|Born||Pauline Joyce Hutchison
June 4, 1943
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
|Occupation||Bible teacher, author, speaker|
Joyce Meyer (born Pauline Joyce Hutchison; June 4, 1943) is a Charismatic Christian author and speaker. Meyer and her husband Dave have four grown children, and live outside St. Louis, Missouri. Her ministry is headquartered in the St. Louis suburb of Fenton, Missouri.
Meyer was born Pauline Joyce Hutchison in south St. Louis in 1943. Her father went into the army to fight in World War II soon after she was born. She has said in interviews that he began sexually abusing her upon his return, and discusses this experience in her meetings.
A graduate of O'Fallon Technical High School in St. Louis, she married a part-time car salesman shortly after her senior year of high school. The marriage lasted for five years. She maintains that her husband frequently cheated on her and persuaded her to steal payroll checks from her employer. They used the money to go on a vacation to California. She states that she returned the money years later. After her divorce, Meyer frequented local bars before meeting Dave Meyer, an engineering draftsman. They were married on January 7, 1967.
Meyer also reports that she was praying intensely while driving to work one morning in 1976 when she said she heard God call her name. She had been born-again at age nine, but her unhappiness drove her deeper into her faith. She says that she came home later that day from a beauty appointment "full of liquid love" and was "drunk with the Spirit of God" that night while at the local bowling alley.
...I didn't have any knowledge. I didn't go to church. And I had a lot of problems, and I needed somebody to kind of help me along. And I think sometimes even people who want to serve God, if they have got so many problems that they don't think right and they don't act right and they don't behave right, they almost need somebody to take them by the hand and help lead them through the early years. ...
Meyer was briefly a member of Our Savior's Lutheran Church in St. Louis, a congregation of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. She began leading an early-morning Bible class at a local cafeteria and became active in Life Christian Center, a charismatic church in Fenton. Within a few years, Meyer was the church's associate pastor. The church became one of the leading charismatic churches in the area, largely because of her popularity as a Bible teacher. She also began airing a daily 15-minute radio broadcast on a St. Louis radio station.
In 1985, Meyer resigned as associate pastor and founded her own ministry, initially called "Life in the Word." She began airing her radio show on six other stations from Chicago to Kansas City.
In 1993, her husband Dave suggested that they start a television ministry. Initially airing on superstation WGN-TV in Chicago and Black Entertainment Television (BET), her program, now called Enjoying Everyday Life, is still on the air today.
In 2004 St. Louis Christian television station KNLC, operated by the Rev. Larry Rice of New Life Evangelistic Center, dropped Meyer's programming. According to Rice, a longstanding Meyer supporter, Meyer's "excessive lifestyle" and her teachings often going "beyond Scripture" were the impetus for canceling the program.
Meyer speaks humorously, sharing with her audience her own shortcomings and taking playful jabs at stereotypical church behavior. A particular crowd favorite is the "robot" routine, in which she goes into a stiff-armed imitation of a robot chanting "What about me? What about me?"
According to Joyce Meyer Ministries, Meyer earned her doctoral degree from Life Christian University, an unaccredited institution in Tampa, Florida. Meyer has been given an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity by Oral Roberts University, an accredited institution in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Salary and finances
Meyer, who owns several homes and travels in a private jet (currently a Gulfstream G-IV), has been criticized by some of her peers for living an excessive lifestyle. She responded that she doesn't have to defend her spending habits because "...there's no need for us to apologize for being blessed." Meyer commented, "You can be a businessman here in St. Louis, and people think the more you have, the more wonderful it is...but if you’re a preacher, then all of a sudden it becomes a problem."
In November 2003, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch published a four-part special report detailing Meyer's "$10 million corporate jet, her husband’s $107,000 silver-gray Mercedes sedan, her $2 million home and houses worth another $2 million for her four children," a $20 million headquarters, furnished with "$5.7 million worth of furniture, artwork, glassware, and the latest equipment and machinery," including a "$30,000 malachite round table, a $23,000 marble-topped antique commode, a $14,000 custom office bookcase, a $7,000 Stations of the Cross in Dresden porcelain, a $6,300 eagle sculpture on a pedestal, another eagle made of silver bought for $5,000, and numerous paintings purchased for $1,000 to $4,000 each," among many other expensive items – all paid for by the ministry. The articles prompted Wall Watchers (a Christian nonprofit watchdog group) to call on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to investigate Meyer and her family.
Following the adverse publicity about her lifestyle and Ministry Watch's request for an IRS probe, Meyer announced in 2004 plans to take a salary reduction from the $900,000 per year she had been receiving from Joyce Meyer Ministries (in addition to the $450,000 her husband received) and instead personally keep more of the royalties from her outside book sales which Meyer had previously donated back to Joyce Meyer Ministries. She now retains royalties on books sold outside the ministry through retail outlets such as Walmart, Amazon.com, and bookstores, while continuing to donate to her ministry royalties from books sold through her conferences, catalogues, website, and television program. "The net effect of all of this," notes Ministry Watch, "was most likely a sizable increase in the personal compensation of Joyce Meyer and reduced revenues for JMM." In an article in the St. Louis Business Journal, Meyer's public relations director, Mark Sutherland, confirmed that her new income would be "way above" her previous levels. Joyce Meyer Ministries says it has made a commitment to maintain transparency in financial dealings, publish their annual reports, have a Board majority who are not Meyer relatives and submit to a voluntary annual audit. On December 18, 2008, this ministry received a "C" grade (71–80 score) for financial transparency from Ministry Watch.
Joyce Meyer Ministries was one of six investigated by the United States Senate inquiry into the tax-exempt status of religious organizations by Senator Chuck Grassley. The inquiry sought to determine if Meyer made any personal profit from financial donations, asking for a detailed accounting for such things as cosmetic surgery and foreign bank accounts and citing such expenses as the $23,000 commode mentioned earlier. Grassley also requested that Meyer's ministry make the information available by December 6, 2007. In her November 29 response to Grassley, Meyer notes that the commode is a chest of drawers. Meyer writes that it was part of a large lot of items totaling $262,000 that were needed to furnish the ministry's 150,000-square-foot (14,000 m2) headquarters purchased in 2001. She said the commode's price tag was an "errant value" assigned by the selling agent and apologized for "not paying close attention to specific 'assigned values' placed on the pieces." Joyce Meyer Ministries responded with a newsletter to its e-mail list subscribers on November 9, 2007. The organization referred to its annual financial reports, asserting that, in 2006, the ministry spent 82 percent of its total expenses "for outreach and program services toward reaching people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as attested by independent accounting firm Stanfield & O'Dell, LLP." The message also quoted an October 10, 2007, letter from the Internal Revenue Service which stated, "We determined that you [Joyce Meyer Ministries] continue to qualify as an organization exempt from federal income tax under IRC section 501(c)(3)." The same information was also posted to the ministry website. Joyce Meyer Ministries was one of two ministries to comply with the Senate's requests for financial records. It also made commitments to future financial transparency. Neither party were found to have done any wrongdoing.
In 2009, Joyce Meyer Ministries received accreditation from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). In an announcement on March 12, 2009, the ECFA said that Joyce Meyer Ministries and Oral Roberts University had met their requirements of "'responsible stewardship', which involves ministries' financial accountability, transparency, board governance and fund-raising practices."
- Beauty for Ashes: Receiving Emotional Healing. 1994. ISBN 0-892-74679-3.
- Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind. 1995. ISBN 0-446-69109-7.
- Me and My Big Mouth: Your Answer is Right Under Your Nose. 2002. ISBN 0-446-69107-0.
- How to Hear from God: Learn to Know His Voice and Make Right Decisions. 2003. ISBN 0-446-53256-8.
- The Secret Power of Speaking God's Word. 2004. ISBN 0-446-57736-7.
- In Pursuit of Peace: 21 Ways to Conquer Anxiety, Fear, and Discontentment. 2004. ISBN 0-446-53195-2.
- Straight Talk: Overcoming Emotional Battles with the Power of God's Word. 2005. ISBN 0-446-57800-2.
- Approval Addiction: Overcoming Your Need to Please Everyone. 2005. ISBN 0-446-57772-3.
- Look Great, Feel Great: 12 Keys to Enjoying a Healthy Life Now. 2006. ISBN 0-446-57946-7.
- The Everyday Life Bible: The Power of God's Word for Everyday Living. 2006. ISBN 0-446-57827-4.
- The Confident Woman: Start Today Living Boldly and Without Fear. 2007. ISBN 0-446-53198-7.
- The Penny: A Novel. 2007. ISBN 0-446-57811-8. (by Joyce Meyer and Deborah Bedford)
- Woman to Woman: Candid Conversations from Me to You. 2007. ISBN 0-446-58180-1.
- I Dare You: Embrace Life With Passion. 2007. ISBN 0-446-53197-9.
- The Power of Simple Prayer: How to Talk with God about Everything. 2007. ISBN 0-446-53196-0.
- Top 10 Qualities of a Great Leader. 2007. ISBN 1-57794-913-7. (by Joyce Meyer and Phil Pringle)
- Conflict Free Living: How to Build Healthy Relationships for Life. 2008. ISBN 1-59979-062-9.
- Start Your New Life Today: An Exciting New Beginning with God. 2008. ISBN 0-446-50965-5.
- The Secret To True Happiness: Enjoy Today, Embrace Tomorrow. 2008. ISBN 0-446-53199-5.
- Never Give Up!: Relentless Determination to Overcome Life's Challenges. 2009. ISBN 0-446-58035-X.
- Eat the Cookie...Buy the Shoes: Giving Yourself Permission to Lighten Up. 2010. ISBN 0-446-53864-7.
- Power Thoughts: 12 Strategies to Win the Battle. 2010. ISBN 0-446-58036-8.
- Living Beyond Your Feelings: Controlling Emotions So They Don't Control You. 2011. ISBN 0-446-53852-3.
- Love Out Loud: Devotions on Loving God, Yourself, and Others. 2011. ISBN 0-446-53847-7.
- Do Yourself a Favor...Forgive: Learn How to Take Control of Your Life Through Forgiveness. 2012. ISBN 0-446-54727-1.
- Change Your Words, Change Your Life: Understanding the Power of Every Word You Speak. 2012. ISBN 0-446-53857-4.
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- "Transcript: Interview with Joyce Meyer". Larry King Live. CNN. May 19, 2005.
- Cole, Heather (June 22, 2003). "Meyer's $57 million evangelism empire". St. Louis Business Journal (American City Business Journals).
- Smith, Bill (January 3, 2004). "Meyers ministry withdraws program from channel 24". St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Pulitzer, Inc.). Retrieved March 27, 2010.
- "25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America". Time. February 7, 2005.
- Tuft, Carolyn; Smith, Bill (November 17, 2003). "Money pitch is a hit with followers". St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Pulitzer, Inc.). Archived from the original on October 11, 2007.
- "FAQ". Joyce Meyer Ministries. Retrieved June 30, 2008.
- Tuft, Carolyn; Smith, Bill (November 15, 2003). "From Fenton to fortune in the name of God". St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Pulitzer, Inc.). Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. Retrieved August 22, 2013. Part 1 of 4. Related articles are Archived 11 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- "N-Number Inquiry Results". FAA Registry. Federal Aviation Administration. FAA US civil aircraft register inquiry, using "N7JM" as the search parameter. Inquiry conducted August 22, 2013.
- "Joyce Meyer/ JMM/ Enjoying Every Day Life/ Life in the Word". MinistryWatch.com. Wall Watchers. Archived from the original on March 10, 2010. Retrieved April 3, 2010. Summary report for Joyce Meyer Ministries.
- Soeteber, Ellen; Robbins, Arnie (June 19, 2005). "To our readers, an apology:". St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Lee Enterprises). Archived from the original on August 21, 2006. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
- Cutrer, Corrie (January 1, 2004). "Joyce Meyer Responds to Critics, Shifts Income Source". Christianity Today (Carol Stream, IL: Christianity Today International).
- Cole, Heather (July 9, 2004). "Joyce Meyer takes pay cut, releases some financial". St. Louis Business Journal (American City Business Journals).
- "Financial Accountability". Joyce Meyer Ministries. Retrieved August 23, 2007.
- "Board Members". Joyce Meyer Ministries.
- "Annual Report 2012". Joyce Meyer Ministries.
- "Joyce Meyer/ JMM/ Enjoying Every Day Life/ Life in the Word". MinistryWatch.com. Wall Watchers. December 18, 2008. Archived from the original on January 7, 2009. Retrieved August 22, 2013. Summary report for Joyce Meyer Ministries. (A January 2013 summary is Archived 21 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine.)
- Keteyian, Armen (November 6, 2007). "Televangelists Living Like Kings?". CBS News (New York: CBS). Retrieved August 22, 2013.
- Lohr, Kathy (December 4, 2007). "Senator Probes Megachurches' Finances". NPR (Washington, D.C.: National Public Radio, Inc.). Retrieved December 10, 2007.
- Grassley, Charles (November 5, 2007). "Letter to David and Joyce Meyer" (PDF). NPR (Washington, D.C.: National Public Radio, Inc.). Retrieved December 10, 2007.
- Zoll, Rachel (January 7, 2011). "Televangelists escape penalty in Senate inquiry". NBC News. New York: NBC. Associated Press.
- "Meyer, ORU Gain ECFA Accreditation". Charisma. March 13, 2009. Retrieved August 22, 2013.