Joel Osteen had a tough time getting a word in edgewise during his Sunday sermon when a group of people took turns heckling the pastor one by one. Each time one would be shown the door another heckler would emerge from the crowd taking time away from Osteen’s sermon.
According to ABC News 13 on June 28, when the last heckler was removed by escort from the Lakewood Church Service, there had been six hecklers in all. Now each facing charges of trespassing after they were arrested for their outbreaks. So what were the hecklers trying to get across to this preacher in his Houston, Texas, church?
Anwar Richardson, who came to see Osteen preach while visiting family in Austin, was there with his wife and baby. He managed to get a video of one of the hecklers being escorted out of the building. As soon as Osteen would start his sermon again, someone would get up and say “Osteen, you’re a liar.”
It seems that the message the hecklers had for Osteen was just that “Osteen you are a liar.” Just as the calm, cool and collected Osteen would start his sermon again, the disruptions started again, according to KSPR 33 News.
Each time a heckler was escorted out the door the crowd erupted in applause, but this got monotonous. At one point it seemed there was a never-ending number of hecklers planted among the Osteen followers, as they just kept popping up. It is amazing just how much of a disturbance that a half-dozen of hecklers can deliver. They apparently had this orchestrated in a way to get the most bang for their buck.
Richardson, whose baby son was asleep in his lap, looked at his wife after the sixth heckler was shown the door and the two quickly got out of there. According to ABC local news, they were not the only ones.
With the recent massacre at the church service in Charleston, Richardson and his wife weren’t taking any chances. They worried that there may be more to this heckling than meets the eye. With visions of Charleston in their heads, they went scurrying out of the building.
Lakewood church spokesperson Donald Jloff Jr. claims that the hecklers were from the Church of Wells. He said these people were asked to leave, but when they refused, they were escorted out.
According to the Texas Monthly, this controversial church is also referred to as a cult by some people. A story concerning a young girl and this church hit national headlines a few months ago when she finally left after two years of her family trying to get her to come home. The family found that many of its 65 members had become estranged from their family once joining this church.
During the heckling Osteen kept going, said Jloff, who sang the pastor praises, “He kept on going. He kept his composure. He really the message out, and he said no weapon formed against me shall prosper. So kudos to him for delivering a good service.” The six Osteen hecklers were charged with criminal trespass, according to the police.