Pastors across the world lifted Houston's Lakewood Church, led by Pastor Joel Osteen, in prayer after a woman opened fire inside the Texas megachurch Sunday afternoon before law enforcement officers killed her.
According to the Houston Police Department, the still unidentified woman, estimated to be between 30 and 35 years old, entered the church shortly before 2 p.m. wearing a trench coat and backpack and opened fire. A 5-year-old boy accompanied her.
Houston Police Chief Troy Finner revealed the shooter died at the scene after two law enforcement officers intervened. The boy, still in critical condition as of Monday morning, and a 57-year-old man were injured, officials said.
Overnight, agents with the FBI, Texas Rangers and ATF raided a Conroe home believed to be connected to the suspect, reported ABC News, though a motive remains unclear.
In a public statement on X on Sunday, Lakewood Church announced that its community was "devastated."
Following news of the shooting, pastors across the country took to social media to lift up Lakewood Church in prayer.
California Pastor and author David Jeremiah, who leads Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, wrote on social media, "We are praying for all those affected by the tragic shooting at Lakewood Church. Our hearts go out to all the families impacted in the Houston community."
We are praying for all those affected by the tragic shooting at Lakewood Church. Our hearts go out to all the families impacted in the Houston community.— David Jeremiah (@davidjeremiah) February 11, 2024
Evangelist Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in California and Hawaii, applauded the fast response of law enforcement in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
He expressed his support for security teams in churches and schools.
"So thankful this was contained quickly," Laurie wrote. "This is one of the reasons we need security teams in Churches and schools. Praying for the full recovery of those who are injured."
Jentezen Franklin, the founder of Free Chapel in Georgia and bestselling author, wrote on X that he is "Praying for God's peace and comfort over Pastor @JoelOsteen, @LakewoodChurch and their community tonight."
Texas-based televangelist Benny Hinn urged his followers to lift Lakewood Church in prayer in a social media statement.
"Wonderful partners, I'm sure you heard about the shooting this afternoon at Joel Osteen's church. I am asking you all as God's people to pray for Pastor Joel, his family, as well as the members of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas," Hinn wrote. "Pray that the Lord will protect His people, that God will fill them with His wonderful peace, and that He will bring healing to the injured."
Wonderful partners, I’m sure you heard about the shooting this afternoon at Joel Osteen’s church. I am asking you all as God’s people to pray for Pastor Joel, his family, as well as the members of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. Pray that the Lord will protect His people, that… pic.twitter.com/U7H0CFrrGU— Benny Hinn (@Benny_Hinn) February 12, 2024
Johnnie Moore, an Evangelical public relations executive, author and president of the Congress of Christian Leaders, wrote on X: "Once again, off duty police officers who serve America's congregations on the weekend saved lives. Heroes.
"Thank God the shooter @lakewoodchurch was neutralized before she could cause more harm," Moore wrote. "Praying for a full recovery for the child who is critically injured. Praying for my friend @JoelOsteen as he helps his congregation cope through this traumatic event."
Once again, off duty police officers who serve America’s congregations on the weekend saved lives. Heroes.— Rev. Johnnie Moore ? (@JohnnieM) February 11, 2024
Thank God the shooter @lakewoodchurch was neutralized before she could cause more harm. Praying for a full recovery for the child who is critically injured. Praying for my…
Guatemalan televangelist Cash Luna wrote in Spanish: "As a church, we join in prayer in the face of the devastating events that occurred today in the @lakewoodchurch. We pray to our Lord, source of peace and comfort, to embrace the Lakewood community in this time of difficulty."
"We pray for each member and for the people affected, that they find peace in our Lord. May the Holy Spirit visit you and comfort you in the midst of this pain," Luna added. "We declare with faith that, even under these circumstances, our Lord will protect Lakewood Church, its members and its leaders. We will remain united in prayer for Lakewood Church."
Como iglesia, nos unimos en oración ante los devastadores acontecimientos ocurridos hoy en la @lakewoodchurch . Rogamos a nuestro Señor, fuente de paz y consuelo, que abrace a la comunidad de Lakewood en este tiempo de dificultad.— Pastor Cash Luna (@PastorCashLuna) February 12, 2024
???????? Oramos por cada miembro y por las personas… pic.twitter.com/1U9VVqnyTz
Robert Jeffress, the senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, cited Psalm 34:18, which states, "The Lord is close to the broken-hearted."
"We are praying for Pastor @JoelOsteen and our friends at Lakewood Church in Houston," Jeffress wrote.
Leah M. Klett is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org