The Inside Scoop On Joel Osteen's Kids

Joel Osteen is one of the most recognizable pastors in America. His congregation is made up of thousands of parishioners at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, making it the largest megachurch in the country, says Owlcation. Osteen has been the senior pastor of the independent, nondenominational church since his father and predecessor died in 1999. Since then, Lakewood Church has grown enormously under Joel's leadership. He was 36 years old when he assumed the role. Besides preaching, he is also a married father of two.

In 1987, Joel married his wife, Victoria, per Notable Biographies; she serves as co-pastor of Lakewood. In April 1995, they welcomed their first child, a boy named Jonathan. Three years later, in 1998, the couple had their second child, this time a daughter, whom they named Alexandra. Just as Joel and his five siblings did when they were young, it is only to be expected that Osteen's two adult children also participate in Lakewood Church activities. And they do.

Their involvement with Lakewood Church

Though they're not as well known to many as their father or mother, Joel Osteen's children are known within the Lakewood Church community and, by extension, Houston. With both parents as pastors, the two grew up in the church. As they've gotten older, both Jonathan Osteen and Alexandra Osteen have taken on an active role in the church.

They were first introduced to many by participating in the church's music group when they were still children. Both of them have chosen to mostly use their voice to perform songs of worship, but they have also joined their parents on stage during the church's annual "America's Night of Hope" tours. In 2016, they helped lead pastoral worship services in front of a large crowd of thousands at AT&T Park (via Joel Osteen), and the two have even performed their music in front of crowds at these events, per The Christian Post.

Joel Osteen's son and daughter are in a band

Both Jonathan and Alexandra Osteen have been singing gospel for Lakewood Church since they were young. But they are also in a band called LYA. The group consists of both the Osteen kids, along with their friends and bandmates, Louie Garcia and Abel Orta Jr. (posted on YouTube). Jonathan writes music for the band, plays the guitar, and is the lead vocalist. Alexandra plays keyboard and sings as well. The band was formed in 2016, and that same year they released their debut song "Feelin.'" To date the group has released a host of gospel singles and an EP titled "In The Name, Vol. 1" in 2019 (via Genius). Their music mostly caters to other spiritual youth and they focus on creating worship songs that are energetic and upbeat.

LYA releases their music under Lakewood Records, and there are various other gospel artists that are a part of the label (via another Lakewood Church link). Often times they all perform together during services and concerts. 

They have a mighty inheritance waiting for them

A lot of parents want to work hard to leave behind a decent legacy for their children. For many, that legacy certainly includes money to provide some financial backing for their kids when they get to college, and of course, when they become mature adults. Joel Osteen is a huge believer in that practice. Per Penn Live, he told the outlet that he strongly believes in the Bible's advice of parents leaving something behind for their children. Being that he is also a multi-millionaire with a swanky mansion to boot, that means his children stand to inherit his lucrative empire, and he is not ashamed of it.

"I put no emphasis on money. But I don't believe God wants you to live defeated [sic] barely getting by," Joel Osteen said.

Seeing as how the elder Osteen took over when his father died, it's quite possible that it's in Jonathan Osteen's future to become the next pastor of Lakewood Church, specially since he already has some experience on the stage, according to his father's website.

Both went to the same college

When Jonathan Osteen finished high school he chose to go to school two hours away from home, attending the University of Texas in Austin. And no, he didn't study theology. There he studied radio, television, and film (via Joel Osteen) and graduated in 2017. But when Joel Osteen tweeted a celebratory graduation photo about his son, it raised a stink and went viral online. Some people viewed the Texan hook 'em hand symbol that he and his son were doing in the picture, as a reflection of the devil, reported Dallas News. His wife had also shared a similar photo with the same symbol and the family was criticized.

His younger sister decided to follow her brother by also enrolling at the school. She was a freshman the year he completed his studies, and Alexandra Osteen would eventually graduate in 2020. Needless to say, there were photos of neither Alexandra nor her parents doing the hook 'em sign that year. And while Jonathan seems to be preparing to take over leadership of the church at some point (via ABC Houston), his sister seems to be focused on her singing career.

Jonathan Osteen was in some trouble

A few years ago two men filed a lawsuit against the Osteen family, specifically against Jonathan Osteen, after a car accident. In 2016, Jonathan crashed into the back of a car on a highway. But this past June it was recently discovered that Jonathan was apparently using his cell phone while he was driving, which led to him rear-ending the car involved in the accident that sent the two men to the hospital, reported Southeast Texas Record. The pair sued him for $1 million. His trial started earlier this month and is currently taking place.

But it wouldn't be the first time the family has been in trouble with the law. His father had to testify in a heckling trial in 2016 (ABC Houston), and in 2008, Joel's wife Victoria Osteen, the mother of Jonathan and Alexandra, was cleared in another lawsuit involving a claim that she assaulted a flight attendant (via The New York Times).

Jonathan Osteen got married in 2022

The Osteen clan grew a little larger in 2022. That June, Joel and Victoria Osteen jointly took to Instagram and Facebook to announce that their son Jonathan Osteen had married his girlfriend Sophia Hahn. The bride's sister Helena Hahn shared her own images from wedding preparations on Instagram as well, but the wedding was not a public event. Neither member of the married couple discussed it on social media, where they seem inclined toward privacy; Jonathan's Instagram account has been inactive since 2020 (as of January 2023), and Sophia's is private.

Just a few years ago, Jonathan maintained that he wasn't ready or interested in marriage. In an interview with ABC13 Houston, he was asked if he had a girlfriend and replied in the negative. "That's something I'm definitely looking forward to," he said. "But I feel, in this season of life, I'm just enjoying being single, enjoying my time. And when that time comes, I'm ready for it." When asked to describe what he would look for in a romantic partner, Jonathan said he looked for kindness. Pressed for more details, he added brunette hair to the list, which his wife happens to have.

Alexandra Osteen's music group released their second album in 2022

If you go to the Lakewood Church website, you will find a section dedicated to Lakewood Music. That isn't a sale of the church's own compositions or their recitations of popular or traditional religious songs. It's a band headed by Alexandra Osteen. As of January 2023, the website lists 14 members for the group, which has performed throughout the United States and reached an international audience through television and streaming.

Lakewood Music's most recent album, "Shout!", was released in 2022. In an interview with The Christian Beat, Osteen said that the album title and a track with the same name referred to the shouts that brought down the walls of Jericho in the Bible. "It's a reminder of the power of our praise," she told the outlet. "Wherever you find yourself, whatever season of life you're in, or battle you have to face, your praise is important and can change your situation." Osteen described the writing process for such a large group to CCM Magazine as organic and thematic.

They're both homebodies

The Osteen children both seem quite happy to be born and bred Texans, and neither seems keen to spend an extended stint away from the Lone Star State. Besides remaining in Texas for college and their adult lives, each has discussed their affection for their home. Speaking to CCM Magazine to promote her music career, Alexandra Osteen shared her fondness for Texas and the Houston area specifically. "That's where our church is," she said. "I'm a family girl, so I don't see myself leaving here." She did allow that she enjoyed the experience of travel.

Jonathan Osteen may be even more of a homebody. In an interview with ABC13 Houston, he even volunteered that he wasn't very exciting. He listed playing with dogs at home, socializing with his family, and catching a movie a week as his favorite pastimes. But he also admitted to not being the biggest fan of one Texas trademark: barbeque.