CHRISTIAN BREAKING NEWS: Pastor Joel Osteen Breaks Down in Tears as He Tells Congregation $100 Million Loan to Turn an NBA Arena into a Texas Megachurch has been Paid Off after only 19 Years: ‘It’s because of Your Faithfulness. You Paid It Off by the Goodness of God’ [#JoelOsteen #PastorJoelOsteen #LakewoodChurch]
LINK TO FULL VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfGwzp6q15U
Joel Osteen LIVE | Lakewood Church Service | Sunday, 11AM CT
Source: Joel Osteen YouTube Channel @JoelOsteen
It took Joel Osteen only 19 years to pay off Lakewood’s $100 million loan.
On Sunday, the pastor of one of America’s largest and wealthiest congregations broke down as he revealed that the megachurch had paid off its vast debt.
Pastor Joel Osteen burst into tears on stage at Houston’s Lakewood Church this past weekend, telling the full congregation that their donations had wiped off the church’s $100 million debt.
“It’s because of your faithfulness. You paid it off by the goodness of God.”
– Pastor Joel Osteen
For more than 2 decades, Osteen has led the non-denominational Lakewood Church, which is one of America’s largest and richest congregations.
Osteen took over the pulpit when his father and church founder, John Osteen, died in 1999, and has since increased the church’s weekly attendance from an average of approximately 5,000 to more than 50,000, while attracting 200 million weekly viewers globally through his TV broadcasts and digital platforms.
In 2001, Osteen secured a 60-year contract with the city to relocate from its 7,800-seat sanctuary in northeast Houston to the Compaq Center, the Houston Rockets’ arena with 16,000 seats, Osteen said.
The pastor paid $11.5 million in rent using funds bequeathed to the church by his late father.
When Lakewood officially relocated in 2005, the pastor sought additional funding to renovate the former NBA arena, with the goal of redesigning the outdoor façade and building the indoor stage, replacing the locker rooms and food stands with meeting rooms and childcare spaces, and constructing an adjacent 5-story building to house Lakewood’s television production offices, among other projects.
Osteen revealed that he was turned down by the first financial institution before Bank of America issued him a $25 million check for his building financing.
After some brief talks, the bank decided to expand its lending to $100 million.
“As of December 31, last year, we have officially paid off the $100 million loan.”
– Osteen stated to a standing ovation Sunday
The pastor placed his palms to his face, stopped himself, and wiped his tears with tissues.
He praised God and reminded the audience that the church continues to invest “millions of dollars” on its mission and media production, which reach so many people throughout the world.
Osteen and his wife, Victoria, are revered by their large following but criticized for preaching the so-called prosperity gospel, which holds that individuals may transcend poverty and even obtain wealth through devotion to God.
Following social media outcry, the tax-exempt church allegedly paid back the $4.4 million it got in COVID-19 catastrophe money under the Paycheck Protection Program in 2021.
The pastors, who have stated that they do not get a salary from the church and instead make their money from book sales and other means, claimed that none of the federal funds were allocated to them.
Lakewood Church is currently mostly debt-free, according to Osteen, with the exception of a modest loan for “capital equipment.”
“What God has done for Lakewood, He is going to do in your life. I believe in 2024, you will see God release you from some things that have held you back, release you from debt, release you from addiction, release you from wrong mindsets.”
– Osteen proceeded, transforming his news into a message
The pastors presented members of the church’s business staff to the crowd before ripping up an apparaent loan paperwork.
“All done!” Joel Osteen responded to applause.
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Pastor Joel Osteen BREAKS DOWN IN TEARS $100 Million Loan to Turn NBA Arena into Megachurch PAID OFF | Christian Breaking News!