Pastor Joel Osteen can’t seem to get his story straight about why he didn’t offer his 16,800-seat megachurch in Houston as a shelter sooner for those displaced by Hurricane Harvey.
During an appearance on NBC’s “Today” show Wednesday, the head of Lakewood Church said its doors have “always been open.” Minutes later, he appeared to reverse course and admit that the church hadn’t initially encouraged victims to seek shelter there.
“If people were here, they’d realize there were safety issues,” Osteen said. “We were just being precautious, but the main thing is the city didn’t ask us to become a shelter then.”
Dozens of Houston-area churches, mosques, schools and community centers opened their doors to offer temporary shelter as Harvey pummeled the city earlier this week.
Lakewood Church, however, posted on Sunday that its building was “inaccessible” due to flooding and encouraged people to seek shelter elsewhere.
After backlash mounted on social media, a spokesman for the church announced Tuesday that it was prepared to shelter displaced people ― “once the cities and county shelters reach capacity.”