If you're not an avid watcher of Joel Osteen's eponymous televangelist show, you've still probably seen glimpses of it while flipping through the channels on a sick day or day off. The Christian pastor has had a wildly successful speaking career, and he's taken his talents beyond the small screen by writing multiple books that have hit the New York Times Bestseller list.
Joel has amassed a significant fortune from his work, and he's set to join none other than Kanye West during his Nov. 17 Sunday Service. The two have also apparently forged an unlikely friendship, and we can't get enough of this news.
How did Joel Osteen make his money? We've got the details on his successful career, fortune, and his new friendship with Yeezus himself.
How did Joel Osteen make his money?
Joel is the head of Lakewood Church, which is located in Houston, Tex. His father originally founded the church, but Joel expanded it into what it is today after he took over. The huge site is the former arena where the Houston Rockets basketball team played until 2005. Though Lakewood Church has full attendance each week and Joel even streams his 90-minute services for the public to watch, he doesn't take the $200,000 salary he could as a pastor there.
Instead, he makes nearly $55 million each year from his book career and speaking engagements, though it is important to note that his church has a gift store and apparel line that is wildly popular as well.
Joel and his wife, Victoria, reside in a 17,000 square foot $10.5 million home with their kids Jonathan and Alexandra. Jonathan is a singer who frequently appears on Joel Osteen.
The TV pastor has written 14 books, with 2004's Your Best Now selling more than 100 million copies. His net worth is believed to be around $60 million, and he's mentioned that it costs $70 million per year to run his church.
Joel is also no stranger to stirring up a bit of controversy. Though he preaches about brotherhood, unity, and kindness, he didn't exactly open Lakewood's doors to Hurricane Harvey victims.
His Hurricane Harvey scandal clearly didn't alter his fanbase.
After Hurricane Harvey devastated the greater Houston area in August of 2017, many who lost homes and power tried to take refuge at Lakewood Church. Much to the dismay of those who tried, the doors were closed and nobody was allowed to stay in the mega arena.
Joel and other employees of Lakewood made a series of contradictory statements about why the huge church wasn't open to taking people in. Some claimed that the church itself was flooded, while others said that nobody was able to get there to physically open the doors. Joel at one point claimed that it was open to taking people in, but later said that it would only be open once other refugee centers were filled.
He faced intense backlash for literally closing his doors to people in need, but the scandal hasn't altered his extreme level of success.
The pastor is about to become even more of a household name once his Sunday Service partnership with Kanye West happens.
Inside Joel Osteen and Kanye West's unlikely friendship.
Kanye West has always been shocking with his career moves and behavior, but few really saw his spiritual awakening coming. The rapper just released Jesus is King, and it included many of the tracks he performs at his weekly Sunday Services. The Sunday Service movement first began in Calabasas, where he resides with Kim Kardashian West and their four kids, but he's taken the movement around the country in the months since it began.
According to TMZ, Kanye's Nov. 17 Sunday Service will take place in none other than Lakewood Church. The report also stated that Kanye will discuss the trials and tribulations of his life on the pulpit alongside Joel. The two have apparently been discussing religion for quite some time now, and they've become good friends.
Joel's streamed services garner around 10 million viewers each week, but it's likely that Kanye's presence will cause a spike in viewership. It's important to note that the congregation also holds 45,000 people.
Kanye's choir is also set to join the service, so viewers can likely expect him to perform songs from Jesus is King.
This is a crossover event we can safely say that we didn't see coming.