HOUSTON, TX — After receiving enormous backlash over social media for keeping his 16,000-seat Houston megachurch closed during Hurricane Harvey, televangelist Joel Osteen decided to open the doors of Lakewood Church to the city’s evacuees.
Lakewood Church initially claimed via Facebook that it was inaccessible due to severe flooding. However, the post was quickly mired in a firestorm of controversy when several photos and videos were posted, seemingly contradicting the statement.
In a round of obvious PR control, Osteen joined “CBS This Morning” to address the controversy and explain the steps his church is taking to help the city. At first, Osteen seemed to recant on the initial story told to the public.
“Our doors have always been open. We received people even — as soon as the water started receding,” Osteen said. “We worked with the city constantly. The city set up a shelter about four miles from here that can house 10,000 people, showers, dormitories, kitchens, security, all that. They didn’t need us as a shelter at that point. They wanted us to be a distribution center,” Osteen said.
Suddenly, Osteen appeared to go off-script, instead, opting to “speak from the heart.”
“Look, here’s the deal. Truth be told, the church was just fine. There was no flooding inside. Not even a smidge,” said Osteen. “But you know what I did as soon as Harvey hit Houston? I started to pray. That’s right, I spoke directly to the Lord God Almighty Himself. And you know what else? He didn’t answer immediately. You could say his voicemail was a bit backed up in heavenly terms.”
Osteen adjusted the diamond buttons on his Alexander Amosu suit and carried on expounding his thought process as the audience and the show’s hosts listened in total silence.
“The Lord got back to me, but not once did He tell me to help Hurricane Harvey victims. I wasn’t going to risk displeasing Him. So I took a leap of faith and am hoping our action to help out is in accordance to His will, but we really don’t know.”
Osteen left on his private jet immediately after his “CBS This Morning” appearance to return to his yacht in Houston, where he’ll be praying in close proximity to the evacuees still fighting to survive the great flooding of Texas.
At press time, it was reported Osteen has hired Pepsi’s PR team to help clean up his hurricane-sized public relations disaster.