Who is Juanita Bynum? Juanita Bynum is a Pentecostal televangelist, author, actress and gospel singer. Born Jan. 16, 1959, in Chicago, Juanita began preaching after graduating from high school, and while the “prophetess,” as many sites describe her, is known for her gospel of “faith, health, wealth and prosperity,” according to News One, she’s also something of a magnet for controversy.
In 2013, she was arrested in Dallas for failing to appear in civil court and answer to charges that she’d defrauded a promoter out of $140,000. Bynum said she was “wrongfully detained,” and that she “knew nothing” about the court appearance. “I have not been found guilty of any fraudulent, unethical or non-integral behavior,” Bynum said in a statement, explaining that she’d put $25,000 toward the debt, which stems from a play she was paid to appear in but never did. Bynum added that she’d been misrepresented by Releve Entertainment, the production company she worked with at the time.
Who is Juanita Bynum? It’s a question some might have found themselves asking following that Dallas arrest, as this certainly wouldn’t be the first instance of a televangelist cheating someone out of a large sum of money. But Al Wash, the ALW Entertainment promoter who initiated the lawsuit that ultimately led to her arrest, calls Juanita Bynum “a spectacular person.” In an email sent to Bynum after the incident, he supported her claims that the “unfortunate event” was the result of fraud committed by a third party.
“It was a misunderstanding of information,” Wash said, according to CharismaMag.com. “Dr. Bynum is a spectacular person, and we are looking forward to doing great business together in the future. I never meant for this situation to do her or her ministry any harm. I am here to help people build their career, not destroy their career, and I will always believe in Dr. Bynum.”
Juanita Bynum is no stranger to headlines, and in 2008, her then-husband, fellow minister Thomas Weeks, plead guilty to assaulting her. More recently, in 2012, Bynum revealed in a radio interview that she’d taken drugs and had sexual relations with women. On a more positive note, her 2013 arrest came amid news she’d been named a goodwill ambassador for Bayelsa State, located in Nigeria.