Worship in 2013
|Founded||May 10, 1959|
|Senior pastor(s)||Joel Osteen and Victoria Osteen|
|Pastor(s)||Nick Nilson, John Gray, Dr. Paul Osteen, Craig Johnson|
Lakewood Church is a non-denominational Christian megachurch located in Houston, Texas, US. It is one of the largest congregations in the United States, averaging about 52,000 attendees per week.The 16,800-seat Lakewood Church building, home to four English-language services and two Spanish-language services per week, is located at the former Compaq Center. Joel Osteen is the senior pastor of Lakewood Church with his wife, Victoria, who serves as co-pastor. Lakewood Church is non-denominational (not affiliated), while the leadership may be considered part of the Word of Faith movement.
Nondenominational Christianity consists of churches which typically distance themselves from the confessionalism or creedalism of other Christian communities by calling themselves nondenominational.
Christianity is an Abrahamic Universal religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, as described in the New Testament. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament.
A megachurch is defined by the Hartford Institute as any Protestant Christian church having 2,000 or more people in average weekend attendance. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the term, first documented in 1984, as a church with an unusually large membership, especially one preaching a conservative or evangelical form of Christianity and also offering a variety of educational and social activities.
Lakewood Church, originally called "Lakewood Baptist Church", was founded by John Osteen and his second wife, Dolores (Dodie) on Mother's Day, May 10, 1959, inside an abandoned feed store in northeast Houston.John was a Southern Baptist minister, but after experiencing baptism in the Holy Spirit, he founded Lakewood as a church for charismatic Baptists. The church soon dropped "Baptist" from its name and became non-denominational. By 1979, attendance was over five thousand, and the church was becoming prominent among Pentecostals and Charismatics. John and Dodie created and hosted Lakewood's weekly television program, which could be seen in 100 countries worldwide. Upon John Osteen's death on January 23, 1999, his youngest son, Joel Osteen, became the pastor.
John Hillery Osteen was an American pastor and founding pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, from its beginnings in 1959 until his death in 1999. His television program, John Osteen, ran for 16 years and was broadcast to millions in the U.S. and nearly 50 countries weekly.
In 2001, Tropical Storm Allison caused flooding in the Houston area. Lakewood church was opened as a shelter to approximately 5,000 displaced persons.
Tropical Storm Allison was a tropical storm that devastated southeast Texas in June of the 2001 Atlantic hurricane season. An arguable example of the "brown ocean effect", Allison lasted unusually long for a June storm, remaining tropical or subtropical for 15 days, most of which when the storm was over land dumping torrential rainfall. The storm developed from a tropical wave in the northern Gulf of Mexico on June 4, 2001, and struck the upper Texas coast shortly thereafter. It drifted northward through the state, turned back to the south, and re-entered the Gulf of Mexico. The storm continued to the east-northeast, made landfall on Louisiana, then moved across the southeast United States and Mid-Atlantic. Allison was the first storm since Tropical Storm Frances in 1998 to strike the northern Texas coastline.
Under Joel Osteen, Lakewood's congregation increased almost fivefold. weekly, prompting a move from its location at 7317 East Houston Road to a larger facility. In late 2003, the church signed a long-term lease with the city of Houston to acquire the Compaq Center, a 29-year-old former sports arena.Attendance increased to 30,000
The Lakewood Church - Central Campus is a megachurch in Houston, Texas. It is located about five miles southwest of Downtown Houston, next to the Greenway Plaza.
Lakewood Church relocated to the Compaq Center on July 16, 2005. It is a 16,800-seat facility in southwest downtown Houston along U.S. Highway 59, that has twice the capacity of its former sanctuary.The church was required to pay $11.8 million in rent in advance for the first 30 years of the lease. Lakewood renovated the new campus at an estimated cost of $100 million.
On March 31, 2010, the Houston City Council voted 13–2 to sell the property to Lakewood for $7.5 million.
Lakewood Church believes that the entire Bible is inspired by God, and the church bases its teachings on this belief. The church also holds in account the belief in the Trinity, as well as the recognition of the death of Christ on the cross and resurrection.
From the commands found in the Bible, the church practices the following:
Lakewood Church is known for its Word of Faith teaching.It is also known, before every sermon, for a confession (originally led by John and continued by Joel) which the congregation repeats in unison.
Lakewood offers different types of ministries, fellowships, and services depending on the age, marital status, and need of its members.
During Weekend services, Joel Osteen, Victoria Osteen, John Gray or Danilo Montero preach. On Sunday nights, Nick Nilson or John Gray preach. On Wednesday nights, the Associate Pastors John Gray, Paul Osteen, Lisa Osteen Comes, or guest speakers preach.
Various classes are offered through the Compass Classes ministry, meeting before and after weekend services.
The church's weekly services are broadcast on Trinity Broadcasting Network and Daystar Television Network, as well as local channels in most major U.S. markets. Lakewood also appears on secular networks, such as Fox Network, Freeform, and USA Network. In 2007, Lakewood reported spending nearly $30 million every year on its television ministry.Osteen's sermons are also televised in more than 100 countries, with an estimated 7 million viewers each week. Lakewood also hosts a Night of Hope every month. This is when the church hosts a Christian service event in one of the arenas or stadiums all across America.
In 2002, Lakewood began a Hispanic ministry, Iglesia Lakewood, founded by Hispanic Pastor Marcos Witt and his wife, Miriam Witt. In September 2012, Danilo and Gloriana Montero assumed the role of associate pastors for the Hispanic ministry. Lakewood has two services each week in Spanish and translates all English services into Spanish. The weekly attendance at the Spanish services is approximately 6,000 people.
Osteen's sermons and writings are sometimes noted for promoting prosperity theology, or the prosperity gospel, a belief that material gain is a reward for pious Christians.However, when asked if he is a prosperity teacher, Osteen responded that if prosperity means God wants people to be blessed and healthy and have good relationships, then he considers himself a prosperity teacher, but if it is about money, he does not. He has specifically stated that he never preaches about money because of the reputation of televangelists. In an interview with The Christian Post on April 21, 2013, Osteen expressed his sentiments on being perceived as being part of the prosperity gospel. "I get grouped into the prosperity gospel and I never think it's fair, but it's just what it is. I think prosperity, and I've said it 1,000 times, it's being healthy, it's having great children, it's having peace of mind. Money is part of it; and yes, I believe God wants us to excel ... to be blessed so we can be a bigger blessing to others. I feel very rewarded. I wrote a book and sold millions of copies; and Victoria and I were able to help more people than we ever dreamed of. But when I hear the term prosperity gospel, I think people are sometimes saying, 'Well, he's just asking for money'." On October 14, 2007, 60 Minutes ran a twelve-minute segment on Osteen, titled "Joel Osteen Answers his Critics", during which Reformed theologian Michael Horton told CBS News correspondent Byron Pitts that Osteen's message is heresy. Horton stated that the problem with Osteen's message is that it makes religion about us instead of about God.
During the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Osteen received significant criticism in response to not making Lakewood Church, a 606,000 sq. ft., 16,000 seat, former basketball arena, available as an emergency shelter for those displaced by the storm.On August 27th, posts from the church and a Lakewood Church associate pastor's social media accounts stated that the church was "inaccessible due to severe flooding," and associate pastor John Gray posting further, "If WE could get there WE WOULD OPEN THE DOORS." In a subsequent interview, Osteen countered the claim that flood waters closed the church, saying "the church has been open from the beginning," and, "We’ve always been open … How this notion got started, that we’re not a shelter and we’re not taking people in is a false narrative.” On the evening of August 28th, it was announced by Lakewood that it would open at noon the next day as an available shelter, opening to storm victims and emergency personnel on August 29.
On August 15th, the City of Houston and Mayor Sylvester Turner proclaimed a "Lakewood Church Day" in honor of Lakewood's assistance in rebuild efforts across the Houston area.It stated Lakewood has provided "assistance to more than 1,150 Houston-area families whose homes were damaged or destroyed by floodwaters" and bought "1.1 million dollars in building materials, furniture, appliances, and paid labor, as well as through the contribution of more than 2,500 volunteers".
Televangelism is the use of media, specifically radio and television, to communicate Christianity. Televangelists are Christian ministers, whether official or self-proclaimed, who devote a large portion of their ministry to television broadcasting. Some televangelists are also regular pastors or ministers in their own places of worship, but the majority of their followers come from their TV and radio audiences. Others do not have a conventional congregation as such and solely work through television. The term is also used derisively by critics as an insinuation of aggrandizement by such ministers.
Yoido Full Gospel Church is a Pentecostal church affiliated with the Assemblies of God on Yeouido in Seoul, South Korea. With about 800,000 members (2018), it is the largest Pentecostal Christian congregation in South Korea, and the world. Founded by David Yonggi Cho in 1958, the church is presently led by Young Hoon Lee.
Kenneth Max Copeland is an American televangelist, author, public speaker, and musician associated with the Charismatic Movement. He has been identified as preaching a prosperity and abundance message, commonly referred to as the prosperity gospel, which has been criticized by ministers from various denominations for being contradictory to the actual teaching of the Bible on wealth and materialism, notably in Mark 10:25 and Matthew 19:24. His Tarrant County, Texas-based Kenneth Copeland Ministries (KCM) advocates daily application of the "Word of God" from the Bible. KCM teaches biblical faith, love, healing, prosperity and restoration through diverse media including television, internet, books, CD and DVD. KCM's motto is "Jesus is Lord" from Romans 10:9.
Joel Scott Osteen is an American pastor, televangelist, and author, based in Houston, Texas. Osteen's televised sermons are seen by over 7 million viewers weekly and over 20 million monthly in over 100 countries.
Northern Seminary is a Christian seminary in Lisle, Illinois. It was founded in 1913 by the Second Baptist Church of Chicago as Northern Baptist Theological Seminary to prepare students for church leadership and it continues to represent a theologically conservative alternative within its association with the American Baptist Churches in the USA. Northern is an evangelical Christian educational institution, affirming the authority of Scripture and emphasizing the importance of fulfilling the mission set forth by Jesus of going forth and spreading the Gospel. It is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada.
John Fullerton MacArthur Jr. is an American pastor and author known for his internationally syndicated Christian teaching radio program Grace to You. He has been the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, since February 9, 1969. He is also the current president of The Master's University in Santa Clarita, California, and The Master's Seminary in Los Angeles California.
Prosperity theology is a religious belief among some Protestant Christians, who hold that financial blessing and physical well-being are always the will of God for them, and that faith, positive speech, and donations to religious causes will increase one's material wealth. Prosperity theology views the Bible as a contract between God and humans: if humans have faith in God, he will deliver security and prosperity.
Jerry James Moses Jr., better known as J.J. Moses, is a former Iowa State University football player and wide receiver in the NFL. During his career he was listed as the shortest player in the NFL at 5'6".
Victoria Osteen is the co-pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, an author, the wife of Joel Osteen, and the daughter-in-law of John Osteen.
Hillsong Church is a charismatic Christian megachurch and Christian denomination originating from Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The church was founded in 1983, originally called Hills Christian Life Centre, in Baulkham Hills, New South Wales, by Brian Houston and his wife, Bobbie. The church is also known for its worship music, with groups such as Hillsong Worship, Hillsong United and Hillsong Young & Free. Formerly a member of the Australian Christian Churches, it separated from ACC in 2018.
Eddie Lee Long was an American pastor who served as the senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, a megachurch in unincorporated DeKalb County, Georgia, from 1987 until his death in 2017.
Paula Michelle White-Cain, better known as Paula White, is an American non-denominational pastor. She is the senior pastor of New Destiny Christian Center, in Apopka, Florida, a non-denominational, multicultural megachurch. She hosts a television show, Paula White Today. She was the co-pastor of Without Walls International Church in Tampa, a church she co-founded with pastor and then-husband Randy White.
Cindy Lerae Cruse-Ratcliff is a singer-songwriter who serves as the senior worship leader at the Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas.
This Is Our God is the seventeenth album in the live praise and worship series of contemporary worship music by Hillsong Church. It was recorded live at the Acer Arena on 9 March 2008 by Reuben Morgan, Joel Houston, Darlene Zschech, and the Hillsong Live Worship team with a crowd of over 10,000 worshippers. The album opened at No. 2 on the ARIA Top 50 Albums Chart in Australia.
Matthew Barnett is co-founder of the Dream Center and senior pastor of the Angelus Temple, the central house of worship of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel in the Echo Park district of Los Angeles, California.
The Church of Wells is an American religious group considered by some to be a cult located in Wells, Texas. The group is led by Sean Morris, Jacob Gardner, and Ryan Ringnald, former street preachers who are all in their early thirties. It has approximately two hundred members, many being young adults and children.
FaithChurch.com is a nondenominational, multi-site megachurch with between 7,800 and 18,000 in weekly attendance, led by Pastor David Crank and wife Nicole Crank. Faith Church has three campuses in the St Louis, MO area: Sunset Hills, Earth City, Weldon Spring and one campus in West Palm Beach, Florida. Faith Church is known for its affiliation with Lakewood Church Senior Pastor, Joel Olsteen.
Now, as with most successful people, you have critics who say that what you offer is gospel 'lite,' the prosperity gospel.
... Joel Osteen and T. D. Jakes, the most prominent contemporary messengers of the prosperity gospel ...
'Does God want us to be rich?' [Osteen] asks. 'When I hear that word rich, I think people say, 'Well, he's preaching that everybody's going to be a millionaire.' I don't think that's it.' Rather, [Osteen] explains, 'I preach that anybody can improve their lives. I think God wants us to be prosperous. I think he wants us to be happy. To me, you need to have money to pay your bills. I think God wants us to send our kids to college. I think he wants us to be a blessing to other people. But I don't think I'd say God wants us to be rich. It's all relative, isn't it?' ...
'God wants us to prosper financially, to have plenty of money, to fulfill the destiny He has laid out for us,' Osteen wrote in a 2005 letter ....
Osteen is also a leading proponent of what is sometimes called the 'prosperity gospel', which teaches that God wants people to prosper in all areas of their lives – including material success.
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