WATERLOO • As Christopher Coleman's murder trial wound toward a close here Wednesday, lawyers for his slain wife, Sheri Coleman, refiled a wrongful-death lawsuit seeking damages from him, his ex-boss televangelist Joyce Meyer, and her ministry.
The suit relies heavily upon the criminal case allegation that Christopher Coleman wrote mysterious threats against his own family. It says Meyer and her ministry should have known the messages came from Coleman and warned his wife "to take steps necessary to protect herself and her children."
The couple's two sons were slain in 2009 as well as their mother.
The 27-page suit names Christopher Coleman, the ministry, Joyce Meyer and one of her sons, Daniel B. Meyer, a ministry executive and longtime friend of Christopher Coleman. Two counts are against Coleman, five against the ministry, three against Joyce Meyer personally, and one against her son. Each count seeks at least $50,000.Included is a claim that Meyer had a 'special duty" as the Colemans' counselor to warn his family.
This is kinda sorta quasi-local for me because it's just across the river and has been HUGE in media. Feelings here are running against this lawsuit. I don't see how it can hold water.
As an employer, Joyce Meyer Ministries would not be responsible for the activities of its employees in the employees' personal and home lives. If Chris had worked for Ford Motor or Red Lobster, would Sheri's family sue?
As a religious leader, would Joyce Meyer be responsible for a follower who chose to commit a violent crime? I've not heard of any other cases where a pastor, priest has been sued for the actions of a church member.
Joyce Meyer is a wealthy, highly visible woman, and therefore an easy target for a lawsuit.
Equally troubling is the fact that while Sheri was putting her faith in the ministry to help save her marriage, Meyer's son uncovered the cell phone calls to Tara...and Tara began accompanying Chris on ministry trips.
I have stated before, that my husbands company often traveled to conventions and such. We and other companies bought BLOCKS of rooms. There is little privacy.
Was the Ministry betraying Sheri and allowing Chris to have his fun..when the Ministry was conducting Save-Your_marriage counseling...and outwatdly telling Chris he had to stay in the marriage?
Furthermore, The Ministry knew of the threats, knew the marriage was in trouble, knew Sheri had been beaten at least once. If they did not care to investigate, did they not have a moral responsibility to pass along that information to the police?
It seems they were saying one thing to Sheri and winking at Chris at the same time...but demanding "for appearances" that he stay in the marriage.
It all seem duplicitous.
But maybe not.
Whether that is a legal problem, I don't know. But a civil suit will allow more detail to come out. That is good for everyone. If the Ministry has a moral leg to stand on..they'll be fine. If not..exposure is a good thing as well. They are NOT Ford or Red Lobster..they are in the faith and morality business. It pays very well. People have a right to expect a now slain young woman and her two slaughtered little boys...could trust them to "practice what they preach."
If they were aware that Chris was bringing Tara on trips, staying in Ministry-paid rooms, cheering him at "football exhibitions", being seen standing not far from Chris and Meyer in videos, etc...all the while Sheri is putting her faith in them...AND if into this situation come death threats against Sheri, and they allow Chris and not Sheri to be the decision-maker in regard to what protection Sheri and her boys need...well, that could be a problem.
I guess IMO, if there is hypocrisy... and I mean real moral corruption in that Ministry, the civil suit will do a public service if it exposes them. So bring it on. I'll admit...if that's the case, I don't know why anyone would care to see them continue to profit from hypocrisy.
They are in the Faith and Morals business. I think as much as we can learn about Chris, Tara, and this Ministry is a plus.
If they are what they preach, they have little to worry about.
I don't like Joyce Meyers much or any of these big mega churches. But the murder is not their fault. These people are just trying to get money out of them IMO.
I am certainly no fan of our litigious society. But I’ve been trying to look at this as Sheri’s family may.
Their daughter did not confide in them as to what she endured in the last months of her life. Instead she chose to go to the Ministry for guidance, help and advice. We do not know why Sheri made this choice. It might be that she did not want her family to turn on Chris if and when they were reconciled.
If I were Sheri’s Mom, I’d want to know as much as I could about those last months....about the people in the Ministry she trusted. Sheri was betrayed by her husband and her best friend. Was she betrayed by the Ministry too? Did they knowingly allow Chris to keep Tara in rooms they paid for, bring Tara to events they funded...really wink and humiliate Sheri...all the while she was trusting that Ministry to be a moral force in this mess?
And if they knew Chris was enthralled with another woman AND they knew Sheri and her children (not Chris) were the target of death threats...why did the Ministry allow Chris to decide that Sheri needed no security system? Why did they not share the information they had with police.
Sheri is said to have told her friends she was afraid of Chris, that Chris beat her. Some of these friends worked in the Ministry. Did she tell anyone in the counseling sessions? If so, what did they advise her as her counselors? What is the Joyce Meyer ministry protocol when counseling a battered (by her husband), endangered (by threats of death) woman?
What did the Ministry do to help Sheri?
My point is...even if not a penny was awarded, as Sheri’s Mom , I’d want to know if Sheri was betrayed by this Ministry too. And if she was, I would want that immorality exposed.
Or maybe they did all they could. The point is..I’d want to know. Discovery in a civil suit will get to the truth.
The civil suit is not necessarily just about money...IMO.
Why doesn't the family also bring a wrongful death or civil suit against TL?? She was also a motive and a "friend" of Sheri's. Can anyone explain why they would not? I think she knew more than we think she did. JMO.
I think any church or ministry has the moral obligation to care for its flock, especially is its members are seeking counsel. Doubly so if they are aware its members are openly (in their knowledge) doing immoral actions. They should have put a stop to the affair on their premises, instead, by allowing it, they condoned it. On ministry outings, the same moral values should apply.
I think this is why the ministry is in hot water and not the woman in question. Instead, the ministers turned a blind eye, now three people are dead.
© My brain is copyright-protected.
Please pardon any typos. I'm a lousy typist and an even worse proofreader.
Big Brother and the Thought Police have arrived
1984 by George Orwell (1949)
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
I got the distinct impression she does not regret for one minute her affair with Chris. If she did, she would not have worn the promise ring and she would have answered her questions a slight bit differently. For instance - when asked if they'd had sex on one of the trips - her answer was that she didn't remember, but "probably". Someone who regretted the affair may have answered "Unfortunately, yes". JMO - who knows.....
IMO, the ministries is responsible for not thoroughly investigating the death threats or reporting them to the police. In court, a computer expert testified that there was 7 emails sent from the destroychriscoleman email address and they were sent directly to the Meyer's family ministry email accounts.
How and why did they not have those emails investigated?? All the would of had to do is turn them over to the police and they would have been investigated and traced back to Chris. IMO, had those emails been traced when they were sent in November of 2008, Sheri, Garett, & Gavin would still be alive, therefore Joyce Meyer Ministries was negligent.
I can't blame Sheri's family for suing them and I definitely know that I cannot judge them or their reasons for suing her. I would do the same exact thing...I would want to know everything there was to know what the last days, weeks, and months of my loved ones lives.
~True strength is being able to keep it together when everyone else expects you to fall apart.~
I found this editorial this morning and thought it was very well written and gives some insight into things the Atty's will use in the lawsuit...
I love this line "marrying the dog track cocktail waitress of his dreams"
I wonder how the Coleman family feels about her NOW, now that Chris may very well lose his life in general population. What a way to go. Not as kind as a needle and gurney for sure, but then, Chris didn't give his family a single shred of kindness either.
In some states, a sex partner outside of marriage can be sued for alienation of affection and damages awarded. I wonder what the laws in MO are concerning this.