Joyce Meyer will give a recorded deposition in preparation for the murder trial of her former security chief, Christopher Coleman, who is being held without bail on first degree murder charges in the strangulation death of his wife and two sons. Coleman and his wife had marital problems, and before her murder, had participated in marriage counseling in Meyer’s ministry center. Coleman’s wife Sheri had indicated that she was afraid of him, and Coleman had been having an affair with a woman in Florida. The case is elaborate, in part because of emails Coleman sent, police claim, to make the murders appear to be at the hands of detractors of Joyce Meyer’s ministries.
This case is of interest because Meyer’s ministry caters to women primarily, and the “Christian” empowerment of women to take control of their lives. Her books, such as “Confident Women Devotional” and “Power Thoughts,” appeal to many women who follow her on television daily and attend her various conferences. For many women in evangelical and conservative Christian marriages, these books appeal, but they do not address the deeper issues of emotional or physical abuse at the hands of their husbands. It is also claimed that Meyer’s son knew that Coleman was seeing another woman, and as a result, Meyer’s ministry may also be subject to a civil suit on behalf of the family of Sheri Coleman. The family’s lawyer, Jack Carey, had originally announced the family would sue, but then withdrew the suit pending the murder trial, in the hopes that it would provide information to support the civil claim.
Meyer’s deposition, which will be made public once the trial begins in the next few weeks, will be an interesting record of her employment of a man who she trusted to guard her, as well as her take on women in difficult and abusive situations. While most of us thought we would see Meyer in front of a congressional committee about her ministerial finances, we may find out far more about Meyer’s ministry through the murder trial of one of her former employees.