Osteen has faced criticism for not opening his massive Lakewood Church as a storm shelter. In a statement to ABC News , Osteen says the church “will continue to be a distribution center for those in need” and is “prepared to house people once shelters reach capacity.”
The 16,000-seat former arena served as the home of the NBA’s Houston Rockets from 1975 to 2003.
Osteen’s comment stands in contrast to a church Facebook post and a since-deleted Instagram remark by Lakewood associate pastor John Gray, who said flooded highways had made the church inaccessible. A spokeswoman for Osteen didn’t immediately return a request for comment Tuesday.