Six men were escorted out of a service at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church on Sunday (June 28) and arrested for heckling. The Washington Post reports the men interrupted Osteen’s sermon by yelling and calling the televangelist a liar.
The hecklers were members of the Church of Wells in Texas, a small church with a history of controversy, according to ABC News.
Jacob Gardner, 26; Kevin Fessler, 27; Mark DeRouville, 25; Matthew Martinez, 27; Randall Valdez, 28; and Richard Trudeau, 32, have been charged with criminal trespassing. Gardner is listed as a church elder and Trudeau is named a church deacon according to the Church of Wells website.
Though the men were escorted out by security, many Lakewood Church members left the church service early.
Anwar Richardson said, “All I could think of is you don’t know what’s going on, and I just can’t wait to find out, so I gotta get out of there.”
Osteen responded to the incident, saying, “Thank you all for your patience and we’ll just continue to receive what God has for us. It’s a good day to be alive.”
Publication date: June 30, 2015