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Published: Fri, September 01, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Joel Osteen responds to accusations of closing church doors to Harvey evacuees

Joel Osteen responds to accusations of closing church doors to Harvey evacuees

In a post on Twitter Saturday, Osteen said he was praying for those affected by the storm, which has dumped 20 to 40 inches of rain on the Houston area alone, with more on the way. We CANNOT AFFORD to continue to just go & give our money away to people who pose as "Preachers" or their BIG lavish MEGA CHURCHES WITHOUT HOLDING THEM ACCOUNTABLE WHEN WE NEED THEM!

But the main reason that Osteen kept Lakewood's doors closed was simply because city officials, grappling with the logistical difficulties of getting approximately two million people out from under water, "didn't need us right then". "This building - it was a safety issue and we took people in from the very beginning".

Osteen tells NBC's "Today" show that a "false narrative" on social media was to blame for the backlash. Clearly, O'Donnell isn't buying it and thinks he should "fess up" and apologize.

But the church complex, which can hold more than 16,000 people, was "inaccessible due to severe flooding", its staff reported on social media Sunday afternoon. A spokeswoman for Osteen didn't immediately return a request for comment Tuesday. Without the proper warning, Osteen said his church had been unable to prepare for any assistance efforts.

"Our church doors have always been open", Osteen insisted. Osteen and his congregation have set up their church as a shelter for evacuees from the flooding by Tropical Storm Harvey. If we didn't have our floodgates, it would have flooded. "That wouldn't have been a good story", he told "Today".

A fleet of panel trucks, Mercedes coupes, SUVs and pickups descended on the church. A caption stated the church "hit our maximum capacity for volunteers".

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