Joel Osteen is most famous for being the pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. He has become a somewhat controversial figure due to his personal wealth and general advocacy of the “prosperity gospel.” His messages have been criticized for being too focused on individual enrichment and improvement.
TABLE OF CONTENT
- JOEL OSTEEN BIOGRAPHY
- JOEL OSTEEN EARLY LIFE
- JOEL OSTEEN EDUCATION
- JOEL OSTEEN CAREER
- JOEL OSTEEN PERSONAL LIFE
- JOEL OSTEEN BOOKS
- JOEL OSTEEN NETWORTH
JOEL OSTEEN BIOGRAPHY
Joel Scott Osteen was a senior pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, and author of the New York Times bestselling book Your Best Life Now. He is a proponent of the word of faith movement and prosperity gospel.
JOEL OSTEEN PROFILE
|Full Name:||Joel Scott Osteen|
|Born:||March 5, 1963|
|Place of Birth:||Houston, Texas, U.S.|
|Occupation:||Writer, Televangelist, Pastor, Author, Evangelist, Preacher|
|Net Worth:||$50 million|
JOEL OSTEEN EARLY LIFE
Osteen was born in Houston as the oldest son of John Osteen, a former Southern Baptist pastor who became charismatic in the late 1950s and founded Lakewood Church. After graduating from high school, Joel Osteen attended Oral Roberts University. However, after his first semester, he moved back to Houston where he became director of the television production for Lakewood Church from 1982-1999.
Osteen’s father developed Lakewood into a body of approximately 6,000 members with an active television ministry, crusades, conferences, missionary support, and food distribution. He died of a heart attack in 1999. Having produced his father’s television program for years, Joel Osteen succeeded him on October 3.
JOEL OSTEEN EDUCATION
He dropped out of Oral Roberts University after just one semester to manage Lakewood’s television production department.
JOEL OSTEEN CAREER
Televangelist Joel Osteen has been associated with the Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, since the 1980s. Osteen preaches to over thirty thousand members who attend services, as well as to millions more who read his books or hear him speak on his nationally televised program. The popularity of Osteen’s church is attributable in part to his upbeat message of empowerment and prosperity through positive thinking. Osteen’s father, John Osteen, the founder of Lakewood Church, was a Pentecostal preacher who appeared on a weekly television program and wrote many books. Following his father’s footsteps, Joel studied at Oral Roberts University, but before completing his degree he returned to Lakewood to oversee the supervision of the television ministry. John died in 1998, leaving a congregation of some eight thousand people. Initially reluctant to take over the pastorship, Joel Osteen nevertheless did so, and he quickly grew into the role. His congregation soon became so large that the church purchased and moved into a former basketball arena in Houston. Although Osteen identifies himself as a Christian, his church downplays traditional aspects of Christianity in an effort to draw in all kinds of members, particularly those people who have avoided affiliation with organized religion. Crosses are not displayed and the traditional subjects of sin, punishment, and sacrifice not are emphasized. Instead, Osteen concentrates on the ideas of becoming empowered and leading a better life by means of positive thinking, believing that this is a direct reflection of Bible principles. God, says Osteen, wants people to be happy, healthy, and prosperous.
According to Business Week writer William C. Symonds, “Pastor Joel is one of a new generation of evangelical entrepreneurs transforming their branch of Protestantism into one of the fastest-growing and most influential religious groups in America. Their runaway success is modeled unabashedly on business.” Osteen’s critics charge that in order to make his church popular, he has abandoned traditional Christian teaching to deliver a more palatable message; the focus on highly entertaining services is another way Osteen makes people feel good so they will keep coming back to Lakewood.
JOEL OSTEEN PERSONAL LIFE
On April 4, 1987, Osteen married Victoria Osteen (née Iloff), who later would become co-pastor of Lakewood Church.
They have a son and daughter.
In 2002, his older siblings, Paul, Lisa, and Tamara, and his younger sister, April, were also involved in full-time ministry, and his half-brother Justin was doing missionary work.
Osteen lives with his family in a 17,000-square-foot mansion in River Oaks, with an estimated value of $10.5 million. Osteen says that as senior pastor, he draws no salary from the church, which has an annual budget of $70 million, and that he instead relies on income from book sales.
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JOEL OSTEEN BOOKS
- Your Best Life Now: Seven Steps to Living at Your Full Potential, Warner Books (New York, NY), 2004.
- Your Best Life Now Devotional: Daily Inspirations for Living at Your Full Potential, Warner Books (New York, NY), 2005.
- Your Best Life Now Journal: Personal Reflections on Living at Your Full Potential, Warner Faith (New York, NY), 2005.
- Your Best Life Now Study Guide: Seven Steps to Living at Your Full Potential, Warner Books (New York, NY), 2005.
JOEL OSTEEN NET WORTH
Osteen is estimated to have a net worth of over $50 million, with his church taking in $43 million a year in collections.