The first time this reporter learned of Joyce Meyer — eventually learning that Joyce’s last name is Meyer and not “Meyers” — was 20 years ago, in 1996, when viewers of the Christian conference leader could catch her Life in The Word sermons on BET early in the morning. Back then, my friend and I called her “The Lady,” as in, “Did you catch ‘The Lady’ preaching this morning?”
In the two decades that would transpire, Life in The Word would be renamed Enjoying Everyday Life — and many more people would learn Joyce’s name. Tons of viewers would soak up Meyer’s powerful preaching, which often included tales drawn from Joyce’s own harrowing life that drove Meyer closer to God. There was the time her ex-husband abandoned Joyce. There was the prayer Joyce sent to heaven to meet a man who would take Joyce to church — and Dave Meyer would show up soon afterward to do just that. There were funny stories of Joyce wearing hot pants, washing her car, and eventually blowing smoke in the ladies’ faces who attended her Bible studies at home.
There was the vision Joyce had of her pastor showing up at her house in the middle of a Meyer tirade. There was the infamous tale of Joyce being jealous of the neighbor who ended up being gifted with the fur coat that was supposed to be sent to Meyer, at least in Joyce’s mind. And there was the routine so popular that people still implore Joyce to perform her robotic stance during her speeches, representing Christians asking God, “What about me? What about me?”
It’s for all these reasons — chief of all due to Joyce’s supernatural speaking — that hundreds thousands of folks, if not millions, have fallen in love with Meyer’s teachings and have followed her for years. And with an increased following comes the kind of attention that makes fake publications want to proclaim Joyce dead, as one recent hoax article did.
Unfortunately, death did come for Sheri Coleman and her two young sons at the hands of Christopher Coleman — Joyce’s former bodyguard, as reported by the Daily Mail.
As seen in the above and below photos from 2011, the home that Joyce’s ex-bodyguard shared with his family was also the scene of their tragic deaths. After beginning an adulterous affair, Coleman strangled his wife and sons in May 2009 in Columbia, Illinois.
About Joyce’s untimely supposed death, the fake article has the breaking news headline that proclaims: “Joyce Meyer Dies At 73.” It went on to claim that Joyce died after a short illness in Fenton, Missouri. The hoax claimed that Joyce died shortly after arriving at an unnamed hospital — with no cause of death given — claiming that her body was “sent for autopsy.”
However, Joyce Meyer Ministries was live, ironically, on Facebook to proclaim that Joyce is not dead. A video featuring Meyer — titled “Special Message: I’m Alive!” — showed Joyce speaking about not having died after a short sickness. That video of Joyce speaking to viewers has swelled to more than 600,000 views in 14 hours.
“Hi everybody, it’s Joyce. I just wanted to let you know that there’s been a rumor going around on the web that I died last Thursday and that my body is now in the morgue getting ready for an autopsy and as you can see, that’s totally not true. It’s just some kind of a silly rumor just put out to waste people’s time.
“We’ve been getting all kinds of calls and although I’m very glad you’re concerned about me — I wouldn’t want to die and not have you concerned about me — I am alive and well and I plan to be in Cleveland next weekend doing a conference. Love you guys, God bless you, have a great night.”
Snopes confirmed the news that Meyer did not die.
In the top photo above, Pastor Rick Warren can be seen with Joyce. Meyer and Pastor Warren were in Nashville on Tuesday, October 15, 2013, to present an award at the Dove Awards.
The hubbub over Joyce’s fake death news brings to mind something Meyer said many years ago, proclaiming that she likely wouldn’t die for many years to come. Joyce envisioned herself as a 90-year-old woman, with Meyer still traveling the world and preaching and proclaiming in an older woman’s voice, “There’s life in the Word!”
[Featured Image by Mark Humphrey/AP Images]