Lakewood Church Receives Mayor’s Proclamation for Harvey Support – After Initial Criticism

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner declared Tuesday “Lakewood Church Day”

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner presents a proclamation to Lakewood Church pastors Joel and Victoria Osteen. Also present were city council member Jack Christie and U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston (from left)


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After Harvey hit Houston, Lakewood Church was criticized on social media for not opening its doors to flood victims.

The 16,000 seat church on US-59 eventually did shelter many who were flooded, but the initial social media criticism was a PR nightmare.

Its famous pastor may have gotten some vindication now.

Mayor Sylvester Turner declared Tuesday, August 14, 2018, "Lakewood Church Day."

Joel Osteen said he doesn't think of the proclamation that way.

"You know, it does help, but I don't know," he said after appearing at City Council. "Again, we're in here to help the city. We've been here for 60 years. In Allison, we were the biggest shelter, so for somebody to think we wouldn't take care of people is not the true narrative."

The proclamation was brought forth by city council member Jack Christie, who said Lakewood helped 1,150 families return to their homes since Harvey.

"So they missed first base," he said. "Big deal. It's that coming on home and doing all that good work."

Osteen said Harvey caught the church off-guard and they weren't prepared. But he said they learned from their mistake and will do better next time.


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Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is the News 88.7 business reporter and also covers criminal justice, guns and shootings.Florian's stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of...

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