Don’t believe every criticism of televangelists on social media.
After a series of tweets and memes claiming that televangelist Joel Osteen drove a Ferarri spread rapidly accross Twitter in mid-July, Trinity Foundation attempted to verify the car ownership but found no evidence of Osteen owning a Ferrari.
Snopes, the fact checker, came to the same conclusions. Snopes reported that one of the memes featured “a Ferrari in Zurich, Switzerland in 2013” which was clearly not owned by Osteen.
In a recent tweets, pictures of Kanye and Kim West’s Calabasas, California home were also wrongly labeled as Joel Osteen’s residence. In fact, pictures of at least five different homes have been identified on Twitter as belonging to Osteen.
On Twitter, Amy Lynn collected photos of four of the alleged mansions.
Attempting to investigate Osteen’s properties is challenging. Residents of Houston can request identifying information be removed from the Harris County Appraisal District website.
We have have identified two homes owned by Osteen in Texas and a third in California. The Twitter rumor that Osteen lives in a $25 million home is false.
Why would Osteen own two residences in Houston? One could be an investment, rented to close friends of Osteen or to a family member.
Meanwhile, Osteen has not publicly addressed the rumors that spread on social media.
Osteen’s lifestyle raises important questions. Does Osteen fly between California and Texas on a privately-owned jet? Are these trips paid for by donations to Lakewood Church? How can a pastor living a thousand miles away from his congregation for part of the year provide proper leadership and discipleship?
If any Lakewood Church employees are interested in becoming informants for Trinity Foundation, please get in touch with us.