Joel Osteen, a high-profile preacher known around the world through his TV shows and books, will host Yankee Stadium's first non-baseball event and spread his blessings in a "Night of Hope." NY1's Dean Meminger interviewed the minister filed the following report.
Joel Osteen and his wife Victoria may be the most popular pastors in the country today, with some 40,000 worshipers flocking to their mega-church in Houston, Texas every week.
Now they are bringing their message to the Bronx, with what is billed as a "Night of Hope" at Yankee Stadium on April 25.
Watch the full interview here.
Meminger: How does it feel to go into Yankee Stadium to share your message?
Osteen: You know, it feels very rewarding and humbling. Just I feel very honored to be able to share hope with people and share good news and not come to try to beat people down.
The tickets will cost $15.
Meminger: Are you paying for the facility?
Osteen: We are paying for the facility. It is about $1.5 million for us. So the tickets, if we sold all 50,000, that would cover about half of the event. We have some sponsors that are helping us, the ministry underwrites it. But it was a joint effort between us and the Yankees to come.
Millions around the world watch Osteen's television programs, which are usually produced at his huge Lakewood Church, which used to be the basketball arena for the Houston Rockets.
Osteen spent $100 million to renovate the arena, and reportedly the church brings in almost that much each year.
He has also sold millions of copies of his inspirational books. He says his message is powerful enough to help city residents who may be living in poverty, single-parent homes and other difficult situations.
"I believe really that God wants us to say, 'This may be were I am, it may difficult, it may not be fair. But yet God, I know He can get me where I need to be if I just trust and believe, he will bring the right connections, the right breaks,'" said Joel Osteen.
"You know it is not always about the material things, it is not always what you have.. it is the richness of your family... it is the richness of your relationships," said Victoria Osteen.
Joel Osteen, who has no formal theology training and did not graduate from college, is sometimes accused of not focusing enough on the teaching of Christianity.
"My response, Dean, is that I feel like I am doing what God has called me to do," said the minister. "My real gift is trying to help people live their everyday lives, help them learn how to forgive and know how to have a good attitude when the economy is bad. So you know, I just stay focused on what I'm good at."
He plans to do that for his "Night of Hope" at Yankee Stadium.
The service will begin at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are available for $15 through Ticketmaster.