Joel Osteen under fire for NOT letting the thousands of local Hurricane Harvey Flood victims stay at his Lakewood Church in Houston Texas as relief!!!
He faces criticism on social media for closing Houston megachurch’s doors amid Harvey
Joel Osteen, famed pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, is defending himself after facing criticism on social media for not offering shelter at the megachurch to victims of Hurricane Harvey.
In a post on Twitter Saturday, Osteen said he was praying for those affected by the storm, which has dumped 20 to 40 inches of rain on the Houston area alone, with more on the way.
But on Sunday, in response to requests that the church, which can hold more than 16,000, be opened for evacuees, Lakewood Church posted on Facebook that it is “inaccessible due to severe flooding” and subsequently directed displaced residents to nearby Houston shelters.
Thousands of evacuees have streamed in by the busload to Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center, the largest shelter serving victims of Harvey. The shelter originally said it could take 5,000 but is currently over capacity at 6,000.
Tens of thousands are expected to need shelter in the area due to catastrophic flooding, according to officials.
John Gray, an associate pastor at the Lakewood Church, defended it on Instagram, insisting that They couldn’t open because flooded highways were blocking their access to the building.
On Twitter earlier on Monday, Osteen urged his followers to donate on his church’s website to help with relief efforts.
The church has previously been active in relief efforts, including sheltering displaced victims during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Joel Scott Osteen is the Senior Pastor of Lakewood Church, in Houston, Texas. Osteen’s televised sermons are seen by over 7 million viewers weekly and over 20 million monthly in over 100 countries.