Joyce Meyer

Infobox Writer
name = Pauline Joyce Hutchison Meyer


imagesize = 200px
caption = Meyer teaching at the Hillsong Conference in Kiev on October 4, 2007
pseudonym = Joyce Meyer
birthdate = birth date and age|1943|06|04
birthplace = St. Louis, Missouri U.S.
deathdate =
deathplace =
occupation = Author
Speaker
Televangelist
nationality = flagcountry|United States
spouse = David Meyer
period =
genre =
subject =
movement =
debut_works =
influences = Kenneth Copeland
influenced =


website = http://www.joycemeyer.org/
footnotes =

Pauline Joyce Hutchison Meyer, more commonly known as Joyce Meyer (born on June 4, 1943) is a Charismatic Christian author and speaker. Her television and radio programs air in 25 languages in 200 countries, and she has written over 70 books on Christianity. Some say she is a proponent of the prosperity gospel [Tuft, Carolyn and Bill Smith. "Summary: From Fenton to fame" "St. Louis Post-Dispatch", Nov. 13, 2003] , although she does not accept that term for her teachings [ [Joyce Meyer FAQ http://www.joycemeyer.org/AboutUs/FAQ/] accessed June 30, 2008] . Joyce and her husband, Dave, have four grown children, and live near St. Louis, Missouri. Her ministry is headquartered in the St. Louis suburb of Fenton, Missouri.

Biography

Meyer was born in the O'Fallon neighborhood in north St. Louis in 1943, and still speaks with a working-class St. Louis accent. Her father went into the Army to fight in World War II soon after she was born. Meyer has said in interviews that he began molesting her upon his return. She often talks about her experience in her meetings. [1]

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 five years. She maintains that he frequently cheated on her and persuaded her to steal payroll checks from her employer, which they used to fund a vacation to California. Meyer claims to have returned the money years later. [1] After her divorce, Meyer frequented local bars before meeting current husband Dave Meyer, an engineering draftsman, with whom she celebrated their 40th anniversary in 2007.

Meyer 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 converted to Christianity at age nine, but her unhappiness drove her deeper into her faith. ::"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."cite news|publisher=CNN|title=Larry King Live: Interview with Joyce Meyer|date=May 19, 2005|url=http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0505/19/lkl.01.html] 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" (and spoke in tongues) that night while at the local bowling alley. [1]

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. [1] 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.cite news|publisher=St. Louis Post-Dispatch|title=Meyer traces her fervor to early abuse, alcohol|date=May 14, 2004|author=Bill Smith and Carolyn Tuft|url=http://www.rickross.com/reference/meyer/meyer9.html] Initially airing on superstation WGN-TV in Chicago and BET, her program, now called "Enjoying Everyday Life," reaches a large audience.

In late 2000, she opened "St. Louis Dream Center," a social service outreach and ministry in the O'Fallon Park section of St. Louis.

In 2004 St. Louis Christian television station KNLC, operated by the Rev. Larry Rice of New Life Evangelistic Center, dropped Meyer's programming. Rice had been a longstanding Meyer supporter, but claimed that her "excessive life style" and teachings which often "go beyond Scripture" were the impetus for canceling her program.Smith, Bill. (2004, January 2) [http://www.rickross.com/reference/meyer/meyer1.html Meyer's ministry withdraws program from Channel 24.] St. Louis "Post-Dispatch". Retrieved on 2007-09-25.]

Teaching

Meyer frequently talks about overcoming obstacles and finding strength to deal with difficult circumstances. She shares her views on how to deal with everyday life situations, often drawing on her own experiences.

Meyer speaks candidly and with a sense of humor, 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?" [ [http://www.rickross.com/reference/meyer/meyer3.html Money pitch is a hit with followers ] ]

Criticism

Critics question the legitimacy of Meyer's theological education. According to Joyce Meyer Ministries, Meyer earned her doctorate degree from Life Christian University in Tampa, Florida.Fact|date=September 2008 LCU is not accredited by a governmental agency recognized by the U.S. Dept. of Education. [ [http://www.lcus.edu/questions.htm Questions About LCU ] ] Meyers does however hold an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from an accredited institution, Oral Roberts University, in Tulsa, Oklahoma.Fact|date=September 2008

Meyer, who owns several expensive homes and travels in a private jet, has been criticized by some of her peers for living an excessive lifestyle. She claims that she doesn't have to defend her spending habits because "there’s no need for us to apologize for being blessed."cite news|publisher=St. Louis Post-Dispatch|title=From Fenton to fortune in the name of God|date=November 15, 2003|author=Bill Smith and Carolyn Tuft|url=http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/special/joycemeyer.nsf/story/C5099399D2FCC5FA86256DDF00661C5F?OpenDocument] Meyer also alludes to a double standard in the criticism of her lifestyle, saying, "You can be a businessman here in St. Louis, and people think the more you have, the more wonderful it is... [b] ut if you’re a preacher, then all of a sudden it becomes a problem." She claims that she receives no net salary from the ministry by earning much more from book sale royalties from outlets outside of her ministry, and then contributing the rest of it back to the ministry. [ [http://www.joycemeyer.org/AboutUs/MediaRelations/whatwedo.htm Joyce Meyer Ministries — Joyce Meyer Ministries: Response to Senator Grassley Inquiry<] ] cite news|publisher=Christianity Today
title=Joyce Meyer Responds to Critics, Shifts Income Source
date=January 1, 2004
author=Corrie Cutrer
url=http://www.ctlibrary.com/ct/2004/januaryweb-only/1-19-13.0.html
]

In response to financial criticisms, Joyce Meyer Ministries claim to have made a commitment to maintain transparency in financial dealings,cite web |url=http://www.joycemeyer.org/AboutUs/FinancialAccountability/commitmenttotransparency.htm
title= Joyce Meyer Ministries: A Commitment to Maintain Trust and Provide Transparency
accessdate=2007-08-23
format=
work=
[] ] publish their annual reports, [cite web
url=http://www.joycemeyer.org/AboutUs/FinancialAccountability
title=Joyce Meyer Ministries: Financial Accountability
] have a Board majority who are not Meyer relatives [cite web
url=http://www.joycemeyer.org/AboutUs/FinancialAccountability/BoardOfDirectors/default.htm
title=Joyce Meyer Ministries: Board Members
] and submit to a voluntary annual audit. [cite web
url=http://www.joycemeyer.org/NR/rdonlyres/B5A14006-A5A8-4EFA-AF43-58AEC35B4213/0/letter1.pdf
title=Audit report of 2005 financial operations
] Currently this ministry is receiving a "C" rating (81-90) in financial transparency from Ministry Watch. [cite web
url=http://www.ministrywatch.com/mw2.1/F_SumRpt.asp?EIN=431382734
title=MinistryWatch summary for Joyce Meyer Ministries
]

In May 2001, Joyce Meyer Ministries hired a convicted child molester named Richard Leroy Jones to work as a pastor in her "Dream Center" youth ministry. The ministry was reportedly aware of Jones's criminal record when he was hired, but believed that he was not a danger to the children because he was not allowed to be alone with them. Jones left the ministry in 2003, shortly after his criminal history was reported in local news outlets. [cite news
publisher=St. Louis Post-Dispatch
title=Child sex abuser quits Meyer ministry|date=December 6, 2003
author=Carolyn Tuft and Bill Smith
url=http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/special/joycemeyer.nsf/story/5141B539FCF5D95386256DF400714E9B?OpenDocument
] [cite web
url=http://www.mshp.dps.mo.gov/CJ38/Address?id=770133
title=Missouri State Highway Patrol Sex Offender Registry entry for Richard Leroy Jones
]

"Post-Dispatch" retraction

In 2005, Joyce Meyer Ministries complained that two articles about the ministry—one in the St. Louis Post Dispatch's May 1st edition, the other in the April 18th edition—contained factual errors. Editors reviewed a transcript from a ministry press conference held by the ministry, records cited in the stories, and Tuft's notes. They discovered what they claimed to be numerous errors and issued a 577-word apology in the June 19 edition. The paper also reprimanded the stories' writer, Carolyn Tuft, and suspended her for five days without pay.

However, the Post-Dispatch stands by its reporting in the 2003 series, much of which was written by Tuft.cite news
publisher=St. Louis Post-Dispatch
title="To our readers, an apology"
date=June 19, 2005
author=Ellen Soeteber and Arnie Robbins
url=http://www.rickross.com/reference/meyer/meyer24.html
] An arbitrator later reversed the suspension, but found that Tuft's errors were serious enough to warrant a written reprimand. [ [http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=109&STORY=/www/story/01-23-2007/0004511284&EDATE= TNG-CWA Arbitration Victory in St. Louis ] ]

The primary facts of her report have not been disputed, and, in fact, it has become the basis for a Senate investigation of Meyer and other "prosperity gospel" preachers by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.

enate Investigation

On November 6, 2007, United States senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa announced an investigation of Meyer's ministry by the United States Senate Committee on Finance.cite news | url=http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/11/06/cbsnews_investigates/main3462147.shtml | title=Televangelists Living Like Kings? | publisher=CBS News |date= November 6, 2007 | first= | last= | accessdate =2007-09-17] Grassley asked for the ministry to divulge financial information [cite news | url=http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16860611
title=Senator Probes Megachurches' Finances by Kathy Lohr | publisher=npr.org | date=December 04, 2007 | first= | last= | accessdate =2007-12-10
] [cite news
url=http://media.npr.org/documents/2007/nov/grassley/meyer.pdf
title=Read Grassley's Letters
publisher=npr.org
date=December 04, 2007
first=
last=
accessdate =2007-12-10
] to the committee to determine if Meyer made any personal profit from financial donations, citing such expenses as a $23,000 commode, a $30,000 conference table and requested that Meyer's ministry make the information available by December 6, 2007. The investigation also aimed to scrutinize five other televangelists: Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Eddie Long, Paula White, and Creflo Dollar.

The ministry website explains that the $23,000 commode was a chest of drawers purchased at $230.00 among 68 pieces of furniture that were purchased for their offices. Their website states, "The $23,000 purchase price of this chest of drawers was actually an errant value assigned by the selling agent after the transaction was complete for the entire sixty-eight piece lot. Joyce Meyer Ministries humbly regrets not paying closer attention to specific 'assigned values' placed on those pieces that have now led to gross misrepresentations." [ [http://www.joycemeyer.org/AboutUs/MediaRelations/whatwedo.htm Joyce Meyer Ministries — Joyce Meyer Ministries: Response to Senator Grassley Inquiry ] ]

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.

Books by Meyer

*"The Secret To True Happiness: Enjoy Today, Embrace Tomorrow" (2008), ISBN 0-446-53199-5
*"Start Your New Life Today: An Exciting New Beginning with God" (2008), ISBN 0-446-50965-5
*"Conflict Free Living" (2008), ISBN 1-599-79062-9
*"Top 10 Qualities of a Great Leader (by Phil Pringle and Joyce Meyer)" (2007), ISBN 1-577-94913-7
*"The Power of Simple Prayer: How to Talk with God about Everything" (2007), ISBN 0-446-53196-0
*"I Dare You:Embrace Life With Passion" (2007), ISBN 0-446-53197-9
*"Woman to Woman: Candid Conversations from Me to You" (2007), ISBN 0-446-58180-1
*"The Confident Woman: Start Today Living Boldly and Without Fear" (2007), ISBN 0-446-53198-7
*"The Everyday Life Bible: The Power of God's Word for Everyday Living" (2006), ISBN 0-446-57827-4
*"Look Great Feel Great: Joyce shares twelve practical keys that will help you look and feel great" (2006), ISBN 0-446-57946-7
*"Approval Addiction: Overcoming Your Need to Please Everyone" (2005), ISBN 0-446-57772-3
*"Straight Talk: Overcoming Emotional Battles with the Power of God's Word" (2005), ISBN 0-446-57800-2
*"In Pursuit of Peace: 21 Ways to Conquer Anxiety, Fear, and Discontentment" (2004), ISBN 0-446-53195-2
*"The Secret Power of Speaking God's Word" (2004), ISBN 0-446-57736-7
*"How to Hear from God: Learn to Know His Voice and Make Right Decisions" (2003), ISBN 0-446-53256-8
*"Me and My Big Mouth: Your Answer is Right Under Your Nose" (2002), ISBN 0-446-69107-0
*"Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind" (1993), ISBN 0-446-69109-7

References

External links

* [http://www.joycemeyer.org Official site]
* [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0583218/#herself Filmography]
* [http://www.rickross.com/groups/meyer.html Rick A. Ross Institute] , archive of newspaper articles related to Meyer
* [http://lightsource.com/ministry/joyce_meyer_ministries/ Everyday Life Broadcast with Joyce Meyer online]


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