Joel Osteen's Houston megachurch opens doors as shelter

HOUSTON (AP) – Joel Osteen opened his Houston megachurch to these in search of shelter after social media critics slammed the televangelist for not providing to deal with individuals in want whereas Harvey swamps the town.

Lakewood Church, a sixteen,000-seat former area that was the longtime residence of the NBA’s Houston Rockets, introduced on Twitter that it was receiving individuals who want shelter late Tuesday morning. Osteen introduced the transfer himself shortly after, including in a tweet that he and spouse Victoria Osteen “care deeply about our fellow Houstonians.”

The church did not reply to a request for remark Tuesday, however the transfer adopted a day of on-line criticism from those that claimed the church closed its doorways whereas different locations of worship, together with a number of mosques, opened theirs to individuals who wanted assist.

In a press release to ABC Information on Monday Osteen stated the church “by no means closed its doorways” and was serving as a aid provide distribution middle. He stated it will “home individuals as soon as shelters attain capability.”

Osteen’s remark stood in distinction to a church Fb submit and a since-deleted Instagram comment by Lakewood affiliate pastor John Grey, who stated flooded highways had made the church inaccessible.

“For the individuals spreading lies about my church. If WE might get there WE WOULD OPEN THE DOORS,” Grey’s remark learn. “As quickly because the highways aren’t flooded please know @lakewoodchurch will do all they will alleviate the ache and struggling of as many individuals as attainable. Love y’all! #CantStandLiars.”

Photograph and movies posted to social media appeared to point out a minimum of some elements of the church’s property could possibly be reached Monday. Lakewood shared its personal pictures with media retailers that it stated depicted flooding inside and across the church.

Lakewood Church served as a shelter for about 5,000 individuals displaced throughout Tropical Storm Allison at its earlier house in 2001, when greater than 30 inches (seventy six centimeters) of rain have been dumped on the town. It moved to the world previously referred to as The Summit and the Compaq Middle in 2005.

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