Televangelists Joel and Victoria Osteen are streaming multiple Lakewood Church services throughout Easter weekend. Because of social distancing guidelines set in place for Americans, individuals will not be able to enjoy traditional church services in person during this religious holiday.
The services are set to stream live on Easter Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, and Easter Sunday at 9:30 a.m. ET and 12:00 p.m. ET. The services will be streamed on different platforms — they are available on the Lakewood Church website, the church’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.
Here’s what you need to know about Joel Osteen and his wife Victoria Osteen:
1. Joel & Victoria Osteen Are Co-Pastors at Lakewood Church
Joel and Victoria Osteen are co-pastors at the Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. Joel’s father John Osteen was the founding pastor of Lakewood Church.
Joel attended Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to study radio and television communications, but he didn’t graduate. He came back home to Houston and started Lakewood Church’s televised programming in 1982, which included sermons from his father in a show called John Osteen.
He started preaching at Lakewood Church in 1999, six days before his father died. Within a year of his dad’s passing, Joel was promoted to Lakewood Church’s senior pastor.
In 2003, Victoria founded the Lakewood Church Women’s Ministry, and she serves as the co-pastor for the program, which is broadcast weekly on the Daystar Television Network.
2. Joel and Victoria Met at a Jewelry Shop & They Got Married in 1987
Joel and Victoria first met when Victoria worked at her mother’s jewelry shop, and Joel came in to buy a battery for his watch. The two got married over 30 years ago, on April 4, 1987.
In a blog Victoria wrote in 2016, she spoke about her marriage with Joel. She said, “Joel and I have been married nearly 30 years. When I think about all that has happened over the years, I am truly amazed. Joel and I have a wonderful relationship. He is such a great husband, and he tells me that I am a great wife. As good as Joel is, our marriage wasn’t built on Joel being perfect. It wasn’t built on me being perfect. It wasn’t built on us agreeing on everything. We don’t wake up in the morning and say, ‘Today, if you do everything right, I’ll love you.'”
She continued, “In order to have a great marriage, we had to make some decisions early on. We had to learn to adapt to one another. We had to be willing to change. Most importantly, we had to make the choice daily to build our home on unconditional love.”
3. Joel & Victoria Have 2 Children, Jonathan & Alexandra Osteen
Joel and Victoria have two children together, 24-year-old Jonathan Osteen and 21-year-old Alexandra Osteen. Both are talented musicians and they have been involved with Lakewood their entire lives. They are a part of Lakewood Church’s band LYA. Jonathan currently delivers sermons for youth members on Sunday nights.
ABC 13 asked Jonathan about one day stepping into his father’s role as senior pastor. He said, “I say I’m taking it one day at a time. That sounds exciting, and I’m looking forward to what’s ahead. I’m looking forward to the future, but I’m pretty focused on the present right now.”
4. Victoria Was Born in Huntsville, Alabama & Joel Was Born in Houston
Victoria, whose maiden name is Iloff, was born on March 28, 1961, in Huntsville, Alabama, near the Marshall Space Flight Center. Her father, Donald Iloff, worked for General Electric as a mathematician, and he was a part of the company’s Saturn rocket project.
Victoria’s mom, Georgine Iloff, taught Sunday School and she owns the jewelry shop Iloff Jewelers. At the age of two, her family moved to Houston when Donald got a job with NASA.
Joel was born in Houston on March 5, 1963 and was one of John and Dolores Osteen’s five children together. His father, John Osteen, was the founding pastor of Lakewood Church. He also had a TV show, John Osteen, that aired for 16 years. Joel has a half-brother, Justin, through his father’s previous marriage.
Dolores “Dodie” Pilgrim-Osteen, Joel’s mother, is an author and is known for her book If My Heart Could Talk: A story of family, faith and miracles.
In the book, Dodie says, “Over the years people have often referred to me as Pastor John Osteen’s wife… now many refer to me as Joel Osteen’s mother. But I’m just Dodie, a lady who loves God and people; and the mother of five wonderful children who all happen to be in full time ministry.”
5. Victoria & Joel Are Both Published Authors
In 2008, Victoria came out with her first book, titled Love Your Life: Living Happy, Healthy, and Whole. In the book, Victoria draws from her personal experiences in life and speaks about her journey with faith, and how she has been shaped by it.
She has also come out with other books, including Daily Readings from Love Your Life: Devotions for Living Happy, Healthy, and Whole, and children’s books Unexpected Treasures and Gifts from the Heart.
Joel is the author of many books as well. His first book, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential, was published in 2004 and it hit number one on the New York Times Best Seller list. He has come out with more than a dozen books since then, including 2008’s Good, Better, Blessed: Living with Purpose, Power and Passion and his most recent book, 2018’s Next Level Thinking: 10 Powerful Thoughts for a Successful and Abundant Life.