How Joy of Living Began

In the fall of 1970, Doris Greig had a severe heart problem and had to resign as a Bible study teaching leader in her home church in Glendale, California. She was facing a year in bed when a Christian neighbor challenged her, “You’re not just going to lie there and do nothing, are you? Why don’t you write?”

It was at that time that a close friend called and said that they wanted to start a Bible study group in Newhall, California. They asked Doris if she would consider teaching a course the following fall (1971). After much prayer, and with the commitment of a friend to drive her the 70 mile round trip, she agreed.

A graduate of South Dakota State University, Doris had taught many Bible study groups through the years using a variety of materials. This time, however, Doris disposed of all other course materials and began to write her own material—just for the Newhall class. With help from several other women, she was able to produce the first Joy of Living study, for use in the fall of 1971. Doris eventually wrote a number of additional Joy of Living studies. In 1987 Regal Books released her book, We Didn’t Know They Were Angels. A revised and updated version, You Can Do It, Too!—Opening your heart and home to share God’s love, was released by Joy of Living in 2007.

Joy of Living continues to develop new studies by a number of different authors with courses in both the Old and New Testaments. Guidelines and special helps have been developed to assist teaching leaders. Children’s material, audio lectures and foreign language studies are also available.

Doris’ eldest daughter, Kathy Rowland, assumed the position of Director of Joy of Living in 1980. Doris remained actively involved in teaching, speaking and editing new courses until 2002. She went home to the Lord in 2004.

There are currently multiple thousands of individuals studying Joy of Living materials individually and in classes throughout the U.S. and many foreign countries. The original class in Newhall (now Santa Clarita), California continues to this day.