Joel Osteen is an American Christian pastor, best-selling author, and one of the world’s leading television preachers. As senior pastor of Lakewood Church, Osteen leads one of the largest Christian churches in the USA. He lives in Houston, Texas. His weekly sermons are broadcast on television to millions of viewers in over a hundred countries around the world. His religious teachings and messages are also broadcast around the clock via satellite radio on SiriusXM channel 128.
Author of 7 bestsellers, Joel Osteen’s first book Your Best Life Now, published in 2004, debuted at number 1 on the New York Times bestseller list in 2004. Over the years, he has earned a reputation as one of the advocates of the prosperity gospel, and the preacher has remained steadfast in spreading this doctrine.
Joel Osteen’s Bio, Age
Joel Osteen was born on 5 March 1963 in Houston, Texas, as Joel Scott Osteen. His mother Dolores Ann (nee Pilgrim) worked as a nurse, and his father John Osteen was a Southern Baptist pastor and later founded Lakewood Church, which Joel presides over today. He received his high school education at Humble High School in Humble, Texas. For his college education, he enrolled at Oral Roberts University to study radio and television communications but did not complete his studies. After a year of college, he returned home and began working as a producer for the Department’s Lakewood television program.
Joel Osteen maintained this crucial role behind the scenes for 17 years, although he was encouraged by his father to preach with him. He finally delivered his very first sermon on January 17, 1999, 6 days before his father’s death. After the sudden death of his father, Osteen replaced his father as a regular preacher in the Lakewood program, and much later in the year, he was ordained as the senior pastor of Lakewood Church.
Lakewood Church has now become one of the largest Christian congregations in the United States, growing from 5000 members to an average of 52,000 visitors per week. In 2003, the church purchased the Compaq Center, the former home of the NBA side Houston Rockets. The former Compaq Center has now been renamed the Lakewood Church Central Campus and officially opened in 2005.
Joel Osteen published his first book, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential, in October 2004, which topped the New York Times bestseller list and remained on the bestseller list for well over two years. According to Osteen, he depends mainly on income from his books and materials, as he does not receive a salary from the church. After Hurricane Harvey hit Houston in August 2017, Joel Osteen faced widespread criticism because he was initially hesitant to make his auditorium in the megachurch available as emergency accommodation for the victims of the disaster.
Wife, Kids, Divorce
Joel Osteen is currently married to his wife of over 3 decades and is a partner in the Victoria Osteen Ministry (née Iloff). The couple met in 1985 when Joel came to buy a new watch battery in a jewelry store owned by Victoria’s mother. The rest is history when the couple finally signed the Covenant for Life on April 4, 1987. Victoria was born in Huntsville, Alabama, and moved with her family to Houston when her father, an engineer, took a job at NASA’s Houston Space Center.
Victoria Osteen is a Co-Pastor at Lakewood Church and founded the Lakewood Women’s Ministry in 2003. Ms. Osteen is also an author and published her first book, Love Your Life: Living Happy, Healthy, and Whole, in 2008 and it debuted at number 2 on the New York Times bestseller list.
Joel and Victoria Osteen have 2 children and have been married for over 30 years. The couple welcomed their son Jonathan on April 20, 1995, and their daughter Alexandra was born on November 9, 1999. Both Osteen children have studied at the University of Texas at Austin. Jonathan Osteen completed his studies in May 2017.
The Osteens attended the 2010 Easter breakfast hosted by then US President Barack Obama at the White House. Over the years, the couple has been intensively investigated on a number of important issues, but there has been no speculation about divorce or separation.
The father of Joel Osteen, John Osteen, died of a heart attack on 23 January 1999 at the age of 77. He has 5 brothers and sisters who are all involved in Christian ministry: Justin, Paul, Lisa, April, and Tamara. His mother Dodie Osteen published her memoirs “If My Heart Could Talk: A Story of Family, Faith, and Wonders” in April 2017.