Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, globally famous Houston pastor Joel Osteen has led services in his massive Lakewood Church virtually and on television, holding his sermons to an empty stadium-turned-chapel that is capable of holding as many as 16,800 each Sunday.
Now, the church has announced that in-person services will resume on October 18, much to the delight of parishioners and those who appreciate Osteen’s positive, upbeat message.
Lakewood released the following statement on its website on September 14.
As usual, all of our weekend experiences will be online for all to view. In addition, we are creating an in-person service starting October 18th, at 10am. If you are comfortable and want to worship with us in person we’d love to have you!
Additionally, the church announced that services will be limited to just 25 percent capacity — or some 4,200 visitors — when it reopens in October.
As CultureMap news partner ABC 13 notes, the Lakewood announcement comes after Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner allowed the return of special events with the 25 percent capacity limit and strict guidelines, such as social distancing, mask requirements, and a temperature check at entrance.
Osteen made national news with a star-studded Easter service featuring virtual appearances by Mariah Carey and Tyler Perry. He also marched in downtown Houston during a rally for George Floyd.