Joel Osteen’s Church in Houston to Begin Shelter Operations: Reports

August 29, 2017 Updated: August 29, 2017    

Joel Osteen, the pastor of a Houston-area megachurch, said he will take people in after receiving criticism for allegedly shutting his church doors amid Hurricane Harvey.

“Lakewood is receiving people who need shelter. We are also receiving supplies such as baby food, baby formula and other shelter needs,” Lakewood Church tweeted on Aug. 29.

Osteen added that “Victoria and I care deeply about our fellow Houstonians. Lakewood’s doors are open and we are receiving anyone who needs shelter.”

For the past two days, Osteen received criticism for not allowing people to use the church as a shelter.

In a statement, Osteen said that those allegations were false.

“We have never closed our doors. We will continue to be a distribution center for those in need. We are prepared to house people once 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,” Osteen told ABC13.

It also provided photos that show extensive flooding in and around the church.

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Lakewood Church

Lakewood Church
Lakewood Church

Volunteers and officers from the neighborhood security patrol help to rescue residents in the upscale River Oaks neighborhood after it was inundated with flooding from Hurricane Harvey on August 27, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Volunteers and officers from the neighborhood security patrol help to rescue residents in the upscale River Oaks neighborhood after it was inundated with flooding from Hurricane Harvey on August 27, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Volunteer rescuers evacuate people from a flooded residential area during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey on August 29, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Floodwaters have breached a levee south of the city of Houston, officials said Tuesday, urging residents to leave the area immediately. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Volunteer rescuers evacuate people from a flooded residential area during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey on August 29, 2017 in Houston, Texas.
Floodwaters have breached a levee south of the city of Houston, officials said Tuesday, urging residents to leave the area immediately. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

People walk along a flooded road's median during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey on August 29, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
People walk along a flooded road’s median during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey on August 29, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

People evacuate through water past an abandoned car after Hurricane Harvey caused heavy flooding in Houston, Texas on August 28, 2017.   Rescue teams in boats, trucks and helicopters scrambled Monday to reach hundreds of Texans marooned on flooded streets in and around the city of Houston before monster storm Harvey returns. (MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
People evacuate through water past an abandoned car after Hurricane Harvey caused heavy flooding in Houston, Texas on August 28, 2017.
Rescue teams in boats, trucks and helicopters scrambled Monday to reach hundreds of Texans marooned on flooded streets in and around the city of Houston before monster storm Harvey returns. (MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)