(Image: Lakewood Church)
Television mogul Oprah Winfrey and stage and movie producer Tyler Perry created a stir with a surprise appearance at Pastor Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, Sunday for an 11 a.m. service.
"Awesome to have you!" said Osteen, announcing their presence and welcoming the celebrities to the church. "We're so honored to have you both here, and we just celebrate and pray for you guys with what God is doing in your lives."
Winfrey was in the area to interview Osteen as part of her new series "Oprah's Next Chapter," which is set to premiere in January on her channel, the Oprah Winfrey Network. She reportedly joined Osteen and his wife, Victoria Osteen, for lunch at their home and discussed topics with them such as power, marriage and faith, according to The Houston Chronicle.
The non-denominational evangelical Christian megachurch, located in Houston, Texas, and headed by Osteen, is the largest congregation in the country averaging over 40,000 attendees per week. Osteen, author of numerous books on spirituality and whose services are broadcast worldwide, has been known to spark controversy in the Christian community on his views about certain fundamental beliefs of the church, such as homosexuality.
In an interview earlier this year on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight, Osteen's answer to whether or not he thought homosexuality is a sin ruffled a few feathers of some of his Christian followers. Many felt Osteen's answer was vague and that the Lakewood pastor had taken a half-hearted stance on such an important issue.
"Yes, I've always believed, Piers, the scriptures show that homosexuality is a sin. But I'm not one of those who is out there to bash homosexuals and tell them that they're terrible people and all of that," he said. "I mean, there are other sins in the Bible, too. And I think sometimes the church, and I don't mean this critically, but we focus on one issue or two issues, and there's plenty of other ones."
Here is a video from Lakewood Church of Pastor Osteen welcoming Winfrey and Perry during the Nov. 6, 2011, church service: