John Osteen

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John Osteen
Born John Hillery Osteen
(1921-08-21)August 21, 1921
Paris, Texas
Died January 23, 1999(1999-01-23) (aged 77)
Houston, Texas
Occupation Pastor, Author, Televangelist
Employer Lakewood Church
Title Founder and Senior Pastor, Lakewood Church
Term 1959-1999
Religion Non-denominational Christianity
Spouse(s) Emma Jean Shaffer (divorced); Dolores (Dodie) Pilgrim Osteen, 1955
Children 6 children: John Hillery Jr (Emma), Paul, Lisa, April, Tamara, and pastor Joel Osteen (Dodie)
Lakewood Church website

John Hillery Osteen (August 21, 1921 - January 23, 1999) was the founder and first pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, from its beginnings in 1959 until his death in 1999. His son Joel Osteen then succeeded him as pastor.

Life and work[edit]

Osteen was born in Paris, Texas. [1] He earned his bachelor's degree from John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, and his Masters degree from Northern Baptist Seminary. He also held a Doctorate of Divinity degree from Oral Roberts University. [2]

Osteen began preaching at the age of 17 and initially was ordained as a minister in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). He shifted his views toward a more charismatic perspective in 1958 and founded his own independent, interdenominational church. On Mother's Day May 10, 1959 he started what is now Lakewood Church in what was described as a "dusty, abandoned feedstore" in northeast Houston.[3]

In the mid-1980s, Osteen launched the Lakewood Bible Institute (LBI), an "unaccredited school devoted to biblical training from a charismatic perspective." LBI offered a variety of classes including principles of Bible study, healing, conversion, and prayer. Osteen served as LBI's president until its closure in the late-1980s. [4]

Lakewood Church[edit]

Main article: Lakewood Church

John Osteen founded Lakewood Church in 1959 in Houston, Texas and developed Lakewood into a body of approximately 15,000 members with active ministries in televangelism, conferences, missionary support, and food distribution. [5] He hosted the weekly "John Osteen" television program for 16 years, reaching millions in the U.S. and in many other countries with his preaching. His numerous books, cassettes, and videotapes are widely distributed. On January 23, 1999 he died after a heart attack at the age of 77. His youngest son Joel Osteen later succeeded him as pastor.


  1. ^ "John Osteen's Biography". The John Osteen Television Program. Retrieved 2014-06-12. 
  2. ^ "From the Oasis of Love to Your Best Life Now: A Brief History of Lakewood Church". Houston History Magazine. Retrieved 2014-06-12. 
  3. ^ "A Tribute to Pastor John Osteen". Retrieved 2012-07-04. 
  4. ^ "From the Oasis of Love to Your Best Life Now: A Brief History of Lakewood Church". Houston History Magazine. Retrieved 2014-06-12. 
  5. ^ "Popular Texas evangelist John Osteen dies". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Retrieved 2014-06-12. 

External sources[edit]