Who is Joel Osteen? All about the American pastor whose $4.4 million PPP loan and lavish lifestyle continues to face backlash online

American pastor Joel Osteen continues to find himself embroiled in back-to-back controversies. The preacher was called out once again after images of him driving a Ferrari made the rounds online. Reports suggest that the car costs around $325,000 approximately.

Joel Osteen’s wealth has been a consistent subject of online discussion over the years. The pastor has been repeatedly criticized for leading a lavish lifestyle and owning a remarkable fortune.

The latest controversy surrounding the ownership of a Ferrari sparked an online debate on whether churches should start paying taxes. Following his July 18th sermon about “Discovering Greatness,” Osteen took to Twitter to share that all “good gifts” comes from the heavenly father:

This led social media users to speculate that the tweet arrived in response to the online backlash related to Osteen’s Ferrari. The pastor previously came under fire after his Lakewood Church received $4.4 million PPP loan amid the pandemic.

The PPP Loan (Paycheck Protection Program) was reportedly deemed controversial for extending direct government aid to religious institutions that did not have to pay taxes.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Lakewood Church was one of the 60 religious venues in Texas that received more than $1 million in stimulus package. The relief fund was created to help small businesses sustain during COVID.

Joel Osteen was condemned on social media for receiving the loan. The pastor also faced sharp criticism in 2017 for keeping the church closed to people in need of shelter during Hurricane Harvey.

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Who is Pastor Joel Osteen?

Joel Osteen is a pastor, televangelist, speaker, author and theologian. Born to parents John Osteen and Dolores Pilgrim on March 5th, 1963 in Houston, Texas, Osteen is one of the richest pastors in the world.

He currently serves as the senior pastor of Lakewood Church, which was founded by his father in 1959. Osteen graduated from Humble High School in Texas in 1981 and attended Oral Roberts University in Oklahoma to earn a degree in radio and TV communication.

However, he left the university midway to assist his father in producing televised programs for the Lakewood Church. Joel Osteen took over the role of lead pastor after his father passed away in 1999.

The Lakewood Church transformed into one of the largest churches in the country under Joel Osteen’s leadership. The congregation started welcoming more than 50,000 attendees each week by 2016.

Meanwhile, Joel Osteen gained immense popularity for his religious sermons. His televised service amassed nearly 10 million views in the US and was broadcast in more than 100 countries across the globe.

In 1987, Osteen tied the knot with Victoria Osteen, who is now the co-pastor of Lakewood Church. The couple share two children, son Jonathan Osteen and daughter Alexandra Osteen. While the former has graduated from University of Texas, the latter is currently studying in the same university.

Despite his worldwide fame, Joel Osteen has often faced criticism for teaching the “prosperity gospel” stating that devoted Christians receive material possessions according to the will of God. The pastor himself landed in hot waters for his own significant wealth.

Osteen reportedly resides in a 17,000 sq. ft. mansion in Houston that reportedly costs around $10.5 million. He leads a luxurious lifestyle and has an approximate net worth of $100 million. The majority of his earnings come from his religious gigs.

In 2005, the pastor conducted consecutive tours across 15 cities in the U.S. He also earns revenue from his televised shows. Lakewood Church’s televised services air in primetime slots and are often featured in billboard advertisements.

Joel Osteen also earned a significant fortune from his writing. He has published more than 15 books so far, including bestselling titles like “Your Best Life Now: 7 steps to Living at Your Full Potential” and “Become a Better You: 7 Keys to Improving Your Life Every Day.”

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Twitter slams Joel Osteen’s Ferrari and luxurious way of life

Joel Osteen rose to popularity in the early 2000s and garnered a lot of fame in his career as a pastor. But the televangelist has also landed in hot waters time and again for his luxurious style of living.

Critics have called out the pastor for his lack of contribution towards people in need. The pastor faced sharp criticism for refusing to house the homeless during the 2017 Hurricane Harvey in Houston.

Social media users have flocked to Twitter yet again to slam Joel Osteen after he was spotted in a Ferrari a few days ago.

As reactions continue to pour in online, it remains to be seen if the pastor will address the recent controversy and the existing controversies about his lifestyle in the days to come.

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