Houston pastor responds to Harvey criticism: ‘We have never closed our doors’ [Updated]

Lakewood Church received backlash as people claimed its leader refused to help flood victims by using the building as a shelter. So far, the church’s response hasn’t stopped the PR heat.

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Brand managers and politicians have found themselves the subject of online ire after crises hit, but now a church and its pastor are facing similar backlash.

Lakewood Church, the Houston megachurch that pastor and best-selling author Joel Osteen calls home, responded this week to accusations that it closed its doors to Hurricane Harvey flood victims.

The trouble started when the church, which boasts a capacity of around 16,000, posted this message to its Facebook page:

Even though the church said it was “inaccessible due to severe flooding,” that didn’t stop many from criticizing the organization and its pastor:

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