Joel Osteen's megachurch criticized for not welcoming Houston flood victims

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 09:30AM
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HOUSTON - Joel Osteen, pastor of Houston's Lakewood Church, faced criticism in the wake of Hurricane Harvey for not opening the doors of his famed megachurch to those displaced by flooding.

On Sunday, a message posted to the Lakewood Church Facebook page said that church was "inaccessible due to severe flooding." The post included information on rescue and shelter resources available in other parts of the city.


But critics quickly took to social media questioning whether the building had been significantly impacted by the storm and calling on the church to do more for those affected by the flooding.


In a statement Monday to ABC News, Osteen said his organization was prepared to help those in need.

"We have never closed our doors. We will continue to be a distribution center for 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 in helping our fellow citizens rebuild their lives."

Lakewood Church also provided ABC News photos it says shows the flooding around the church.

Photo courtesy of Lakewood Church

Photo courtesy of Lakewood Church

Photo courtesy of Lakewood Church

The George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston had received 8,800 evacuees as of Monday night, according to the Red Cross, significantly more than their capacity of 5,000.
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