“We have never closed our doors,” Senior Pastor Joel Osteen said in a statement quoted by ABC and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We will continue to be a distribution center to those in need. We are prepared to house people once shelters reach capacity. Lakewood will be a value to the community in the aftermath of this storm.”
Joel Osteen appeared on the TODAY show to address the issue.
Here is a Facebook post from the Lakewood Church where Osteen is a senior pastor.
The post goes on to point people in the direction of help and other shelters in the area.
How did this get started? Well, there was a tweet that went viral and it showed the church in pristine condition.
— Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) August 28, 2017
Many people from Houston did not buy what Osteen said and pointed the finger at him for not helping people in and around his city.
— Runek (@RuneK_15) August 29, 2017
Members of the Lakewood Church were quick to respond and defend their pastor. Blogger Lynne Gabriel even tweeted photos of the church.
— Lynne Gabriel-Caine (@heyitslynneg) August 28, 2017
You can understand why the people of Houston were hopeful that Lakewood would provide some assistance. They host 52,000 attendees for their weekly services.