Joel Osteen Deflects Blame, Says Houston 'Didn't Ask' Megachurch to Help

Casey Dawson
August 31, 2017

As Hurricane Harvey lashed Texas, a George Soros-funded group, Indivisible USA, created a meme that suggested Osteen's church was remaining closed during the disaster.

Houston pastor Joel Osteen disputed that his church-which can hold about 16,000 people-turned away evacuees during Hurricane Harvey.

In a statement released on Osteen's behalf, a church spokesman said Lakewood would be prepared to accommodate those fleeing the floods, should other shelter facilities exceed capacity. "We want to help make sure you are safe", the post read.

"On Wednesday morning when asked why the church waited until Tuesday to begin taking people in, Osteen told TODAY that "[The city] didn't need us as shelter" early on.

He says his own niece was stranded across the street from the church on an overpass.

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ABC15 reported that Lakewood later released a list of shelters available in the Houston area, but the church itself was not included in the list.

Pastor Joel Osteen is mastering the art of self defense this week after getting dragged online for his delayed Tropical Storm Harvey relief efforts.

While authorities were still focused on rescuing survivors, the question of the storm´s aftermath - and its long-lasting hit to the Texas and U.S. economies - was only beginning to come into view.

"We're all about helping people". "You just have to be here to see that, No. 1, the city runs the shelters, what they need us to do - they asked us for a distribution center and you see hundreds and thousands of volunteers came out". We try to use the best wisdom we can and the main thing is we've been here for 60 years to help this city, and be a blessing to others. Once they filled up, people started coming here. I thought Christian conservatives were all about private charity, needy people turning to the church like they used to in the good old days. By Tuesday morning, the Lakewood Church was finally open to those seeking refuge.

"The first day or two, this building was not accessible", Osteen told CNN. Osteen is just one of many. Everybody that's making a difference is going to have critics. It's food, water, shelter, and clothing, not memes that people need. The lifelong Houston resident hasn't been able to work or do much since the storm first hit, so he was eager to get out of his dark house and help.

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