Osteen's megachurch can seat around 17,000 people - three times the capacity of George R. Brown Convention Center, where more than 9,000 people stayed the night (the convention center's official capacity is 5,000).
Pastor Osteen's church is now open for evacuees, and he says flooding inside the church is the reason for the delay.
Those who have been able reach the site explain in their own posts why the church isn't able to function as a shelter at the moment.
The megachurch led by Joel Osteen is receiving people who need shelter and also helping evacuees with supplies such as baby food, formula and other shelter needs, the church announced via Twitter Tuesday morning. "Lakewood will be a value to the community in the aftermath of this storm", Osteen said. "That House belongs to God + was built for people in need. you should have been the first to open your doors", he added.
The tweet received online backlash, with some people pointing out that the areas she showed in the photos are located in the basement area and therefore shouldn't give Joel Osteen enough cause to deny shelter to Harvey Hurricane victims.
The church responded with photographs showing flooding inside and around the facilities.
"The church has always been open", Osteen told CNN. "We are prepared to shelter people once the cities and county shelters reach capacity". We want to help make sure you are safe. "OPEN THE DOORS", Pastor Greg Locke commented.
On Tuesday the church claimed that it never shut its doors.
Joel Osteen has confirmed that his church in Houston was not flooded, despite various photos that have been floating around the internet this week. "I think some somehow social media can be very powerful and they can create this false narrative". The storm is responsible for at least 11 deaths, all in Texas, over the past four days.