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Joyce Meyer Ministries: Response to Senator Grassley Inquiry

Contact: Lorri Silvera, Media Relations, Joyce Meyer Ministries, 636-349-0303, mediacontact@joycemeyer.org

 

ST. LOUIS, Nov. 28 /Christian Newswire/ -- On November 6, 2007, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, formally requested the leadership of Joyce Meyer Ministries to provide detailed records and personal information pertaining to Dave and Joyce Meyer for his review.

 

While the ministry is not under obligation by law to submit this information; in keeping with our own high standards of fiscal responsibility, our respect for the democratic process, and our established tradition of transparency with our ministry supporters, we are preparing the requested documents for presentation to the senator's office--on time (by December 6, 2007) and in full detail.

 

Our timely response to the senator's efforts to ensure the financial accountability of all non-profits is a decisive demonstration of the high standard of fiscal responsibility that we hold ourselves to, above and beyond legal obligation, out of our deep commitment to our ministry partners and friends. We are profoundly thankful for the many Americans who help make this far-reaching global ministry and its charitable outreaches possible.

 

Those familiar with Joyce Meyer, who watch her television program, read her books, or listen to her messages of hope and strength, recognize that on a personal level, she and her husband, Dave, are deeply committed to a high standard of stewardship both in their personal lives and in the daily operations of the ministry. Each year, independently audited financial reports are made available to the public upon completion as a demonstration of our commitment to fiscal responsibility. (Click here to view 2003-2006 financial reports.) Joyce Meyer Ministries embraces this latest opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to transparency with our supporters and our dedication to the continual improvement of our own systems of accountability.

 

As a further demonstration of this commitment to our ministry supporters and our high regard for transparency, the ministry is also pleased to release at this time a supplemental document illuminating facets of the ministry that the senator has requested for review, Answers to Common Questions (see below) as well as information not specifically requested by Senator Grassley's office. This document addresses recent inquires the ministry has received from members of the media in a specific and straightforward manner.

 

Delanie Trusty, CFO of Joyce Meyer Ministries stated earlier today, "We are deeply respectful of the senator's efforts and are confident that the information presented to his office will exceed the senator's high standards of review and the truth will be revealed-- that Joyce Meyer Ministries and the Meyers are in complete compliance with financial regulations and each take such matters very seriously."

 

For more information about Joyce Meyer Ministries, please visit www.joycemeyer.org.

For specific information about how ministry funds are spent, please visit www.joycemeyer.org/whatwedo.

 

Supplement: Answers to Common Questions

 

Regarding Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Guidelines and Compliance - Just four weeks prior to Senator Grassley's inquiry, on October 10, 2007, Joyce Meyer Ministries received a letter from the Department of the Treasury (IRS) informing the ministry that it is in complete compliance with IRS regulations and guidelines that govern the organization. (Click here to view the IRS letter). This conclusion was reached after Joyce Meyer Ministries' leadership voluntarily participated in an in-depth IRS review of ministry operations, as well as personal information related to Dave and Joyce Meyer. As the current requested information is similar, Joyce Meyer Ministries is confident this detailed review by the IRS will serve as a tremendous resource of information for Senator Grassley's inquiry.

 

Regarding Compensation of Dave and Joyce Meyer - Joyce Meyer Ministries takes extra steps to ensure trust and confidence in giving for the partners and friends of the ministry. Each year, a complete, independent financial audit of the ministry's activities is provided and made public. Joyce Meyer's personal compensation is a part of this audit and the information provided. (Click here to view 2003-2006 financial reports.) Joyce Meyer does not receive any royalties or any form of compensation as a result of ministry sales of audio and video tapes, books, CDs, DVDs or any other form of media. In addition, Joyce Meyer does not receive the honorariums personally given to her as a result of the numerous speaking engagements she accepts each year. She requests these honorariums be given directly to the ministry.

 

Joyce Meyer is a New York Times #1 bestselling author, and her books have appeared on the New York Times bestsellers list multiple times. As a result, she is compensated by royalties produced from the sale of these books via bookstores worldwide and other retail and online outlets outside of Joyce Meyer Ministries. Because of the vast success of her books and other related materials that are produced independently of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Joyce Meyer is able to personally give generously back into the global media and mission outreaches of the organization. In the past four years, she has made donations to the ministry in amounts greater than she and her husband, Dave, have received in compensation from the ministry. (Click here to see letters of verification.) This is evidence of her commitment to excellence in ministry and proof that she would never ask the partners and friends of the ministry to do something that she is not willing and ready to do herself.

 

Regarding the Purchase of a $23,000 Commode - While many have mistakenly associated this piece of furniture with a common household toilet, this particular term actually refers to the classic definition of commode identified by Webster's Dictionary as, "a tall elegant chest of drawers." In 2001, when the ministry moved into its current 150,000-square-foot headquarters located in Fenton, Missouri, a significant amount of furniture was needed for the larger facility. This "commode" was one piece of a total of sixty-eight pieces purchased from a single supplier to finish out the interior of the offices. A total of $261,498.21 was paid for these sixty-eight (the majority were significant in size) pieces of furniture. The $23,000 purchase price of this chest of drawers was actually an errant value assigned by the selling agent after the transaction was complete for the entire sixty-eight piece lot. Joyce Meyer Ministries humbly regrets not paying closer attention to specific "assigned values" placed on those pieces that have now led to gross misrepresentations. Joyce Meyer Ministries takes financial stewardship and accountability very seriously, and this oversight serves as an opportunity to only improve future practices.

 

Regarding the Stewardship of Ministry Funds for Ministry Purposes - In 2006, 82 percent of all ministry funds received were used for outreach and program services directed at reaching people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and meeting the physical needs of the less fortunate all over the world. The ministry used 13 percent for administrative purposes, and just 5 percent was used for fund-raising activities. For 2007, the ministry is on track to maintain this level of stewardship and, because of the generosity of its partners and friends, will be increasing its global missions budget to more than $28 million. These specific mission endeavors to people of developing nations and the USA include feeding the poor, providing clothing for children and families, prisoner outreaches, drilling freshwater wells, ministering to the elderly, building new homes for the homeless, and caring for widows and orphans. (Click here to view reports of these mission endeavors.)