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Hurricane Harvey

Source: The Washington Post / Getty

Joel Osteen recently responded to intense backlash after reports circulated that the Houston-based pastor closed his Lakewood megachurch during  the destruction of Hurricane Harvey.

A statement released by Osteen’s spokesperson, said the following on Monday:

“We have never closed our doors. We will continue to be a distribution center for those in need. We are prepared to shelter people once the cities and county 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.”

The church posted a Facebook message on Sunday warning it would be inaccessible due to severe flooding and also posted a list of numbers and resources including the National Guard and a host of available shelters.

Several twitter users who live in the area posted photos of the church on the internet, which added more gas to the flames.

Critics took that as an indication that the church had turned its back on the community and lashed out on social media. The church responded by releasing photos of flooding in the sanctuary.

Several supporters re-tweeted the images to quell the fire.

Lakewood is scheduled to open its doors as a donation center at noon on Tuesday.



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Joel Osteen Says Houston Church ‘Never Closed’ During Hurricane Harvey Aftermath  was originally published on