HOUSTON (AP) — Televangelist Joel Osteen says his Houston megachurch has “never” closed its doors to people seeking shelter as Harvey swamps the city.

Osteen has faced criticism for not opening his massive Lakewood Church as a storm shelter. In a statement, Osteen says the church “will continue to be a distribution center for those in need” and is “prepared to house people once shelters reach capacity.”

The 16,000-seat former arena served as the home of the NBA’s Houston Rockets from 1975 to 2003.

Osteen’s comment stands in contrast to a church Facebook post and a since-deleted Instagram remark by Lakewood associate pastor John Gray, who said flooded highways had made the church inaccessible. A spokeswoman for Osteen didn’t immediately return a request for comment Tuesday.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (4)
  1. Tim Neumann says:

    Bilking MILLIONS from the mindless minions, then refusing to provide aid or assistance, until caught in a media onslaught. How do you spell FRAUD – OSTEEN!

  2. Everyone knows it’s because of what happened to the superdome – what a mess that turned into, and it wasn’t enough according to the media during the time.

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