Megachurch pastor Joel Osteen tried to explain why his Houston-based 16,800-seat church did not immediately take in Hurricane Harvey victims on “Good Morning America”:
The narrative is that we didn’t want to take people in or we didn’t open in time, you know, it’s totally not true. We were here for people, we were a shelter, we were taking people as soon as the floodwaters receded, when several people came here, to take them in.
The city has a shelter four miles from here. We work with the city all the time, and when their shelter was totally full, they started bringing people over here, and here are again today doing it like we did in 2001, when we housed 3,000 people. So I don’t know — I think somebody created that narrative, that somehow we were high and dry, and none of that is true. This building was a safety issue, and we took people in from the very beginning.
We were fearing that it would flood. The last thing we would do is put people in it right at the beginning but, yeah, you know, we would probably be, you know, do some things differently, obviously.
(Source: ABC News/YouTube)