WOMEN PASTORS/MINISTERS EXIST AND THRIVE
Where women in ministry share the story of their calling and how the Christian world has responded to their calling. The various ways women minister and thrive working for God. INTERVIEWS OF WOMEN IN MINISTRY
These four women overcame abuse to become successful international ministers.
Despite the Bible's reservations (1 Corinthians 14:33), these women not only serve as church pastors, but they also head world-wide ministries. These popular American female pastors are particularly significant because they overcame abuse and adversity in their rise to success.
Ministry of Joyce Meyer - Most Popular Female Preacher
Born in Missouri in 1943, Joyce Meyer was sexually abused by her father from an early age and at 18 married a man who would later abandon her and their baby. She then married David Meyer in 1967 (they have three children) and rededicated her life to God. Meyer started a women's Bible study group in 1976 and following its success, started Life in the Word media ministry a few years later. Now called Enjoying Everyday Life, Meyer's ministry is a worldwide success. She teaches at numerous conferences and the taped sermons are broadcast globally.
Now a grandmother, she has written 100 books and the $100 million in donations that Joyce Meyer Ministries receives is used to fund charities around the world. The ministry employs 500 people in her Missouri headquarters and 300 in the ministry's 15 foreign offices. Controversies Involving Pastor Joyce Meyer
Meyer was described as a "get-rich-quick carnival barker focused on one thing: how to get the most money from the most people in the shortest time." ("From Fenton to Fortune in the Name of God," on STLToday.com, November 15, 2003) because of her offering-focused conferences and lavish lifestyle.
Meyer stated "you can be a businessman... and people think the more you have, the more wonderful it is, but if you're a preacher all of a sudden it becomes a problem... the Bible says 'give and it shall be given unto you'".
She was named by Time magazine as one of the '25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America' and continues to be preach worldwide.
Ministry of Juanita Bynum - Popular African-American Preacher
Born in 1959 in Chicago, Juanita Bynum preached in local churches in her teens and married at 21, but when her husband left she fell into depression.
"If I close my eyes right now," she said, "I can see myself in the snow, wearing a black $2 coat and tennis shoes with no socks, waiting to get my $76 in food stamps. I can see myself in the hospital after my nervous breakdown, crying and throwing myself against the walls of the padded cell they put me in."
Bynum eventually returned to God and started ministering again.
In 1998, Bishop TD Jakes invited Bynum to preach at a conference, and the warts-and-all sermon on sexual sin called No More Sheets struck a chord with those gathered. This marked the start of video sales of the sermon; this ultimately led to a video sale phenomenon, propelling Bynum into the limelight.
She then began the Weapons of Power TV ministry, wrote books and released gospel CDs.
Controversies Involving Pastor Juanita Bynum
The Christian Sentinel criticised Bynum's aggressive pleas for money saying "she focuses on the people struggling, living hand to mouth, and tells the poor to give to the rich. She’s the opposite of Robin Hood."
In 2002 her televised million-dollar wedding to Bishop Thomas Weekes III featuring a wedding dress festooned with hand-sewn Swarovski crystals was criticised for its extravagance, but Bynum said "I did it this way because I plan to stay married."
But six years later the couple divorced after Weekes was found guilty of assaulting Bynum at a hotel parking lot. The highly-publicised fallout saw Bynum giving interviews to secular TV and magazines. One commentator said Bynum was "marketing her misery." (Sheryl Underwood on the Tom Joyner Show, circa 2008)
However Bynum continues to preach and sing worldwide.
Ministry of Paula White - Popular Preacher
Paula White was born in Mississippi in 1966 to wealthy parents, but at 5 her parents divorced. Her father demanded custody of her and when her mother refused he killed himself. Her mother turned to alcohol and White was looked after by adults who sexually abused her from the age of six to 13.
"Then there were the eating disorders" she said "and sleeping with different people...there was such a fear in me that [men] would never come back so do whatever you have to; hit me, call me a dog...just don't leave."
At age 18, after one failed marriage and a baby, White became born again. She married Randy White in 1989 and they started Without Walls International Church in Florida in 1997.
The church grew to 22,000 members and received $39 million in 2006. White's popularity grew and she began hosting the nationally syndicated Paula White Today, ran conferences and appeared on secular TV shows. Controversies Involving Pastor Paula White
The Whites divorced in 2007, both for the second time and after 18 years of marriage and White took over the church. Her money-focused sermons, $2.1 million mansion and Condo at New York's Trump Tower has been criticised. One ex-church employee said "Mansions, big planes, money, fame. That's what it's all about now; there are prophets for God, and there are prophets for profit, that's the category they fit in."
Today, White continues to run her church and TV ministry.
Ministry of Marilyn Hickey - Oldest TelevangelistBorn in Kansas in 1931, Marilyn Hickey grew up in a Pentecostal family but later found it difficult talking to her mother because "everything became an excuse for talking about the Holy Spirit," and Hickey became disillusioned with Christianity.She married Wallace Hickey, a devout Christian in 1954 who led her back to God and they founded the Orchard Road Christian Centre in Colorado in 1960.
Hickey's Today with Marilyn airs internationally and Marilyn Hickey Ministries has offices around the world, distributes food and bibles worldwide and employs 200 staff at its Denver headquarters. She has written several books and regularly travels to the middle east to preach to Muslims. Hickey's daughter Sarah and her husband Reece have taken over as senior pastors of the church and Sarah now joins Hickey on the TV show renamed Today with Marilyn and Sarah. Controversies Involving Pastor Marilyn Hickey
Hickey has been accused of dubious ministerial practices: "Hickey's fundraising letters...states that if you want more riches, simply give to God's ministries financially... they repeatedly say that none of her formulas for miracles can work unless money is sent in to seal the deal with God..." ("Healing for Dollars, Forgotten Word Ministries, Undated) But Hickey continues to be the most enduring female televangelist in America. http://kimberly-ward.suite101.com/famous-female-preachers-a151392