Lakewood Church Pastor Joel Osteen was the victim of an elaborate Internet hoax on Monday, in which a fake website was set up to declare that he had left the Christian church due to his "lack of faith."
The website JoelOsteenMinistries.com was no longer working as of late Monday, but a fake Twitter account — @PastorJoelOsteen — was still working and denied its own inauthenticity. "Nothing fake here," the user tweeted at a specific individual. "The church controls almost all the accts in my name. They've cut off and seized my accts. They're panicking."
The individual(s) behind the hoax also set up a fake website for Osteen's Lakewood church and produced a fake YouTube video, which is embedded below.
Osteen, 50, has led Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas since 1999 — succeeding his father as senior pastor. He also has written several books and his ministry is broadcast in over 100 countries around the world.
Watch the fake video below: