Joel Osteen Church Still Closed to Evacuees In Wake of Harvey

Joel Osteen Closes Church After Hurricane Tells Members To Pray

UPDATE: Lakewood Church is opening its doors to let in those seeking shelter from the flooding resulting from Hurricane Harvey.

Many people took exception to Osteen's decision, noting that the church could house over 16,000 people.

"Lakewood Church is inaccessible due to severe flooding!". Some residents posted photos of certain areas around the Lakewood Church to disprove the megachurch's claim that it was impassable to those who might want to seek shelter from the storm.

The church shared photos that it said showed extensive flooding. "Lakewood's doors are open and we are receiving anyone who needs shelter", he tweeted. "Lakewood will be a value to the community in the aftermath of this storm in helping our fellow citizens rebuild their lives", the statement added.

"So there was a safety issue the first day or two", Osteen told Cuomo. The church shared video and photos of the many volunteers on Twitter along with the caption: "We can not thank enough the hundreds upon hundreds of volunteers who came out today!".

Osteen defended the church and said it was "never" closed and was serving as a relief supply distribution center, according to a statement.

Osteen's father-in-law Donald Iloff disputed accusations that the church had warded off victims.

Meanwhile, one Twitter user actually went outside and took video showing that there was no flooding surrounding the church.

Have Joel and the Lakewood Church been wrongly accused or are they scrambling to save face??

It said that mosques in the region are still open and offering people shelter, including the Islamic Society of Greater Houston's 21 centres.

"You should have cared enough to have had your doors open sooner though".

By Tuesday, Osteen was tweeting that the church was collecting food, water, diapers and other necessities to distribute to the evacuees and would also house them. The bottom floor of the building flooded eight feet during Tropical Storm Alison in 2001 and they had safety concerns of what might happen if they sheltered people in the building, he said.

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