Brandy Michau didn’t care that she was sitting in the “nosebleed” section of the North Charleston Coliseum on Friday for “A Night of Hope” with Joel and Victoria Osteen.
An avid watcher of Osteen’s weekly televised messages, Michau, who lives in Georgetown, was just happy to see the celebrity evangelist in person.
“I love him because he puts things in words I can understand and makes it where I can understand how it applies to my life,” she said. “I brought this (Bible) to be in his presence. That was my reason, honestly. I wanted to know that this Bible that I depend on has been close to him.”
Michau was among a sell-out crowd of more than 10,000 who paid $15 each to see the program that was a blend of worship and music, led by Osteen, the senior pastor of Houston’s Lakewood Church. With a congregation of 45,000, Lakewood is the largest church in America. It was started in 1959 by Osteen’s parents, John and Dodie Osteen.
Unlike the televised show, The Night of Hope program includes praise and worship.
“I’ve got 2½ hours,” Osteen said. “I’m going to tell you everything I know tonight.”
Osteen’s family — his mother; wife, Victoria; and children, Jonathan and Alexandra — were also part of the program. It was the first time the Night of Hope program has visited Charleston, said spokesman Don Iloff, Osteen’s brother-in-law.
“We are trying to lift people’s spirits,” Osteen, 50, said before the show. “Life is pushing them down enough and I want to lift them up. A lot of people grew up thinking God was against them. I believe God is for us, on our side, and I want people to know God is on their side.”
That same message has made Osteen one of the most-watched American spiritual figures today.
“He just really knows how to make you feel good about yourself,” said Antoinette Gadsden, of Orangeburg. “I like his message that you should make the most of each day because God is in control. He is so inspirational.”
Osteen was joined on stage for a message from Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., and pastors from local churches including Dean Lewis of Cathedral of Praise and Jonathan Briggs of Truth and Fellowship.
“I don’t know how anyone can leave here without a smile on their face and a song in their heart,” said Bob Dantzler, of Hanahan. “The program was great, the crowd was great. It was so wonderful to everyone, black and white, young and old, worshipping together.”
Reach Brenda Rindge at 937-5713 or www.twitter.com/brindge.