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March 13, 2018 | Mysti Jordan
My mother, who does not navigate the internet all that savvily, somehow happened on this random video of worship at Lakewood Church from the early 80s (you'll find it below) and it was crazy to watch it because it brought back so many memories. I was raised at the Houston mega church, back when it was very big. It wasn't quite mega yet, but it was still huge. My mom was in the orchestra and so I spent a lot of time with the people in the music ministry. Even though I was crazy young - not even six at the time - I have very distinct memories of these people.
There was Tom, who was in the orchestra with my mother, and before every practice, he would get a Diet Mr. Pibb in the old purple can from the vending machine outside one of the side church entrances. He’d always let me have the first sip, and it was cold and delicious.
There was Rachel, who babysat me once while the orchestra was performing somewhere on a Saturday night. It was the only time I was at her house, but I clearly remember the layout of the living room and that we played Barbies until my mom came back to pick me up.
There was Barry, who played the trumpet, and when I was four or so, he and his wife gave me this cute polar bear that I had in my stuffed animal collection until I was a teenager.
I remember the layout of John Osteen’s office, even though I was only in it a few times. He had a fossilized piranha that had been given to him, and I was scared to walk past it because I just knew it was going to come to life and bite me.
As I aged, there were several different Sunday school classes that I attended, and I can remember what they all looked like and even some of the specific lessons that were taught. In fact, I can remember what the nursery looked like. My mom played for all of the services, so I spent a lot of time in there. To this day, I could walk you through the layout of the room, where the different toy boxes were, what was in them (I knew where all of the best toys were stashed away), where the little rocking chair sat in the middle of the play area, and even some of the children that I regularly played with.
What always fascinates people about my time at Lakewood Church is who my babysitter often was in that nursery: none other than Joel Osteen, himself. He loved being around the kids and helping out, so I spent a significant amount of time around him on Sundays, Wednesday nights, and even some Saturday evenings when special events were taking place at the church. Know what I remember most about my time with Joel?
Nothin'. Nada. Niente. Zip. I can remember the location of the vending machine that dispensed cold Diet Mr. Pibb in the purple can, but I can't remember a single thing about the man (then a teenager) who spent countless hours taking care of me in the church nursery. He may be the pastor of one of the biggest mega churches in the world, but it seems that Joel Osteen made no kind of impression on little baby Mysti.
Sorry, Joel. I do hope you inherited your dad's fossilized piranha, though. That would look pretty cool on your desk.