The deadly Hurricane Harvey shook Houston, TX with catastrophic flooding. It didn’t take long before Twitter targeted the $50 million man Joel Osteen, who is a famous televangelist living in a $10.5 million mansion.
Osteen owns a megachurch in Houston with over 16,000 seats that can hold roughly 38,000 people for services. Photos of his megachurch well above water popped up on Twitter, but Osteen didn’t immediately react. It took quite a bit of shaming before Osteen finally emerged to open the doors to his church for flood victims.
The one tweet he did send leading up to the storm read: “Victoria & I are praying for everyone affected by Hurricane Harvey. Please join us as we pray for the safety of our Texas friends & family.”
Osteen later appeared on ABC News after opening the church and said:
“The narrative is that we didn’t want to take people in or we didn’t open in time, you know, it’s totally not true. We were here for people, we were a shelter, we were taking people as soon as the floodwaters receded, when several people came here, to take them in.”
Osteen added, “The city has a shelter four miles from here. We work with the city all the time, and when their shelter was totally full, they started bringing people over here, and here are again today doing it like we did in 2001, when we housed 3,000 people. So I don’t know — I think somebody created that narrative, that somehow we were high and dry, and none of that is true. This building was a safety issue, and we took people in from the very beginning.”
“We were fearing that it would flood. The last thing we would do is put people in it right at the beginning but, yeah, you know, we would probably be, you know, do some things differently, obviously,” Osteen said.
Watch the clip below:
Do you believe him?