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Psst! Wanna Buy a Compound?

Joyce Meyer Ministries has put two of the cluster of five homes it owns in southwest St. Louis County on the market. They’re bargain priced–only $2.55 million and they’re yours.

That’s not all: The ministry may put the other three houses on the market, too.

The Meyer family members have been living in the homes, but the ministry pays the bills – property taxes, utilities and landscaping and renovations made to family members’ personal preferences.

The ministry also pays the salaries of Meyer, her husband, the four children and their four spouses, who all work for the ministry. Joyce Meyer, her husband, and their four children all serve on the board of directors that makes financial decisions for the ministry.
In November 2003, Meyer told the Post-Dispatch that the ministry bought the homes, clustered near Gravois Road and Interstate 270, for her protection. The homes where the children live surround Meyer’s home and served as buffers against stalkers, Meyer said at the time.

The arrangement was one of the reasons a watchdog group called on the Internal Revenue Service to investigate Meyer and her family. Federal law prohibits ministry founders and their families from unreasonably benefiting from proceeds raised by a tax-exempt ministry.

When Joyce bought her home five years ago for about $800K, she gutted it and spent $1.1 million on renovations.

Now, a lot of people respect Joyce Meyer as a godly woman who uplifts and edifies the faithful. Well and good. Her ministry does an awful lot in one of the rougher neighborhoods here in Saint Louis.

But to use ministry funds to set up a family compound with a collective half-acre of liveable square footage worth about $4 million? Joyce Meyer is forgetting where she’s supposed to store up her treasure.

I hope the “for sale” signs are a step back in the right direction.

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