"I wasn't going to cry the first 30 seconds, ya'll," said Joel Osteen to the Lakewood congregation Sunday. "We love you, we appreciate your prayer, your support, just what you mean."
These were the first Sunday services since jurors sided with Victoria Osteen in a civil trial that wrapped up last week. Continental flight attendant Sharon Brown claimed that in 2005, Osteen grabbed and pushed her on a Continental flight when the two argued about the spilled liquid.
In the service, Osteen talked about how she coped during the trial.
"Trying to do everything I could do for myself," she said. "And one of the things I did was I prayed for those who persecuted me. And let me tell you something. That wasn't easy. I can't tell you that every time I did it, I thought I meant it."
Services were never interrupted at Lakewood during the course of the trial. Now that it's all over, parishioners say they never had any doubt that she would be vindicated.
"I felt that she was innocent all along, just because of her relationship with God," said one supporter we spoke with.
"My truth was always with Victoria," added church member Katherine Williams. "I knew the truth would come out."
The Osteens say the experience only strengthened their faith and that all the support from the church made an enormous difference.
"It's just emotional because you feel the love and support of all these people, and they've been behind us from the beginning and to hear them cheer and you can't even hardly talk, I don't know, I just feel their support so much, it's overwhelming to me," said Joel Osteen.
And judging by the enthusiasm, the parishioners didn't need a trial to make up their minds.
Osteen may have to go back to court. The flight attendant's attorney says they're still thinking about possible appeals.
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