ABC News reports:
Pastor Joel Osteen said today that his Lakewood Church has been taking people in “from the very beginning” of Harvey as he pushed back against criticism that the church did not initially welcome evacuees. “We were here for people. We were a shelter,” Osteen said today on “Good Morning America.” “We were taking people as soon as the floodwaters receded,” he added.
Osteen also called it “totally not true” that the church, which can hold more than 16,000 people, did not open early enough for the residents of Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest city that has been devastated by Harvey.
“I think somebody created that narrative that somehow we were high and dry and none of that is true,” he said. “This building — it was a safety issue and we took people in from the very beginning.” On Sunday, Lakewood Church posted on Facebook that it was “inaccessible due to severe flooding” and directed displaced residents to shelters in the city.
As you can see below, this morning Osteen appeared on just about every news show with his defense.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 30, 2017
— Ainsley Earhardt (@ainsleyearhardt) August 30, 2017
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) August 30, 2017
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) August 30, 2017
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) August 30, 2017
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) August 30, 2017
He must have been "being precautious" when he blocked my ass pic.twitter.com/FsA3lWpX0T
— what a crowd (@iskandrah) August 30, 2017