Lakewood Church celebrates 50 years

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image none"><span>none</span></div><span class="caption-text">Images from the first Lakewood Church service &#40;courtesy: Lakewood Church&#41;</span></div>
May 10, 2009 3:52:01 PM PDT
Members of Lakewood Church celebrated more than Mother's Day because Sunday was the church's 50th birthday.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

The Reverend John Osteen and his wife Dodie held their first service in front of a around 100 people at an old feed store in north Houston on Mother's Day 1959. Over the next 40 years, Lakewood attracted thousands of members. Osteen died after his son, Joel preached his first sermon.

Now Lakewood draws 40,000 worshippers to a former sports arena every weekend.

The reverend passed away 10 years ago, but Dodie Osteen, 76, was honored by Lakewood's second pastor, her son Joel.

Since Joel has taken over his family's ministry, Lakewood has become the largest church in the U.S. with over 40,000 people attending.

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