Joel Osteen's megachurch to open to Harvey victims Tuesday following backlash

FILE - This April 24, 2010 file photo shows Lakewood Church pastor Joel Osteen at Dodger Stadium during his "A Night of Hope" in Los Angeles. Osteen said in a statement to ABC News on Aug. 28, 2017, that his Lakewood Church would open as a shelter for Hurricane Harvey victims if needed. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

HOUSTON (WKEF/WRGT) - A megachurch in Houston run by televangelist Joel Osteen is opening its doors to Tropical Storm Harvey evacuees Tuesday after backlash.

Lakewood Church became the target of criticism online after it allegedly closed its doors to people. Church officials said the building was closed because it was inaccessible due to flooding and told storm victims to go to other shelters. Osteen denies the church was ever closed.

The church, which can seat approximately 16,000 people, will open up and according to a spokesman, will shelter at least several hundred people. The arena that now houses the church was the home of the NBA's Houston Rockets from 1975 to 2003. Lakewood will also serve as a donation center.

But for many people on social media, the move comes too late.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off