Joel Osteen the Celebrity Televengelist, Faces Criticism For Not Opening Up His Lakewood Church in Houston to Help With Relief Efforts
Hurricane Harvey, now a tropical storm, has dumped an ‘unprecedented’ amount of rain through out parts of Southeast Texas since it made landfall on Friday. At least 300 000 people are reported to be without power and roughly 30 000 people have been displaced to temporary shelters.
Still thousands more were still awaiting rescue as of Monday morning.
Dozens of Houston-area churches, schools and community centers have opened their doors to offer temporary shelter to survivors, but one mega church drew a lot of criticism for not doing the same.
Plenty of people had a lot to say about Joel Osteen not opening up his Lakewood Church in Houston to help with relief efforts.
In a video obtained by TMZ, Comedian Keraun Harris, had the following to say about Osteen:
“People need help, so for you to say you’re not gonna help but I bet you’ll open up the church on Sunday, and I bet you’ll open up offerings on Sunday.”
Osteen has been under twitter fire for not opening his church, which holds 16,800 people, to victims of Hurricane Harvey.
Joel Osteen has a HUGE church in Houston that would make a great shelter. pic.twitter.com/byqHxXrHQn
— Brasilmagic (@Brasilmagic) August 28, 2017
Lakewood Church’s Facebook page on Sunday said the church was “inaccessible due to severe flooding,” though the message doesn’t clarify whether the church itself is flooded.
On Osteen’s Twitter, he is encouraging his followers to visit the church website to help with relief. The link he provides offers a donation button and a volunteer button.
In 2001, it is being reported that the church sheltered roughly 5,000 Texans displaced by a tropical storm. But the church response to Harvey has drawn harsh criticism on social media, with hundreds of users saying Osteen owes the city more than his prayers.
Open your church as a shelter. Provide food and clothing. Please
— Rhonda Harbison (@rhonda_harbison) August 28, 2017
Joel is askin people to donate to his church to help flood victims but won’t open his church.
— ĞĖ♏♏🅰️ (@Gemma__Eleanor) August 28, 2017
Can you imagine being able 2 help 10000s just by opening your church & not doing it. Twitter shouldn’t have 2 shame you 2 do the right thing
— Emily Brandwin (@CIAspygirl) August 29, 2017
Joel Osteen won’t open his church that holds 16,000 to hurricane victims because it only provides shelter from taxes. #HoustonStrong
— Alan Spencer (@MrAlanSpencer) August 28, 2017