Born in Houston, Texas, Osteen was born to established pastor John Osteen. John Osteen was a Sothern Baptist pastor who founded Lakewood Church in 1959. Joel Osteen studied radio and television communications from Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, but did not complete college and dropped out, opting to work with his father.
He returned to Houston in 1982 and founded Lakewood Church’s television program with the aim of televising his father’s sermons. He continued in this capacity for seventeen years, helping the church grow as it reached out to a wider audience base.
Osteen’s father encouraged him to start preaching for many years, but he would always decline, preferring to operate in the background. However he finally acquiesced and preached his first sermon on 17th January, 1999. Unfortunately his father passed away just two days after that and Joel Osteen started preaching regularly at the church.
Joel Osteen was officially appointed the new Senior Pastor at Lakewood Church on October 3rd 1999 almost a year after he started preaching regularly. Under his patronage the church started growing almost exponentially, and attendance numbers increased from five thousand to more than forty thousand.
In 2003 Osteen supervised Lakewood’s acquisition of the Compaq Center, which would go on to be the Church’s new home. The whole complex was renovated over a span of fifteen months and five new sections were incorporated in the building. The new church opened its doors to the public in 2005, with almost fifty six thousand people attending the grand opening.
Since then Lakewood has become the largest protestant church in the country. Joel Osteen along with his wife Victoria now reach out to over seven million media viewers weekly around the world and almost 43,500 people attend the church every week.
Apart from his preaching, Osteen has also written books on the subject of relationships and life in general. His first book, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential was released in 2004 and went on to become a New York Times Best Seller. His second book Become a Better You: 7 Keys to Improving Your Life Every Day was released in October 2007 and was also a Best Seller, demanding a first printing of four million copies. Overall he has written ten books of which five have reached the number one spot on the New York Times Best Seller list.
Osteen regularly preaches in venues other than Lakewood Church and is scheduled to appear in major venues across the country over the coming months. To catch the highly motivational and inspirational speaker live on stage, buy now and get a chance to listen to one of his live lectures, as he talks about topics like religion and life.