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This Texas Couple Gave All Their Wedding Food to Victims Displaced by Hurricane Harvey

This Texas Couple Gave All Their Wedding Food to Victims Displaced by Hurricane Harvey

When their nuptials were postponed after the storm hit, they knew what to do

ragıp ufuk vural/istockphoto.com

When Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, soon-to-be-married Dayna Skolkin and Josh Tillis had to postpone their Houston wedding. Rather than dwell on unfortunate circumstances, Skolkin and Tillis decided to help prepare their wedding food for hundreds of Hurricane Harvey victims.

The location of the would-be dinner was Aishnel House, a non-profit organization that provides housing and meals to patients of Texas Medical Center. Yahoo reports that the charity is close to Skolkin’s heart, because her late mother, Holly Harwood Skolkin, who died of breast cancer, helped found it.

So when the couple heard that the charity was using their dinner food to help feed those displaced by the hurricane, they immediately volunteered to help.

“My fiancé and I went over there and helped to make the meals,” Skolkin told Inside Edition. “Everyone in Houston right now is doing everything we can to try to help. Once we were able to get out there and do something for the community, it felt really amazing.”

Yahoo reports that the meals included breaded chicken, mashed potatoes, fresh rolls, and vegetables. It was delivered to hotels, the George R. Brown Convention Center, and various other places across the city.

“We were very fortunate to fare so lucky in the storm, but so many others weren’t. It was the obvious decision that we needed to get our and help,” Skolkin added. “It was therapeutic for us to get out of our own personal feelings of sadness to do something productive for the community.”

For more inspiring food stories, click here.


Osteen was born in Houston, Texas, and is one of six children of John Osteen and Dolores ("Dodie") Pilgrim. His father, a former Southern Baptist pastor, founded Lakewood Church (of which Osteen is the current senior pastor) in the back of an old feed store. [5] He graduated from Humble High School, a public high school in the city of Humble, Texas, in 1981, [6] and attended Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he studied radio and television communications, but did not graduate he did not receive a degree from a divinity school. [7] [8] In 1982, he returned to Houston, founded Lakewood's television program, and produced his father's televised sermons for 17 years until January 1999, when his father died unexpectedly from a heart attack. [7] [9]

Osteen's father encouraged him to preach for many years, but he declined, preferring to work behind the scenes until January 17, 1999, when he accepted his father's suggestion and preached his first sermon. John Osteen died six days later of a heart attack. Two weeks after his father's death, Osteen began preaching regularly and later that year was installed as the new senior pastor of Lakewood Church on October 3, 1999. [10] As of 2014, Lakewood's attendance had grown from 5,000 to 43,000. [11]

In 2003, Lakewood Church acquired the Compaq Center, former home of the NBA Houston Rockets and the AHL Houston Aeros. Renovations cost $105 million. [12] The renovations took over 15 months to complete, and included the addition of five stories to add more capacity. [13] Lakewood's 2005 grand opening was attended by an estimated 56,000 people, including Texas Governor Rick Perry and then-House Minority Leader and future Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. [14] According to Osteen in 2008, Lakewood Church's weekly service TV program was viewed in more than 100 countries. [15] Lakewood Church estimates that 7 million viewers per week watch the services. [16] [ circular reference ]

Osteen was included on Barbara Walters's list of the 10 Most Fascinating People of 2006. [17] [18] Former presidential candidate John McCain described Osteen as his favorite inspirational author. [19] The Osteen family attended Easter breakfast hosted by President Barack Obama at the White House in 2010. [20]

Preaching style Edit

Osteen's sermon preparation involves memorizing his remarks and listening to himself on tape. [21] Osteen says he chooses to focus more on the goodness of God and on living an obedient life rather than on sin. [22] He says that he tries to teach Biblical principles in a simple way, emphasizing the power of love and a positive attitude. [23] When asked why he does not focus more on sin, the devil and hell in detail, Osteen stated in an interview with CBN News:

When I grew up, the devil was a reason why I had a headache or the devil was the reason I got mad today. We always blamed the devil. I think today when I say the enemy, I like to make it broader. Sometimes the enemy can be our own thoughts. We've trained ourselves the wrong way. Or the enemy can be our own lack of discipline. Some people preach about hell like you're already going there, and to me the Gospel means 'Good News.' I'd rather say God is a God of mercy. So I think the people already know what they're doing wrong, and I certainly believe in hell. But to me, when I see thousands of people before me, it just doesn't come out of me to say, 'You guys are terrible, and you're going to hell.' I'd rather say that God is a God of mercy. You've got to live an obedient life, but for every mistake you've made, there's mercy there, and I believe we can do better. [9]

Osteen's first book, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential, was released in October 2004, and reached the number 1 position on The New York Times Best Seller list. [24]

He released his second book, titled Become a Better You: 7 Keys to Improving Your Life Every Day, in October 2007. It also topped The New York Times Best Seller list [25] and had a first printing of three million copies. [26] Osteen has said that the book focuses more on relationships and not getting stuck where we are in life. [27]

On April 4, 1987, Osteen married Victoria Osteen (née Iloff), who later would become copastor of Lakewood Church. [2] They have a son and daughter. [28] In 2002, his older siblings, Paul, Lisa, and Tamara, and his younger sister, April, were also involved in full-time ministry, and his half-brother Justin was doing missionary work. [10]

Osteen's net worth was variably reported to be $40 million and $60 million in 2017. [29] [30] He lives with his family in a 17,000 square-foot mansion in River Oaks, with an estimated value of $10.5 million. [31] Osteen says that as senior pastor, he draws no salary from the church, which has an annual budget of $70 million, [32] and that he instead relies on income from book sales. [33]

Osteen has generally avoided discussing or preaching about controversial issues such as gay marriage, abortion, and politics. [17] [34] He has stated he believes the church has a tendency to become overly focused on single issues (such as homosexuality) to the point of neglecting others. [17] [35] When asked if he thought God approves of homosexuality, Osteen said homosexuality is a sin according to his interpretation of Scripture, but said gay people are welcome in his church without judgment. [36] [37] [35] [38]

In an interview on Fox News in 2008 during the Republican Party presidential primary race, when discussing whether he thought that Mormons were Christians, Osteen indicated that he believed that they were. He further revealed that he had not studied the religion. [39] In an interview in 2011, Osteen stated his support for Israel. [40]

Prosperity gospel criticism Edit

Osteen's sermons and writings are sometimes criticized for promoting prosperity theology, or the prosperity gospel, a belief that the reward of material gain is the will of God for all pious Christians. [34] [39] [41] [42] [43] [44] [45]

On October 14, 2007, 60 Minutes ran a twelve-minute segment on Osteen, titled "Joel Osteen Answers His Critics", during which Reformed theologian Michael Horton told CBS News correspondent Byron Pitts that Osteen's message is heresy. Horton stated that the problem with Osteen's message is that it makes religion about us instead of about God. [46]

Osteen is estimated to have a net worth of over $50 million, with his church taking in $43 million a year in collections. [4]

Hurricane Harvey response Edit

During the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in August 2017, Osteen received significant criticism for not making Lakewood Church, a 606,000-square-foot, 16,000-seat former sports arena, available as an emergency shelter for those displaced by the storm. [47] [48] [49] [50] [51] On August 27, posts from the church and a Lakewood Church associate pastor's social media accounts stated that the church was "inaccessible due to severe flooding," and associate pastor John Gray posting further, "If WE could get there WE WOULD OPEN THE DOORS." [52] [53] Lakewood spokesperson Don Iloff later described floodwaters as one foot from spilling over the facility's floodgate and surging into the building. [54] He also stated that pictures showing Lakewood free of flooding were taken on Monday, after the flood waters had lowered. [55] [56]

Osteen disputed the claim that flood waters closed the church, saying "the church has been open from the beginning," and, "[w]e've always been open . How this notion got started, that we're not a shelter and we're not taking people in is a false narrative." [51] [57] This contradicted his earlier statement that the church would open when other refugee centers were full. [51] [58] On the evening of August 28, it was announced by Lakewood that it would open at noon the next day as an available shelter to storm victims and emergency personnel on August 29, which it did. [51]

On August 15, 2018, less than a year after Harvey struck, the City of Houston and Mayor Sylvester Turner proclaimed a day in honor of the assistance of Lakewood and Osteen in rebuilding efforts across the Houston area. [59] [60] It stated Lakewood and its pastors have provided "assistance to more than 1,150 Houston-area families whose homes were damaged or destroyed by floodwaters" and bought "1.1 million dollars in building materials, furniture, appliances, and paid labor, as well as through the contribution of more than 2,500 volunteers". [61]

Other Edit

In 2011, Osteen and Lakewood Church were sued by the band The American Dollar for copyright infringement. [62] A judge in 2012 ruled in favor of Osteen, but gave The American Dollar leave to amend the case. [63]

In 2020 Osteen's Lakewood Church got $4.4 million in federal PPP loans (COVID relief) which is seen as controversial. [64]


Osteen was born in Houston, Texas, and is one of six children of John Osteen and Dolores ("Dodie") Pilgrim. His father, a former Southern Baptist pastor, founded Lakewood Church (of which Osteen is the current senior pastor) in the back of an old feed store. [5] He graduated from Humble High School, a public high school in the city of Humble, Texas, in 1981, [6] and attended Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he studied radio and television communications, but did not graduate he did not receive a degree from a divinity school. [7] [8] In 1982, he returned to Houston, founded Lakewood's television program, and produced his father's televised sermons for 17 years until January 1999, when his father died unexpectedly from a heart attack. [7] [9]

Osteen's father encouraged him to preach for many years, but he declined, preferring to work behind the scenes until January 17, 1999, when he accepted his father's suggestion and preached his first sermon. John Osteen died six days later of a heart attack. Two weeks after his father's death, Osteen began preaching regularly and later that year was installed as the new senior pastor of Lakewood Church on October 3, 1999. [10] As of 2014, Lakewood's attendance had grown from 5,000 to 43,000. [11]

In 2003, Lakewood Church acquired the Compaq Center, former home of the NBA Houston Rockets and the AHL Houston Aeros. Renovations cost $105 million. [12] The renovations took over 15 months to complete, and included the addition of five stories to add more capacity. [13] Lakewood's 2005 grand opening was attended by an estimated 56,000 people, including Texas Governor Rick Perry and then-House Minority Leader and future Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. [14] According to Osteen in 2008, Lakewood Church's weekly service TV program was viewed in more than 100 countries. [15] Lakewood Church estimates that 7 million viewers per week watch the services. [16] [ circular reference ]

Osteen was included on Barbara Walters's list of the 10 Most Fascinating People of 2006. [17] [18] Former presidential candidate John McCain described Osteen as his favorite inspirational author. [19] The Osteen family attended Easter breakfast hosted by President Barack Obama at the White House in 2010. [20]

Preaching style Edit

Osteen's sermon preparation involves memorizing his remarks and listening to himself on tape. [21] Osteen says he chooses to focus more on the goodness of God and on living an obedient life rather than on sin. [22] He says that he tries to teach Biblical principles in a simple way, emphasizing the power of love and a positive attitude. [23] When asked why he does not focus more on sin, the devil and hell in detail, Osteen stated in an interview with CBN News:

When I grew up, the devil was a reason why I had a headache or the devil was the reason I got mad today. We always blamed the devil. I think today when I say the enemy, I like to make it broader. Sometimes the enemy can be our own thoughts. We've trained ourselves the wrong way. Or the enemy can be our own lack of discipline. Some people preach about hell like you're already going there, and to me the Gospel means 'Good News.' I'd rather say God is a God of mercy. So I think the people already know what they're doing wrong, and I certainly believe in hell. But to me, when I see thousands of people before me, it just doesn't come out of me to say, 'You guys are terrible, and you're going to hell.' I'd rather say that God is a God of mercy. You've got to live an obedient life, but for every mistake you've made, there's mercy there, and I believe we can do better. [9]

Osteen's first book, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential, was released in October 2004, and reached the number 1 position on The New York Times Best Seller list. [24]

He released his second book, titled Become a Better You: 7 Keys to Improving Your Life Every Day, in October 2007. It also topped The New York Times Best Seller list [25] and had a first printing of three million copies. [26] Osteen has said that the book focuses more on relationships and not getting stuck where we are in life. [27]

On April 4, 1987, Osteen married Victoria Osteen (née Iloff), who later would become copastor of Lakewood Church. [2] They have a son and daughter. [28] In 2002, his older siblings, Paul, Lisa, and Tamara, and his younger sister, April, were also involved in full-time ministry, and his half-brother Justin was doing missionary work. [10]

Osteen's net worth was variably reported to be $40 million and $60 million in 2017. [29] [30] He lives with his family in a 17,000 square-foot mansion in River Oaks, with an estimated value of $10.5 million. [31] Osteen says that as senior pastor, he draws no salary from the church, which has an annual budget of $70 million, [32] and that he instead relies on income from book sales. [33]

Osteen has generally avoided discussing or preaching about controversial issues such as gay marriage, abortion, and politics. [17] [34] He has stated he believes the church has a tendency to become overly focused on single issues (such as homosexuality) to the point of neglecting others. [17] [35] When asked if he thought God approves of homosexuality, Osteen said homosexuality is a sin according to his interpretation of Scripture, but said gay people are welcome in his church without judgment. [36] [37] [35] [38]

In an interview on Fox News in 2008 during the Republican Party presidential primary race, when discussing whether he thought that Mormons were Christians, Osteen indicated that he believed that they were. He further revealed that he had not studied the religion. [39] In an interview in 2011, Osteen stated his support for Israel. [40]

Prosperity gospel criticism Edit

Osteen's sermons and writings are sometimes criticized for promoting prosperity theology, or the prosperity gospel, a belief that the reward of material gain is the will of God for all pious Christians. [34] [39] [41] [42] [43] [44] [45]

On October 14, 2007, 60 Minutes ran a twelve-minute segment on Osteen, titled "Joel Osteen Answers His Critics", during which Reformed theologian Michael Horton told CBS News correspondent Byron Pitts that Osteen's message is heresy. Horton stated that the problem with Osteen's message is that it makes religion about us instead of about God. [46]

Osteen is estimated to have a net worth of over $50 million, with his church taking in $43 million a year in collections. [4]

Hurricane Harvey response Edit

During the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in August 2017, Osteen received significant criticism for not making Lakewood Church, a 606,000-square-foot, 16,000-seat former sports arena, available as an emergency shelter for those displaced by the storm. [47] [48] [49] [50] [51] On August 27, posts from the church and a Lakewood Church associate pastor's social media accounts stated that the church was "inaccessible due to severe flooding," and associate pastor John Gray posting further, "If WE could get there WE WOULD OPEN THE DOORS." [52] [53] Lakewood spokesperson Don Iloff later described floodwaters as one foot from spilling over the facility's floodgate and surging into the building. [54] He also stated that pictures showing Lakewood free of flooding were taken on Monday, after the flood waters had lowered. [55] [56]

Osteen disputed the claim that flood waters closed the church, saying "the church has been open from the beginning," and, "[w]e've always been open . How this notion got started, that we're not a shelter and we're not taking people in is a false narrative." [51] [57] This contradicted his earlier statement that the church would open when other refugee centers were full. [51] [58] On the evening of August 28, it was announced by Lakewood that it would open at noon the next day as an available shelter to storm victims and emergency personnel on August 29, which it did. [51]

On August 15, 2018, less than a year after Harvey struck, the City of Houston and Mayor Sylvester Turner proclaimed a day in honor of the assistance of Lakewood and Osteen in rebuilding efforts across the Houston area. [59] [60] It stated Lakewood and its pastors have provided "assistance to more than 1,150 Houston-area families whose homes were damaged or destroyed by floodwaters" and bought "1.1 million dollars in building materials, furniture, appliances, and paid labor, as well as through the contribution of more than 2,500 volunteers". [61]

Other Edit

In 2011, Osteen and Lakewood Church were sued by the band The American Dollar for copyright infringement. [62] A judge in 2012 ruled in favor of Osteen, but gave The American Dollar leave to amend the case. [63]

In 2020 Osteen's Lakewood Church got $4.4 million in federal PPP loans (COVID relief) which is seen as controversial. [64]


Osteen was born in Houston, Texas, and is one of six children of John Osteen and Dolores ("Dodie") Pilgrim. His father, a former Southern Baptist pastor, founded Lakewood Church (of which Osteen is the current senior pastor) in the back of an old feed store. [5] He graduated from Humble High School, a public high school in the city of Humble, Texas, in 1981, [6] and attended Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he studied radio and television communications, but did not graduate he did not receive a degree from a divinity school. [7] [8] In 1982, he returned to Houston, founded Lakewood's television program, and produced his father's televised sermons for 17 years until January 1999, when his father died unexpectedly from a heart attack. [7] [9]

Osteen's father encouraged him to preach for many years, but he declined, preferring to work behind the scenes until January 17, 1999, when he accepted his father's suggestion and preached his first sermon. John Osteen died six days later of a heart attack. Two weeks after his father's death, Osteen began preaching regularly and later that year was installed as the new senior pastor of Lakewood Church on October 3, 1999. [10] As of 2014, Lakewood's attendance had grown from 5,000 to 43,000. [11]

In 2003, Lakewood Church acquired the Compaq Center, former home of the NBA Houston Rockets and the AHL Houston Aeros. Renovations cost $105 million. [12] The renovations took over 15 months to complete, and included the addition of five stories to add more capacity. [13] Lakewood's 2005 grand opening was attended by an estimated 56,000 people, including Texas Governor Rick Perry and then-House Minority Leader and future Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. [14] According to Osteen in 2008, Lakewood Church's weekly service TV program was viewed in more than 100 countries. [15] Lakewood Church estimates that 7 million viewers per week watch the services. [16] [ circular reference ]

Osteen was included on Barbara Walters's list of the 10 Most Fascinating People of 2006. [17] [18] Former presidential candidate John McCain described Osteen as his favorite inspirational author. [19] The Osteen family attended Easter breakfast hosted by President Barack Obama at the White House in 2010. [20]

Preaching style Edit

Osteen's sermon preparation involves memorizing his remarks and listening to himself on tape. [21] Osteen says he chooses to focus more on the goodness of God and on living an obedient life rather than on sin. [22] He says that he tries to teach Biblical principles in a simple way, emphasizing the power of love and a positive attitude. [23] When asked why he does not focus more on sin, the devil and hell in detail, Osteen stated in an interview with CBN News:

When I grew up, the devil was a reason why I had a headache or the devil was the reason I got mad today. We always blamed the devil. I think today when I say the enemy, I like to make it broader. Sometimes the enemy can be our own thoughts. We've trained ourselves the wrong way. Or the enemy can be our own lack of discipline. Some people preach about hell like you're already going there, and to me the Gospel means 'Good News.' I'd rather say God is a God of mercy. So I think the people already know what they're doing wrong, and I certainly believe in hell. But to me, when I see thousands of people before me, it just doesn't come out of me to say, 'You guys are terrible, and you're going to hell.' I'd rather say that God is a God of mercy. You've got to live an obedient life, but for every mistake you've made, there's mercy there, and I believe we can do better. [9]

Osteen's first book, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential, was released in October 2004, and reached the number 1 position on The New York Times Best Seller list. [24]

He released his second book, titled Become a Better You: 7 Keys to Improving Your Life Every Day, in October 2007. It also topped The New York Times Best Seller list [25] and had a first printing of three million copies. [26] Osteen has said that the book focuses more on relationships and not getting stuck where we are in life. [27]

On April 4, 1987, Osteen married Victoria Osteen (née Iloff), who later would become copastor of Lakewood Church. [2] They have a son and daughter. [28] In 2002, his older siblings, Paul, Lisa, and Tamara, and his younger sister, April, were also involved in full-time ministry, and his half-brother Justin was doing missionary work. [10]

Osteen's net worth was variably reported to be $40 million and $60 million in 2017. [29] [30] He lives with his family in a 17,000 square-foot mansion in River Oaks, with an estimated value of $10.5 million. [31] Osteen says that as senior pastor, he draws no salary from the church, which has an annual budget of $70 million, [32] and that he instead relies on income from book sales. [33]

Osteen has generally avoided discussing or preaching about controversial issues such as gay marriage, abortion, and politics. [17] [34] He has stated he believes the church has a tendency to become overly focused on single issues (such as homosexuality) to the point of neglecting others. [17] [35] When asked if he thought God approves of homosexuality, Osteen said homosexuality is a sin according to his interpretation of Scripture, but said gay people are welcome in his church without judgment. [36] [37] [35] [38]

In an interview on Fox News in 2008 during the Republican Party presidential primary race, when discussing whether he thought that Mormons were Christians, Osteen indicated that he believed that they were. He further revealed that he had not studied the religion. [39] In an interview in 2011, Osteen stated his support for Israel. [40]

Prosperity gospel criticism Edit

Osteen's sermons and writings are sometimes criticized for promoting prosperity theology, or the prosperity gospel, a belief that the reward of material gain is the will of God for all pious Christians. [34] [39] [41] [42] [43] [44] [45]

On October 14, 2007, 60 Minutes ran a twelve-minute segment on Osteen, titled "Joel Osteen Answers His Critics", during which Reformed theologian Michael Horton told CBS News correspondent Byron Pitts that Osteen's message is heresy. Horton stated that the problem with Osteen's message is that it makes religion about us instead of about God. [46]

Osteen is estimated to have a net worth of over $50 million, with his church taking in $43 million a year in collections. [4]

Hurricane Harvey response Edit

During the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in August 2017, Osteen received significant criticism for not making Lakewood Church, a 606,000-square-foot, 16,000-seat former sports arena, available as an emergency shelter for those displaced by the storm. [47] [48] [49] [50] [51] On August 27, posts from the church and a Lakewood Church associate pastor's social media accounts stated that the church was "inaccessible due to severe flooding," and associate pastor John Gray posting further, "If WE could get there WE WOULD OPEN THE DOORS." [52] [53] Lakewood spokesperson Don Iloff later described floodwaters as one foot from spilling over the facility's floodgate and surging into the building. [54] He also stated that pictures showing Lakewood free of flooding were taken on Monday, after the flood waters had lowered. [55] [56]

Osteen disputed the claim that flood waters closed the church, saying "the church has been open from the beginning," and, "[w]e've always been open . How this notion got started, that we're not a shelter and we're not taking people in is a false narrative." [51] [57] This contradicted his earlier statement that the church would open when other refugee centers were full. [51] [58] On the evening of August 28, it was announced by Lakewood that it would open at noon the next day as an available shelter to storm victims and emergency personnel on August 29, which it did. [51]

On August 15, 2018, less than a year after Harvey struck, the City of Houston and Mayor Sylvester Turner proclaimed a day in honor of the assistance of Lakewood and Osteen in rebuilding efforts across the Houston area. [59] [60] It stated Lakewood and its pastors have provided "assistance to more than 1,150 Houston-area families whose homes were damaged or destroyed by floodwaters" and bought "1.1 million dollars in building materials, furniture, appliances, and paid labor, as well as through the contribution of more than 2,500 volunteers". [61]

Other Edit

In 2011, Osteen and Lakewood Church were sued by the band The American Dollar for copyright infringement. [62] A judge in 2012 ruled in favor of Osteen, but gave The American Dollar leave to amend the case. [63]

In 2020 Osteen's Lakewood Church got $4.4 million in federal PPP loans (COVID relief) which is seen as controversial. [64]


Osteen was born in Houston, Texas, and is one of six children of John Osteen and Dolores ("Dodie") Pilgrim. His father, a former Southern Baptist pastor, founded Lakewood Church (of which Osteen is the current senior pastor) in the back of an old feed store. [5] He graduated from Humble High School, a public high school in the city of Humble, Texas, in 1981, [6] and attended Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he studied radio and television communications, but did not graduate he did not receive a degree from a divinity school. [7] [8] In 1982, he returned to Houston, founded Lakewood's television program, and produced his father's televised sermons for 17 years until January 1999, when his father died unexpectedly from a heart attack. [7] [9]

Osteen's father encouraged him to preach for many years, but he declined, preferring to work behind the scenes until January 17, 1999, when he accepted his father's suggestion and preached his first sermon. John Osteen died six days later of a heart attack. Two weeks after his father's death, Osteen began preaching regularly and later that year was installed as the new senior pastor of Lakewood Church on October 3, 1999. [10] As of 2014, Lakewood's attendance had grown from 5,000 to 43,000. [11]

In 2003, Lakewood Church acquired the Compaq Center, former home of the NBA Houston Rockets and the AHL Houston Aeros. Renovations cost $105 million. [12] The renovations took over 15 months to complete, and included the addition of five stories to add more capacity. [13] Lakewood's 2005 grand opening was attended by an estimated 56,000 people, including Texas Governor Rick Perry and then-House Minority Leader and future Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. [14] According to Osteen in 2008, Lakewood Church's weekly service TV program was viewed in more than 100 countries. [15] Lakewood Church estimates that 7 million viewers per week watch the services. [16] [ circular reference ]

Osteen was included on Barbara Walters's list of the 10 Most Fascinating People of 2006. [17] [18] Former presidential candidate John McCain described Osteen as his favorite inspirational author. [19] The Osteen family attended Easter breakfast hosted by President Barack Obama at the White House in 2010. [20]

Preaching style Edit

Osteen's sermon preparation involves memorizing his remarks and listening to himself on tape. [21] Osteen says he chooses to focus more on the goodness of God and on living an obedient life rather than on sin. [22] He says that he tries to teach Biblical principles in a simple way, emphasizing the power of love and a positive attitude. [23] When asked why he does not focus more on sin, the devil and hell in detail, Osteen stated in an interview with CBN News:

When I grew up, the devil was a reason why I had a headache or the devil was the reason I got mad today. We always blamed the devil. I think today when I say the enemy, I like to make it broader. Sometimes the enemy can be our own thoughts. We've trained ourselves the wrong way. Or the enemy can be our own lack of discipline. Some people preach about hell like you're already going there, and to me the Gospel means 'Good News.' I'd rather say God is a God of mercy. So I think the people already know what they're doing wrong, and I certainly believe in hell. But to me, when I see thousands of people before me, it just doesn't come out of me to say, 'You guys are terrible, and you're going to hell.' I'd rather say that God is a God of mercy. You've got to live an obedient life, but for every mistake you've made, there's mercy there, and I believe we can do better. [9]

Osteen's first book, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential, was released in October 2004, and reached the number 1 position on The New York Times Best Seller list. [24]

He released his second book, titled Become a Better You: 7 Keys to Improving Your Life Every Day, in October 2007. It also topped The New York Times Best Seller list [25] and had a first printing of three million copies. [26] Osteen has said that the book focuses more on relationships and not getting stuck where we are in life. [27]

On April 4, 1987, Osteen married Victoria Osteen (née Iloff), who later would become copastor of Lakewood Church. [2] They have a son and daughter. [28] In 2002, his older siblings, Paul, Lisa, and Tamara, and his younger sister, April, were also involved in full-time ministry, and his half-brother Justin was doing missionary work. [10]

Osteen's net worth was variably reported to be $40 million and $60 million in 2017. [29] [30] He lives with his family in a 17,000 square-foot mansion in River Oaks, with an estimated value of $10.5 million. [31] Osteen says that as senior pastor, he draws no salary from the church, which has an annual budget of $70 million, [32] and that he instead relies on income from book sales. [33]

Osteen has generally avoided discussing or preaching about controversial issues such as gay marriage, abortion, and politics. [17] [34] He has stated he believes the church has a tendency to become overly focused on single issues (such as homosexuality) to the point of neglecting others. [17] [35] When asked if he thought God approves of homosexuality, Osteen said homosexuality is a sin according to his interpretation of Scripture, but said gay people are welcome in his church without judgment. [36] [37] [35] [38]

In an interview on Fox News in 2008 during the Republican Party presidential primary race, when discussing whether he thought that Mormons were Christians, Osteen indicated that he believed that they were. He further revealed that he had not studied the religion. [39] In an interview in 2011, Osteen stated his support for Israel. [40]

Prosperity gospel criticism Edit

Osteen's sermons and writings are sometimes criticized for promoting prosperity theology, or the prosperity gospel, a belief that the reward of material gain is the will of God for all pious Christians. [34] [39] [41] [42] [43] [44] [45]

On October 14, 2007, 60 Minutes ran a twelve-minute segment on Osteen, titled "Joel Osteen Answers His Critics", during which Reformed theologian Michael Horton told CBS News correspondent Byron Pitts that Osteen's message is heresy. Horton stated that the problem with Osteen's message is that it makes religion about us instead of about God. [46]

Osteen is estimated to have a net worth of over $50 million, with his church taking in $43 million a year in collections. [4]

Hurricane Harvey response Edit

During the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in August 2017, Osteen received significant criticism for not making Lakewood Church, a 606,000-square-foot, 16,000-seat former sports arena, available as an emergency shelter for those displaced by the storm. [47] [48] [49] [50] [51] On August 27, posts from the church and a Lakewood Church associate pastor's social media accounts stated that the church was "inaccessible due to severe flooding," and associate pastor John Gray posting further, "If WE could get there WE WOULD OPEN THE DOORS." [52] [53] Lakewood spokesperson Don Iloff later described floodwaters as one foot from spilling over the facility's floodgate and surging into the building. [54] He also stated that pictures showing Lakewood free of flooding were taken on Monday, after the flood waters had lowered. [55] [56]

Osteen disputed the claim that flood waters closed the church, saying "the church has been open from the beginning," and, "[w]e've always been open . How this notion got started, that we're not a shelter and we're not taking people in is a false narrative." [51] [57] This contradicted his earlier statement that the church would open when other refugee centers were full. [51] [58] On the evening of August 28, it was announced by Lakewood that it would open at noon the next day as an available shelter to storm victims and emergency personnel on August 29, which it did. [51]

On August 15, 2018, less than a year after Harvey struck, the City of Houston and Mayor Sylvester Turner proclaimed a day in honor of the assistance of Lakewood and Osteen in rebuilding efforts across the Houston area. [59] [60] It stated Lakewood and its pastors have provided "assistance to more than 1,150 Houston-area families whose homes were damaged or destroyed by floodwaters" and bought "1.1 million dollars in building materials, furniture, appliances, and paid labor, as well as through the contribution of more than 2,500 volunteers". [61]

Other Edit

In 2011, Osteen and Lakewood Church were sued by the band The American Dollar for copyright infringement. [62] A judge in 2012 ruled in favor of Osteen, but gave The American Dollar leave to amend the case. [63]

In 2020 Osteen's Lakewood Church got $4.4 million in federal PPP loans (COVID relief) which is seen as controversial. [64]


Osteen was born in Houston, Texas, and is one of six children of John Osteen and Dolores ("Dodie") Pilgrim. His father, a former Southern Baptist pastor, founded Lakewood Church (of which Osteen is the current senior pastor) in the back of an old feed store. [5] He graduated from Humble High School, a public high school in the city of Humble, Texas, in 1981, [6] and attended Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he studied radio and television communications, but did not graduate he did not receive a degree from a divinity school. [7] [8] In 1982, he returned to Houston, founded Lakewood's television program, and produced his father's televised sermons for 17 years until January 1999, when his father died unexpectedly from a heart attack. [7] [9]

Osteen's father encouraged him to preach for many years, but he declined, preferring to work behind the scenes until January 17, 1999, when he accepted his father's suggestion and preached his first sermon. John Osteen died six days later of a heart attack. Two weeks after his father's death, Osteen began preaching regularly and later that year was installed as the new senior pastor of Lakewood Church on October 3, 1999. [10] As of 2014, Lakewood's attendance had grown from 5,000 to 43,000. [11]

In 2003, Lakewood Church acquired the Compaq Center, former home of the NBA Houston Rockets and the AHL Houston Aeros. Renovations cost $105 million. [12] The renovations took over 15 months to complete, and included the addition of five stories to add more capacity. [13] Lakewood's 2005 grand opening was attended by an estimated 56,000 people, including Texas Governor Rick Perry and then-House Minority Leader and future Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. [14] According to Osteen in 2008, Lakewood Church's weekly service TV program was viewed in more than 100 countries. [15] Lakewood Church estimates that 7 million viewers per week watch the services. [16] [ circular reference ]

Osteen was included on Barbara Walters's list of the 10 Most Fascinating People of 2006. [17] [18] Former presidential candidate John McCain described Osteen as his favorite inspirational author. [19] The Osteen family attended Easter breakfast hosted by President Barack Obama at the White House in 2010. [20]

Preaching style Edit

Osteen's sermon preparation involves memorizing his remarks and listening to himself on tape. [21] Osteen says he chooses to focus more on the goodness of God and on living an obedient life rather than on sin. [22] He says that he tries to teach Biblical principles in a simple way, emphasizing the power of love and a positive attitude. [23] When asked why he does not focus more on sin, the devil and hell in detail, Osteen stated in an interview with CBN News:

When I grew up, the devil was a reason why I had a headache or the devil was the reason I got mad today. We always blamed the devil. I think today when I say the enemy, I like to make it broader. Sometimes the enemy can be our own thoughts. We've trained ourselves the wrong way. Or the enemy can be our own lack of discipline. Some people preach about hell like you're already going there, and to me the Gospel means 'Good News.' I'd rather say God is a God of mercy. So I think the people already know what they're doing wrong, and I certainly believe in hell. But to me, when I see thousands of people before me, it just doesn't come out of me to say, 'You guys are terrible, and you're going to hell.' I'd rather say that God is a God of mercy. You've got to live an obedient life, but for every mistake you've made, there's mercy there, and I believe we can do better. [9]

Osteen's first book, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential, was released in October 2004, and reached the number 1 position on The New York Times Best Seller list. [24]

He released his second book, titled Become a Better You: 7 Keys to Improving Your Life Every Day, in October 2007. It also topped The New York Times Best Seller list [25] and had a first printing of three million copies. [26] Osteen has said that the book focuses more on relationships and not getting stuck where we are in life. [27]

On April 4, 1987, Osteen married Victoria Osteen (née Iloff), who later would become copastor of Lakewood Church. [2] They have a son and daughter. [28] In 2002, his older siblings, Paul, Lisa, and Tamara, and his younger sister, April, were also involved in full-time ministry, and his half-brother Justin was doing missionary work. [10]

Osteen's net worth was variably reported to be $40 million and $60 million in 2017. [29] [30] He lives with his family in a 17,000 square-foot mansion in River Oaks, with an estimated value of $10.5 million. [31] Osteen says that as senior pastor, he draws no salary from the church, which has an annual budget of $70 million, [32] and that he instead relies on income from book sales. [33]

Osteen has generally avoided discussing or preaching about controversial issues such as gay marriage, abortion, and politics. [17] [34] He has stated he believes the church has a tendency to become overly focused on single issues (such as homosexuality) to the point of neglecting others. [17] [35] When asked if he thought God approves of homosexuality, Osteen said homosexuality is a sin according to his interpretation of Scripture, but said gay people are welcome in his church without judgment. [36] [37] [35] [38]

In an interview on Fox News in 2008 during the Republican Party presidential primary race, when discussing whether he thought that Mormons were Christians, Osteen indicated that he believed that they were. He further revealed that he had not studied the religion. [39] In an interview in 2011, Osteen stated his support for Israel. [40]

Prosperity gospel criticism Edit

Osteen's sermons and writings are sometimes criticized for promoting prosperity theology, or the prosperity gospel, a belief that the reward of material gain is the will of God for all pious Christians. [34] [39] [41] [42] [43] [44] [45]

On October 14, 2007, 60 Minutes ran a twelve-minute segment on Osteen, titled "Joel Osteen Answers His Critics", during which Reformed theologian Michael Horton told CBS News correspondent Byron Pitts that Osteen's message is heresy. Horton stated that the problem with Osteen's message is that it makes religion about us instead of about God. [46]

Osteen is estimated to have a net worth of over $50 million, with his church taking in $43 million a year in collections. [4]

Hurricane Harvey response Edit

During the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in August 2017, Osteen received significant criticism for not making Lakewood Church, a 606,000-square-foot, 16,000-seat former sports arena, available as an emergency shelter for those displaced by the storm. [47] [48] [49] [50] [51] On August 27, posts from the church and a Lakewood Church associate pastor's social media accounts stated that the church was "inaccessible due to severe flooding," and associate pastor John Gray posting further, "If WE could get there WE WOULD OPEN THE DOORS." [52] [53] Lakewood spokesperson Don Iloff later described floodwaters as one foot from spilling over the facility's floodgate and surging into the building. [54] He also stated that pictures showing Lakewood free of flooding were taken on Monday, after the flood waters had lowered. [55] [56]

Osteen disputed the claim that flood waters closed the church, saying "the church has been open from the beginning," and, "[w]e've always been open . How this notion got started, that we're not a shelter and we're not taking people in is a false narrative." [51] [57] This contradicted his earlier statement that the church would open when other refugee centers were full. [51] [58] On the evening of August 28, it was announced by Lakewood that it would open at noon the next day as an available shelter to storm victims and emergency personnel on August 29, which it did. [51]

On August 15, 2018, less than a year after Harvey struck, the City of Houston and Mayor Sylvester Turner proclaimed a day in honor of the assistance of Lakewood and Osteen in rebuilding efforts across the Houston area. [59] [60] It stated Lakewood and its pastors have provided "assistance to more than 1,150 Houston-area families whose homes were damaged or destroyed by floodwaters" and bought "1.1 million dollars in building materials, furniture, appliances, and paid labor, as well as through the contribution of more than 2,500 volunteers". [61]

Other Edit

In 2011, Osteen and Lakewood Church were sued by the band The American Dollar for copyright infringement. [62] A judge in 2012 ruled in favor of Osteen, but gave The American Dollar leave to amend the case. [63]

In 2020 Osteen's Lakewood Church got $4.4 million in federal PPP loans (COVID relief) which is seen as controversial. [64]


Osteen was born in Houston, Texas, and is one of six children of John Osteen and Dolores ("Dodie") Pilgrim. His father, a former Southern Baptist pastor, founded Lakewood Church (of which Osteen is the current senior pastor) in the back of an old feed store. [5] He graduated from Humble High School, a public high school in the city of Humble, Texas, in 1981, [6] and attended Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he studied radio and television communications, but did not graduate he did not receive a degree from a divinity school. [7] [8] In 1982, he returned to Houston, founded Lakewood's television program, and produced his father's televised sermons for 17 years until January 1999, when his father died unexpectedly from a heart attack. [7] [9]

Osteen's father encouraged him to preach for many years, but he declined, preferring to work behind the scenes until January 17, 1999, when he accepted his father's suggestion and preached his first sermon. John Osteen died six days later of a heart attack. Two weeks after his father's death, Osteen began preaching regularly and later that year was installed as the new senior pastor of Lakewood Church on October 3, 1999. [10] As of 2014, Lakewood's attendance had grown from 5,000 to 43,000. [11]

In 2003, Lakewood Church acquired the Compaq Center, former home of the NBA Houston Rockets and the AHL Houston Aeros. Renovations cost $105 million. [12] The renovations took over 15 months to complete, and included the addition of five stories to add more capacity. [13] Lakewood's 2005 grand opening was attended by an estimated 56,000 people, including Texas Governor Rick Perry and then-House Minority Leader and future Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. [14] According to Osteen in 2008, Lakewood Church's weekly service TV program was viewed in more than 100 countries. [15] Lakewood Church estimates that 7 million viewers per week watch the services. [16] [ circular reference ]

Osteen was included on Barbara Walters's list of the 10 Most Fascinating People of 2006. [17] [18] Former presidential candidate John McCain described Osteen as his favorite inspirational author. [19] The Osteen family attended Easter breakfast hosted by President Barack Obama at the White House in 2010. [20]

Preaching style Edit

Osteen's sermon preparation involves memorizing his remarks and listening to himself on tape. [21] Osteen says he chooses to focus more on the goodness of God and on living an obedient life rather than on sin. [22] He says that he tries to teach Biblical principles in a simple way, emphasizing the power of love and a positive attitude. [23] When asked why he does not focus more on sin, the devil and hell in detail, Osteen stated in an interview with CBN News:

When I grew up, the devil was a reason why I had a headache or the devil was the reason I got mad today. We always blamed the devil. I think today when I say the enemy, I like to make it broader. Sometimes the enemy can be our own thoughts. We've trained ourselves the wrong way. Or the enemy can be our own lack of discipline. Some people preach about hell like you're already going there, and to me the Gospel means 'Good News.' I'd rather say God is a God of mercy. So I think the people already know what they're doing wrong, and I certainly believe in hell. But to me, when I see thousands of people before me, it just doesn't come out of me to say, 'You guys are terrible, and you're going to hell.' I'd rather say that God is a God of mercy. You've got to live an obedient life, but for every mistake you've made, there's mercy there, and I believe we can do better. [9]

Osteen's first book, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential, was released in October 2004, and reached the number 1 position on The New York Times Best Seller list. [24]

He released his second book, titled Become a Better You: 7 Keys to Improving Your Life Every Day, in October 2007. It also topped The New York Times Best Seller list [25] and had a first printing of three million copies. [26] Osteen has said that the book focuses more on relationships and not getting stuck where we are in life. [27]

On April 4, 1987, Osteen married Victoria Osteen (née Iloff), who later would become copastor of Lakewood Church. [2] They have a son and daughter. [28] In 2002, his older siblings, Paul, Lisa, and Tamara, and his younger sister, April, were also involved in full-time ministry, and his half-brother Justin was doing missionary work. [10]

Osteen's net worth was variably reported to be $40 million and $60 million in 2017. [29] [30] He lives with his family in a 17,000 square-foot mansion in River Oaks, with an estimated value of $10.5 million. [31] Osteen says that as senior pastor, he draws no salary from the church, which has an annual budget of $70 million, [32] and that he instead relies on income from book sales. [33]

Osteen has generally avoided discussing or preaching about controversial issues such as gay marriage, abortion, and politics. [17] [34] He has stated he believes the church has a tendency to become overly focused on single issues (such as homosexuality) to the point of neglecting others. [17] [35] When asked if he thought God approves of homosexuality, Osteen said homosexuality is a sin according to his interpretation of Scripture, but said gay people are welcome in his church without judgment. [36] [37] [35] [38]

In an interview on Fox News in 2008 during the Republican Party presidential primary race, when discussing whether he thought that Mormons were Christians, Osteen indicated that he believed that they were. He further revealed that he had not studied the religion. [39] In an interview in 2011, Osteen stated his support for Israel. [40]

Prosperity gospel criticism Edit

Osteen's sermons and writings are sometimes criticized for promoting prosperity theology, or the prosperity gospel, a belief that the reward of material gain is the will of God for all pious Christians. [34] [39] [41] [42] [43] [44] [45]

On October 14, 2007, 60 Minutes ran a twelve-minute segment on Osteen, titled "Joel Osteen Answers His Critics", during which Reformed theologian Michael Horton told CBS News correspondent Byron Pitts that Osteen's message is heresy. Horton stated that the problem with Osteen's message is that it makes religion about us instead of about God. [46]

Osteen is estimated to have a net worth of over $50 million, with his church taking in $43 million a year in collections. [4]

Hurricane Harvey response Edit

During the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in August 2017, Osteen received significant criticism for not making Lakewood Church, a 606,000-square-foot, 16,000-seat former sports arena, available as an emergency shelter for those displaced by the storm. [47] [48] [49] [50] [51] On August 27, posts from the church and a Lakewood Church associate pastor's social media accounts stated that the church was "inaccessible due to severe flooding," and associate pastor John Gray posting further, "If WE could get there WE WOULD OPEN THE DOORS." [52] [53] Lakewood spokesperson Don Iloff later described floodwaters as one foot from spilling over the facility's floodgate and surging into the building. [54] He also stated that pictures showing Lakewood free of flooding were taken on Monday, after the flood waters had lowered. [55] [56]

Osteen disputed the claim that flood waters closed the church, saying "the church has been open from the beginning," and, "[w]e've always been open . How this notion got started, that we're not a shelter and we're not taking people in is a false narrative." [51] [57] This contradicted his earlier statement that the church would open when other refugee centers were full. [51] [58] On the evening of August 28, it was announced by Lakewood that it would open at noon the next day as an available shelter to storm victims and emergency personnel on August 29, which it did. [51]

On August 15, 2018, less than a year after Harvey struck, the City of Houston and Mayor Sylvester Turner proclaimed a day in honor of the assistance of Lakewood and Osteen in rebuilding efforts across the Houston area. [59] [60] It stated Lakewood and its pastors have provided "assistance to more than 1,150 Houston-area families whose homes were damaged or destroyed by floodwaters" and bought "1.1 million dollars in building materials, furniture, appliances, and paid labor, as well as through the contribution of more than 2,500 volunteers". [61]

Other Edit

In 2011, Osteen and Lakewood Church were sued by the band The American Dollar for copyright infringement. [62] A judge in 2012 ruled in favor of Osteen, but gave The American Dollar leave to amend the case. [63]

In 2020 Osteen's Lakewood Church got $4.4 million in federal PPP loans (COVID relief) which is seen as controversial. [64]


Osteen was born in Houston, Texas, and is one of six children of John Osteen and Dolores ("Dodie") Pilgrim. His father, a former Southern Baptist pastor, founded Lakewood Church (of which Osteen is the current senior pastor) in the back of an old feed store. [5] He graduated from Humble High School, a public high school in the city of Humble, Texas, in 1981, [6] and attended Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he studied radio and television communications, but did not graduate he did not receive a degree from a divinity school. [7] [8] In 1982, he returned to Houston, founded Lakewood's television program, and produced his father's televised sermons for 17 years until January 1999, when his father died unexpectedly from a heart attack. [7] [9]

Osteen's father encouraged him to preach for many years, but he declined, preferring to work behind the scenes until January 17, 1999, when he accepted his father's suggestion and preached his first sermon. John Osteen died six days later of a heart attack. Two weeks after his father's death, Osteen began preaching regularly and later that year was installed as the new senior pastor of Lakewood Church on October 3, 1999. [10] As of 2014, Lakewood's attendance had grown from 5,000 to 43,000. [11]

In 2003, Lakewood Church acquired the Compaq Center, former home of the NBA Houston Rockets and the AHL Houston Aeros. Renovations cost $105 million. [12] The renovations took over 15 months to complete, and included the addition of five stories to add more capacity. [13] Lakewood's 2005 grand opening was attended by an estimated 56,000 people, including Texas Governor Rick Perry and then-House Minority Leader and future Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. [14] According to Osteen in 2008, Lakewood Church's weekly service TV program was viewed in more than 100 countries. [15] Lakewood Church estimates that 7 million viewers per week watch the services. [16] [ circular reference ]

Osteen was included on Barbara Walters's list of the 10 Most Fascinating People of 2006. [17] [18] Former presidential candidate John McCain described Osteen as his favorite inspirational author. [19] The Osteen family attended Easter breakfast hosted by President Barack Obama at the White House in 2010. [20]

Preaching style Edit

Osteen's sermon preparation involves memorizing his remarks and listening to himself on tape. [21] Osteen says he chooses to focus more on the goodness of God and on living an obedient life rather than on sin. [22] He says that he tries to teach Biblical principles in a simple way, emphasizing the power of love and a positive attitude. [23] When asked why he does not focus more on sin, the devil and hell in detail, Osteen stated in an interview with CBN News:

When I grew up, the devil was a reason why I had a headache or the devil was the reason I got mad today. We always blamed the devil. I think today when I say the enemy, I like to make it broader. Sometimes the enemy can be our own thoughts. We've trained ourselves the wrong way. Or the enemy can be our own lack of discipline. Some people preach about hell like you're already going there, and to me the Gospel means 'Good News.' I'd rather say God is a God of mercy. So I think the people already know what they're doing wrong, and I certainly believe in hell. But to me, when I see thousands of people before me, it just doesn't come out of me to say, 'You guys are terrible, and you're going to hell.' I'd rather say that God is a God of mercy. You've got to live an obedient life, but for every mistake you've made, there's mercy there, and I believe we can do better. [9]

Osteen's first book, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential, was released in October 2004, and reached the number 1 position on The New York Times Best Seller list. [24]

He released his second book, titled Become a Better You: 7 Keys to Improving Your Life Every Day, in October 2007. It also topped The New York Times Best Seller list [25] and had a first printing of three million copies. [26] Osteen has said that the book focuses more on relationships and not getting stuck where we are in life. [27]

On April 4, 1987, Osteen married Victoria Osteen (née Iloff), who later would become copastor of Lakewood Church. [2] They have a son and daughter. [28] In 2002, his older siblings, Paul, Lisa, and Tamara, and his younger sister, April, were also involved in full-time ministry, and his half-brother Justin was doing missionary work. [10]

Osteen's net worth was variably reported to be $40 million and $60 million in 2017. [29] [30] He lives with his family in a 17,000 square-foot mansion in River Oaks, with an estimated value of $10.5 million. [31] Osteen says that as senior pastor, he draws no salary from the church, which has an annual budget of $70 million, [32] and that he instead relies on income from book sales. [33]

Osteen has generally avoided discussing or preaching about controversial issues such as gay marriage, abortion, and politics. [17] [34] He has stated he believes the church has a tendency to become overly focused on single issues (such as homosexuality) to the point of neglecting others. [17] [35] When asked if he thought God approves of homosexuality, Osteen said homosexuality is a sin according to his interpretation of Scripture, but said gay people are welcome in his church without judgment. [36] [37] [35] [38]

In an interview on Fox News in 2008 during the Republican Party presidential primary race, when discussing whether he thought that Mormons were Christians, Osteen indicated that he believed that they were. He further revealed that he had not studied the religion. [39] In an interview in 2011, Osteen stated his support for Israel. [40]

Prosperity gospel criticism Edit

Osteen's sermons and writings are sometimes criticized for promoting prosperity theology, or the prosperity gospel, a belief that the reward of material gain is the will of God for all pious Christians. [34] [39] [41] [42] [43] [44] [45]

On October 14, 2007, 60 Minutes ran a twelve-minute segment on Osteen, titled "Joel Osteen Answers His Critics", during which Reformed theologian Michael Horton told CBS News correspondent Byron Pitts that Osteen's message is heresy. Horton stated that the problem with Osteen's message is that it makes religion about us instead of about God. [46]

Osteen is estimated to have a net worth of over $50 million, with his church taking in $43 million a year in collections. [4]

Hurricane Harvey response Edit

During the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in August 2017, Osteen received significant criticism for not making Lakewood Church, a 606,000-square-foot, 16,000-seat former sports arena, available as an emergency shelter for those displaced by the storm. [47] [48] [49] [50] [51] On August 27, posts from the church and a Lakewood Church associate pastor's social media accounts stated that the church was "inaccessible due to severe flooding," and associate pastor John Gray posting further, "If WE could get there WE WOULD OPEN THE DOORS." [52] [53] Lakewood spokesperson Don Iloff later described floodwaters as one foot from spilling over the facility's floodgate and surging into the building. [54] He also stated that pictures showing Lakewood free of flooding were taken on Monday, after the flood waters had lowered. [55] [56]

Osteen disputed the claim that flood waters closed the church, saying "the church has been open from the beginning," and, "[w]e've always been open . How this notion got started, that we're not a shelter and we're not taking people in is a false narrative." [51] [57] This contradicted his earlier statement that the church would open when other refugee centers were full. [51] [58] On the evening of August 28, it was announced by Lakewood that it would open at noon the next day as an available shelter to storm victims and emergency personnel on August 29, which it did. [51]

On August 15, 2018, less than a year after Harvey struck, the City of Houston and Mayor Sylvester Turner proclaimed a day in honor of the assistance of Lakewood and Osteen in rebuilding efforts across the Houston area. [59] [60] It stated Lakewood and its pastors have provided "assistance to more than 1,150 Houston-area families whose homes were damaged or destroyed by floodwaters" and bought "1.1 million dollars in building materials, furniture, appliances, and paid labor, as well as through the contribution of more than 2,500 volunteers". [61]

Other Edit

In 2011, Osteen and Lakewood Church were sued by the band The American Dollar for copyright infringement. [62] A judge in 2012 ruled in favor of Osteen, but gave The American Dollar leave to amend the case. [63]

In 2020 Osteen's Lakewood Church got $4.4 million in federal PPP loans (COVID relief) which is seen as controversial. [64]


Osteen was born in Houston, Texas, and is one of six children of John Osteen and Dolores ("Dodie") Pilgrim. His father, a former Southern Baptist pastor, founded Lakewood Church (of which Osteen is the current senior pastor) in the back of an old feed store. [5] He graduated from Humble High School, a public high school in the city of Humble, Texas, in 1981, [6] and attended Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he studied radio and television communications, but did not graduate he did not receive a degree from a divinity school. [7] [8] In 1982, he returned to Houston, founded Lakewood's television program, and produced his father's televised sermons for 17 years until January 1999, when his father died unexpectedly from a heart attack. [7] [9]

Osteen's father encouraged him to preach for many years, but he declined, preferring to work behind the scenes until January 17, 1999, when he accepted his father's suggestion and preached his first sermon. John Osteen died six days later of a heart attack. Two weeks after his father's death, Osteen began preaching regularly and later that year was installed as the new senior pastor of Lakewood Church on October 3, 1999. [10] As of 2014, Lakewood's attendance had grown from 5,000 to 43,000. [11]

In 2003, Lakewood Church acquired the Compaq Center, former home of the NBA Houston Rockets and the AHL Houston Aeros. Renovations cost $105 million. [12] The renovations took over 15 months to complete, and included the addition of five stories to add more capacity. [13] Lakewood's 2005 grand opening was attended by an estimated 56,000 people, including Texas Governor Rick Perry and then-House Minority Leader and future Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. [14] According to Osteen in 2008, Lakewood Church's weekly service TV program was viewed in more than 100 countries. [15] Lakewood Church estimates that 7 million viewers per week watch the services. [16] [ circular reference ]

Osteen was included on Barbara Walters's list of the 10 Most Fascinating People of 2006. [17] [18] Former presidential candidate John McCain described Osteen as his favorite inspirational author. [19] The Osteen family attended Easter breakfast hosted by President Barack Obama at the White House in 2010. [20]

Preaching style Edit

Osteen's sermon preparation involves memorizing his remarks and listening to himself on tape. [21] Osteen says he chooses to focus more on the goodness of God and on living an obedient life rather than on sin. [22] He says that he tries to teach Biblical principles in a simple way, emphasizing the power of love and a positive attitude. [23] When asked why he does not focus more on sin, the devil and hell in detail, Osteen stated in an interview with CBN News:

When I grew up, the devil was a reason why I had a headache or the devil was the reason I got mad today. We always blamed the devil. I think today when I say the enemy, I like to make it broader. Sometimes the enemy can be our own thoughts. We've trained ourselves the wrong way. Or the enemy can be our own lack of discipline. Some people preach about hell like you're already going there, and to me the Gospel means 'Good News.' I'd rather say God is a God of mercy. So I think the people already know what they're doing wrong, and I certainly believe in hell. But to me, when I see thousands of people before me, it just doesn't come out of me to say, 'You guys are terrible, and you're going to hell.' I'd rather say that God is a God of mercy. You've got to live an obedient life, but for every mistake you've made, there's mercy there, and I believe we can do better. [9]

Osteen's first book, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential, was released in October 2004, and reached the number 1 position on The New York Times Best Seller list. [24]

He released his second book, titled Become a Better You: 7 Keys to Improving Your Life Every Day, in October 2007. It also topped The New York Times Best Seller list [25] and had a first printing of three million copies. [26] Osteen has said that the book focuses more on relationships and not getting stuck where we are in life. [27]

On April 4, 1987, Osteen married Victoria Osteen (née Iloff), who later would become copastor of Lakewood Church. [2] They have a son and daughter. [28] In 2002, his older siblings, Paul, Lisa, and Tamara, and his younger sister, April, were also involved in full-time ministry, and his half-brother Justin was doing missionary work. [10]

Osteen's net worth was variably reported to be $40 million and $60 million in 2017. [29] [30] He lives with his family in a 17,000 square-foot mansion in River Oaks, with an estimated value of $10.5 million. [31] Osteen says that as senior pastor, he draws no salary from the church, which has an annual budget of $70 million, [32] and that he instead relies on income from book sales. [33]

Osteen has generally avoided discussing or preaching about controversial issues such as gay marriage, abortion, and politics. [17] [34] He has stated he believes the church has a tendency to become overly focused on single issues (such as homosexuality) to the point of neglecting others. [17] [35] When asked if he thought God approves of homosexuality, Osteen said homosexuality is a sin according to his interpretation of Scripture, but said gay people are welcome in his church without judgment. [36] [37] [35] [38]

In an interview on Fox News in 2008 during the Republican Party presidential primary race, when discussing whether he thought that Mormons were Christians, Osteen indicated that he believed that they were. He further revealed that he had not studied the religion. [39] In an interview in 2011, Osteen stated his support for Israel. [40]

Prosperity gospel criticism Edit

Osteen's sermons and writings are sometimes criticized for promoting prosperity theology, or the prosperity gospel, a belief that the reward of material gain is the will of God for all pious Christians. [34] [39] [41] [42] [43] [44] [45]

On October 14, 2007, 60 Minutes ran a twelve-minute segment on Osteen, titled "Joel Osteen Answers His Critics", during which Reformed theologian Michael Horton told CBS News correspondent Byron Pitts that Osteen's message is heresy. Horton stated that the problem with Osteen's message is that it makes religion about us instead of about God. [46]

Osteen is estimated to have a net worth of over $50 million, with his church taking in $43 million a year in collections. [4]

Hurricane Harvey response Edit

During the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in August 2017, Osteen received significant criticism for not making Lakewood Church, a 606,000-square-foot, 16,000-seat former sports arena, available as an emergency shelter for those displaced by the storm. [47] [48] [49] [50] [51] On August 27, posts from the church and a Lakewood Church associate pastor's social media accounts stated that the church was "inaccessible due to severe flooding," and associate pastor John Gray posting further, "If WE could get there WE WOULD OPEN THE DOORS." [52] [53] Lakewood spokesperson Don Iloff later described floodwaters as one foot from spilling over the facility's floodgate and surging into the building. [54] He also stated that pictures showing Lakewood free of flooding were taken on Monday, after the flood waters had lowered. [55] [56]

Osteen disputed the claim that flood waters closed the church, saying "the church has been open from the beginning," and, "[w]e've always been open . How this notion got started, that we're not a shelter and we're not taking people in is a false narrative." [51] [57] This contradicted his earlier statement that the church would open when other refugee centers were full. [51] [58] On the evening of August 28, it was announced by Lakewood that it would open at noon the next day as an available shelter to storm victims and emergency personnel on August 29, which it did. [51]

On August 15, 2018, less than a year after Harvey struck, the City of Houston and Mayor Sylvester Turner proclaimed a day in honor of the assistance of Lakewood and Osteen in rebuilding efforts across the Houston area. [59] [60] It stated Lakewood and its pastors have provided "assistance to more than 1,150 Houston-area families whose homes were damaged or destroyed by floodwaters" and bought "1.1 million dollars in building materials, furniture, appliances, and paid labor, as well as through the contribution of more than 2,500 volunteers". [61]

Other Edit

In 2011, Osteen and Lakewood Church were sued by the band The American Dollar for copyright infringement. [62] A judge in 2012 ruled in favor of Osteen, but gave The American Dollar leave to amend the case. [63]

In 2020 Osteen's Lakewood Church got $4.4 million in federal PPP loans (COVID relief) which is seen as controversial. [64]


Osteen was born in Houston, Texas, and is one of six children of John Osteen and Dolores ("Dodie") Pilgrim. His father, a former Southern Baptist pastor, founded Lakewood Church (of which Osteen is the current senior pastor) in the back of an old feed store. [5] He graduated from Humble High School, a public high school in the city of Humble, Texas, in 1981, [6] and attended Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he studied radio and television communications, but did not graduate he did not receive a degree from a divinity school. [7] [8] In 1982, he returned to Houston, founded Lakewood's television program, and produced his father's televised sermons for 17 years until January 1999, when his father died unexpectedly from a heart attack. [7] [9]

Osteen's father encouraged him to preach for many years, but he declined, preferring to work behind the scenes until January 17, 1999, when he accepted his father's suggestion and preached his first sermon. John Osteen died six days later of a heart attack. Two weeks after his father's death, Osteen began preaching regularly and later that year was installed as the new senior pastor of Lakewood Church on October 3, 1999. [10] As of 2014, Lakewood's attendance had grown from 5,000 to 43,000. [11]

In 2003, Lakewood Church acquired the Compaq Center, former home of the NBA Houston Rockets and the AHL Houston Aeros. Renovations cost $105 million. [12] The renovations took over 15 months to complete, and included the addition of five stories to add more capacity. [13] Lakewood's 2005 grand opening was attended by an estimated 56,000 people, including Texas Governor Rick Perry and then-House Minority Leader and future Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. [14] According to Osteen in 2008, Lakewood Church's weekly service TV program was viewed in more than 100 countries. [15] Lakewood Church estimates that 7 million viewers per week watch the services. [16] [ circular reference ]

Osteen was included on Barbara Walters's list of the 10 Most Fascinating People of 2006. [17] [18] Former presidential candidate John McCain described Osteen as his favorite inspirational author. [19] The Osteen family attended Easter breakfast hosted by President Barack Obama at the White House in 2010. [20]

Preaching style Edit

Osteen's sermon preparation involves memorizing his remarks and listening to himself on tape. [21] Osteen says he chooses to focus more on the goodness of God and on living an obedient life rather than on sin. [22] He says that he tries to teach Biblical principles in a simple way, emphasizing the power of love and a positive attitude. [23] When asked why he does not focus more on sin, the devil and hell in detail, Osteen stated in an interview with CBN News:

When I grew up, the devil was a reason why I had a headache or the devil was the reason I got mad today. We always blamed the devil. I think today when I say the enemy, I like to make it broader. Sometimes the enemy can be our own thoughts. We've trained ourselves the wrong way. Or the enemy can be our own lack of discipline. Some people preach about hell like you're already going there, and to me the Gospel means 'Good News.' I'd rather say God is a God of mercy. So I think the people already know what they're doing wrong, and I certainly believe in hell. But to me, when I see thousands of people before me, it just doesn't come out of me to say, 'You guys are terrible, and you're going to hell.' I'd rather say that God is a God of mercy. You've got to live an obedient life, but for every mistake you've made, there's mercy there, and I believe we can do better. [9]

Osteen's first book, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential, was released in October 2004, and reached the number 1 position on The New York Times Best Seller list. [24]

He released his second book, titled Become a Better You: 7 Keys to Improving Your Life Every Day, in October 2007. It also topped The New York Times Best Seller list [25] and had a first printing of three million copies. [26] Osteen has said that the book focuses more on relationships and not getting stuck where we are in life. [27]

On April 4, 1987, Osteen married Victoria Osteen (née Iloff), who later would become copastor of Lakewood Church. [2] They have a son and daughter. [28] In 2002, his older siblings, Paul, Lisa, and Tamara, and his younger sister, April, were also involved in full-time ministry, and his half-brother Justin was doing missionary work. [10]

Osteen's net worth was variably reported to be $40 million and $60 million in 2017. [29] [30] He lives with his family in a 17,000 square-foot mansion in River Oaks, with an estimated value of $10.5 million. [31] Osteen says that as senior pastor, he draws no salary from the church, which has an annual budget of $70 million, [32] and that he instead relies on income from book sales. [33]

Osteen has generally avoided discussing or preaching about controversial issues such as gay marriage, abortion, and politics. [17] [34] He has stated he believes the church has a tendency to become overly focused on single issues (such as homosexuality) to the point of neglecting others. [17] [35] When asked if he thought God approves of homosexuality, Osteen said homosexuality is a sin according to his interpretation of Scripture, but said gay people are welcome in his church without judgment. [36] [37] [35] [38]

In an interview on Fox News in 2008 during the Republican Party presidential primary race, when discussing whether he thought that Mormons were Christians, Osteen indicated that he believed that they were. He further revealed that he had not studied the religion. [39] In an interview in 2011, Osteen stated his support for Israel. [40]

Prosperity gospel criticism Edit

Osteen's sermons and writings are sometimes criticized for promoting prosperity theology, or the prosperity gospel, a belief that the reward of material gain is the will of God for all pious Christians. [34] [39] [41] [42] [43] [44] [45]

On October 14, 2007, 60 Minutes ran a twelve-minute segment on Osteen, titled "Joel Osteen Answers His Critics", during which Reformed theologian Michael Horton told CBS News correspondent Byron Pitts that Osteen's message is heresy. Horton stated that the problem with Osteen's message is that it makes religion about us instead of about God. [46]

Osteen is estimated to have a net worth of over $50 million, with his church taking in $43 million a year in collections. [4]

Hurricane Harvey response Edit

During the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in August 2017, Osteen received significant criticism for not making Lakewood Church, a 606,000-square-foot, 16,000-seat former sports arena, available as an emergency shelter for those displaced by the storm. [47] [48] [49] [50] [51] On August 27, posts from the church and a Lakewood Church associate pastor's social media accounts stated that the church was "inaccessible due to severe flooding," and associate pastor John Gray posting further, "If WE could get there WE WOULD OPEN THE DOORS." [52] [53] Lakewood spokesperson Don Iloff later described floodwaters as one foot from spilling over the facility's floodgate and surging into the building. [54] He also stated that pictures showing Lakewood free of flooding were taken on Monday, after the flood waters had lowered. [55] [56]

Osteen disputed the claim that flood waters closed the church, saying "the church has been open from the beginning," and, "[w]e've always been open . How this notion got started, that we're not a shelter and we're not taking people in is a false narrative." [51] [57] This contradicted his earlier statement that the church would open when other refugee centers were full. [51] [58] On the evening of August 28, it was announced by Lakewood that it would open at noon the next day as an available shelter to storm victims and emergency personnel on August 29, which it did. [51]

On August 15, 2018, less than a year after Harvey struck, the City of Houston and Mayor Sylvester Turner proclaimed a day in honor of the assistance of Lakewood and Osteen in rebuilding efforts across the Houston area. [59] [60] It stated Lakewood and its pastors have provided "assistance to more than 1,150 Houston-area families whose homes were damaged or destroyed by floodwaters" and bought "1.1 million dollars in building materials, furniture, appliances, and paid labor, as well as through the contribution of more than 2,500 volunteers". [61]

Other Edit

In 2011, Osteen and Lakewood Church were sued by the band The American Dollar for copyright infringement. [62] A judge in 2012 ruled in favor of Osteen, but gave The American Dollar leave to amend the case. [63]

In 2020 Osteen's Lakewood Church got $4.4 million in federal PPP loans (COVID relief) which is seen as controversial. [64]


Osteen was born in Houston, Texas, and is one of six children of John Osteen and Dolores ("Dodie") Pilgrim. His father, a former Southern Baptist pastor, founded Lakewood Church (of which Osteen is the current senior pastor) in the back of an old feed store. [5] He graduated from Humble High School, a public high school in the city of Humble, Texas, in 1981, [6] and attended Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he studied radio and television communications, but did not graduate he did not receive a degree from a divinity school. [7] [8] In 1982, he returned to Houston, founded Lakewood's television program, and produced his father's televised sermons for 17 years until January 1999, when his father died unexpectedly from a heart attack. [7] [9]

Osteen's father encouraged him to preach for many years, but he declined, preferring to work behind the scenes until January 17, 1999, when he accepted his father's suggestion and preached his first sermon. John Osteen died six days later of a heart attack. Two weeks after his father's death, Osteen began preaching regularly and later that year was installed as the new senior pastor of Lakewood Church on October 3, 1999. [10] As of 2014, Lakewood's attendance had grown from 5,000 to 43,000. [11]

In 2003, Lakewood Church acquired the Compaq Center, former home of the NBA Houston Rockets and the AHL Houston Aeros. Renovations cost $105 million. [12] The renovations took over 15 months to complete, and included the addition of five stories to add more capacity. [13] Lakewood's 2005 grand opening was attended by an estimated 56,000 people, including Texas Governor Rick Perry and then-House Minority Leader and future Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. [14] According to Osteen in 2008, Lakewood Church's weekly service TV program was viewed in more than 100 countries. [15] Lakewood Church estimates that 7 million viewers per week watch the services. [16] [ circular reference ]

Osteen was included on Barbara Walters's list of the 10 Most Fascinating People of 2006. [17] [18] Former presidential candidate John McCain described Osteen as his favorite inspirational author. [19] The Osteen family attended Easter breakfast hosted by President Barack Obama at the White House in 2010. [20]

Preaching style Edit

Osteen's sermon preparation involves memorizing his remarks and listening to himself on tape. [21] Osteen says he chooses to focus more on the goodness of God and on living an obedient life rather than on sin. [22] He says that he tries to teach Biblical principles in a simple way, emphasizing the power of love and a positive attitude. [23] When asked why he does not focus more on sin, the devil and hell in detail, Osteen stated in an interview with CBN News:

When I grew up, the devil was a reason why I had a headache or the devil was the reason I got mad today. We always blamed the devil. I think today when I say the enemy, I like to make it broader. Sometimes the enemy can be our own thoughts. We've trained ourselves the wrong way. Or the enemy can be our own lack of discipline. Some people preach about hell like you're already going there, and to me the Gospel means 'Good News.' I'd rather say God is a God of mercy. So I think the people already know what they're doing wrong, and I certainly believe in hell. But to me, when I see thousands of people before me, it just doesn't come out of me to say, 'You guys are terrible, and you're going to hell.' I'd rather say that God is a God of mercy. You've got to live an obedient life, but for every mistake you've made, there's mercy there, and I believe we can do better. [9]

Osteen's first book, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential, was released in October 2004, and reached the number 1 position on The New York Times Best Seller list. [24]

He released his second book, titled Become a Better You: 7 Keys to Improving Your Life Every Day, in October 2007. It also topped The New York Times Best Seller list [25] and had a first printing of three million copies. [26] Osteen has said that the book focuses more on relationships and not getting stuck where we are in life. [27]

On April 4, 1987, Osteen married Victoria Osteen (née Iloff), who later would become copastor of Lakewood Church. [2] They have a son and daughter. [28] In 2002, his older siblings, Paul, Lisa, and Tamara, and his younger sister, April, were also involved in full-time ministry, and his half-brother Justin was doing missionary work. [10]

Osteen's net worth was variably reported to be $40 million and $60 million in 2017. [29] [30] He lives with his family in a 17,000 square-foot mansion in River Oaks, with an estimated value of $10.5 million. [31] Osteen says that as senior pastor, he draws no salary from the church, which has an annual budget of $70 million, [32] and that he instead relies on income from book sales. [33]

Osteen has generally avoided discussing or preaching about controversial issues such as gay marriage, abortion, and politics. [17] [34] He has stated he believes the church has a tendency to become overly focused on single issues (such as homosexuality) to the point of neglecting others. [17] [35] When asked if he thought God approves of homosexuality, Osteen said homosexuality is a sin according to his interpretation of Scripture, but said gay people are welcome in his church without judgment. [36] [37] [35] [38]

In an interview on Fox News in 2008 during the Republican Party presidential primary race, when discussing whether he thought that Mormons were Christians, Osteen indicated that he believed that they were. He further revealed that he had not studied the religion. [39] In an interview in 2011, Osteen stated his support for Israel. [40]

Prosperity gospel criticism Edit

Osteen's sermons and writings are sometimes criticized for promoting prosperity theology, or the prosperity gospel, a belief that the reward of material gain is the will of God for all pious Christians. [34] [39] [41] [42] [43] [44] [45]

On October 14, 2007, 60 Minutes ran a twelve-minute segment on Osteen, titled "Joel Osteen Answers His Critics", during which Reformed theologian Michael Horton told CBS News correspondent Byron Pitts that Osteen's message is heresy. Horton stated that the problem with Osteen's message is that it makes religion about us instead of about God. [46]

Osteen is estimated to have a net worth of over $50 million, with his church taking in $43 million a year in collections. [4]

Hurricane Harvey response Edit

During the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in August 2017, Osteen received significant criticism for not making Lakewood Church, a 606,000-square-foot, 16,000-seat former sports arena, available as an emergency shelter for those displaced by the storm. [47] [48] [49] [50] [51] On August 27, posts from the church and a Lakewood Church associate pastor's social media accounts stated that the church was "inaccessible due to severe flooding," and associate pastor John Gray posting further, "If WE could get there WE WOULD OPEN THE DOORS." [52] [53] Lakewood spokesperson Don Iloff later described floodwaters as one foot from spilling over the facility's floodgate and surging into the building. [54] He also stated that pictures showing Lakewood free of flooding were taken on Monday, after the flood waters had lowered. [55] [56]

Osteen disputed the claim that flood waters closed the church, saying "the church has been open from the beginning," and, "[w]e've always been open . How this notion got started, that we're not a shelter and we're not taking people in is a false narrative." [51] [57] This contradicted his earlier statement that the church would open when other refugee centers were full. [51] [58] On the evening of August 28, it was announced by Lakewood that it would open at noon the next day as an available shelter to storm victims and emergency personnel on August 29, which it did. [51]

On August 15, 2018, less than a year after Harvey struck, the City of Houston and Mayor Sylvester Turner proclaimed a day in honor of the assistance of Lakewood and Osteen in rebuilding efforts across the Houston area. [59] [60] It stated Lakewood and its pastors have provided "assistance to more than 1,150 Houston-area families whose homes were damaged or destroyed by floodwaters" and bought "1.1 million dollars in building materials, furniture, appliances, and paid labor, as well as through the contribution of more than 2,500 volunteers". [61]

Other Edit

In 2011, Osteen and Lakewood Church were sued by the band The American Dollar for copyright infringement. [62] A judge in 2012 ruled in favor of Osteen, but gave The American Dollar leave to amend the case. [63]

In 2020 Osteen's Lakewood Church got $4.4 million in federal PPP loans (COVID relief) which is seen as controversial. [64]


Watch the video: Φονικό το πέρασμα του Χάρβεϊ (January 2022).