order to help him. He and Sondra arrange a formal custody agreement. They both agree it would be the best for him to complete his high school education.
Creflo Dollar has no idea the scope and magnitude of his decision bringing the troubled Gregory into his family. Over the next twenty-two years Creflo is tested countless times as to his God-given love for Gregory. Together, they overcome unbelievable odds as Creflo continues to grow as a Minister. World Changers Church International grows to include tens of thousands of follower's worldwide.
Beating all odds, Gregory at last overcomes the curse of not living to see his twentieth birthday. Still rebellious and headstrong, he enlists in the military where he finds himself once again in the middle of trouble and self-inflicted chaos.
Gregory becomes entwined in a frightening tailspin that involves prison, drugs, sex, and exotic male dancing. Once again, the unconditional love of his father, Creflo Dollar is challenged.
Gregory returns home like the "Prodigal Son", where he is amazingly welcomed with open arms. Gregory struggles as to what his calling and purpose in life will be as the relationship of father and son continues to be tested.
In a moment of personal conviction, Gregory realizes that God has a plan for his life. Gregory begins working in the ministry with his father Creflo, as a producer and later Director of Media for World Changers International. Gregory discovers a new life with new challenges he must overcome working in ministry.
In 2002, after years of fear of his mother were overcome, Gregory officially changes his last name to Dollar, but the story and challenges are far from over. Bankruptcy, divorce and now a single dad raising his own three children, Gregory realizes that his life story can be an inspiration and motivation to others.
He concludes is autobiography with two special messages, "Forgetting The Past" and "Accepting Yourself", with inspiring references and fundamental guides that will help those in need to a better life.
His journey has only just begun.
Story from Christian Post
Gregory Dollar's story is unlike those of most PKs (Preacher's Kids). For starters, Dollar is the white adopted son of controversial prosperity televangelist Creflo Dollar, founder of World Changers Church International in College Park, Ga.
He is also a single parent of three who works in his father's ministry and has Marvel Comics' Punisher darkly casted over the black background of his MySpace page.
"I've struggled for twenty-two years in the shadow of this great man who raised me as his own," says Dollar, who was adopted as the first son of Creflo Dollar. His father would later adopt one more son and produce three daughters - all black.
"Because dad stood by me and like Joel Osteen stepping into his father's shoes, I'm inspired to speak today," he added.
Dollar plans to share his story through his new book, Love in the Darkness: My Life as Creflo Dollar's Son, scheduled for release this summer.
In it, Dollar tells of how "a white boy, unusually abused, out of control, and hurting, was rescued by a black man."
"Gregory Campbell is forced to grow up too fast and too hard," explains the official synopsis of the book, referring to Dollar by the surname of a former stepfather. "This begins Gregory's downward spiral into a dark and fearsome world. A world wrought of depression, drugs and countless nights of suicidal visions of escape."
The turning point for Gregory came when he met educational therapist and minister Creflo Dollar while undergoing treatment at Brawner Psychiatric Institute in Smyrna (today known as the Brawner North Mental Health System). At the time, Creflo Dollar's church boasted a membership of eight.
"Being the only one that has any hope for this teenager, Creflo establishes a deep and lasting bond with Gregory," the synopsis states.
The minister later decided that he needed to officially adopt Gregory in order to help him, opening up a door to sometimes challenging moments and "Prodigal Son" situations.
"God told me to do it. He was young," the elder Dollar recalled to Precious Times Magazine in 2007. "It was interesting because, when God told me to do it, I told Him, 'I do not want to do it!' However, I wanted to be obedient so, I did what God told me to do."
After numerous struggles and tests, Gregory eventually has a moment of personal conviction and decides to work in his father's ministry, where he currently serves as the director of media.
Though he admits that his journey has only just begun, the younger Dollar decided to share his life story so that it can be an inspiration and motivation to others.
His father's critics, however, will likely see the book as an attempt to paint a sympathetic view of the prosperity preacher, who is one of the six televangelists under investigation over allegations of opulent spending and possible abuse of their nonprofit status.
The elder Dollar is also one of two that have contested the probe, arguing that the proper governmental entity to examine religious groups is the IRS, not the Committee on Finance.
As of Wednesday, a November 2007 letter from Dollar's church to Max Baucus and Charles E. Grassley of the Committee of Finance was still available on the website of the preacher's Creflo Dollar ministries.
In the letter, the church also defends the "Prosperity Gospel," which it describes as "a deeply held religious belief that God's devout followers and earthly leaders will prosper and be successful in all they do, including in financial matters, as the outward expression of His favor."
"This belief, like any number of other religious doctrines, is grounded in Scripture," the church claims.
Other controversial preachers of prosperity who are under investigation include Bishop Eddie Long, Benny Hinn, and Kenneth Copeland.
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Source: Christian Post