Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church Repaying Federal Government $4.4 Million Received From PPP Loan
There has been an update to Joel Osteen‘s PPP loan controversy!
According to recent reports, televangelist Joel Osteen‘s Houston-based megachurch is in the process of repaying a $4.4 million Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. Joel Osteen‘s Lakewood Church–the largest megachurch in the U.S.–received the forgivable loan last July, and the celebrity pastor garnered widespread criticism for taking the funding once news broke months later.
The PPP loans were brought about by the federal government last year to help businesses cover employees’ paychecks and benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a statement on how the church utilized the funds, a spokesperson claimed:
“Like many organizations temporarily shuttered by the pandemic, this loan provided Lakewood Church short-term financial assistance in 2020 ensuring that its approximately 350 employees and their families would continue to receive a paycheck and full health care benefits.”
Lakewood representatives and Joel Osteen also maintain that the televangelist did not use any amount of the loan to fund his lifestyle. Despite this, factors like Osteen owning a Ferrari and living in a $10.5 million mansion have stirred up doubts regarding the matter.
Now, the megachurch has chosen to repay the business loan. Because Lakewood is a religious organization with less than 500 employees, it was technically exempt from having to repay the $4.4 million PPP loan. However, the church decided to voluntarily pay back the money it received amid widespread criticism.
Lakewood reportedly began making payments back in January, and neither Joel Osteen nor the church has explicitly addressed the matter on social media.
What do you think about Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church repaying its $4.4 million PPP loan? Comment down below to let us know!