Multimillionaire televangelist Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Texas netted $4.4 million in bailouts through the federal COVID-19 relief program, records show.
The Houston megachurch, the largest in the nation with 52,000 weekly congregants, received the forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loan in late July, the Houston Business Journal reported Sunday.
The loan was the third-highest in the Houston area during all of July and August, the outlet noted, citing federal data.
Lakewood’s PPP check went to 368 full- and part-time employees, spokesman Donald Iloff told the Houston Business Journal.
He said in-person services that were suspended from March 15 through Oct. 18 due to the COVID-19 pandemic impacted “its ability to collect substantial donations during those services.”