Reported by Michal Ortner
Joyce Meyer, a figurehead for the prosperity gospel, as been criticized for over a decade because of the personal wealth that she has accumulated from her followers. Though some disapprove of her ministry because she is a woman, many more are disturbed by the lavish lifestyle that she leads with her husband, Dave Meyer.
According to TheRichest.com, Meyer’s net worth is around $25 million. The website also listed some of the charismatic speaker’s assets and their worth.
In 2003, Meyer purchased a jet for a whopping $10 million. Her 2003 home was listed at $2 million. As of 2013, the Meyer family owns five different homes, including a $500,000 lakefront ranch.
Since 2003, Joyce Meyer has received an annual salary of $900,000, and her husband is given $450,000 by their ministry. Their mansion is also covered by ministry funds, as well as the bills that come along with the 10,000-square-foot structure.
“We believe that the Bible teaches that if you give, you will be blessed,” said Mark Sutherland, a representative of the Meyer. “She’s been saying it from the stage for years.”
For over a decade, Meyer has also been battling over the rules of her ministry’s tax-exempt status. One of her biggest contenders is Jefferson County Assessor Randy Holman, who does not believe that the family’s estate should be filed as exempt from taxes.
“She’s using the ministry for her own private gain,” Holman said. “That’s the position we’re taking.”
Rusty Leonard, the founder of Wall Watchers, made the request for a federal government investigation. Leonard believes that the ministry is breaking several tax laws and should consider refiguring the members of their board of trustees, considering that Joyce and Dave Meyer are the chairpersons.
“Before we’re going to encourage anyone to donate money to Joyce Meyer Ministries, I would call on Joyce to have an independent board that excludes members who are paid by the ministry, along with an independent committee that decides her compensation,” Leonard said.
Meyer sees no problem with her compensation, saying, “We do not agree that the ministry is in violation of any law. If the IRS were to investigate, we would fully cooperate.”
She has also shared that “there’s no need for us to apologize for being blessed. 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.”
Meyer’s most recent program, “Enjoying Everyday Life,” is now airing on ABC, BET, Daystar, TBN, and The Church Channel.