Osteen at Lakewood Church, December 8, 2007
|Born||Joel Scott Osteen
March 5, 1963
Houston, Texas, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Victoria Osteen (m. 1987)|
|Parents||John Osteen (father)
Dolores Pilgrim Osteen (mother)
|Offices held||Senior pastor (1999 – present)|
Joel Scott Osteen (born March 5, 1963) is an American lay preacher, televangelist, author, and the leader of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. His ministry reaches over seven million broadcast media viewers weekly in over 100 nations around the world.
Early life and education 
Born in Houston, Texas, Osteen is one of five children of John Osteen and Dolores ("Dodie") Pilgrim. His father, a former Southern Baptist pastor, founded Lakewood Church where Osteen is the current senior pastor. Osteen married his wife, Victoria L. Iloff, on April 4, 1987. They have two children, Jonathan and Alexandra. His older siblings, Paul, Lisa, and Tamara, and his younger sister, April, are also involved in full-time ministry. His half-brother Justin does missionary work out of New York.
After 17 years producing the church's television program, Osteen succeeded his father on October 3, 1999, as pastor of Lakewood Church. He had only preached once in his life, the week before his father's death. Today, Lakewood Church services, led by Pastor Joel Osteen, are seen in over 100 nations around the world. Joel Osteen's first book, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential, was released in October 2004. In December 2006, he was named one of the year's "Ten Most Fascinating People" by Barbara Walters. Former presidential candidate John McCain has described Osteen as "inspirational".
Currently, Osteen and several Lakewood Church personnel travel across the nation, presenting programs in large arenas. The event, titled "A Night of Hope", includes worship music led by the church's music ministry, a sermon from Osteen and a testimony by his mother, Dodie. In 2007, the tour expanded to include stops in several other countries, including Canada, England, Northern Ireland and Israel. Osteen released his second book, titled Become a Better You: 7 Keys to Improving Your Life Every Day in October 2007, which also topped the New York Times Best Sellers List with a first printing of four million copies. Osteen told Larry King the new book will focus more on relationships and not getting stuck where we are in life. "Just my basic message of becoming all God's created you to be," he added.
Preaching style 
On the December 23, 2007, edition of Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace brought up Osteen's lack of Scripture reference in his sermons, as well as his hesitancy to discuss sin as an integral part of life. Osteen responded: "And I am ultimately trying to do that, but I'm trying to teach people how to live their everyday lives, and so I do focus on it, probably not as much as some people would like." Osteen says that he chooses to focus on the goodness of God rather than sin. Osteen explains that he tries to teach Biblical principles in a simple way, emphasizing the power of love and a positive attitude. In an appearance on Piers Morgan Tonight in January 2011, Osteen mentioned he had never attended seminary.
In an interview with The Christian Post on April 21, 2013, Joel Osteen expressed his sentiments on being perceived as being part of the prosperity gospel. "I get grouped into the prosperity gospel and I never think it's fair, but it's just what it is. I think prosperity, and I've said it 1,000 times, it's being healthy, it's having great children, it's having peace of mind. Money is part of it; and yes, I believe God wants us to excel...to be blessed so we can be a bigger blessing to others. I feel very rewarded. I wrote a book and sold millions of copies; and Victoria and I were able to help more people than we ever dreamed of. But when I hear the term prosperity gospel, I think people are sometimes saying, "well, he's just asking for money." 
Personal life 
Osteen said that he is opposed to same-sex marriage in an interview with Fox News and other outlets. In an interview with CNN, he further said that he believes "that scripture shows that it [homophily activity] is a sin".
In an interview on Fox News in 2008 during the U.S. Presidential primary race, when discussing whether he thought that Mormons were Christians, Osteen indicated that he believed that they were. He further noted that he had not studied the religion.
On October 14, 2007, 60 Minutes ran a twelve-minute segment on Osteen, titled "Joel Osteen Answers his Critics", during which Reformed theologian Michael Horton told CBS News correspondent Byron Pitts that Osteen's method of teaching is heresy. Horton stated that the problem with Osteen's message is that it makes religion about us instead of about God".
Joel Osteen hoaxes 
Joel Osteen has been the target of a spate of recent hoaxes, the most famous, often referred to as "The Joel Osteen Hoax", refers to an online hoax that circulated on the internet during the period of April 8th, 2013 through April 11th, 2013. The hoax was published on a web site, a few blogs and on YouTube and generated considerable media attention. The hoax declared that megachurch pastor Joel Osteen had "resigned" from his position at his Lakewood, Texas church, that he had "rejected Christ", and that over "the past few months" he had begun to doubt his faith.
The hoax was elaborate. The main website that attracted the most attention had been designed to mimic Osteen's real website. The domain -- "www.joelostenministries.com" (now disabled and inactive) -- had mispelled Osteen's name as "Osten". This subtle difference was not immediately apparent to many. A few other blogs, a Twitter account and a YouTube video (also now disabled) had redirected visitors to the phony site.
A Lakewood Church spokesperson had become aware of the hoax on April 8th, 2013, and sent out a Twitter message assuring followers the pastor had not resigned. The news media began to pick the story up, including The Houston Chronicle and New York Daily News. Within hours on April 8th, the story had made its way across dozens of media sites, blogs and news outlets. The hoaxed website and blog generated "one million hits" in one day and induced 500 "frantic" phone calls to the Lakewood Church from concerned Osteen fans. Numerous stories appeared on television, including ABC's Good Morning America and World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer.
Further hoaxes have continued to plague Osteen, more recently arising on Facebook. Numerous "fake" Facebook pages have been set up by various parties, sometimes used to seek donations and money. 
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- "Joel Birthday-1963-March-05". Archived from the original on 2007-08-30. Retrieved 2007-05-08.
- "Joel Osteen's still the name leaders know". The Washington Times. 2008-09-05.
- Christ Notes, Joel Osteen Books and Ministry
- Rootsweb.com Vital Records – Harris County, TX – Marriage 1987
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- Mathieu, Jennifer. Power House. HoustonPress News. 4 April 2002
- Lakewood Church, Joel Osteen Ministries. About Pastors Joel & Victoria
- Kwon, Lillian. ChristianPost.com. Joel Osteen Dubbed 'Most Fascinating'. 11 December 2006.
- [dead link]
- Joel Osteen Ministries Events
- New Osteen Book at Three Million. Publisher's Weekly. 13 April 2007.
- CNN Larry King Live: Interview With Joel and Victoria Osteen. 11 December 2006.
- "The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2006". 20/20. ABC. 2006-12-12.
- "The 50 Most Influential Christians in America". The Church Report. Jan 07. Christy Media, LLC. January 2007.
- "Transcript: Pastor Joel Osteen on 'FNS'". FOX News. 2007-12-23. Retrieved 2008-01-06.
- Fox News on Osteen
- CBSNews.com: Joel Osteen Answers His Critics. 14 October 2007.
- Joel Osteen (January 24, 2011). "Piers Morgan: Joel Osteen: Homosexuality is 'a sin'". CNN (Turner Broadcasting). Event occurs at 1:11. Retrieved January 25, 2012.
- "Meet the Prosperity Preacher". BusinessWeek. 2005-05-23. Retrieved 2008-06-21.
- Joel Osteen: Being Gay Is A Sin, But I Don't Dislike Gay People retrieved 11 May 2011
- Tapper, Jake (March 29, 2013). "Televangelist Joel Osteen on the power of Twitter, and same-sex marriage". CNN.
- Piers Morgan (January 24, 2011). "CNN.com Video". CNN.
- Tenety, Elizabeth (January 28, 2011). "Joel Osteen: 'Homosexuality is a sin'". Washington Post. p. B2.
- "Transcript: Pastor Joel Osteen on 'FNS'". FOX News. 2007-12-23. Retrieved 2011-05-13.
- "Joel Osteen Answers his Critics". CBS News 60 Minutes. 2007-10-14. Retrieved 2011-05-13.
- "Pastor Joel Osteen Is The Target Of A Complex Online Hoax". National Public Radio. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- "Official Joel Osteen Web Site". Official Joel Osteen Web Site. Official Joel Osteen Web Site.
- "Famed mega church pastor is NOT giving up Christianity after hoax website said he had lost his faith". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- "The Original Joel Osteen Hoax Blog". Justin Tribble.
- "IS JOEL OSTEEN REALLY LEAVING THE CHRISTIAN FAITH, LAMBASTING THE BIBLE AND LAUNCHING HIS OWN RELIGION?". The Blaze. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- "Joel Osteen target of elaborate Internet hoax". The Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- "Joel Osteen renounces Christ? Elaborate Internet hoax skewers Lakewood Church pastor". The New York Daily News. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- "Joel Osteen Turns the Other Cheek on Internet Hoax". ABC News. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- "Joel Osteen hoaxer comes out of shadows". World Net Daily.
- "The Man Behind The Joel Osteen Hoax". ABC News.
- "Lakewood Church warns of Osteen Facebook hoax". The Houston Chronicle.
See also 
External Links