Joel Osteen Responds to Harvey Criticism: ‘We Took People in From the Very Beginning’

Pastor Joel Osteen came under intense fire earlier this week after the doors to his Texas megachurch were not opened to victims of Tropical Storm Harvey.

Lakewood Church — which boasts a capacity of 16,000 people — remained closed as Harvey made landfall over the weekend, but following a viral campaign of ire directed at its celebrity pastor, announced on Monday night it would begin accepting survivors.

Osteen appeared on Good Morning America Wednesday morning to explain, and claimed “the building was inaccessible” due to flooding — but also alleged that his church was always open.

“The narrative is we didn’t want to take people in or we didn’t open in time, you know, is totally not true,” Osteen told George Stephanopoulos. “We were here for people.”

“This building was a safety issue and we took people in from the very beginning,” Osteen added.

Watch above, via ABC.

[image via screengrab]

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