The wife of Senior Pastor Rod Stafford of Fairfax Community Church is into Joyce Meyer and attends her events. This post asks if Fairfax Community Church is influenced by Joyce Meyer and poses another question. If you are diagnosed with lung cancer and attend Fairfax Community Church should you embrace the prosperity gospel? Why is the Church of God in Anderson, Indiana silent about this?
“We teach and preach and believe biblically that God wants us to bless people who serve Him,” Meyer said. “So there’s no need for us to apologize for being blessed.”
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19 NIV
Donna Stafford with Joyce Meyer
When I was involved in Fairfax Community Church Rod Stafford, a pastor trying to look hip and cool from time to time spoke of Joyce Meyer in his sermons. He spoke about how his wife Donna loved going to her conferences and reading her books. Rod, as I recall in one sermon back in 2014 or 2015 joked about how he told his wife that he couldn’t write as many books as she did. When Rod talked about Joyce Meyer I squirmed in my sheet and felt deeply uncomfortable about the celebrity preacher known for her extravagant living was being talked about.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley and a $23,000 Commode
In 2007 Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa did an investigation on ministries abusing and using their tax exempt status. In the investigation he looked at Joyce Meyer as one of the preachers who has a shady and questionable use of finances. You can read about that in this post as well as see the letter that was sent to Joyce Meyer. In the correspondence the Republican Senator made reference to a $23,000 commode. Joyce Meyer’s Ministries came back and said that it was not a toilet but an antique luxury piece of furniture. And that she did not have to pay for it. Many Joyce Meyer supporters claimed that she was being unfairly targeted and persecuted.
Joyce Meyer is known for embracing the prosperity gospel and lives in a very extravagant means. In 2004 the St. Louis Post Dispatch did a series in which the newspaper stated that Joyce Meyer pulled in $8 million dollars a month but only used a tenth of that money. The newspaper wrote of her $20 million dollar headquarters having the look and feel of a luxury hotel. Some of the items in the headquarters included the following:
Among the items they found were a $19,000 pair of vases, French crystal valued at $18,500, two curio cabinets worth $5,700, a table worth $30,000, a $14,000 custom bookcase and woodwork in Meyer’s office that cost $44,000. All told, the tax assessors’ report found that the building contains artwork, furniture, glassware and equipment worth $5.7 million.
Since 1999 the Joyce Meyer Ministries bought homes for all her children which are estimated to be $4 million dollars total. You can read more about her wealth here. In early 2019 Joyce Meyer said that she may be wrong about her prosperity gospel teaching. Time will tell if she will cease that belief, but those who have power and wealth rarely give it up.
Prosperity Gospel Preachers and How they Effected Differing People
Here is the disturbing issue with prosperity gospel individuals and/or faith healers. I put them both in the same category. They causes incredible damage and are known for their greed. One such person is faith healer who has been deceased a long time but made a huge mark is the late Kathryn Kuhlman. She has come up in the writings of two individuals that I respect, one is Dan Barker of the Freedom from Religion Foundation in Madison, Wisconsin, while the other is Christian writer Philip Yancey. Dan Barker a former minister who became an atheist talks about being a kid and working in her choir library in southern California. Philip Yancey in his classic “Disappointment with God” tells the story of Richard. Richard was a student at Wheaton in Illinois looking for proof of God when he stumbled across a healing service on television. He was amazed by Kathryn Kuhlman. Weeks later he learned that Kuhlman was coming to Wisconsin and he drove up there to watch. He sang, and was impressed by the faith of those there in attendance. But one situation stuck with him. Someone who was dealing with terminal lung cancer was brought on stage where he walked and stated that he was healed. Kathryn “healed” him. Richard listened to the man talk about being healed by God, He took down the man’s name and a week later decided to look him up in Milwaukee. His wife answered the phone and he asked if he could speak to her husband and stated that he saw him be healed a week prior. There was a long silence on the phone and she uttered four words, “My husband is dead…” And she hung up on him. Richard was in shock. In Yancey’s classic it became one of the contributing factors for him to reject Christian faith. Honestly can anyone blame him? That chapter in “Disappointment with God” is one of the more riveting chapters in a Christian based book.
Then there was another situation that also is troubling. Years ago I read part of a book by William Lobdell called “Losing My Religion.” Lobdell was the religion reporter for the Los Angeles Times. In his book he writes about people that traveled from across the United States and Canada to be “healed” by Benny Hinn. One story in the book deals with someone who has a failed kidney who rejects dialysis on faith and travels to southern California against his doctor’s advice to be “healed” only to have a it fail and return to Canada in disappointment. One of the many reasons why Lobdell rejected Christianity is because no one spoke out and no one raised concern. You can read about it in this LA Times article here.
What Example Does Rod Stafford Set at Fairfax Community When Donna Stafford Embraces Joyce Meyer?
And this brings us back to the wife of the Senior Pastor of Fairfax Community Church. What does it say when the wife of Rod Stafford attends Joyce Meyer events? Does Meyer’s warped theology influence the situation at Fairfax Community Church? Are the giving campaigns built off what Joyce Meyer says and believes? What does it say for the leadership when they look the other way to these issues with Donna Stafford? In the image up above Kathleen Otchey just blindly approves Joyce Meyer. But it even gets darker then that, years ago from my understanding Donna Stafford had cancer. From my recollection in her battle with cancer she embraced and found hope in Joyce Meyer. What does that say for people at Fairfax Community Church? I mean if you are diagnosed with a brain tumor, lung cancer, leukemia or more should you follow that lead and embrace prosperity theology? So if you do so and you follow what Joyce Meyer says and your Oncologist tells you that your lung cancer tumor is spreading, does that mean you just lack faith? Why is the Church of God in Anderson, Indiana silent on this issues with Fairfax Community Church? After all I am a guy on the edge tired of the religious fraud and issues but this has eaten at me for years. May this post be another warning about Fairfax Community Church.