Nearly 50 Texas churches received $1 million or more in PPP loans
Most recently, Joel Osteen’s Houston megachurch made headlines after it was reported that Lakewood Church received $4.4 million in federal PPP loans. Of the 46 churches KSAT found in data provided by the SBA, nine received somewhere between $2-5 million in PPP loans, including seven in the Houston area. In San Antonio, the Catholic Archdiocese and Catholic Charities each received PPP loans between $1-2 million along with Concordia Lutheran Church and Oak Hills Church. A CBS report from May also notes that more than 12,000 Catholic churches in the U.S. applied for PPP loans – and 9,000 got them. KSAT compiled a list of Texas churches that received loans between $1-5 million.
Joel Osteen’s Houston megachurch defends getting $4.4 million in federal PPP loans
HOUSTON – Joel Osteen, the pastor at Lakewood Church in Houston, has come under fire in recent days after Houston Chronicle reported that the megachurch received $4.4 million in PPP loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA). The data shows that Lakewood Church applied for the loan on July 21 and that 368 jobs would be affected by the loan. In order to have the loan fully forgiven, the PPP loan must be used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent and utilities. Osteen’s Lakewood Church and other megachurches have been criticized by some for taking part in the federal recovery program because of their tax-exempt status. Joel Osteen claimed his church took no PPP money, but his congregation was just one of many that received MILLIONS.