Ms. Bynum, a former flight attendant and hair stylist, rose to fame in the late 1990s with the help of the powerful Bishop T. D. Jakes of Dallas, who supplied an audience of thousands for her frank sermon about sex and the single woman called “No More Sheets.” The sermon is said to have sold more than a million copies on video and profoundly affected many black women.
Ms. Bynum’s sermon admonished women looking for love to stop sleeping around and prepare for a lifetime commitment, but also dwelt on the difficulty of being Christian and single.
Juanita Bynum is a Georgia-based speaker and author of the books that include “Walking in Your Destiny,” and “Heart Matters,” the latter of which resulted in Bynum revealing that she once had been involved in lesbianism.
“I’ve done the drugs, you know, I’ve been with men, I’ve been with women,” she told the “Frank & Wanda in the Morning” show in 2012.
Bynum also discussed her divorce to her second husband, Bishop Thomas Weeks III, who she said physically abused her.
“That abuse that I suffered was because I attracted after my own kind,” she stated. “That abuse was already sitting in me. I had already abused myself mentally and emotionally for years, trying to fill a void that only the power of purpose can fill.”
Bynum has been a regular on the global Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) and has spoken at T.D. Jakes’ “Woman, Thou Art Loosed” conference.
In 2009, she spoke at Vision Church in Atlanta during an ordination service for a homosexual minister. During her talk, part of which was posted online, Bynum praised the congregation for providing financial support and other aid during her divorce and subsequent tax problems.
Bynum also specifically addressed an elder in the congregation named Alana Thompson, a lesbian whose child was conceived after she placed an ad on Craigslist seeking a sperm donor.
“Alana, you are an amazing person,” she said, thanking her for her support. “We just love you. … You’re not just my friend. I keep telling you, you’re my sister from another mother.”
“Vision Church” is led by Oliver Clyde Allen, who has lived with his partner Rashad Burgess since 2002. Burgess is called the “first gentleman” of the congregation, and the men have adopted two children.
Global United Fellowship, led by Bishop Neil Ellis, has now announced that it will promote Bynum to the position of bishop.
“GUF professes they will not allow any name denomination, doctrine, tradition, socio-economic or cultural composition, to separate or prevent us from experiencing the authentic fellowship of the saints of the Living God,” reads a report about her elevation. “Their focus is on empowering and the perfecting of the saints through biblical training, mentoring, discipling, personal and ministry development.”
The organization also seeks to “focus on the cultivation of spiritual gifts rather than on doctrines and theological positions.”
There are a number of bishops serving in Global United Fellowship, including Carolyn Showell, who serves a vice presiding bishop.