Raised in Houston, Texas, with a loving family of seven and world-renowned parents in full-time ministry, Joel Osteen never imagined that he would follow so closely in his father’s footsteps. As a young man, his training and interests were behind the scenes in television production, though he was close to his father in ministry.
His father always encouraged him to preach, but Joel would politely decline time and time again until one day in October 1999 when his father was admitted to the hospital with kidney complications. Joel finally agreed to preach the next Sunday, and his father passed the following week. Joel’s first sermon was the last his father ever heard. Joel and his wife, Victoria, were suddenly thrust into full-time leadership of Lakewood Church.
"There’s no greater feeling than being able to help people rise higher and overcome something and feel better about themselves. I think that we’re all made to help others, to lift people UP."
– JOEL OSTEEN
"Half the people who watch us don’t go to church. And so that was our goal: How do we get outside of the church? I want to talk to the people who think, 'I’m not a religious person.' When Jesus was here, you know he didn’t stay in the synagogue. He went out in the marketplace, and so that’s what we try to do."
- JOEL OSTEEN