Home Christian News Joel Osteen Celebrates As Lakewood Church Pays Off $100 Million Loan

Joel Osteen Celebrates As Lakewood Church Pays Off $100 Million Loan

Joel Osteen
Screengrab via YouTube / @Joel Osteen

Pastor Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church in Houston is celebrating a milestone achievement for the church. The congregation has paid off a $100 million loan that was used to renovate the church’s facility.

“I never dreamed that we would be here,” Osteen said in a special message on Sunday. “But, you know, this building—every time I come in—it’s a testimony that God’s dream for your life is much bigger than your own.” 

Osteen continued, “You keep honoring God, you keep doing the right thing, and—I really believe this; I can say it with passion—God’s going to take you where you never imagined.” 

Lakewood Church, which was founded by Osteen’s father, John Osteen, in 1959, meets at what was once the Compaq Center, the former home of the NBA’s Houston Rockets. Joel Osteen took over as pastor of the church in 1999 after the death of his father. 

RELATED: Max Lucado Preaches Christmas Sermon at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church

Under Osteen’s leadership, the church has grown from an average weekly attendance of 5,000 to more than 50,000, according to the Houston Chronicle. Osteen is the author of numerous books, including seven New York Times bestsellers. 

Although Osteen famously does not take a salary from Lakewood Church, his net worth is well into the millions. And while he is widely beloved, he has also been widely criticized through the years for his connections to the prosperity theology movement, which argues that financial wealth and physical well-being are always the will of God for Christians.

In 2001, Lakewood Church signed a 60-year lease with the city to begin meeting at the Compaq Center. The cost of that lease, $11.5 million, was paid with money left to the church by Osteen’s father. In 2010, Lakewood Church purchased the building from the city for $7.5 million.

Nevertheless, the facility needed significant capital improvements, from transforming the inside of the arena from a basketball court to a worship auditorium to converting locker rooms and concession areas into children’s facilities and other meeting spaces. 

Additionally, Lakewood Church sought to construct a five-story building to house the church’s television production offices. Osteen also wanted to renovate the exterior of the arena. 

RELATED: Abortion Activists Strip Off Clothes, Shout Expletives During Joel Osteen Church Service

Eventually, Lakewood Church secured a loan from Bank of America for $100 million. The building project took roughly a year and a half to complete.