Rice said he had told Meyer two weeks ago that he was canceling her Sunday evening program and was considering canceling her weekday show when the ministry notified him Friday that it was pulling off the station.
Rice said his actions were prompted by Meyer’s lavish lifestyle and what he saw as teachings that often went “beyond Scripture.”
“This is what God wanted us to do,” said Rice, who operates Channel 24 and the New Life Evangelistic Center, an outreach program for the poor.
A spokesman for Meyer’s ministry said Friday that it had canceled the show. The ministry did not give a reason for the cancellation or provide further comment.
But Rice said the ties were severed in response to a personal letter he sent to Meyer two weeks ago, citing his concerns.
Rice said he had become increasingly worried about what he views as the “excessive lifestyle” of Meyer and her family.
He said Friday that the ministry’s $2.5 million home in south St. Louis County where Meyer lives, and the $100,000 Mercedes-Benz owned by her husband, Dave, “crosses the line.”
“She wasn’t always like this,” he said of Meyer. “She’s really drifted.”
The split comes as Meyer prepares for a Jan. 8-10 conference at the Family Arena in St. Charles.
Meyer’s program aired on Channel 24 at noon on weekdays and at 8:30 p.m. Sundays.
Rice also said he had canceled Sunday evening TV contracts with evangelists Kenneth Copeland and Jesse Duplantis, saying their prosperity messages were not “true to our calling and true to what the gospel says.”
Loss of the contracts with Meyer, Copeland and Duplantis will cost Rice’s station nearly $200,000 a year, about half of Channel 24’s income from the sale of TV air time, he said.
“It had to be this way,” Rice said.
Meyer’s TV show can still be seen locally on KPLR (Channel 11) and on several cable stations.
Rice said he first became concerned about the Fenton-based ministry in October when security was called to escort three homeless women from the area outside the Edward Jones Dome, site of Meyer’s annual Women’s Conference. Rice said the three were distributing literature that read, in part, “Life in the Word does not mean life in the streets.”
Rice also said he was trying to decide whether to cancel the programs of “all prosperity ministers” who buy time on his station.
“This has been quite a financial step of faith for us,” he said.
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