Joy Leanette McDonald was born April 8, 1942, to T.R. and Margaret McDonald. They received the Holy Ghost and were baptized in Jesus’ name in 1945 when he returned home from serving in the US Navy in World War II. They became sold out to God, and they raised their children on prayer and Bible reading, getting them up at 6:00 AM every morning. This habit has stayed with her, her entire life. They were not only a praying family, but a musical family.
Joy and her two sisters started singing at a young age and were called The McDonald Trio. They sang at every Western District camp meeting and youth camp, church services, on the weekly radio church program, funerals, weddings, and at a General Conference.
Joy attended Western Apostolic Bible College, and one of her instructors was the handsome Kenneth Haney. Not only was he her teacher, but feelings developed between them. Their first date was on December 16, 1960. Ten months later, they were married on October 14, 1961. They are the parents of five wonderful children: Sherrie, Nathaniel, Stephenie, Elizabeth, and Angela.
The Haneys served as associate pastors with Clyde and Olive Haney at the First Pentecostal Church in Stockton, California. In 1963, Kenneth was elected Western District youth president. Then in 1969, he was elected UPC national youth president which resulted in them moving to St. Louis, Missouri.
At the untimely death of his father in 1971, the church in Stockton asked Kenneth Haney if he would consider coming back to be their pastor. After much prayer and deliberation, he said yes and was voted in unanimously. So, in January 1972, they became the new pastors of the First Pentecostal Church. The name was eventually changed to Christian Life Center in Stockton, California. They served faithfully in that position for thirty years. During that time, God gave great increase as they threw their hearts into building His kingdom, with much emphasis on prayer, fasting, and evangelism.
Bishop Haney was elected to general superintendent in 2001 and served faithfully in that position until January 1, 2010. As First Lady of the United Pentecostal Church International, Joy threw her heart into doing all she could to strengthen and encourage women, teaching them to walk in the Spirit. Kenneth and Joy had fifty years of wedded bliss, becoming one in purpose and ministry, furthering God’s kingdom in every way they could until God called Kenneth home on November 10, 2011.
Some of the highlights of Joy Haney’s ministry are:
• In April 1974, she became a caregiver, inviting her parents to come and live with them because her mother was dying of cancer. Joy wanted to help her get well, but God had other plans and took her mother home on December 18, 1974. Because of the heartbreak, Joy immersed herself in the Word of God like never before, and God inspired her to start Radiant Life Classes, teaching the ladies. It was something new and exciting and the ladies loved the Bible teaching and fellowship. There was growth and consecration!
• When their fifth child was born, Kenneth said, “Now that you’re going to be home more, why don’t you put together all your Radiant Life class material and publish it in book form?” From that first book in 1980, God ordained her to pen sixty-two more books as of this year. Many of the books are the result of God speaking to her in prayer, or coming to her in a dream, or in some supernatural happening. She gave her whole heart, soul, and body, surrendering herself to whatever God asked her to do. In one instance, God gave her a dream and spoke to her giving her a title: Diamonds for Dusty Roads and she was instructed to use the three w’s: wisdom, wit, and the Word! Not knowing what it was for, she knew God would reveal it in His time.
• In 1990, God opened a door for her to do a short daily radio program in the morning on KYCC. She knew then what to call it: Diamonds for Dusty Roads! She did this from 1990-2003, bringing hope and the Word to thousands of people daily. We can still hear how she opened the program: “FAITH looks Up. Doubt looks Down. And Worry looks Around!” This program became a paperback book, published and owned by KYCC radio station. Then in 2006, she expanded it and it became a hardback daily devotional book for an entire year, copyright owned by Word Aflame.
• Sister Haney served as Director of Women’s Ministries and instructor at Christian Life College from 1983 through the spring of 1996.
• In September 1998, she received a Bachelor of Ministry degree from Central Christian College.
• Sister Haney recorded two singing albums: “Pray in the Spirit” in 1998 and “Just Believe” in 2006.
• In 2012, her district superintendent, Ronnie Mullings, insisted she be ordained. Mother told him, “God already ordained me years ago!” He responded, “Yes we know that, but the men want to ordain you.” He continued: “You don’t even have to meet the district board. You’ve been approved a long time ago!” So, Sister Haney was privileged to be ordained in 2012 and received a certificate of ordination from the United Pentecostal Church International!
• The most life-changing event that occurred in her ministry occurred the last week of December 1987. Something happened that was a turning point in her ministry. At a Western District Sunday school convention, A. D. Spears preached and ended with the words, “God is speaking specifically to someone tonight. He wants you to become one with Him. Somewhere, somehow, someone under the sound of my voice in this building is going to answer the call!” Our mother knew He was speaking to her. She ran to the altar and sobbed her surrender to Him. At the time she was working on getting a degree in music. God spoke to her and told her He wanted her to start a ladies’ prayer meeting and she said, “I will have to give up my dream and quit college” He said back to her: “I will give you dreams you cannot conceive!” Returning home, she made her way to Delta College and told her professors of her decision. Then she announced prayer meeting to the Christian Life Center church. Ladies came, the prayer room was jammed, and it exploded into a giant revival of power and miracles! In the fall of 1991, their prayer ministry was expanded. The prayer group was asked to pray over the radio, and so every Wednesday morning, prayer went forth into other countries, cities, prisons, and wherever they could get reception, and God continued doing mighty miracles in every place the station was heard. God privileged her to see cancers instantly healed, going from deathbed to living many years after the healing, a hopeless drug addict instantly delivered
and becoming a pastor who is still preaching God’s delivering power—and so many more miracles God performed. He kept His promise! He did give back dreams she could not conceive, by doing mighty and notable miracles, and was glorified through a humble group of ladies who surrendered their will and time to God and His plan.
• In 1988, the same year they started the “God orchestrated prayer meetings,” God also led Sister Haney to go on a forty-day fast. During that time, He spoke to her in a vivid dream. She was walking up steps covered in plush red carpet toward the throne where Jesus sat. There were angels lined up on both sides of the staircase from the bottom to the top, and they were chanting over and over, “An oath, an oath—you’ve got to take an oath!” Then God spoke Genesis 24:8 and she woke up. Immediately she got her Bible, opened to Genesis, and read the story how Abraham made his servant take an oath to go get a bride for Isaac. The words that burned into her spirit were, “He shall send his angel before thee, and if the women will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this oath.”
• God sent Sister Haney across America and around the world ministering and speaking on prayer, fasting, miracles, consecration, and exalting Jesus! Prayer lines were formed, and God did mighty miracles; people were changed and revival broke out!
Mother has always been selfless and caring, and loved her husband and children, her first loves! And as much as she has invested into God’s kingdom, she has invested more into her family. She is the perfect example of a Proverbs 31 woman. We often refer to her as the “Shunamite woman” for her faith is unwavering; even when we’ve watched her walk through difficult and dark times, we would often hear her say, “It is well!” She is a woman of great faith, the Word, and of prayer. As her adult children, we find ourselves doing what she showed us by example, and we go into our prayer closets to fight hell and to push back the darkness that is unleashed in this world.
Even now, we often call Mother for advice and for prayer, because we know she will go to battle for her children like she has done since we were little kids. We are thankful that God has given us such a beautiful and godly mother. Her passion and tenacity lives on in all of her children and in those that she has poured herself into. Her grit, tenacity, and prevailing prayer has paved the way for the generation of lady speakers and leaders today. There will never be another quite like Joy Haney, and we are thankful that we can call her “Mother”!