Tyler Perry is donating $1 million to victims of Hurricane Harvey, adding that one-quarter of the money will go toward Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church.
The actor-director of the popular “Madea” films posted a video on Thursday announcing that he would give $250,000 to Osteen’s church. The Houston-based televangelist sparked criticism when he posted on Monday that he was not opening up the church, which he runs with his wife, Victoria, for hurricane evacuees due to concerns about severe flooding.
“I know that there’s been some controversy about Joel Osteen and him not opening the doors of the church,” Perry said in the video. “Joel and Victoria are amazing people — there’s no way that they would lock people out of the church or not let people seek shelter. There were some safety concerns, and I spoke to them on the phone, and it all made perfect sense to me. So, before you just run and judge someone real quick, you need to know the whole circumstances.”
Osteen tweeted on Tuesday that the church had opened its doors to hurricane survivors and that volunteers had gathered to collect and organize donation items and supplies.
In an appearance on NBC’s “Today” this week, Osteen explained that he had been in discussion with city officials before the storm and that the church had not been designated as a shelter at the time. “We coordinate with them all the time,” Osteen said. “If we needed to be a shelter, we certainly would’ve been a shelter right when they first asked.”
Perry also said he is pledging $250,000 to Rudy Rasmus, Beyoncé’s pastor who runs the St. John’s United Methodist Church in downtown and northwest Houston with his wife, Juanita.