Joel Scott Osteen (born March 5, 1963) 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.
Joel Osteen was born into a nuclear family of eight (8) in Houston. His Father, a former Southern Baptist Pastor, founded Lakewood Church (of Which Osteen is the Current Pastor) behind an old feed Store. Osteen Attended Humble High School, a public high School in the City of Humble, Texas, graduated in 1981 and furthered his education at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he studied radio and television communications, but for some reason unknown to the public, he never graduated; a degree wasn’t given from a divinity School. He returned to houston in 1982 and founded Lakewood’s Television Program, where he produced his father’s televised sermons for 17 years until January 1999, when his father kicked the bucket (died) unexpectedly from Myocardial infarction (heart attack).
He was encouraged by his father to preach for many years but his quest to work behind the scenes, he declined until January 17, 1999 when he accepted his father’s proposal/counsel and preached his first sermon. Two (2) weeks after his father’s death, he began preaching regularly and was installed as the new Senior Pastor of Lakewood church later that year – October 3, 1999. Since then, Church attendance grew from 5,000 to 43,000.
Lakewood Church later acquired the NBA Houston Rockets’ former home, Compaq Center in 2003 which was renovated at the cost of $105 million. The renovations took over 15 months to complete, and included the addition of five stories to add more capacity. Lakewood’s 2005 grand opening was attended by an estimated 56,000 people, including Texas Governor Rick Perry and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
Lakewood Church services are seen in over 100 countries. Osteen was selected by Barbara Walters as one of her 10 Most Fascinating People of 2006. Former presidential candidate John McCain described Osteen as his favorite inspirational author. The Osteen family attended Easter breakfast hosted by President Barack Obama at the White House in 2010.