Kenneth and Gloria Copeland: The Untold Story
There is little doubt that Kenneth and Gloria Copeland’s testimonies are quite remarkable. What is doubtful is how accurate those testimonies might be.
Many aspects thereof have been published within their books and periodicals, and mentioned during their services and television broadcasts. However, there are some details that are typically left out of these family anecdotes that are quite revealing about the true character and history of this group.
We will be discussing not only the Copelands and Pearsons, but also Gloria’s side of the family, the Neeces. Several members of the Neece family currently work at Kenneth Copeland Ministries (KCM), and several more worked for them in the past. Thus, the character of this ‘ministry’ is revealed within the family members on Gloria’s side as much as among the other Copeland/Pearsons children and grandchildren.
Note: The following discussion is a biblical analysis of the qualifications of the Copeland, Pearsons, and Neece families for ministry. It is preceded on this blog by the article, The ‘Family Test’, which details the scriptural foundations of such an unpleasant discussion. Since this is one of the most disturbing and regrettable posts that we have had to write to date, it is extremely important that it be understood within its proper context. Thus, it is highly recommended that everyone first review the preceding article before venturing into the content below. This will help to avoid misunderstandings regarding its presence here on KennethCopelandBlog.com.
Lastly, full names and dates are given (when known) to permit others to verify the information that we have presented here from public records.
[Update July 17, 2015: We added an update regarding the apparent divorce of Kellie Copeland from her third husband, Stephen Swisher. The related section on Kellie’s divorce from her second husband, Win Kutz (who is still alive) was also updated with further information. Additional corrections/tweaks to this page have been made, as well.]
[Update January 18, 2013: We added an entirely new article, Are the Copeland FREEMASONS? Separating Fact from Fallacy, within a new “Freemasonry and the Copeland Family” section on the Table of Contents page. Thus, this new series of articles (of which the aforementioned article is the first installment) will bring out an entirely new “untold story” for the public to consider with regard to this family. This, of course, also highlights the serious question that I asked within the article, Is Kenneth Copeland SAVED?, listed within my previous update below.]
[Update March 9, 2012: We added an introductory paragraph and link at the bottom of this article, which forwards the reader to the next article of this “Are the Copelands Biblically Qualified For Ministry?” section of the website. That article, Is Kenneth Copeland SAVED?, examines this important question in the light of documented facts, video, and the Scriptures, with a sincere concern about the state of this family’s souls.]
[Update July 3, 2011: We updated information within the Kellie Copeland
Ward Kutz Swisher section to reflect the arrival of her fifth child by her third husband, Stephen. We also added a strange note about her older daughter’s apparent last name change. Then we updated the Jeremy Pearsons section to reflect his marriage to his second wife, Sarah.]
[Update on March 30, 2011: We checked the statistics of this Kenneth and Gloria Copeland: The Untold Story article and contrasted them with those of the prerequisite post, The ‘Family Test’noted above. We discovered that, to date, only ONE out of every FOURTEEN (1 out of 14) of the people who read this post, also read the first—though The ‘Family Test’ is the biblical foundation upon which this discussion is based.
Though this fact is obviously very concerning in and of itself, the thing that is most absurd is that a few of those same people have emailed us to express the opinion that we are not operating upon biblical principles with this Copeland-family discussion. However, if they would have only taken the time to READ The ‘Family Test’, they would have known beforehand that their objections had already been answered. So their subsequent protests were silly, misguided—and unscriptural.
And if such people also took the extra time to review The Biblical Basis for this Public Rebuke and The “Convenient Doctrines” of Preachers in Sin—which are the posts that are prefatory to this entire website—they might even learn something that would help them demonstrate genuine concern for the welfare of the Copeland family, by joining us in calling on the Copelands to simply repent BEFORE God’s judgment comes upon that family. (Some of these so-called “Copeland supporters” have actually been so obscene as to even suggest that we should end our redemptive efforts and “just let God judge them”—though that would be cruel since the biblical accounts of such divine wrath are terrifying to consider.)
Nevertheless, the majority of the emails we receive are from ex-Copeland-cult members and other honest Christians, who applaud our efforts and encourage our work. We are very grateful to the Lord for such godly advocates of our project.
Regarding the others, we simply endure (and ignore the emails of) such errant people by the grace of God for the Copelands’ sake, and for the sake of those led astray by these fraudulent wolves. In short, we have no intention of quitting this effort until either the Copelands repent…or the unfortunate circumstance of God’s judgment coming upon them eliminates the need for continuing our loving redemptive effort.]
[Update on September 12, 2010: Clarified in both the “Kellie Dee Copeland Ward Kutz Swisher” and the “The Copelands’ Elite ‘No See Ex’ Team” sections that Kellie’s second ex-husband, Alan Win Kutz, is still very much alive; and that he did NOT die in a Copeland-owned plane crash in 2008, as has been widely rumored on the Internet by some very foolish people.]
[Update on August 4, 2010: New marriage and name information was added to the ‘David Neece’ and ‘Richard Neece’ listings. Copeland family members names and birth dates were updated also, including Gloria’s birthday. A new section on “ex-spouses” was added below the Jeremy Pearsons listing. Other minor tweaks have been made as well.]
Sources of Data:
Cover image of the book, “The First 30 Years: A Journey of Faith” (Click to enlarge.)
For simplicity’s sake, we will primarily utilize within this brief timeline the information provided in the book that was published in celebration of their 30th ministry anniversary back in 1997. It is entitled, The First 30 Years: A Journey of Faith (hereafter referred to as, The First 30 Years).
Augmenting this information, however, will be some details provided by court documents given to us by advocates of KennethCopelandBlog.com. We will also utilize information provided to us by sources both inside and outside of KCM concerning the Copeland and Neece families (i.e. Gloria’s relatives), including public records from government sources, as well as the testimonies of family/ministry insiders.
The additional sources of information mentioned above certainly provide us a MUCH more comprehensive view of these families, and a more robust timeline of Kenneth Copeland’s earlier years. These details will prove helpful in evaluating their ministerial qualifications; and they will be very useful when we discuss some of the family members more specifically in subsequent posts.
As a quick note: We want to thank the “whistle blowers” who have helped to provide this information. They have a real zeal to see the true nature of KCM brought into the public light in order that others might be warned. They all have also acknowledged a sincere desire to see the Copeland, Pearsons, and Neece, families repent of their sins; and to see them demonstrate true Christian character and pure ministry integrity. Thank you all for your help and encouragement.
Kenneth’s Early Years/First Marriage:
Kenneth Max Copeland was born on December 6, 1936, in Lubbock Texas. His parents were A. W. and Vinita Pearl Owens Copeland, and they remained married until Vinita’s death in 1988.
Daughter Terri Lin Copeland Pearsons was born to parents Kenneth Max and Ivy Sandra Bodiford Copeland on August 26, 1957. Obviously, Ivy was Kenneth’s first wife. He would have been 20 years old at the time of Terri’s birth.
Ivy Sandra Copeland was the one of the two who filed for divorce; which is revealed by the fact that she is shown as the “plaintiff” of record in the court document (download the court document by clicking here). She was granted the divorce (to include child support) on March 18, 1958. The civil docket records within a handwritten note,:
Both parties were present at trial. Divorce granted – custody of child to her – he has right to visit. He is ordered to pay $15 each Friday beginning this Friday. Defendant…” referring to Kenneth, “… gave notice of appeal. She is awarded ½ interest in income from contract on all recordings she has made to date under Leonard Contract.
Three years later, court documents show that Kenneth was found in contempt of court on March 31, 1961 for failing to consistently pay his required $15 per week child support to Ivy for Terri (download the court document by clicking here). He was in arrears for $1,090.00 (just over 72 weeks worth of support).
To comprehend the size of that amount of money in today’s dollars, it would be about $8,000 if we can believe government inflation statistics. It would be more accurate to say that amount is about $26,000 in today’s comparable purchasing power (see the Shadowstats.com chart above)
Another way to imagine it is to compare the price of gold: In 1961 the U.S. dollar was still on the international gold exchange standard, based upon the 1944 Bretton Woods agreement. Back then, $1,090 would buy about 31 ounces of gold. Today, it would take about $37,000 to buy that same amount of bullion.
Terri Lin Copeland as a child, in an undated photograph. (Click to enlarge.)
Regardless of how one tries to translate that 1961 amount into current values, that is some pretty significant unpaid child support
. And there can be no doubt that the money was really needed by Ivy as she tried to raise their little girl as a single mother.
No wonder she took Kenneth back to court…
Interestingly, the court documents indicate that Kenneth did not show up for the proceeding (download the court document by clicking here). So the judge found him in contempt and ordered the Sheriff of Tarrant County to arrest Kenneth and to place him in jail for one day minimum, and until he had paid the back child support plus court costs.
On June 5th, 1961 the court records show that he had surely been arrested at some intervening point, and that Kenneth had spent one night in jail (download the court document by clicking here). It would appear that such an experience got his attention. He subsequently made arrangements with the court to pay $50 down for the child support, $23.03 for court costs, and then $12.50 per week thereafter in regular child support, with the remaining $1,040 of child support in arrears to be paid later. It seems that he did not spend any additional time in jail after the court accepted this agreement (unless there are other records of which we are not aware). So it seems as if the matter was settled at that time.
Kenneth’s Second Marriage:
I was not able to determine the date of Kenneth’s second marriage. What is documented, however, is that on November 2, 1961, Kenneth and his second wife, Cynthia Ann Copeland, were granted a divorce (download the court document by clicking here).
This court document indicates that Kenneth was the “plaintiff” which means that he was the one who filed for divorce this time. However, it also calls Cynthia Ann the “cross-plaintiff” therein, which indicates that she was also wanting to end the marriage for some reason. Thus, it seems that their divorce was a mutual decision, though Kenneth is the party who originally filed. There were no children.
It is interesting to note also that the unpaid child support and jail-time incidents mentioned above took place during this second marriage. Was that a contributing cause to this second divorce? Or was it something else?
Only five months after his second divorce was finalized, on April 13, 1962, Kenneth and Gloria were married.
Kenneth & Gloria’s Marriage:
It is not known (nor can I find it to ever have been reported by the Copelands) what year Kenneth and Gloria first met. Again, it is only known from the records that they married about five months after Kenneth’s second divorce was finalized. It is also not known how long their courtship lasted. What is known is that He was 25 years old at the time, and she had just turned 20 that February before.
In the book, The First 30 Years, Kenneth explained his “courtship” and marriage proposal to his young third wife, Gloria Jean Neece, in this manner on page 26 (with emphasis added):
A few days later, I met Gloria and fell in love with her the minute I saw her. “This is different!” I realized.
Every idea I’d ever had about love flew out the window.
On my first date with Gloria I found myself singing to her.
“Whooh! Man, this is something,” I thought when I caught myself. I hadn’t planned on singing. I wasn’t trying to impress her or con her into something. I just couldn’t help it. I knew right then that I wanted to marry this woman. I figured it would take me a year to talk her into it, so I decided to get an early start. I didn’t know what it would take to get her to marry me, but I was ready to lie, cheat, steal or con to make it happen.
I really thought, “This is going to take a long time—maybe years—to win her over, so I’m going to ask her now.”
After our date, I walked her up to the front porch and opened the door.
“Gloria,” I said. She turned around and looked at me. “Will you marry me?”
She said, “Yes—I will.” Then she turned around and went inside the house and closed the door.
Left me standing there stammering and muttering in disbelief.
In the light of Kenneth having been married and divorced twice already, his sudden marriage proposal on his very first date with Gloria seems very different than the “storybook” version that has been generally conveyed by KCM over the years. Since there has never been any time frame given as to how long after the proposal it was before the two were wed, questions remain:
- Did Kenneth meet Gloria before he was divorced from Cynthia Ann?
- Did Kenneth and Gloria date each other while he was seeking a divorce?
- Was Gloria the reason that he filed for his second divorce?
The close time-proximity and circumstances of Kenneth’s second divorce seem to support the possibility that any of the above questions could be answered, “yes.” Moreover, the lack of substantiated dates and timelines from the Copelands certainly leaves us with little clarification on their part. In fact, the evidence suggests that many of these details have been hidden by the Copelands for many years.
Gloria’s Family, the Neeces:
Neece family pictures, from the celebration of Kenneth’s 60th birthday in 1996. In the top picture, from left to right: Doug, Richard, Jan, Missy, and Tommy. In the bottom picture: Mary Neece, Kellie Copeland Kutz and her daughter, Rachel Ward, and Gloria Neece Copeland. (Click to enlarge.)
Gloria’s birth date used to be somewhat of a mystery, but my “whistle blowers” have come through again. She was born February 12, 1942 to Wallace Raymond Neece and Mary Lois Allinder Neece. She is the oldest of seven children, and her biological siblings are:
Douglas Raymond Neece – Doug was at one time one of the executives of KCM. He was married to Mary Delaine Bonds Neece on August 4 1966, both of them at the tender age of 19. However, he divorced Delaine (under rather questionable circumstances, according to ministry insiders) and soon thereafter married his current wife, Linda
Delaine is still working at KCM, however, and is now Kenneth and Gloria’s personal secretary.
Doug now owns a media company called “Integrity Media” which purchases the air time for KCM’s Believer’s Voice of Victory broadcast. In an AP Newswire story about his media company entitled Relatives of Televangelist Prosper they explained:
(Click to enlarge this KCM chart.)
Located in an office complex in a north Dallas suburb, Integrity Media is the kind of company that plays a little-known but important role in the world of televangelism: negotiating the purchase of television time for Christian ministries.
Douglas Neece, the company’s president, said Kenneth Copeland Ministries is Integrity Media’s biggest client, accounting for just over 50 percent of its business. Neece is Kenneth Copeland’s brother-in-law. Neece’s son, Joel, also works for the company….
Their television time is bought at market rates and the ministry gets a discount from Integrity Media…Douglas Neece said his company charges a “deeply discounted” commission below the industry standard of 15 percent. “We earn our money,” Neece said. “That’s just the way it is. We have nothing to hide.”
According to Kenneth Copeland at the 2008 KCM Minister’s Conference, KCM took in just over $100 million in revenue in 2007. It is indicated with KCM’s 2007 “pie chart” of ministry expenditures (which conveniently omits any and all salary and compensation details), that they spent 34%, or about $34 million, for television and media. Assuming a generous reduction of 1/3 to account for KCM salaries and equipment depreciation, we can safely assume that about $22 million was spent for actual airtime purchases from Doug’s company. This would have netted his firm roughly $3 million in fees from KCM (without the unspecified discount). That was about half of his company’s total revenue, according to Doug.
Richard Warren Neece – Richard is also Gloria’s brother, and is known to have worked for KCM. He married his first wife, Janell Luann Pye Neece, on July 18, 1970 in Tipton County, Tennessee. He was a young 19, and she was a very tender 15. Richard divorced her, however, (under questionable circumstances) circa 1986 (but we cannot confirm the date).
He was married to his second wife of about two years, Rebecca L. Neece, on October 10, 1986 and then they divorced on August 9, 1988. Richard then remarried a year later on August 18, 1989 to Maria E. Neece, but was again divorced less than a year later on June 25, 1990.
Interestingly, the Texas marriage records indicate that Richard and Rebecca L. Neece were remarried a second time on January 7, 1991, but were also divorced once again October 28, 1993. His present marital status is unknown.
Thomas “Tommy” David Neece – He is pictured with his siblings in the photograph on this page, but is not known to have worked at KCM. His marriage history is also unknown.
Jan Elizabeth Neece Harbour – Gloria’s eldest younger sister, and currently the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of KCM. She is divorced from Michael Harbour.
Stanley Alan Neece – Stanley was the youngest brother of Gloria. He was married once to Gail E. Neece in 1979, and then divorced in 1984. He died in 1997 in a car wreck in Arkansas.
Mary “Missy” Carole Neece Camp Johnson – Missy is Gloria’s youngest sister; and was also formerly employed at KCM for about twenty years, beginning at age 13 (according to her). Her last position was as the Marketing and Publications Director, “overseeing the production of the monthly magazines, new product development and purchasing all airtime for the Believer’s Voice of Victory international television broadcast” (i.e. from her older brother Doug’s media company).
Missy’s original marriage to Floyd E. Camp was dissolved in 1984 under VERY questionable circumstances, and she immediately remarried to long time KCM employee, Leslie Scott Johnson, who simultaneously divorced his wife under VERY questionable circumstances as well. Scott had worked at KCM from 1979 to 1999, and was the Director of Television for KCM from 1993-1999.
Jesus stated that for a person to simply divorce his or her spouse to marry someone else, it was adultery (see Matthew 5:31-32; 19:8-9; Mark 10:11-12; and Luke 16:18). If they each divorced their spouses to marry one another, then that would certainly qualify biblically as a double adultery (just on the marriage issue alone.) However, according to ministry insiders, it was widely known within KCM that their adultery had begun before the divorces were obtained. The marriage and divorce records of Missy and Scott certainly seem to support that generally held belief. Nevertheless, the rumors were suppressed by KCM, and the two continued to work there for another fifteen years.
They finally left KCM to ‘pastor’ in Amarillo, Texas in 1999, by founding the “Believer’s Way Church“ (www.believersway.com).
(Note: To see the actual marriage data that we were able to obtain from Texas state records for some of the information above, and some of the Copeland family information that will soon follow, click here.)
So among Gloria’s six siblings, there are known to have been at least eight divorces (some under rather questionable circumstances). One has to wonder about the causes of such a widespread plague of divorces among Gloria’s brothers and sisters. One clue might be her parents…
It would also seem that Gloria’s parents were divorced at some point. In The First 30 Years book published by KCM, Mary Neece explained on page 124:
I had never imagined my life outside of Center Point, Arkansas. But I packed up and moved to Fort Worth to help Kenneth and Gloria. I still had three of my own children at home, and now I was going to help keep Kellie and John. It was a decision I’ve never regretted.
She then began working at Kenneth Copeland Evangelistic Association in the 1970s (as it was called back then). The offices were then located on University Drive at the time, and she said their entire staff was about six people. The picture of her “packing up and moving” with three kids, and with no mention of Wallace, suggests there had been a divorce.
Moreover, Gloria’s dad’s obituary, published in the Nevada County Picayune on June 9, 1999, did not list Mary as surviving him (as of 2006, she was still alive and living in Argyle, Texas):
Wallace Raymond Neece, 78, of Nashville died Thursday, June 3, 1999, in Nashville.
Mr. Neece was born May 25, 1921, in Center Point to the late Alger and Clara Tinsley Neece. He was a member of the First Baptist Church in Nashville. He was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II. Mr. Neece was a graduate of Arkansas State Teachers College (now the University of Central Arkansas), where he received his master’s degree. He was school administrator at several different schools, including a teacher at Center Point; a teacher in Springhill as well as a basketball coach. He was also assistant principal in Jacksonville, superintendent at Blevins and principal at Prescott. He was preceded in death by a grandfather, Nikki Turner, in 1993 and a son, Stanley Neece, in 1997.
Survivors include six children, Gloria Copeland, Richard Neece, Jan Harbour and Missy Johnson all of Fort Worth, Texas, Doug Neece of Argyle, Texas, and Tommy Neece of Destin, Fla.; 15 grandchildren; nine great grandchildren; and a host of other family and friends.
Funeral services were Saturday, June 5, at Nashville Funeral Home with Dr. David Blase and Rev. Kenneth Copeland officiating. Interment was in Center Point Cemetery under the direction of Nashville Funeral Home.
So it would seem that the Neece side of the family has had some real challenges within their marriages. Some of them are also believed by ministry insiders to have experienced infidelity issues through the years. Much of this has happened even when such family members were working for Kenneth Copeland Ministries.
According to their testimony, in 1962 in Little Rock, Arkansas, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland were born again. Gloria’s conversion was reportedly first. She recalls praying a private prayer after reading a Bible that Vinita Copeland had given Kenneth.
Kenneth’s testimony of conversion was that several weeks later he heard the voice of God tell him, “If you and your family don’t get in line with the Word of God, you’ll go to the devil’s hell.” He reports that he then cried out, “I know it, Lord! I know it! I’ll do whatever I have to do. Now, what do I do?” Remembering some instruction that an old Sunday School teacher had spoken when he was a child, he then reportedly asked Jesus to “move in” to his heart.
Both conversions, according to their testimonies, were in private. Therefore, there are no known witnesses thereto.
Moreover, given Gloria’s domineering personality (something that is well-hidden from the public, but well-known to many staff of KCM), and the MANY Kenneth’s lies and frauds documented here on KennethCopelandBlog.com to date (and the many more we plan to document in the future), there is sufficient reason to question the soundness of their conversion experiences. The Bible DOES discuss such things as false converts, and in particular “false brethren, false ministers, false prophets, and false apostles.” (Note, for example: Matthew 7:21-23; 2 Corinthians 13:5; and 2 Corinthians 11:12-15.) This should give all Christians great cause to pause and reflect.
Before moving on to discuss additional Copeland family issues, is also important to point out that Kenneth and Gloria have gone to great lengths (with the cooperation of their family and KCM) to hide these details from the public view. If Kenneth and Gloria’s improprieties were simply “pre-Christ” sins that have been washed in the Blood of the Lamb, then why has there been such an effort to hide these facts (especially the facts about Kenneth’s first two marriages)?
Should he not have rather said, “I was an old dog of a person before I got saved, and I made a real mess of my life before I found Jesus. But at least I got a great daughter from my first marriage, and I am remorseful for the hurt I caused my previous wives.” However, he has never done so to date. Why? Is it because of Gloria? (Ministry insiders say that it is.)
And what can be said about the many other family divorce and probable adultery issues by family members who professed to be Christians—and even worked for the ministry?
Lastly, consider the fact also that the children and grandchildren of both Kenneth and Gloria have experienced major marriage issues through the years also. This fact would seem to suggest that there are some unidentified or uncorrected spiritual and moral issues within the Copeland and Neece families that are affecting additional generations.
To explore this last point just a bit farther, let’s examine briefly a few more issues.
Kellie Dee Copeland Ward Kutz Swisher:
Kellie Dee Copeland Ward Kutz Swisher was born February 9, 1964.
Kellie’s first marriage was to Doyle Blaine Ward on September 18 1982, according to Texas state records. The two had two daughters, Rachel and Lindsey. They were divorced, but the date and conditions thereof are not clear.
Kellie’s second marriage was to Alan Win Kutz, Jr. on November 7, 1985 (pictured). They had two children together, Jenny and Max (the latter of which was named after Kellie’s dad’s middle name, “Kenneth Max Copeland”).
Win and Kellie Kutz with their children, circa 1996 (from left to right): Max, Lyndsey (Ward), Rachel (Ward), and Jenny. (Click to enlarge.)
Win and Kellie were separated sometime in late 2004 or early 2005, with rumors of Win’s infidelity with “multiple” women being widely spread around EMIC church. We were attending there at the time, and heard these stories ourselves. However, we now believe that the story was expanded quite a bit farther than the facts justified. This elaboration was perhaps due in-part to the normal “expansion” that occurs when people share a rumor, but we also have reason to believe that some of the fabrications were intentional in order to cover for Kellie and the family.
Sources of ours who were directly familiar with the family have confirmed to us only that Win was caught having an affair with only one woman, whom he later married. They also tell us that Kellie seemed to be a rather cold and domineering wife after she and Win had been married for a few years, even walking noticeably ahead of him in public quite often. We were also told that the men of the family (i.e., Kenneth, John, George) were wanting to see Win Kutz forgiven after he was caught in the affair (the details of which we do not know, and would not publish even if we did). Nevertheless, the women of the family (i.e., Gloria, Terry, Marty, and of course, Kellie) would not have it that way at all. (Note: Multiple sources have told us what we have seemed to witness ourselves to some extent. Namely, that KCM and EMIC seem to be dominated by the women of the family, despite public pretenses of submission to their husbands.)
So after running him off from KCM and the family, Win and Kellie were later divorced February 10, 2005. Win Kutz then married the woman with whom he had committed adultery, and we understand from our sources that they seem to be doing well together.
(Note: Win Kutz is still alive, by the way…and did NOT die in a plane crash in 2008. That false story has has been spread widely around the Internet, but he is still alive at the time of this writing.)
Stephen and Kellie Swisher, in a 2009 photo on the BVOV television set (click to enlarge)
Kellie was remarried for the third time to Stephen Lowell Swisher on July 18, 2008 at Eagle Mountain International Church. The two thereafter appeared regularly together in public meetings, and on television broadcasts (including the Copelands’ own BVOV program), for several years.
Stephen Swisher, holding their new daughter, Emily Jean Ann Swisher, in an undated photo from early 2011. (click to enlarge)
Kellie gave birth to her fifth child and fourth daughter, Emily Jean Ann Swisher, sometime in January 2011. Kellie was just a few weeks short of her 47th birthday, and Stephen was about 43 years of age (his exact birthday is unknown), when their new baby girl was born. To our knowledge, this is Stephen’s first child.
The official birth announcement that included the photo on this page of Stephen with little Emily, was made by Kellie during her June 27th, 2011 appearance on the BVOV broadcast. The title of the week-long series of programs was The Love of God and His Good Plan for You. The product offering for that series of broadcasts was KCM’s “Power of Love Package,” which includes the teaching series, “Building Relationships that Last.” We had hoped that, like her father, her third marriage would indeed stand the test of time. Unfortunately, that did not seem to be the case.
The last entry on the “Stephen and Kellie Swisher” page of KCM was from January of 2014, and the video portion of that post only included Kellie. (Ironically, Kellie was discussing her father’s “prophecy” for 2014 in which it was supposed to be the “Year of victory over death and manifested love.”) The last known public appearance of Stephen Swisher with Kellie was in April of 2014. That is also the month in which he mad his last public mention of her on his public Facebook page or Swisher’s personal Facebook page. The two had shared a public page together, but Kellie disappeared from it shortly thereafter and reappeared on the public Facebook page of Kenneth Copeland (her father). That may have raised some eyebrows because she did not stay on there long, and soon after merged her public page with that of her mother, Gloria. As of the time of this writing, however, she is no longer on there either. There does not seem to be an independent Facebook page for either “Kellie Copeland” or “Kellie Swisher” today (although one could exist but be blocking search queries). Searches for her result in her mother’s Facebook page, which seems to indicate that she was on there still until recently.
Kellie Copeland Ward Kutz Swisher teaching about love and relationships on the June 28, 2011 BVOV broadcast. (click to enlarge)
Based upon the contents of his Facebook posts, Stephen Swisher moved back to Mason, Ohio sometime around the middle of 2014 and began pastoring his United Methodist Church there full time once again. So at a minimum, it appears that Swisher has been separated from Kellie since that time. However, an examination of Swisher’s personal Facebook page now reveals that he no longer has himself on there marked as being “married.” Furthermore, a search among his friends list did not turn up Kellie, although a few of her family members are still on his list. Pictures of their adorable daughter, Emily, cover both of his Facebook pages, yet her mother is never mentioned. Given the sheer volume of photos of his daughter provided by Stephen on Facebook over time, it also appears that Emily lives with him full time in Ohio. Stephen has also mentioned his daughter returning “home” from Texas within a few Facebook posts, perhaps from visiting Kellie and the Copeland side of the family.
KCM’s “Power of Love Package” being sold on the BVOV broadcast. The Copeland family teaching on “Building Relationships that Last” is included…without any reason given for why they are remotely qualified to teach on that subject. (click to enlarge)
Thus, it appears (i.e., from all of the available public evidence) that Stephen Swisher and Kellie Copeland have now fully divorced (or soon will). Sources who were familiar with them both while they were still married and living together in Texas have indicated to us that Kellie was once again starting to show the similar domineering patterns of disrespect toward Stephen that she had done for the last few years of her marriage to Win Kutz. (Those sources have not had contact with either Kellie or Stephen in a few years, however, and do not have direct knowledge of whether they are divorced today.) Given that Stephen seems to have custody of Emily, then it appears that the Copelands have gone out of their way to accommodate him. This tends to suggest that he had initiated the separation and subsequent divorce proceedings, particularly in the light of Stephen’s utter lack of public mention of her name for well over a year.
NOTE: We have been monitoring the situation between Stephen and Kellie for over a year now, and have refrained from addressing this matter publicly in order to allow them time to (hopefully) work things out. Nevertheless, there does not seem to be any evidence of reconciliation between the two of them. If anything, they seem more independent of each other than ever. So since we have had a regular influx of people to this page who are seeking information on this subject, we felt that it was time to finally update this page accordingly. As was explained in The ‘Family Test’, it is quite biblical to examine the “fruit” of anyone claiming to be a minister, to include their marriages. Thus, we have to work with what we have available in order to accomplish this as best as we can since most of the Copelands will not be relatively honest about themselves and address matters openly, as Jeremy did on one occasion (see below). Nevertheless, if any new information comes to light that clarifies or disproves what we have inferred from the public information that is available, then we will update this page again in order to reflect these corrections.
We will now return to the original text of this article, having finished this unfortunate update to this section.
Changing the subject to a related issue: Another strange twist to the saga of Kellie’s family has come to light with the recent appearance of her daughter, Lyndsey, on The Baal Network (TBN, officially called the “Trinity Broadcasting Network”) with her grandparents, Kenneth and Gloria. Instead of her birth name of “Ward” she was introduced as Lyndsey Swisher instead.
Now, this brings serious questions to mind, since Lyndsey is well into her twenties by now: Why would she change her last name to “Swisher” when she would (theoretically) eventually get married within a few years and have another last name anyway? Did Stephen Swisher adopt her at this late age? Or did he marry more than one woman in the family? If not, is Lyndsey ever planning to get married (to a man)? And if she is, why would she bother to change her name now? If she does not plan to get married at some point (to a man), then why not? If she does marry (a man) at some point, is she planning to keep the name “Swisher” or treat the new husband with respect and take his last name instead? Did Lyndsey have any say-so in the decision to change her name to “Swisher,” or was this scheme hatched by her grandparents in order hide the number of step-fathers she has had over the years? If the latter, was that name change a requirement from Kenneth and Gloria in order to avoid embarrassing them even further regarding their family’s appalling marriage/divorce record?
Lyndsey (Ward) “Swisher” appears on TBN on June 22, 2011 with Kenneth and Gloria Copeland. (click to enlarge)
KCM’s own announcement about their TBN appearance, listing Lyndsey “Swisher” as a guest. Note: The announcement above is for the taping date, but the air date was changed to June 22. (click to enlarge)
Other than God, only the Copelands (and their lawyers) know…and they are not in the habit of telling anybody the truth about their family or ministry. So unless another whistle blower comes forth, we can only speculate why Lyndsey changed her name.
John and Marty Copeland:
John David Copeland was born June 30, 1966; only a few months before his parents moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma to attend ORU in December of 1966. He was married to his wife Martha J. “Marty” Mercer on May 2, 1987 according to Texas state records. They have had three children in total, Courtney, Jonathan, and Alexandria.
Marty Mercer Copeland
According to her testimony, Marty came from a family of ten. However, she shares very little about her family. One possible reason for this is that her father was known to have served BOTH on the board of Kenneth Copeland Ministries and the boards of several beer breweries.
Jeremy D. Pearsons
Jeremy D. Pearsons is the son George Davis Pearsons and Terri Copeland Pearsons, Kenneth’s daughter from his first marriage to Ivy Sandra Copeland. So Jeremy is Kenneth’s grandson, but Gloria is not related to him except by marriage.
According to widely spread Internet accounts, his divorce from Amy C. Cranmer Pearsons was final in May of 2006.
Jeremy is the only Copeland family member to date who has publicly discussed his divorce. He did so in a very open manner before Eagle Mountain International Church (EMIC). Details were limited, however; and of course, Amy’s side of the story was not given.
It is probable that the high awareness among the congregation at EMIC of his first marriage and subsequent quick divorce may have been the cause of Jeremy (and his family) taking the unusual step of addressing the issue somewhat publicly. Regardless, it is a remarkable and rare occurrence, as the Copeland-Neece clan is very secretive about their marital and moral failures.
Jeremy Pearsons with his second wife, Sarah.
Jeremy then married his second wife, Sarah Hart Pearsons on September 1, 2007. The two appear regularly together in a variety of venues.
A recent publicity image for Jeremy and Sarah Pearsons. (click to enlarge)
The Copelands’ Elite “No See Ex” Team:
As is mentioned above, ex-spouses of the Copeland-Pearsons-Neece clan abound. Counting only the ex-spouses that we know about, there are at least 13 (thirteen) casualties, out of 14 (fourteen) divorces.
Another very concerning fact is that the ex-spouses tend to just “disappear” and are rarely ever heard from again at KCM or EMIC (with the notable exception of Doug’s ex-wife, Delaine Neece). This is a very troubling aspect, as there were children involved in many of those marriages (more than one in several). This mysterious way in which the Copelands handle their ex-family members is very disturbing. One person commented about this on a related online discussion thread, “What ever happened to Win Kutz? Is he dead?” No. Others have asked, “Did he die in a plane crash flying one of Kenneth’s Cessna airplanes in 2008?” Again, the answer is “no,” but the Copelands sure did apply every effort to make him “disappear.”
The famous illusionist, David Copperfield, would probably be amazed.
Nevertheless, there is a trail of devastated lives in the wake of some of the Copeland-Pearsons-Neece family members. Statistically speaking, it is an improbability that such a large number of marriage failures could be the primary fault of the ex-spouses. Given the multiple marriages/divorces of some within the Copeland-Pearsons-Neece clans, it is highly probable that the key issues were on the part of the family members themselves — and the overall family in general — and not as much on the part of the ex-spouses.
We do not know the details, of course. However, again, we are checking the “fruit” of the Copeland-Pearsons-Neece families, and using the biblical “family test” to see if they are qualified for active ministry.So their ‘marital wasteland’ is a ‘fruit’ that needs to be addressed — and the sheer size of it needs to be considered soberly.
Regardless, divorces are not pleasant experiences; and all parties tend to suffer to some degree. Let’s pray that these wounds might heal — but especially for the wounds among the ex-spouses cast aside by the Copeland-Pearsons-Neece family. There are just too many of them for there NOT to be some extremely hurt and wounded souls among their number.
(A personal note to all the ex-spouses of the Copeland-Pearsons-Neece family: Please accept our sincere regrets that our efforts to expose the real nature this family necessitated airing these matters publicly. We truly detest having to include any of you at all. We can only imagine what you all have seen and suffered, so please understand our sincere regrets for having to press forward publicly with such matters.)
Things NOT Said…
Of course, we left many improprieties unaddressed in this brief outline. With the exception of the Scott and Missy Johnson episode, we did not address issues related to current and former KCM/EMIC staff members in order to focus on the combined Copeland-Pearsons-Neece family.
We did not even address all the issues within the family itself, for various reasons.
Part of the reason we have refrained is the obvious difficulty there is in firmly confirming accusations of adultery, spousal abuse, and pornography use, committed by Copeland family members and KCM/EMIC staff (both present and past).
However, the fact that such rumors are so prolific among current and former insiders at KCM/EMIC gives one much reason to believe that at least some of these stories may be quite true. Therefore, we are only mentioning them here in vague reference until such time as additional “whistle blowers” come forth to substantiate anything that we might choose to publish at a future date (if we deem such things both biblical and appropriate to disclose).
Hopefully, the Copeland and Neece families will repent beforehand, and spare us such an unsavory task.
The Big Question:
Now that we have examined the Copelands, the Pearsons, and the Neeces, in some detail, the question is whether they pass the biblical ‘Family Test’ and qualify for continuing ministry. Do they fit the descriptions given by Paul of godly men and women fit for the pulpit, such as when he wrote:
Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)
(1 Timothy 3:3-5 , NIV)
The “Building Relationships that Last” ad found inside the front cover in the July, 2010 issue of the BVOV Magazine. (Click to enlarge.)
Given the evidence at hand (and much more that will be posted on KennethCopelandBlog.com in due time) I have regrettably concluded a firm “no.”
We have already covered elsewhere on this website the many documentable lies and probable frauds of the Copelands. However, when one just considers The ‘Family Test’ point, this family has shown itself in great need of repentance. And when we look at the great lengths they have gone through to HIDE these issues rather than removing them, it would seem this family could use a nice long sabbatical coupled with some good biblical family and marriage counseling.
And can anybody look at the above family history and conclude that the Copelands are qualified to be teaching others about Building Relationships that Last? Most people that I know who have reviewed the information herein have soundly concluded that the Copelands are NOT qualified for the pulpit at present at all, much less to minister to others on these topics.
Nevertheless, they are now offering a Relationships Life Line Kit by Kenneth and Gloria Copeland (for only $19.99) as the image from their July 2010 issue of the Believer’s Voice of Victory Magazine reveals.
More to Come…
We will be posting some more detailed accounts of select members of the Copeland family in separate posts very soon. We may also be updating this particular web page from time to time as new information and documents come to light. Check back to this page regularly to obtain the most accurate and up to date information.
Once again, we and our growing number of advocates are still calling on Kenneth Copeland, his family, and his ministry, to simply repent…AND get saved!
And on this last important note above: Donna and I highly recommend that you now proceed to the next article within this “Are the Copelands Biblical Qualified for Ministry” section—Is Kenneth Copeland SAVED?—wherein we discuss not only Kenneth, but also Gloria, and by extension, the entire family. Documented facts are examined in the light of Scripture, and some revealing videos are embedded in there also to further substantiate the biblical concerns being raised therein.
Grace and blessings to all of you who
love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.
Always in Jesus,
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