Mega-Millionaire Pastor Chided for Harvey Victim Response

31 August, 2017, 01:22 | Author: Evan Mason
  • Joel Osteen's 16,800 seat Lakewood Church in Houston

Pastor Osteen's church is now open for evacuees, and he says flooding inside the church is the reason for the delay.

Lakewood Church, which was founded by Osteen's father in the 1950s, had posted on social media Monday that the venue was "inaccessible due to severe flooding" following Hurricane Harvey, which has been downgraded to a tropical storm.

The pastor, who fell under intense scrutiny for how the situation was handled by Lakewood Church, has finally explained why he didn't welcome people sooner.

CNN published photos of Lakewood Church, located at Norfolk and Edloe streets in Houston and formerly host to the NBA's Houston Rockets, showing standing water inside the building.

Lakewood Church, a former 16,000 seat basketball arena that was converted into a church, tweeted Tuesday at 10 a.m. that the church is now "receiving people who need shelter". "Lakewood will be a value to the community in the aftermath of this storm". "You know, there are safety issues".

"The narrative is that we didn't want to take people in, or that we didn't open in time - it's totally not true". "We will continue to be a distribution center for those in need", he insisted.

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If the above photo was of Osteen's church, there's likely no way he would have been able to accept people.

Houston Pastor Joel Osteen tried to bring his whirlwind week of bad public relations to a close on Wednesday in an early morning interview with "Good Morning America." Several social media posts indicated the church stayed clear of any flooding.

But criticism against the church persisted, with one commenter saying on Facebook, "If you guys at Lakewood cared half as much about your own people as you do your Sunday offerings, you'd definitely have those doors open".

On Tuesday evening, hundreds of volunteers gathered at Lakewood Church to help collect and organize donation items and supplies.

He added: 'We try to use the best wisdom we can and the main thing is we've been here for 60 years to help this city, and be a blessing to others. The storm is responsible for at least 11 deaths, all in Texas, over the past four days.

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