Joel Olsteen – a “prosperity” pastor who claims that financial success is a sign of God’s blessing – has bowed to public pressure and opened the doors to his Lakewood Church to victims of Hurricane Harvey. The enormous megachurch can hold up to 16,800.
The public took to Twitter in the wake of the storm to point out that the church remained shuttered, despite the need for shelter areas large enough to accommodate the tens of thousands displaced by the record-breaking flooding.
Houston's Joel Osteen has a net worth over $50m and a church that holds 16,800 but this is all he's offering. pic.twitter.com/rmhdWK6ZAO
— Mark Elliott (@markmobility) August 28, 2017
Joel Osteen won't open his church that holds 16,000 to hurricane victims because it only provides shelter from taxes. #HoustonStrong
— Alan Spencer (@MrAlanSpencer) August 28, 2017
Dabbt Deraney – a professional publicist – had harsh words for Olsteen: “You have taken so much money away from your people to live like a king. It’s the least you could do,” referring to opening the church’s doors to people in need. Olsteen’s net worth is $50 million.
A took a few days of shaming, but it looks like Olsteen couldn’t bear the PR fallout.