LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Six Church of Wells members have been identified as individuals who allegedly heckled Houston Pastor Joel Osteen on Sunday.
Jacob Gardner, Richard Trudeau, Kevin Fessler, Mark De Rouville, Matthew Martinez and Randall Valdez have all been charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass. According to KTRK TV in Houston, attendee Anwar Richardson shot grainy video of security removing the hecklers from the megachurch. The congregation clapped as they were removed and Osteen tried to continue delivering his message, but the disruptions continued.
"The praise and worship was good," Richardson told the station. "His wife had just delivered a quick message and the moment he started to preach, somebody gets up, and they yell, 'Joel Osteen, you're a liar.'"
Richardson told KTRK he and his family decided to leave after the group heckled the televangelist a sixth time.
"(Osteen) kept on going - he kept his composure," another churchgoer said. "He got the message out. He said 'no weapon formed against me shall prosper.' So, kudos to him for delivering a good service."
Richardson said his immediate thought was of the shooting at a church in Charleston, SC.
"All I could think of is, "You don't know what's going on," and I just can't wait to find out," Richardson said. "I've got to get out of there."
Lakewood spokesman Donald Iloff Jr told the Houston station the hecklers were all from the Church of Wells and were asked to leave but refused, and then security escorted them from the building.