Houston megachurch pastor Joel Osteen announced Tuesday he will be opening the facility up to those devastated by Hurricane Harvey.
Lakewood Church faced social media backlash Sunday when it posted a message to its Facebook page stating the church was "inaccessible" due to flooding. Houstonians were quick to respond online sharing photos of the neighborhood around the church showing streets with passable conditions.
"Shame on Joel Osteen," tweeted Rune, also known as @RuneK_15. "Jesus would open the doors and care for the needy."
A member of the church and Houston blogger responded by posting photos of flooding inside the church. Additional photos released by the church reveal standing water in hallways and the parking lot.
Seriously quite sickening when people spread negative news without knowing the situation. This is the situation of our church @lakewoodch pic.twitter.com/0KKBmu6hW8— Lynne Gabriel (@heyitslynneg) August 28, 2017
Osteen also disputed the notion in a statement saying, "We have never closed our doors, we will continue to be a distribution center to those in need. We are prepared to house people once shelters reach capacity. Lakewood will be a value to the community."
Officials with the church told CNN they will begin to open its doors, which occupies the former home of the Houston Rockets, to affected residents Tuesday. They say they can accommodate several hundred people on the second floor of the church.