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He’s the head of America’s biggest mega-church. 40-plus thousand people pack the congregation at Lakewood Church in Houston each week to hear Joel Osteen’s message.

And Friday night, thousands of Clevelanders will pack the “Q” to hear the man some call the next “Billy Graham.”

Joel Osteen is a pastor for a new generation.  Referred to by many as a voice of hope, Joel Osteen reaches one of the largest audiences in the U.S. and across the globe.  Joel is the Senior Pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, TX, which according to Forbes magazine is America’s largest church drawing more than 40,000 attendees each week. It is also one of the most diverse. Tens of millions of people worldwide are inspired through his weekly television broadcasts, his New York Times bestselling books, his popular weekly podcast, and his sold-out worship events in arenas and stadiums across the US and abroad.  Joel and his wife, Victoria, have taken “A Night of Hope” to over 65 cities across America and abroad since late 2004, filling arenas to capacity crowds, including Madison Square Garden seven times, and totaling more than one million attendees.  On April 25, 2009, just nine days after opening day, Joel and Victoria held the first, non-baseball event, “A Historic Night of Hope,” at Yankee Stadium with nearly 50,000 attendees and millions more through the televised event.  The following year, Joel and Victoria filled Dodger Stadium and again millions more watched the televised and online event.

According to Nielsen Media Research, Joel is the most watched, inspirational figure in America.  His weekly television broadcast is viewed by more than 10 million American households each week in nearly 100 nations around the world. Joel Osteen’s audio podcast is downloaded nearly four million times each month and every day nearly a million people request Joel and Victoria’s “Daily Inspirational Message” electronically. Joel is a three-time, New York Times bestselling author.  His first book, Your Best Life Now debuted at the top of the New York Times bestseller list and quickly rose to #1.  His second book, Become a Better You debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list in October of 2007.  Joel’s most recent book, It’s Your Time debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list in November of 2009.

A native Texan and the son of John Osteen – a highly respected minister of the Gospel and the founder of Lakewood Church – Joel attended Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he studied radio and television communications.  In 1982, Joel returned to Houston and founded Lakewood’s television ministry where he produced John Osteen’s televised sermons for 17 years until January 1999 when his father passed away.

Article Courtesy of WOIO 19 Action News

LOCAL: Pastor Joel Osteen Comes to Downtown Cleveland  was originally published on