After opening its doors to victims of Hurricane Harvey seeking refuge from the storm’s fury that left their homes and other possessions destroyed, Lakewood Church is not finished extending a helping hand.
The charity event is expected to draw thousands Sunday, Oct. 15 at 7 PM CST to the 16,000-seat arena, which is the former home of the Houston Rockets basketball team. Among the other guest worship leaders is Hillsong, Bethel Music, Kari Jobe and her husband Cody Jobe.
EEW Magazine has learned that seating is on a first-come first-served basis, with the exception of first responders, who will receive set-aside seating in a special area.
Mega pastor Osteen faced heavy criticism for failure to immediately open Lakewood’s doors as a shelter for displaced flood victims following the vicious storm, despite the ministry explaining that it was dealing with some indoor flooding of its own.
Donald Iloff, church spokesman, told CNN’s Erin Burnett there were safety concerns about potential flooding after the bottom floor of the building flooded eight feet during Tropical Storm Alison.
“When it floods, it floods in a torrent. And it floods quickly. We installed flood gates, but you know, you have to have a lot of faith in those if you are going to put a lot of people into the building,” he explained.
“So we had concerns, you know. From the very beginning as far as the safety of people in this building and that was too great a concern for us,” he said.
Images were provided to media showing flooding in the Hallways and parking lot of Lakewood.
Despite the brutal backlash, media mogul Tyler Perry defended the Osteens and donated
$250,000 directly to Lakewood to help them provide much-needed help to Houstonians.
“Let me tell you something: Joel and Victoria are amazing people. There’s no way that they would lock people out of the church or not let people in for a shelter,” said Perry in a Facebook video.
“So, before you just run and judge somebody real quick you need to know the whole circumstance,” he continued, adding that the Osteens are “people that I trust, people that I know are going to do the right thing.”
For more information about the worship relief concert, visit HoustonWorshipRelief.com.
SOURCE: EEW Magazine – Rebecca Johnson