After receiving heavy criticism for keeping its doors closed while thousands remained without shelter, Pastor Joel Osteen’s Houston megachurch will open its doors on Tuesday to residents who have been displaced by the flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey.
“We have never closed our doors. We will continue to be a distribution center for those in need,” reads a statement by church spokesman and Osteen’s father-in-law Donald Iloff from Monday, according to CNN.
On Monday, multiple outlets reported that the church, which seats 16,800 people, remained closed due to flooding conditions that made it “inaccessible,” according to Lakewood Facebook post.
By Tuesday, the church was prepared to open its doors.
“We are prepared to shelter people once the cities and county 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,” Iloff told CNN.
The statement indicated the church won’t house anyone until “cities and county shelters reach capacity,” which resulted in even more backlash.
Oh after the shelters reach capacity. He was letting everybody else the so called non-believers do the work of the Lord 1st.
— Micheé Mee (@Meeposh21) August 29, 2017
once shelters reach capacity? Do you think it’s Christ-like to sleep 2 feet from a stranger on an air mattress in a gym? Buy a soul, Joel
— Sheila G. (@SheRa1145) August 29, 2017
Let me understand, only after the shelters are full will JO church open doors???? SMH. Not the Lord’s way at all.
— SportsLover (@Somoca) August 29, 2017
Later Tuesday morning, the church tweeted that they had started “receiving people who need shelter”:
Lakewood is receiving people who need shelter. We are also coordinating with the city as a collection site for distribution.
— Lakewood Church (@lakewoodch) August 29, 2017
Harvey has wreaked havoc on Texas since making landfall on Friday night, leaving many without power and Read the full article at the Original Source..