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Grand Opening of Lakewood Church

Millions Tune-in to TBN to Watch Official Grand Opening of New Lakewood Church Center

July 19, 2005 (HOUSTON) ----America's largest church, Lakewood Church, celebrated its move into the Compaq Center in Houston, TX, the former home of the Houston Rockets as millions of viewers tuned-in live to watch the festivities on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), the world largest religious network.

Speaking to a capacity crowd of 16,000, pastor, best selling author, and televangelist, Joel Osteen, asked his congregation, How do you like our new home? The crowd responded with a thunderous roar of applause! An elated Osteen replied, It looks pretty good doesn't it? This is a dream come true. Governor Rick Perry of Texas was also struck by the church's new look. This is nothing short of amazing, said Perry during a brief welcoming address to the congregation and other VIPs in attendance. It is so great to look across this crowd and see the wonderful diversity of this great state we call Texas, he told the crowd. As lawmakers we do a lot of things, but only the church can teach people to love.

Video clips played on three gigantic screens as they recounted the history of the church and its humble beginnings in an abandoned feed store in 1959. The church was founded by Joel's father, Pastor John Osteen, over four decades ago. Joel Osteen took over Lakewood's pastoral leadership in 1999 and has increased the size of the church almost five-fold since then. After the service, Osteen was interviewed by Matt Crouch, the youngest son of TBN founders, Paul and Jan Crouch. When asked to describe how he felt when he first entered Lakewood's new Texas-sized sanctuary, a smiling Osteen said, I couldn't believe how beautiful it was! It almost felt surreal.

This is a great thing for Lakewood Church and the city of Houston, declared Paul Crouch Jr., Vice President of Administration for TBN. Lakewood has already made a huge impact on the city of Houston, our country, and the world, but this move to the Compaq Center will increase their effectiveness even more.

It has been reported that Lakewood recently became the first church in the United States to average more than 30,000 worshippers weekly, and it is estimated that over seven million tune-in weekly to listen to Osteen's unique and uplifting Gospel message.

What God is doing through Lakewood Church and Joel Osteen's ministry is truly remarkable, says Susan Zahn, Founder of the Christian Public Relations Firm, WDC Media. "They are truly making an impact that cannot be ignored". The inspirational messages of Joel Osteen from Lakewood Church can be viewed on the Trinity Broadcasting Network on Sundays 5 5:30 pm; Mondays 9:30 10 pm; and Fridays 6 6:30 pm (All times are Pacific Standard Time). For more about Lakewood Church visit www.lakewood.cc or visit TBN online at www.tbn.org.

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