Tuesday 15th. December 2020, 10:10 pm
Houston Lakewood Church, the largest single-site mega-church in the country under the direction of Pastor Joel Osteen, received $ 4. $ 44 million in July paycheck protection loan loans, the Houston Business Journal reported.
The forgivable loan was made by Bank of America, according to the U.. S.. . Small Business Administration data approved July through August, the Business Journal reported.
The church has a weekly attendance of at least 50. 000, which however fell sharply during the coronavirus pandemic.
The church loan paid 368 full and part-time workers, Lakewood spokesman Donald Iloff said in a written statement.
« Lakewood has suspended personal services for more than seven months (Jan.. March to October). 18), which affects his ability to raise significant donations during these services, « said Ilof. « Lakewood believed the shutdown would only take a few weeks and initially did not apply for PPP support in the first half of the program.
« With the closure going on month after month in the face of economic uncertainty, Lakewood finally applied for the PPP loan and was able to provide full salaries and benefits, including health insurance, to all employees and their families. «
Osteen had a net worth of about $ 60 million in 2017, according to media reports, but Ilof noted, « Since 2004, Pastors Joel and Victoria Osteen have not received any salaries from Lakewood Church, and the PPP funds are not personal Funds available financial benefit for them whatever. «
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Joel Osteen, Lakewood Church, Megachurch, Victoria Osteen
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