Osteen's 16,800 seat "church" is housed in a sprawling 606,000 sq/ft complex that serves as a vehicle for Osteen's prosperity gospel, a message that financial well-being and health comes from your adherence to scripture and your donations to religious causes, in this case, Joel Osteen's wallet.
Source: Houston Chronicle
Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church is among the large local congregations that received multi-million dollar loans as part of the federal government’s COVID-19 stimulus package.
Lakewood received a $4.4 million loan through the Paycheck Protection Program, a part of the federal CARES Act that provided loans to pay employee wages or for other basic operational costs such as utilities.
The program marked the first time federal lawmakers allowed for direct financial assistance to houses of worship.
Lakewood officials said earlier this year that they had not applied for a loan through the PPP, and the church was not included on the list of recipients released by the Small Business Administration early in the summer.
The SBA later reopened the program, and its most recent data shows that Lakewood’s loan was approved in mid-July.
— Mark Elliott (@markmobility) December 15, 2020
I'm not surprised that Joel Osteen lied about receiving $4.4 million in PPP federal funds. This is the same guy who closed his church to the displaced in Houston after Hurricane Harvey and lied about flood damage. We had to publicly pressure him to open his doors.
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) December 15, 2020
Joel Osteen's megachurch received a $4.4M Paycheck Protection Plan loan during the coronavirus pandemic. The loan was disbursed in July of this year. My small business hasn't received any assistance from the government. #COVIDSmallBusinessCrisis pic.twitter.com/zZpYwIs3OT
— Grande Capo (@VoLinxx) December 15, 2020