Chruch - Lakewood Church,Houston, Texas

Lakewood Church,Houston, Texas   Facebook share

 Lakewood Church is a nondenominational charismatic Christian megachurch located in Houston, Texas. It is the largest congregation in the United States, averaging more than 43,500 in attendance per week. The 16,800-seat Lakewood Church Central Campus, home to four English language services and two Spanish language services per week, is located at the former Compaq Center. Joel Osteen is the senior pastor of Lakewood Church with his wife, Victoria, who serves as co-pastor. Lakewood Church is a part of the Word of Faith movement.

 
History 
 
Joel Osteen at Lakewood Church, December 8, 2007
Lakewood Church was founded by John Osteen and his second wife, Dolores (Dodie) on Mother's Day, May 10, 1959, inside an abandoned feed store in northeast Houston. John was a Southern Baptist minister, but after experiencing a baptism in the Holy Spirit, he founded Lakewood as a church for charismatic Baptists. The church soon dropped "Baptist" from its name and became non-denominational. From the beginning, Lakewood has been racially inclusive. By 1979, attendance was over five thousand, and the church was becoming prominent among Pentecostals and Charismatics. John and Dodie created and hosted Lakewood's weekly television program, which could be seen in 100 countries worldwide. Upon John Osteen's death on January 23, 1999 after suffering from a heart attack, his youngest son, Joel Osteen, became pastor.
 
Under the leadership of Joel Osteen, Lakewood's congregation increased almost fivefold. Attendance increased to 30,000 weekly, prompting a move from its location at 7317 East Houston Road  to a larger facility. In late 2003, the church signed a long-term lease with the city of Houston to acquire the Compaq Center, a 29-year-old former sports arena.  Before being acquired by Lakewood, tenants to the Compaq Center arena, once called The Summit, included the Houston Rockets, the Houston Aeros, and the Houston Comets.
 
Lakewood Church relocated to the Compaq Center on July 16, 2005. It is a 16,800-seat facility in southwest downtown Houston along U.S. Highway 59, that has twice the capacity of its former sanctuary. The church was required to pay $11.8 million in rent in advance for the first 30 years of the lease.[8] Lakewood renovated the new campus at an estimated cost of $75 million. 
 
On March 31, 2010, the Houston City Council voted 13–2 to sell the property to Lakewood for $7.5 million. 
 
In 2012, Daniel Alvaro Guzman, a former Lakewood Church volunteer, sued the church for $10 million for having been wrongly accused of child molestation. 


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