Armed law enforcement officers volunteer to serve as ushers at “prosperity gospel” pastor Joel Osteen’s megachurch – and they sprang into action Sunday when a group of hecklers disrupted services.
Six hecklers from a revivalist congregation from Wells, Texas, stood up and rebuked Osteen, who teaches that God blesses his followers with money, reported KHOU-TV.
“He jumped up with his Bible and started screaming, ‘Shame on you, Joel, shame on you, Joel,’ and Joel kind of just repeated scripture and they just escorted them out,” said congregant Casey Eaglin, who said he was briefly “terrified.”
The armed ushers quickly escorted out six hecklers apparently associated with the Church of Wells — and Jacob Gardner, Kevin Fessler, Mark DeRouville, Randall Valdez, Matthew Martinez, and Richard Trudeau were each arrested on criminal trespassing charges.
“For a second there I started thinking about the (Charleston) church shooting that happened and I was thinking, ‘Oh god, something bad is about to happen’ — but they were real quick,” Eaglin said.
Lakewood Church congregants praised Osteen for maintaining his composure during the disruption.
“He kept on going, he kept his composure,” one congregant told KTRK-TV. “He really got the message out and he said, ‘No weapon formed against me shall prosper.’”
It’s not clear what law enforcement agencies employ the ushers.
Watch video of the incident posted online by KHOU-TV: