Joyce Meyer (born Pauline Joyce Hutchison; June 4, 1943) is a Charismatic Christian author and speaker and president of Joyce Meyer Ministries.
Meyer and her husband Dave have four grown children, and live outside St.Louis, Missouri.
Her ministry is headquartered near the St. Louis suburb of Fenton, Missouri. Her father went into the army to fight in World War ll 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 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 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.
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.
Joyce conducts close to a dozen domestic and international conferences every year, teaching people to enjoy their everyday lives.
For 30 years, her annual women’s conference has attracted more than 200,000 women from all over the world to St. Louis for specifically themed teachings by her and guest speakers.