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We didn’t close our church to Hurricane Harvey Victims – Joel Osteen

BellaNaija.com

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On Monday, Joel Osteen, Senior Pastor of Lakewood Church faced criticism on Twitter for allegedly closing his doors to victims of Hurricane Harvey.

The church, located in Houston which has been hit by the hurricane, had announced cancellation on its services for Saturday & Sunday, August 26 & 27 respectively sued to the weather impact of the storm.

In a statement by Joel, the church said it has “never closed” its doors to victims and will continue to be a distribution centre for those in need, adding that it is prepared to house people once shelters reach capacity.

Twitter user @cmclymer also shared a photo showing that the church is putting things in place to open its doors to victims.

The church also, in a series of tweets, announced that it’ll be collecting supplies for victims.

The church has also partnered with a disaster relief organisation Samaritan’s Purse to help victims.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Taylor Hill

21 Comments

  1. gurl_wendy

    August 29, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    Just people of the world been angry they had already explained earlier that they could not gain access to the church because of flooding that when it came down they would open the doors but no people of the world didn’t hear that one, anything to pull the church down.

  2. Sade Twyse

    August 29, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    I live in Houston. Lakewood church is elevated from the highway 59 level. His church was not flooded. Joel has a program coming up next week and probably can’t be bothered to have his football stadium sized church turned into a makeshift shelter thereby disrupting his projected cash flow. That’s a very lousy church and some of the most selfish, narcissistic, condescending and snobbish people I have met in this Houston area since I moved here in 2013 , surprisingly are Lakewood church members. They naturally lookout for themselves

    • slice

      August 29, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      Outside wasn’t but some water did come in and flood downstairs. Just remember this church has helped people during other emergency situations in Houston so no reason to think they don’t want to help. They said they are a distribution center and also overflow shelter as in if other shelters get full then people get sentvtovthem

    • Ajala & Foodie

      August 29, 2017 at 2:34 pm

      You may reside in Houston but obviously you are either ignorant on the idea of logistics of becoming a shelter or like many who are just looking for the opportunity to bash any other. I am not a member of Lakewood and have only been their once so this is not a case of defending “my pastor”. I however, know that workers of the church would need to leave the comfort of their homes in this flood to open and help with making the church a shelter. I.e the Church may be elevated but are the homes of the workers or the roads leading to their homes isolated from the floods??? Do you think those air mattresses magically appeared? People in a bid to bash the man forget that what they are really asking is that he places the lives of his workers at risk to open the church and if he had done that. The same people will still bash him or if he provides shelter without the necessary items I.e bed and food, we will still bash him. Humans you really can’t make every one happy.

      You are also stating @ Sade Twyse, you are stating an assumption as a fact ” Joel has a program next week, so he can’t be bothered”. Do you have proof of this? This is a Church like most Churches they have programs every week has that stopped programs from getting cancelled. I know the logistics involved in becoming a shelter because my Church in a suburb in Houston while it desires to offer that has not been able to. We get Emails on needing volunteers and things that are needed to be able to do just that. It takes more than just opening a door.

    • Wow

      August 29, 2017 at 7:05 pm

      You obviously haven’t lived in Houston long enough. 2013 isn’t long and you don’t move with the right people. While I’m not a Lakewood church member or anything, it’s just plain ridiculous some of the things you just typed up there. You shouldn’t speak on things you know nothing about.

  3. Yesisaidit

    August 29, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    He’s only saying this after the backlash. First he said the place was flooded then many videos came from. People who went there to film which showed he was lying that place was never flooded so after the heated backlash he’s coming out with this back lash.

    I always knew he was a false prophet way before this issue. Something about him. I couldn’t pin point my spirit never jive with his like other pastors. He’s fake. He may be your Jesus but he ain’t mine and when one does wrong just say it. Stop kissing ass just cos he’s a or your pastor.

    • Honestly

      August 29, 2017 at 7:08 pm

      THAT’S YOUR OPINION. and everyone is entitled to one. But why such venom? Such negativity.
      It’s not by force. You don’t have to listen to him. Don’t let the bitterness destroy you o!

    • missnk

      August 30, 2017 at 1:43 pm

      @honestly, you too, you don’t have to read what @yesisaidit wrote and comment on it. Don’t let blind worshipping of humans destroy you

    • robert dwight smith

      February 2, 2018 at 1:09 am

      he never said he was a prophet do you know the difference between a preacher and a prophet ? read your bible if you don’t.. if he was a prophet he could have predicted the storm was coming long before the weatherman ! too many people on tv call themselves prophets these days but prophesize nothing that comes true ,

  4. Aaa

    August 29, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    Even if the church wasn’t flooded, the highways and the roads were. It would have been dangerous for people to swim there. The church has a long history of helping people. Why would they not want to help this time around? You have to be safe in order to help others.

  5. Ajala & Foodie

    August 29, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    You may reside in Houston but obviously you are either ignorant on the idea of logistics of becoming a shelter or like many who are just looking for the opportunity to bash any other. I am not a member of Lakewood and have only been their once so this is not a case of defending “my pastor”. I however, know that workers of the church would need to leave the comfort of their homes in this flood to open and help with making the church a shelter. I.e the Church may be elevated but are the homes of the workers or the roads leading to their homes isolated from the floods??? Do you think those air mattresses magically appeared? People in a bid to bash the man forget that what they are really asking is that he places the lives of his workers at risk to open the church and if he had done that. The same people will still bash him or if he provides shelter without the necessary items I.e bed and food, we will still bash him. Humans you really can’t make every one happy.

    You are also stating @ Sade Twyse, you are stating an assumption as a fact ” Joel has a program next week, so he can’t be bothered”. Do you have proof of this? This is a Church like most Churches they have programs every week has that stopped programs from getting cancelled. I know the logistics involved in becoming a shelter because my Church in a suburb in Houston while it desires to offer that has not been able to. We get Emails on needing volunteers and things that are needed to be able to do just that. It takes more than just opening a door.

    • Ajala & Foodie

      August 29, 2017 at 2:37 pm

      **** only been there once****

  6. Cocoa

    August 29, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    No one knows their hearts….you don’t even know your own heart. Let us embrace the new development and continue to pray every need is met. Focus people.

  7. Tony

    August 29, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    Christians judge everyone else but themselves. It’s such a shame. How many of us even open doors to others in need. Keep disaster aside people need help daily and worldwide do we give them. Sierra Leone is also in disaster who has truly contributed to victims? All we know is to say people are false prophets and our spirits do not match with theirs have we thought it’s because we may evil spirits?

  8. JustSAying

    August 29, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    Good work that Lakewood church is doing and all that have joined hands to provide support for the victims. I hope those that have bashed Pst Joel Osteen for years over acquiring the centre and renovating it to standard using TITHE, OFFERING and other financial contributions will see the good in doing so… Naija churches please take note,

  9. OA

    August 29, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    Thanks @Cocoa! Even if he initially said no, he has now agreed. We have to look at the bright side. Just like the son in the Bible parable who later did what he had initially refused to do. Even if he did it because of criticism, let’s thank God he has a conscience. Not everyone does. Some people will just allow you to abuse them till tomorrow and will not even flinch or bat an eyelid. It will be a case of chop, clean mouth followed by “and so what? which is becoming rather prevalent in the American Society since some people started campaigning for president. God deliver all of us oh!

  10. momo

    August 29, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    the person bashing this man what have you done to elevate the suffering of the people in your immediate environment??

  11. Temi

    August 30, 2017 at 4:43 am

    Some of you don’t get it. Furniture stores. Restaurants. Etc are open creating makeshift shelters for people. These are for profit businesses who can argue that they don’t want people running their inventory. Joel a non-for profit has no business closing his church off. ITs simple as that. You can’t tell us not to Judge a so called man of God because if we don’t then where is the the accountability?

    • Ajala & Foodie

      August 30, 2017 at 12:01 pm

      @ Temi, Nooo, you are the one that does not get it. Gallery furniture the furniture store you refer to left its doors opened to 1st responders and not does evacuated. First responders come prepared with basic supplies that shelters would need to provide. In addition, Gallery furniture is a furniture store that on any given day serves its shoppers food, unless you have never been i.e the store had the needed beds in place already I mean they sell them. A church on the other hand, does not have that. Restaurants offered free meals not made into shelters. It is commendable what these organizations are doing but nope, comparison is not apples to apples. The logistics of being made a shelter takes a lot more and that really is what many fail to understand.

  12. Sade Twyse

    August 30, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    @ajala foodie – I’m sorry if I hold Joel osteen . A celebrated ‘man of God’ to much more higher standards than I do ‘mattress mac’ a.k.a owner of Gallery Furniture ‘

    For crying out loud – smaller a sized mosques that were within 5 mile radius of Osteen’s church were open to the public as a shelter but our homie Joel was tweeting prayers from River Oaks? But then. I the same breath muslims are the mordern day enemies? Until we start charging these glorified scheme artists with some baseline accountability, they won’t look in the mirror and check their own i integrity. These mega church pastors are very influential and Joel could have done much more just on personal recognizance alone.

  13. JustSAying

    August 30, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    @ Ajala&foodie, Tony, Good talk .
    Please ask the naijas yarning and acting judgeina on Lakewood church, if they did anything during the Island and Mainland flood. Most sat back and took pictures,broadcasted and prayed for SUN to shine. The beneficiaries of the flood were the data service providers…
    How many churches on lekki axis again? (JustAsking with side eye)

    Before one judgeina ask, me sef was locked in by the island flood

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