Osteen is the senior pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. Often referred to as a megachurch, his ministry’s home is the former home of the NBA’s Houston Rockets and his sermons are broadcast to millions of faithful each week. He also has his own station on Sirius XM satellite radio, on which listeners can hear him preach 24 hours a day.
Here is what you need to know:
1. Osteen Was Slammed on Social Media for Not Donating Money to Help People in Houston Following Hurricane Harvey
As Hurricane Harvey rolled through Houston, Texas, over the weekend, Osteen took to Twitter to send out messages of prayer and strength to people during this incredibly challenging time. Thousands of people have been displaced following the severe flooding caused by the torrential downpours. Southeastern Texas is still experiencing heavy rain as the storm has stalled off the coast. It is not expected to move out of the area until Wednesday.
You can read Osteen’s tweets below.
It didn’t take long for Twitter to respond to Osteen, many asking why he hasn’t opened the doors to his church in an effort to shelter those who have been displaced by the floods in the area. In addition, people have been asking Osteen why he hasn’t donated any money to relief efforts. You can read some of the Twitter responses here.
2. Osteen Used to Earn $200,000 Per Year from the Ministry
Osteen is a celebrity pastor. He took over as pastor at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, for his dad, John Osteen, who died suddenly back in 1999. Joel Osteen’s congregation has grown from 5,000 to 43,000 over the years, which is pretty impressive.
His sermons are televised all over the world, and while that sounds like it would translate to big bucks, Osteen actually gave up his church salary of $200,000 per year back in 2005. So, how does Osteen make the majority of his money? He has been fortunate enough to have wild success with his books. In addition he has calendars, daybooks, and other items to his name that help him earn a living.
3. Osteen Makes the Majority of His Money from His Books
His first book, Your Best Life Now became a New York Times best-seller. The book is about becoming who you truly believe you are.
“I am what I am today because of what I believed about myself yesterday. And I will be tomorrow what I’m believing about myself right now. God sees us as more than conquerors, able to fulfill our destiny. We need to see ourselves through the eyes of our Creator,” he writes.
His second book, Become A Better You, has earned him over $13 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. In this book, Osteen gives a few tips to help people discover their “purpose and destiny.”
The site adds that Osteen’s book deals and things related to those (i.e. book tours) have made him about $55 million per year.
4. Osteen & His Wife Live in a $10.5 Million Mansion
Osteen lives in a 17,000-foot mansion in River Oaks, Texas, with his wife, Victoria, and their children. According to Newsmax, the home has six bedrooms, six bathrooms, three elevators, five fireplaces, a pool house, and a guest house.
Back in 2010, Culture Map reported that Osteen still owned his home in Tanglewood, which was valued at $2.9 million. At the time, the report claimed that Osteen was selling a vacant lot next to his former home. The half-acre property had been listed for $1.1 million.
5. Osteen Doesn’t Feel He Should Apologize for His Wealth
In an interview with Oprah Winfrey on her show, Next Chapter, Osteen was very clear about his wealth and not apologizing for it.
“It’s interesting how, you know what? People usually know who’s sincere and who’s not over time and I think that’s — we don’t ask for money and people send in millions of dollars to help us keep the broadcast on the air,” Osteen told Winfrey. In that interview, Osteen also confirmed that the majority of his salary comes from his books.
“We don’t take a salary from the ministry…it comes from books and other things like that,” he said.
Winfrey asked if Osteen “makes any apologies” for his “grand piano.”
“I really don’t, Oprah. We just feel like this is God’s blessings. You know, we’re big givers, we live what we preach, we’ve given millions of dollars. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a nice place to live and being blessed,” he said.