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Christianity TodayJanuary (Web-only) 2004

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Joyce Meyer Responds to Critics, Shifts Income Source
Amid cancellation and watchdog's call for IRS investigation, evangelist defends finances.



After receiving criticism for the financial perks charismatic televangelist and bestselling author Joyce Meyer obtains from her $95 million-a-year television ministry, Meyer has announced plans to take a reduced salary in 2004 and personally use more of the income derived from her outside book sales.

"The Joyce Meyer Ministries Board of Directors elected to make this change so partners and supporters know that the majority of their gifts to the ministry are going directly to our outreach and programs to help hurting people," ministry spokesman Mark Sutherland told Christianity Today.

Until January 2004, Meyer received a salary from her organization and donated all her book royalties back to Joyce Meyer Ministries. She now will retain royalties on books sold outside the ministry through retail outlets such as Wal-Mart, amazon.com, and Christian bookstores, while continuing to donate to her ministry royalties from books sold through her conferences, catalogs, website, and television program.

Meyer's book royalties in the past several years have more than doubled what she and her husband, Dave, earned in salary. The popular author and speaker has written more than 50 books, including the bestseller Battlefield of the Mind. Sutherland said the majority of Meyer's book royalties come from inside ministry sales.

Meyer's decision to take a reduced salary could strengthen her position with the federal government if it chooses to respond to a Christian financial watchdog group's request that the Internal Revenue Service investigate Meyer's ministry. Wall Watchers, a Christian non-profit group that monitors the finances of large Christian organizations, is asking the IRS to investigate Meyer's successful television ministry, Life in ...



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