Skip to main content
Select Source:

Bynum, Juanita 1959–

Juanita Bynum 1959

Author

Choices Led to Hardship

Struggled to Rebuild Her Life

Life Story Became Testimony to Singles

Sources

In a time when sexuality permeates the culture, there is a woman who encourages women to find closure for previous relationships, live chaste, and be the kind of people they hope to attract. Using her own mistakes as a basis for her sermons, prophetess Juanita Bynum has dedicated herself to reaching others with a message from God, a message that offers healing and encouragement through suggesting celibacy for singles. Treading on territory where few women have ventured, Bynum has allowed herself to be Gods vessel, telling her colorful story to the masses, in hopes of saving souls from following the same dark paths she once walked.

As a child in Chicago with her parents, Katherine and Thomas, and siblings Janice, Kathy, Regina, and Thomas, Bynum embraced the church as a distinct part of her life. The family were members of St. Luke Church of God in Christ, where the father was an elder. According to Ministries Today, Bynum was an outgoing child. Her charisma became apparent to those outside her immediate realm, when she landed a starring role in her middle schools production of My Fair Lady. Her performance grabbed the attention of television show agents who wanted to cast her in programs similar to Julia, starring Diahann Carroll. Bynums mother, however, declined the offers. I used to make her stop playing outside and come in the house and just sit still, she told Ministries Today. I wanted my daughter to listen to the voice of God, she added.

Though she later admitted in Ministries Today, Every time I got on my knees I kept hearing [God] say, Before I knew you, I formed you in your mothers womb to be a prophet to the nations, she struggled in her youth to obey instructions from God. Still, Bynum had hopes of being a servant. She attended Saints Academy of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) high school in Lexington, Mississippi and graduated second in her class. Soon after her graduation, Bynum, still a teenager, began preaching at churches and revivals. Eventually, she traveled to Port Huron, Michigan, to minister for pastor William T. Nichols and his wife, and ended up on an unanticipated journey that changed the course of her life.

Choices Led to Hardship

At the age of 21 Bynum married, despite the warnings of her loved ones. Everybody told me he wasnt right, but I was screamin, Im in love. I can change him, she told Essence. As Bynum later found out, she could not change her husband, and she had married him for all the wrong reasons.

A virgin until her marriage, Bynum admitted in Essence, I married for sexand what the man looked like. Her husband left her in 1983 and divorced her in 1985. The pain of the failed relationship landed her in an institution, battling anorexia nervosa, and questioning her lifes turn of events. She lost sight of Gods path, and eventually sought refuge and healing in empty sexual affairs. In addition to her emotional state, her financial state crumbled. She was forced to go on welfare to survive.

At a Glance

Born Juanita Bynum on January 16, 1959; divorced, 1985. Education: Saints Academy of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) high school in Lexington, Mississippi. Religion; raised COGIC.

Career: Author. Recorded videos include: No More Sheets; Are You Planted for the Kingdom (also available on CD); Im Too Fat For the Yoke (also available on CD); Limp of the Lord; Now Thats Dominion; The Refiners Fire; My Delivery; The Spirit of Isaac; The Umpire of my Soul; Tied to the Altar. Wrote: No More Sheets; Dont Get off the Train. Speaker. Engagements include T.D. Jakes Singles Conference (No More Sheets message), 1997; T.D. Jakes Woman, Thou Art Loused! conference, 1998; Womens Weapons of Power Conference, 2001.

Address: c/o Juanita Bynum Ministries, 415 North Crawford St., Waycross, GA, 31510.

Struggled to Rebuild Her Life

In 1990 Bynum returned to Chicago, became a hairdresser, and managed to leave government aid behind. Her next steps led her to New York as a flight attendant for Pan American Airways, a job she held until the company went out of business in 1991. Bynum told Essence that friends believed the fate of Pan Am was Gods way of telling her that she was supposed to be a preacher. I knew God was saying that this was my destiny, but I didnt want to hear it.

In New York, Bynum joined a new church and began ministering again. In 1996 she met a man who would prove to be a key figure in her transformation into a renowned prophetess. Though he knew nothing of her story, Pentecostal evangelist Bishop T.D. Jakes invited her to the singles conference in Dallasa step that, according to Essence, was the result of his obedience to Gods instruction.

Life Story Became Testimony to Singles

Jakes obedience turned out to be the stepping stone for Bynums explosive break into national popularity, when two years after attending the singles conference, Bynums role changed from attendee to keynote speaker. In 1998 she delivered a message titled No More Sheets to 17,000 people, the majority women, and brought the crowd to their feet with praise and deliverance.

No More Sheets proved to be a testimony of Bynums sexual deviation and her process of purification. She reached out to the crowd with brutal honesty, honing in on the concept that single is not synonymous with unmarried; instead single refers to those who are free from the remnants of past relationships. In order for God to bring somebody else in your life, theres got to be room for that person in your life. Youre not single yet, she told the crowd. Youre still attached.

Wrapped in sheets, Bynum explained that each sheet represented a past relationship and only God could peel those layers away in order to make people truly singleready to receive their ordained mates. She shared a story of poverty that placed her in roach-infested projects, using McDonalds napkins as toilet paper. Bynum told the crowd that by allowing her to struggle, God was reconditioning her to release her dependence on men and embrace her dependence on Him. It was a sacrifice that she made in order to be blessed.

Bynum told Essence that when she was on stage, her message had a life of its own. It wasnt meit was God. By the end of the video, the camera captured thousands in a moment of spiritual awakening, chanting, No More Sheets! No More Sheets!

Bynums endeavors have taken her across the country to deliver her untraditional message to the masses at numerous venues including Jakes 1998 Woman, Thou Art Loosed! conference. With her popularity came the conception of Morning Glory Ministries, a venue that allows people to find out exactly where Bynum will be delivering messages and to obtain information about the prophetess. Videotapes like the now famous, No More Sheets, and other tapings like Im Too Fat for the Yoke and The Limp of the Lord, as well as books including Dont Get Off The Train, which was written about her experiences in Port Huron, are available for purchase through the ministry. Her lessons are also available through her ministrys television program, Morning Glory, which according to Ministries Today, was airing on 15 television stations throughout the country in 1999.

Despite the great success Bynum has found in ministry, her fulfillment comes from one-on-one contact with people. I really love people, she was quoted as saying in Ministries Today. My biggest joy is the individual contact I have with them. In fact, when she isnt traveling, she runs a bible institution training ministry at her church, New Greater Bethel Ministries in Hempstead, New York.

Bynum is constantly reminded of the rough days from which strength arose, and told Essence that the memories are still a great part of her existence. If I close my eyes right now, I can see myself in the snow, wearing a black $2 coat and tennis shoes with no socks, waiting to get my $76 in food stamps. I can see myself in the hospital after my nervous breakdown, crying and throwing myself against the walls of the padded cell they put me in. When I remember the process it took to get myself from there to where I am todayand then I see a sister with no hopeIm driven to get to that sister. I believe that the pain in each of our pasts gives us an opportunity to help others. If I honestly tell somebody what has happened to me, then maybe that person will be transformed.

From the pages of her electronic guestbook on www.nosheets.com, it appears that her mission to help others make a transformation is working. One message was just one of many that speaks to miraculous change. It read, Sister Bynum, I want to thank God for you. I just read No More Sheets and I cant begin to tell you it has changed my life. I thought I knew, but am now aware that I knew nothing. Everything is so clear to me now. I cant explain how your book has changed me If it werent for you and your message, I would still be lost I can proudly say no more sheets for me and I love you so much for what you have given me.

While Bynum has touched the hearts and souls of many, she is still cognizant of lifes little lessons. In fact she found one in her dog, Corky. According to her website, www.nosheets.com, Bynum purchased the red-pepper poodle at a time when her heart was heavy. The Lord explained to me that the dog was feeling what I was feeling, which was rejection. He said the poodle is thinking: Whats the use in going to the window and barking? Shes not going to choose me anyway, she was quoted as saying.

Bynum did choose Corky. Something as small as reaching out to this dog quite possibly brought healing to both Bynum and Corky. Those who truly believe in Gods wonders have testified that He works in mysterious ways. An example of his mystery, Bynum is on fire for the Lord, and she intends to do His work until the flame is extinguished.

Sources

Periodicals

Ministries Today, July/August 1999.

Essence, May 2001, p. 185.

Online

http://www.nosheets.com.

Other

Additional information was obtained from the video No More Sheets, T.D. Jakes Ministries, 1997.

Shellie M. Saunders

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Bynum, Juanita 1959–." Contemporary Black Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Bynum, Juanita 1959–." Contemporary Black Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/bynum-juanita-1959

"Bynum, Juanita 1959–." Contemporary Black Biography. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/bynum-juanita-1959

Bynum, Juanita

Juanita Bynum

1959—

Minister, author, gospel singer

Juanita Bynum is a minister, self-proclaimed prophetess, and author, who gained prominence by counseling women to find closure for previous relationships, adopt a chaste lifestyle, and be the kind of people they hoped to attract. Using her own mistakes as a basis for her sermons, Bynum dedicated herself to spreading a message of healing, while also preaching celibacy for singles. She became a leading televangelist by using her own colorful story in her efforts to save souls. Since the public demise in 2007 of her marriage to Bishop Thomas Weeks III, precipitated by domestic abuse charges against Weeks, Bynum has also emerged as a leading advocate for survivors of domestic abuse.

Growing up in Chicago with her parents, Katherine and Thomas, and siblings Janice, Kathy, Regina, and Thomas, Bynum embraced the church as a central part of her life. The family belonged to St. Luke Church of God in Christ, where her father was an elder. According to Ministries Today, Bynum was an outgoing child. Her charisma became apparent when she landed a starring role in her middle school's production of My Fair Lady. Her performance grabbed the attention of television agents, who wanted to cast her in programs similar to Julia, starring Diahann Carroll. Bynum's mother, however, declined the offers. "I used to make her stop playing outside and come in the house and just sit still," she told Ministries Today. "I wanted my daughter to listen to the voice of God."

Began Preaching during Teen Years

Bynum attended Saints Academy of the Church of God in Christ high school in Lexington, Mississippi, and graduated second in her class. Soon after her graduation, Bynum, still a teenager, began preaching at churches and revivals. Eventually, she traveled to Port Huron, Michigan, to minister for pastor William T. Nichols and his wife, and ended up on an unanticipated journey that changed the course of her life.

At the age of twenty-one Bynum married, despite the warnings of her loved ones. "Everybody told me he wasn't right, but I was screamin', ‘I'm in love. I can change him,’" she told Essence. As Bynum later found out, she could not change her husband, and she had married him for all the wrong reasons.

A virgin until her marriage, Bynum admitted in Essence, "I married for sex—and what the man looked like." Her husband left her in 1983 and divorced her in 1985. The pain of the failed relationship landed her in an institution, battling anorexia nervosa and questioning her life's turn of events. She began to question her faith, and sought refuge and healing through a series of empty affairs. As her emotional state deteriorated, so did her financial situation, and she went on welfare.

Worked as Hairdresser, Flight Attendant

In 1990 Bynum returned to Chicago, became a hairdresser, and managed to support herself without public assistance. She then moved to New York and found work as a flight attendant for Pan American Airways (Pan Am), a job she held until the company went out of business in 1991. Bynum told Essence that friends believed the fate of Pan Am was God's way of telling her that she was supposed to be a preacher. "I knew God was saying that this was my destiny, but I didn't want to hear it."

In New York, Bynum joined a new church and began ministering again. In 1996 she met a man who would prove to be a key figure in her transformation into a renowned preacher. Though he knew nothing of her story, Pentecostal evangelist Bishop T. D. Jakes invited her to a singles' conference he had organized in Dallas, Texas.

The conference turned out to be a steppingstone for Bynum's explosive rise to national prominence. Two years after attending the singles' conference, Bynum's role changed from attendee to keynote speaker. In 1998 she delivered a message titled "No More Sheets" to 17,000 people, mostly women, and brought the crowd to its feet.

Developed Successful Ministry to Singles

"No More Sheets" was a testimony of Bynum's transformation from promiscuity to righteous self-respect. She reached out to the crowd with brutal honesty, honing in on the concept that "single" is not synonymous with unmarried; instead "single" refers to those who are free from the remnants of past relationships. "In order for God to bring somebody else in your life, there's got to be room for that person in your life. You're not single yet," she told the crowd. "You're still attached."

Wrapped in sheets, Bynum explained that each sheet represented a past relationship and only God could peel those layers away in order to make people truly single—ready to receive their ordained mates. She shared a story of poverty that placed her in roach-infested projects, using McDonald's napkins as toilet paper. Bynum told the crowd that by allowing her to struggle, God was reconditioning her to release her dependence on men and embrace her dependence on Him. It was a sacrifice that she made in order to be blessed.

Bynum told Essence that when she was on stage, her message had a life of its own. "It wasn't me—it was God." The video of the presentation—of which more than a million copies were sold—captured thousands of entranced listeners chanting, "No More Sheets! No More Sheets!" Practically overnight, Bynum was much sought after as a speaker at inspirational gatherings all over the country.

Ended High-Profile Marriage after Abuse

With her popularity came the conception of Morning Glory Ministries, a venue that allowed people to find out exactly where Bynum would be delivering messages and to obtain information about her various activities. Videotapes like the now-famous, "No More Sheets" and others with such similarly provocative titles as "I'm Too Fat for the Yoke" and "The Limp of the Lord," as well as books and other materials, were available for purchase through the ministry. There was also the Morning Glory television show, which according to Ministries Today was airing in fifteen television markets across the country in 1999.

At a Glance …

Born Juanita Bynum on January 16, 1959, in Chicago IL; divorced from first husband, 1985; married Thomas Weeks III (a minister), 2002 (divorced 2008). Religion: Christian. Education: Graduated from Saints Academy of the Church of God in Christ in Lexington, Mississippi.

Career: Author of books and video presentations, 1997—; public speaker 1997—, including appearances at conferences "Woman, Thou Art Loosed!" 1998, and Women's Weapons of Power, 2001; minister, Morning Glory Ministries, c. 1999-2002; Global Destiny Church, 2002-08, Juanita Bynum Ministries, 2008—; founded the record label Flow, 2006; marriage counselor on television series Divorce Court, 2008—; actor in film and television, including Lincoln Heights, 2008, and Mama, I Want to Sing!, 2009.

Addresses: Office—PO Box 939, Waycross, GA 31501.

Bynum remained humble by remembering rougher times in the past. "If I close my eyes right now, I can see myself in the snow, wearing a black $2 coat and tennis shoes with no socks, waiting to get my $76 in food stamps," she was quoted as saying. "I can see myself in the hospital after my nervous breakdown, crying and throwing myself against the walls of the padded cell they put me in. When I remember the process it took to get myself from there to where I am today—and then I see a sister with no hope—I'm driven to get to that sister. I believe that the pain in each of our pasts gives us an opportunity to help others. If I honestly tell somebody what has happened to me, then maybe that person will be transformed."

Over the course of her travels Bynum made the acquaintance of Bishop Thomas Weeks III, the well-known founder of the Global Destiny Church in Washington, DC, and after a romance that reached storybook proportions in evangelical circles, the pair married in 2002. Together, they were a formidable Christian marketing force, selling thousands of books and CDs at packed conferences and online, though each retained their individual ministerial identity. In 2006 Bynum launched the record label Flow, on which she released her own gospel albums and a small number of recordings made by others.

In 2007 Bynum's high-profile marriage collapsed. In August of 2007, Weeks battered Bynum in the parking lot of an Atlanta hotel. Bynum sustained injuries serious enough to require a trip to the hospital. She filed for divorce in September, and in March of 2008 Weeks pleaded guilty to assault charges. He was sentenced to 200 hours of non-church-related community service. The sequence of events gave Bynum a new public role as an advocate for survivors of domestic violence. She appeared on Divorce Court to talk about the experience, and counseled women to help them overcome the scars of domestic violence.

Selected works

Books

Don't Get off the Train: En Route to Your Divine Destiny, Pneuma Life, 1997.

The Planted Seed, Pneuma Life, 1997.

The Juanita Bynum Topical Bible: King James Version, Pneuma Life, 1998.

No More Sheets: Devotional, Pneuma Life, 1998.

No More Sheets: The Truth about Sex, Pneuma Life, 1998.

Matters of the Heart, Charisma House, 2002.

Matters of the Heart Devotions for Women, Charisma House, 2003.

My Spiritual Inheritance, Charisma House, 2004.

(Juvenile; with Cathy Ann Johnson) A Heart for Jesus, Charisma Kids, 2004.

Matters of the Heart: Companion Study Guide, Charisma House, 2005.

My Spiritual Inheritance: Devotional, Charisma House, 2005.

My Spiritual Inheritance: Companion Study Guide, Charisma House, 2005.

The Threshing Floor, Charisma House, 2005.

Experiencing His Presence: The Threshing Floor Devotional, Charisma House, 2006.

Walking in Your Destiny, Charisma House, 2006.

Heart Matters, Charisma House, 2007.

Albums

Morning Glory, Vol. 1: Peace, Jet Star, 1999.

Morning Glory, Vol. 2: Be Still, Shekinah, 2000.

Christmas with Juanita Bynum, Flow, 2006.

Piece of My Passion, Flow, 2006.

Unplugged, Flow, 2007.

Pour My Love on You, Flow, 2008.

Sources

Periodicals

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, February 17, 2008, p. J1; June 21, 2008, p. J1.

Chicago Defender, August 20, 2008.

Essence, May 2001, p. 185; December 2007, p. 224; January 2008, p. 82.

Houston Chronicle, September 2, 2007, p. 17; September 23, 2007, p. 3.

Ministries Today, July/August 1999.

Online

"About Dr. Bynum," Juanita Bynum, http://www.juanitabynum.com/AboutUs.aspx (accessed November 14, 2008).

Other

Additional information was obtained from the video No More Sheets, T.D. Jakes Ministries, 1997.

—Shellie M. Saunders and Bob Jacobson

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Bynum, Juanita." Contemporary Black Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Bynum, Juanita." Contemporary Black Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/bynum-juanita

"Bynum, Juanita." Contemporary Black Biography. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/bynum-juanita