- (Photo: Twitter/@JoelOsteen)
Pastor Joel Osteen, who leads Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, celebrated his 50th birthday on Tuesday with an onslaught of kind mentions from both fans and fellow religious leaders.
The pastor's wife and co-pastor at Lakewood Church, Victoria Osteen, took to Twitter to wish her husband of 26 years a happy birthday, writing: "Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband!"
Osteen's sister and associate pastor at Lakewood Church Lisa Comes also wished her brother a happy birthday via Twitter, writing: "Happy birthday to my amazing brother Joel Osteen with our awesome brother Paul Osteen," adding a photo of the three Osteen siblings standing together.
Pastor Craig Johnson, director of Ministries at Lakewood Church, also gave a birthday shout-out to Osteen on the social media platform, writing: "Happy birthday to one of my heroes. It has been one of the great honors of my life to work with you these past 9 years. Thank you!"
Osteen also received a large amount of praise from his own congregation, which described him as "inspirational, compassionate, and humble."
The well-known megachurch pastor, whom some have criticized for his prosperity gospel teaching, recently spoke on the topic of aging and mortality as he faces his 50th birthday.
When asked if he ponders his own mortality now that he is turning 50, Osteen told The Huffington Post:
"I don't think about it a whole lot but from time to time I realize I've probably already lived more than I'm going to have left to live on the second half. [My mortality] comes into play at times, but I try to be the best each day and appreciate each day as a gift."
Additionally, Osteen added that he tries to stay youthful through exercise and healthy eating, as well as having a relaxed attitude.
"A big part of [aging well] is your genes. It's just hereditary. I think another part of it is living life happy and having a relaxed attitude. I eat right and I exercise ... getting enough recreation, working hard and being emotionally, spiritually and physically in balance," Osteen said.
Osteen was born March 5, 1963, as one of five children to his father, John Osteen, who founded Lakewood Church in Houston, and his mother, Dolores Pilgrim.
Osteen worked 17 years producing Lakewood Church's television program before he succeeded his father as leader of the congregation in 1999.
The church is now considered one of the largest churches in the country, boasting a weekly attendance of 43,000 people.