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Rick Joyner heads MorningStar Ministries (also known as MorningStar Publications and Ministries), which he cofounded with his wife Julie Joyner in 1985. He is also the founder, executive director, and senior pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church based in Fort Mill, South Carolina.
Rick Joyner converted to Christianity in the early 1970s, and his ministry began following a period of spiritual renewal in his life, during which he wrote a number of books based on his assertion of a three-day prophetic revelation and vision of the state of the church and impendingend-times events.
A church he led during the late 1970s in the Raleigh, North Carolina, area broke up around 1980. Joyner resumed ministry later in the decade; some web sites say he resumed ministry around 1987.
He is closely associated with evangelist Todd Bentley, former leader of the Lakeland Outpouring. In March 2009, he announced his role guiding the rehabilitation of Bentley.
He is married to Julie Joyner and has five children: Anna, Aaryn, Amber, Ben, and Sam.
He also oversees MorningStar's University, Fellowship of Ministries, and Fellowship of Churches. He edits The MorningStar Journal and The MorningStar Prophetic Bulletin. The purpose of his ministry is the biblical mandate of Matthew 24:45–46 as well as a commitment to equip future leaders and work in relationship with current leaders to prepare and strengthen the church for the last days. This organization has several branches in North Carolina: Charlotte, Wilkesboro, Wilmington, and Winston-Salem.
Joyner is also a well-known author of more than thirty books, including his best-selling The Final Quest series published by MorningStar Publications. He is a highly sought-after speaker at international conferences. A number of his books are about the prophetic ministry in the modern church, including several books (The Harvest, The Final Quest) based on heavenly revelations he claims to have received himself, always stressing that no prophetic revelation can contradict scripture.
The Final Quest is the first book in a three book series written by Rick Joyner. First published in 1997, the book is written from the perspective of the author relating a series of open visions that he experienced. The book has been firmly accepted by some yet firmly rejected by others. This is due to the many characteristics that make it controversial among circles of conservative Evangelical Christians. Much these controversies stem from the fact that Joyner claims to have been transported to heaven and to have had extended conversations with Jesus as well as with past Saints. The book speaks of spiritual warfare and an impending 'civil war' within the church where the true and faithful Saints continue forward and those who are deadweight fall away. It also speaks of the 'throne room' where Joyner saw saints in different positions, some as 'foolish virgins' who resided far back from the throne, and others as 'overcomers' who were on thrones near the throne of Jesus. It became obvious to Joyner that many of those he considered great Christian leaders on earth were actually the least in the sight of God, and some who he considered to be 'nobodies' were actually the greatest kings in God's kingdom. Joyner saw a man who Joyner considered had 'gone off the rails' in his teaching, sitting on a great throne in the highest part of the throne room. This man is believed to be the late William Branham (although Joyner does not mention his name, his description of the man makes this obvious).
Some wish that Joyner had written the book as fiction so that the book could be marketed to a larger audience and avoid many of the controversies surrounding it, however others (including the author) say that the author can not lie about what happened to him. Joyner wrote that he is not totally sure that the conversations that he had with past Saints actually were real people, or if they were a representation of them.
Morningstar publishes a Prophetic Journal edited by Joyner quarterly, and his ministry is also known for their conferences and worship music.
In 2004 MorningStar purchased part of the Heritage USA complex (originally established by Jim Bakker and PTL in Fort Mill, South Carolina), including the Heritage Grand Hotel, which is being refurbished as a conference center and ministry base. The complex has been renamedHeritage International Ministries or H.I.M.
Joyner's organization often has been confused with Morning Star International, a denomination of churches led by founder Rice Broocks. Hence Broocks' organization recently changed its name to Every Nation.