Note: This article has been republished with the permission
of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
As reported by Joyce Meyer in her books and tapes, the Post-Dispatch and according to St. Louis County and Jefferson County records.
June 4, 1943 - Joyce Meyer is born.
June 5, 1943 - Meyer's father leaves for WW II (for the next three years Meyer saw him only once). When he returns home from the war, he is bitter, angry and addicted to alcohol, she says.
1946 - Sexual abuse by Meyer's father begins (it continues for the next 15 years, according to Meyer).
1951 - Meyer tells her mother that she was being sexually abused by her father. Her mother examines her and confronts her father. He claims Joyce was lying; the mother believes him.
1952 - At age 9, Meyer says she is "born again" while visiting family members out of town. She says she experienced a "glorious cleansing." A day later, she recalls, she cheats at a game of hide-and-go-seek.
1957 - At age 14, Meyer's mother walks into her house and catches her father sexually abusing her. The mother walks back out and returns two hours later acting as if she had never been there.
1961 - At age 18, Meyer leaves home and "married the first young man who showed an interest in me." She called him a "manipulator, thief and a con man. We moved around a lot. Once he abandoned me in California with nothing but one dime and a carton of soda pop bottles."
1964 - At age 21, Meyer has a miscarriage.
Summer, 1965 - While pregnant with her first child, Meyer writes that she became "dangerously close to losing my mind." (She says she went to a hospital clinic, couldn't eat or sleep and began taking over-the-counter sleeping pills).
Dec. 18, 1965 - At age 22, Meyer gives birth to her oldest son, David, who she names after her brother.
Summer 1966 - Meyer takes her son and "what I could carry" and leaves her husband. She calls her father and asks if she could come home.
September 1966 - Meyer divorces her first husband. Meanwhile, Meyer's mother's mental health deteriorates. She begins having violent fits and one night beats Meyer with a broom.
Late 1966 - Dave Meyer, an engineering draftsman, meets Joyce briefly while she is washing her mother's car. He tries to flirt with her, but she brushes him off. Soon after, they begin to date. Five dates later, he asks her to marry him.
Jan. 7, 1967 - Dave and Joyce marry, but she says that neither marriage nor church solved her problems. She says she was filled with self-pity and was verbally abusive, depressed and bitter.
April 5, 1968 - Daughter Laura Marie Meyer (now Laura Holtzmann) is born.
Oct. 8, 1969 - Daughter Sandra Ellen Meyer (now Sandra McCollom) is born.
February, 1976 - Joyce Meyer, at a red traffic light while driving home from the beauty shop, says she felt her heart fill with faith about what God was going to do. She began to thank him for it.
Months later in 1976 - Meyer begins a 6 a.m. bible class at Miss Hulling's restaurant in downtown St. Louis with her fellow employees at Isis Seafood Co., where she was the office manager.
Dec. 23, 1979 - Son Daniel B. Meyer is born.
1982 - Meyer leaves her Lutheran church and begins as an assistant minister at Life Christian Center, then a storefront church.
1983 - Meyer's first radio show begins airing on [WCBW] radio station. Soon after, her ministry buys time on six radio stations from Chicago to Kansas City.
August 27, 1985 - Life in the Word organizes as a "general not-for-profit corporation."
May 27, 1986 - Life in the Word wins 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service as a religious organization.
1993 - Meyer first appears on television. Later that in this year, David Meyer, then 53, has his own religious experience. "In the bathroom, God opened his heart to me," Dave is quoted as saying in a Post-Dispatch article Oct. 17, 1999.
Oct. 13, 1993 - David and Joyce Meyer buy 1109 Summerlake Estates Drive. This is the address that nearly all of the Meyers and administrators of Life in the Word use as their legal address.
April 10, 1996 - Life in the Word files for a fictitious name registration for Hand of Hope, 300 Biltmore Drive, Suite 115, Fenton with the secretary of state.
May 9, 1996 - Life In the Word buys 52 acres at 700 Grace Parkway, where the ministry headquarters will be built.
April 27, 1999 - Life in the Word, Inc. buys 12128 Gravois Road, a 14-room, 3,336-square-foot Cape Cod home built in 1948 and completely rehabbed by Life in the Word. Not long after the rehab, David and Joyce Meyer move in.
Dec. 31, 1999 - Life in the Word reports that it took in $68,216,538 and spent $41,182,105 for 1999.
March 3, 2000 - Rage Against Destruction is incorporated as a non-profit with the Missouri Secretary of State.
Sept. 7, 2000 - The State of Missouri exempts Life in the Word from sales and use taxes on purchases and sales until 2005.
October, 2000 - Meyer becomes the first woman and first St. Louis native to be a main preacher at an event at the TWA Dome in St. Louis. More than 16,000 women attend.
March 30, 2001 - At 75 percent complete, the Jefferson County assessor places 700 Grace Parkway, Life in the Word's headquarters, on the county's property tax rolls for a value of $12.9 million.
Aug. 18, 2001 - 70 people die and 54 are injured in a fire at a budget hotel in Quezon City, Philippines, where they were attending a conference for Joyce Meyer Ministries and Don Clowers Ministries.
Dec, 31, 2001 - With the deadline looming, Life in the Word pays Jefferson County $288,177 for its 2001 property taxes at 700 Grace Parkway under protest.
March 7, 2002 - David and Joyce Meyer purchase a home on Grand View Drive in the prestigious Porto Cima private golf community on the shore of the Lake of the Ozarks.
March 27, 2002 - Life in the Word sues Jefferson County Assessor Randy B. Holman for their taxes on its headquarters. Meyer claims the ministry should be tax exempt as a church. Holman had decided it did not meet the state law because the headquarters building did not hold church services or allow the public inside.
July 24, 2002 - The Jefferson County Board of Equalization rules against the county assessor on Meyer's appeal of her 2002 property taxes on the ministry's headquarters building. The property is stripped from the tax rolls, causing a public outcry from taxpayers, who must pay more in taxes.
Oct. 8, 2002 - The Anti-Defamation League accuses Meyer's Rage Against Destruction, a program that goes into schools with a musical presentation, is really a front for a Christian evangelical group that wants to convert students.
Oct. 10, 2002 - The New Jersey Coalition for Free Exercise of Religion urges schools to bar Rage Against Destruction because it is a veiled religious pitch for Joyce Meyer Ministries.
Oct. 11 and 12, 2002 - Joyce Meyer speaks as the keynote speaker at the Christian Coalition's Road to Victory 2002 convention held at the Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C. She condemns the separation of church and state.
Nov. 18, 2002 - Rage Against Destruction files its tax form for 2001. It lists that it raised $279,100 and it spent $235,365. Meyer is listed as the board's vice president; her husband Dave was the president.
Dec. 19, 2002 - Joyce Meyer Ministries pays $26,141 in personal property taxes to the St. Louis County assessor for its corporate jet. While the ministry had paid $8.7 million for the jet, the county listed its worth at $1 million.
April 25, 2003 - Instead of giving the county access to its records and property, Life in the Word drops its lawsuit against the Jefferson County assessor for the headquarters' property taxes.
June 6, 2003 - MinistryWatch, a watchdog group that looks at ministries and churches to determine whether they are using their money for charitable purposes, gives Life In the Word/Joyce Meyer Ministries an "F" rating for not divulging their financial picture.
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