Pastor Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church announced Thursday that all worship services are being canceled to help contain the coronavirus.
After Houston, Texas, Mayor Sylvester Turner issued a health emergency on Wednesday for the city of Houston and Harris County following the area's first possible non-travel related coronavirus case, the church decided to take safety precautions to help decrease the virus' spread to non-infected people.
In an email alert to members, Lakewood Church said: “In consideration of today’s public health emergency declaration on COVID-19 by Houston Mayor, Sylvester Turner, along with the fact that Lakewood draws such large numbers of international visitors each week, Lakewood’s leadership has decided not to hold public services this weekend,” Lakewood announced in its statement.
“While we apologize for any inconvenience this causes to our members and visitors, we feel that this move is necessary to ensure the well-being of all of the citizens of this great city, especially the most vulnerable among us,” the church added.
Although all Saturday and Sunday services are being canceled, Lakewood Church said it “will broadcast its services online.”
The church said staff will be monitoring the situation “week by week” and will update members on their plans as they follow guidelines set by local officials.
“[We] hope to resume the assembly in the very near future,” the letter concluded.
Osteen’s sermons will be broadcast on Facebook, YouTube, Roku, AppleTV and online at JoelOsteen.com.