Rick Joyner

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Rick Joyner (born 1949) heads MorningStar Ministries, which he co-founded in 1983 in Jackson, Mississippi with his wife, Julie Joyner.


Joyner was born in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1949[1] and grew up in Richmond, Virginia.[2] He served in the Navy until 1970, when he moved back to Raleigh.[1]

He is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church.[3] He is the author of more than forty books. Rick and his wife, Julie, have five children: Anna, Aaryn, Amber, Ben, and Sam.


Joyner worked part-time in a Raleigh jazz club after leaving the Navy but quit when, as he put it, he "found out there is a God." He subsequently moved to Jackson, Mississippi and founded a charter air company.[1] Rick Joyner and his wife, Julie, founded MorningStar Ministries in Jackson in 1983.[2]

In the mid 1990s Joyner was one of the all-male members of the "International Advisors-At-Large" to the evangelical Christian women's organization Aglow International.[4]

In 1997 Joyner purchased 320 acres of land in Wilkes County, North Carolina near Moravian Falls and moved the headquarters of MorningStar there from Charlotte.[2]

By 1999 his "religious empire" was grossing $8 million a year and was denied a religious property tax exemption by the North Carolina Department of Revenue.[5] Department director John C. Bailey said that "[w]ith MorningStar there are a lot of tracts with costly improvements that affect tax liability significantly...If we did not limit exemptions, it would increase the burden on people, like you and me, who own homes that are not affiliated with any group."[5] MorningStar appealed the Department of Revenue's denial.[5]

In April 2013, Joyner and his daughter, Anna Jane, participated in the Showtime documentary Years of Living Dangerously, a 9-part series focused on climate change. In the fourth episode, celebrity Ian Somerhalder follows Joyner's activist daughter as she tries to persuade her father, a climate change skeptic, to change his mind about global warming.[6][7]


Joyner has been accused of being an adherent of Dominion Theology, which advocates the involvement in and eventual takeover of civil government by Christians.[8]

Heritage USA[edit]

In the mid 1990s Joyner, already president of MorningStar publications, located at that time in Charlotte, North Carolina, worked with Reggie White, who was planning to purchase Jim Bakker's defunct resort, Heritage USA.[9] In 1999 White, having failed to purchase the property, continued to work with Joyner on plans to build a biblical theme park.[10]

In 2004 MorningStar purchased part of the Heritage USA complex (originally established by Bakker and PTL in Fort Mill, South Carolina) for $1.6 million.[11] The complex has been renamed Heritage International Ministries.[12]


  1. ^ a b c Mary Stolberg (September 7, 1999). "Negativity Scene:Bias Affected Ruling, Leader Says". Winston-Salem Journal. p. A1. 
  2. ^ a b c John Railey (December 20, 1997). "Ministry Based on Prophecy Sees Place in Wilkes County". Winston-Salem Journal. p. B9. 
  3. ^ "About MorningStar Publications and Ministries". Retrieved 2009-02-13. 
  4. ^ R. Marie Griffith (1 November 2000). God's Daughters: Evangelical Women and the Power of Submission. University of California Press. p. 151. ISBN 978-0-520-92617-2. 
  5. ^ a b c Mary Stolberg (September 7, 1999). "Tax Haven on Earth? Religious Groups Add Voices to Growing Chorus Seeking Exemptions". Winston-Salem Journal. p. A1. 
  6. ^ Ross, Robyn. "Exclusive: Get a First Look at Showtime's Years of Living Dangerously", TV Guide, February 27, 2014
  7. ^ Reggero, Dayna. "Coal–Climate Connection To Hit TV Screens Nationwide ", Planet Save", April 1, 2014
  8. ^ René Holvast (2009). Spiritual Mapping in the United States and Argentina: 1989 - 2005 : a Geography of Fear. BRILL. p. 161. ISBN 90-04-17046-4. 
  9. ^ Dan Chapman (June 2, 1994). "NFL Star Will Bring Message of Hope". The Charlotte Observer. p. 1A. 
  10. ^ Charles Chandler (February 7, 1999). "Reggie White Envisions Religious Theme Park Near Charlotte". The Charlotte Observer. p. 1H. 
  11. ^ Sarah Jane Tribble (September 29, 2004). "Former PTL Land Goes to Ministry". the Charlotte Observer. p. 1Y. 
  12. ^ "Heritage International Ministries - History". Retrieved 2009-02-13. 

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