Wednesday, 13 December, 2017

Hurricane Harvey: Evangelist Joel Osteen denies closing Houston megachurch to Harvey evacuees

If JJ Watt can do it for Houston, so can Joel Osteen Is Joel Osteen's Megachurch Too Flooded to Help Hurricane Harvey Victims?
Edmund Wade | 31 August, 2017, 01:14

Joel Osteen blamed the city of Houston on Wednesday for not immediately designating his megachurch as a shelter - as he denied rampant allegations that it was shuttered to Tropical Storm Harvey victims.

"Where's Joel Osteen? His church in Houston holds 16,800, and he has plenty of money".

Charles Clymer, a Houston journalist who had been a vocal critic of Osteen and the church for not opening its doors, posted a photo to Twitter reportedly from inside the church.

More shelters became a dire need by Tuesday afternoon with more than 17,000 people seeking refuge from floodwaters, the American Red Cross said. The backlash worsened when images appeared to show that the church was not severely affected by the flood. "We will continue to be a distribution center for those in need", said Osteen's father-in-law Donald Iloff, as reported by CNN, adding the church is prepared to shelter people once the city's and county's shelters reach capacity. Osteen said the church's record stands for itself, stating, "We've been here year after year helping the community, helping the poor...rebuilding the roof of someone from Katrina just last week". "This building - it was a safety issue and we took people in from the very beginning".

Some criticized Osteen for his decision, given the size of the church and the fact that many other places of worship opened their doors to victims. Photos of the flooded church were also posted by members of the church on Twitter.

The church is set to be used as a donation center and was scheduled to open at noon on Tuesday. We want to help make sure you are safe.

Osteen also released a statement to his congregation offering prayers and suggesting ways they could volunteer for a relief effort the church was organizing.

Lakewood spokesperson Don Iloff, Osteen's brother-in-law, told The Christian Post on Monday that several church leaders had to be rescued from their own homes.

At least nine people are reported to have died as a result of Hurricane Harvey, the worst storm to strike the U.S. in 12 years.

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