Lakewood Church will reopen for in-person worship next month

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Lakewood Church, the mega-chapel in Houston that can hold as many as 16,800 people for services, is preparing to reopen to parishioners beginning next month.

The congregation led by Pastor Joel Osteen will be limited to 25% capacity, or about 4,200 people, when it reopens for in-person worship on Oct. 18, the church announced.

In a video message, Osteen said worshipers must sign up before services on the church website. People will then have to practice safe social distancing.

Osteen's church, like many others across the Houston area, has led online worship on Sundays since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The church memorably held its Easter worship event with Osteen, other worship leaders, and Lakewood's musicians in the empty chapel, along with a prerecorded performance by Mariah Carey.

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The service featured a virtual appearance by singer Mariah Carey and a special message from Tyler Perry.

The announcement comes after Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner allowed the return of special events with the 25% capacity limit and strict guidelines, such as social distancing, mask requirements and a temperature check at entrance.

SEE ALSO: Houston mayor approves return of events in the city, but with limits
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Lakewood Church is poised to welcome back in-person worship. Joel Osteen's congregation will likely follow guidelines set by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner when he announced a return to special events. The video comes from that announcement.

BBVA Stadium, which is the home venue of the Houston Dynamo and Dash, plan to play matches with fans this month.
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