American preacher Joel Osteen beams at the paparazzi as he is spotted out in New York. He is seen dumping his jacket in the trunk of a car before going to pose for a picture with some fans standing nearby.
Victoria Osteen and Joel Osteen - Pastors Joel Osteen and wife Victoria Osteen Receives The Keys To The City Of Miami and The City Of Doral at Shake-A-Leg Miami from Mayors Tomas Regalado and Luigi Boria - Miami , Florida, United States - Thursday 18th April 2013
The elaborate April Fools prank seems to be getting more traction a week after the event.
Famed televangelist Joel Osteen has not renounced his faith and is not quitting the church.
Everyone can breathe a little easier now. But what exactly led to the confusion in the first place? According to the most recent announcements, it was all an elaborate April Fools prank, NPR reports. The pranksters used fake Twitter, Facebook and Youtube profiles to announce the “news” that the pastor was closing down his huge Texas church. Not only that, but he was apparently doing it, because he had entirely renounced his beliefs.
On Osteen's Twitter feed this morning, the pastor's staff responded to a question about the story by writing, "It is a false rumor: Pastor Joel is not leaving the church." It now seems that that rather enigmatic tweet may have set off more interest in the fake story this past Monday than had been generated when the hoax was hatched last week.
Continue reading: April Fools: Texas Pastor Joel Osteen Isn't Quitting After All
Joel Osteen was the victim of a pretty elaborate internet hoax this week.
The reverend Joel Osteen, the famous pastor of Houston's Lakewood "mega-church" fell victim to an elaborate and pretty funny internet hoax this week, in which many of his followers were tricked into believing he had renounced his belief in God and resigned from his spiritual post.
Anyway, it was all the work of an internet prankster who fabricated a Twitter feed and put out a fake YouTube video from Christianity News that includes images from various news sites and headlines that spoke of Mr Osteen's renouncing, reports the Washington Post. The man or woman behind the prank also devised a website almost identical to Mr Osteen's, which featured a message of apology to church followers. "Deep down in my heart, for a number of years now, I have been questioning the faith, Christianity, and whether Jesus Christ is really my, or anyone's, 'savior," read the message.
The pastor went on to explain that he was turning his attention away from religion and towards environmental issues. NPR says it has so far isolated the prankster as hailing from Milwaukee, at an organization called BMG Enterprises.
Continue reading: Reverend Joel Osteen Victim Of Elaborate (And Funny) Internet Hoax