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Pastor Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church in Houston, USA, may very well be described as one of the top televangelists in the world. But today, the world seems far from in love with the televangelist following reports that his church did not open its doors to victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Pastor Osteen on Saturday took to Twitter expressing his comfort to victims of the hurricane and saying his wife and himself will put them in prayers.

At the time, the Houston area alone has received between 20-40 inches of rainfall alone. The unrelenting rain led to flooding in numerous homes and businesses necessitating people to flee in search of drier grounds. Some were caught up in the floods and needed to be evacuated. It became apparent that the victims needed a place of shelter to wait out the storm.

On Sunday, the Lakewood Church posted a message on Facebook saying the church, which can seat at least 16,000 people, was “inaccessible due to severe flooding.” The church went further to offer suggestions on available alternative shelters around Houston.

The post attracted criticism from social media where some people out rightly accused Lakewood Church of lying about its premises being flooded. People were posting pictures of the church’s premises, and in those pictures, it appears the church was not damaged by the torrential rains afflicting Houston.

On Tuesday, Lakewood Church said it is opening its doors to victims of the hurricane, and denying reports that it had earlier closed:

We have never closed our doors. We will continue to be a distribution center for those in need,” said the church’s spokesman and Osteen’s father-in-law Donald lloff. “We are prepared to shelter people once the cities and country shelters reach capacity. Lakewood will be a value to the community in the aftermath of this storm in helping our fellow citizens rebuild their lives.

lloff said at least a couple of hundred of people can get shelter at the church’s 2nd floor. The church went ahead to provide photo-evidence of its hallways and parking lot being flooded. Following the previous storm, the church installed flood walls.

joel osteen lakewood church hurricane Harvey

Parts of Lakewood Church flooded, according to a spokesman.

joel osteen lakewood church hurricane Harvey

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