[ An August 2005 article about Joel. Some good background notes. ]
Joel Osteen: Life is good
Popular pastor to lead worship service here
August 26, 2005
By Greg Garrison
Sometime last year, it became apparent that Lakewood Church Pastor Joel Osteen of Houston had hit the big time as one of America's most popular preachers.
In August 2004, he did a free appearance at the 18,000-seat Philips Arena in Atlanta and filled it beyond overflowing, with the fire marshal turning away as many as 8,000 people. "I didn't know what arena size to
get," Osteen said. "Atlanta was our first. I couldn't believe it."
That fall, his book "Your Best Life Now" came out and reached No. 1 on The New York Times bestseller list. It has hovered in the top five of hardcover advice books since then, selling 2.8 million copies.
"I never dreamed my book was going to do what it's done," said Osteen, whose publishing income prompted him to stop taking his $200,000 salary from the church. "Hopefully I'll never have to take a salary from the
church again. We plan to be good givers."
During July his church, which already drew 30,000 worshippers to four services each weekend, moved into he 16,000-seat Compaq Center, former home of the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association.
For the rest of the Joel Osteen inteview: http://www.rickross.com/reference/tv_preachers/tv_preachers36.html