Joel Osteen preaches to the masses each Sunday at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, but this weekend found his sermon interrupted by hecklers. Six people were escorted from the worship service by security.
Anwar Richardson, his wife, and small son attended Joel Osteen's Sunday service this weekend. He spoke with Houston's ABC13 News about what happened.
"The praise and worship was good. His wife had just delivered a quick message. And the moment he started to preach, somebody gets up and they yell, "Joel Osteen you're a liar,'" Richardson said.
Richardson shot a video of the scene, which he shared on Twitter.
This is how Joel Osteen tried to encourage the Lakewood Church congregation after one disruptive person was removed pic.twitter.com/Sy091QhMid
— Anwar Richardson (@AnwarRichardson) June 28, 2015
Richardson explained that he and his wife became afraid when they realized there was more than just the first heckler. They had fears of what happened at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston such a short time ago.
"After the sixth time that it occurred, my son was sleeping in my lap, and I looked at my wife and she was nervous and we just decided we have to get out of here," he explained.
They weren't the only ones either. Other families began leaving the service out of fear.
"All I could think of is you don't know what's going on, and I just can't wait to find out, so I've gotta get out of there," he said.
Joel Osteen did his best to keep his composure, however.
"He (Osteen) kept on going. He kept his composure. He really got the message out and he said no weapon formed against me shall prosper," said another witness. "So kudos to him for delivering a good service."
"This is crazy": Hecklers take turns interrupting Joel Osteen during church service: http://t.co/d3ognU8bv4
— TheBlaze (@theblaze) June 28, 2015
Donald Iloff Jr. is a spokesperson for Joel Osteen and Lakewood Church. He told Houston's ABC13 News that the hecklers were members of the controversial Church of Wells. The group hails from Wells, Texas, and is led by Sean Morris, Jacob Gardner, and Ryan Ringnald. All three men are former street preachers in their late twenties.
Fortunately what happened at Lakewood Church while Joel Osteen and his wife, Victoria Osteen, were preaching on Sunday ended peacefully. However there must be fear in the hearts and minds of many church-goers, following the shooting in Charleston that killed nine members of a Bible study group there.