Pauline Joyce Hutchison Meyer, usually known as Joyce Meyer (born on June 4, 1943 in St. Louis, Missouri) is a Christian charismatic author and speaker. Her television and radio programs air in 25 languages in 200 countries. She has written over 70 books on Christianity and theology. Joyce and her husband, Dave, have four grown children, and live in St. Louis, Missouri. Her ministry is headquartered in the St. Louis suburb of Fenton, Missouri.
Meyer was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1943. Her father went into the Army to fight in World War II soon after she was born. When he returned, she claims that he began molesting her. She often talks about her 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 five years. He 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, but she returned the money years later. After her divorce, Meyer frequented local bars before meeting Dave Meyer, an engineering draftsman. They celebrated their 40th anniversary in 2007.
While driving to work one morning in 1976, Meyer was praying intensely when she said she heard God call her name. She'd been born-again at age nine, but her unhappiness drove her deeper her into her faith. She came home later that day from a beauty appointment "full of liquid love" and spoke in tongues that night while at the local bowling alley.
She began leading an early-morning Bible class at a local cafeteria and became active in Life Christian Church, a fledging 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 left the Life Christian Church and founded her own ministry initially called "Life in the Word". She began airing a 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 BET, her program, now called "Enjoying Everyday Life," now reaches a potential audience of 3 billion people around the world.
In late 2000, she opened "St. Louis Dream Center", a social service outreach and ministry in the O'Fallon Park section of St. Louis.
Meyer's teaching style is not like that of the stereotypical charismatic Christian speaker. In style and delivery, she resembles a Southern Baptist.
She 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, delivered in her working-class St. Louis accent.
Like many leading evangelists, Meyer is often criticized for living an opulent lifestyle. However, she claims that she doesn't have to defend her spending habits because "there’s no need for us to apologize for being blessed." However, many of her spending habits could constitute inurement under federal laws and IRS regulations.
According to a 2003 series in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, her ministry spent $4 million from 1999 to 2003 on five homes for the Meyer family. The ministry pays for all utilities, maintenance and landscaping costs. Joyce and Dave live in the largest house, $2 million, 10,000 square-foot property with a large fountain, gazebo, private putting green, pool, poolhouse and an independently cooled garage. Meyer told the Post-Dispatch that with her being on the road most of the time, she doesn't have time to take care of maintenance issues herself.
The Meyers bought several items in the early 21st century that are held by an irrevocable trust in order to guard against financial problems in the ministry. Among them are a $500,000 lakefront home on Lake of the Ozarks, a $107,000 Mercedes for Dave Meyer, and a $130,000 house for Joyce's parents.
Meyer is also criticized for her adherence to Word of Faith theology.
In 2005, Joyce Meyer Ministries complained that two articles about the ministry--one in the paper's May 1st edition, the other in the April 18th edition--contained factual errors. The articles were written by Carolyn Tuft, who had written many stories critical of Meyer in the past. 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 Taft and suspended her for five days without pay. However, the Post-Dispatch stands by its reporting in the 2003 series.
An arbirtrator later reversed the suspension, but found that Tuft's errors were serious enough to warrant discipline.
* Look Great Feel Great : Joyce shares twelve practical keys that will help you look and feel great (April 2006)
* 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)
* Me and My Big Mouth : Your Answer is Right Under Your Nose (2002)
* Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind (1993), ISBN 0-446-69109-7