Joel Osteen makes haste to save face on 'GMA'

Houston Pastor Joel Osteen tried to bring his whirlwind week of bad public relations to a close on Wednesday in an early morning interview with “Good Morning America.” As Hurricane Harvey slammed the streets of Houston, Texas, Osteen was criticized for not opening the doors to his stadium-size church.

Osteen flashed his trademark smile as he deflected questions from “GMA” anchor George Stephanopoulos.

“The building was inaccessible,” Osteen told “GMA.”

RELATED: Joel Osteen and Houston's Lakewood Church

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Joel Osteen and Houston's Lakewood Church
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Joel Osteen and Houston's Lakewood Church
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 05: Pastor Joel Osteen visits the SiriusXM set at Super Bowl 50 Radio Row at the Moscone Center on February 5, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
Service at Lakewood Church in Houston, where Pastor Joel Osteen preaches to some 25,000 people each week. There are currently 842 mega churches that host an excess of three million people on any given Sunday. Mega churches are loosely defined as non-Catholic churches with at least 2,000 weekly attendants. (Photo by Timothy Fadek/Corbis via Getty Images)
Service at Lakewood Church in Houston, where Pastor Joel Osteen preaches to some 25,000 people each week. There are currently 842 mega churches that host an excess of three million people on any given Sunday. Mega churches are loosely defined as non-Catholic churches with at least 2,000 weekly attendants. (Photo by Timothy Fadek/Corbis via Getty Images)
Service at Lakewood Church in Houston, where Pastor Joel Osteen preaches to some 25,000 people each week. There are currently 842 mega churches that host an excess of three million people on any given Sunday. Mega churches are loosely defined as non-Catholic churches with at least 2,000 weekly attendants. (Photo by Timothy Fadek/Corbis via Getty Images)
Service at Lakewood Church in Houston, where Pastor Joel Osteen preaches to some 25,000 people each week. There are currently 842 mega churches that host an excess of three million people on any given Sunday. Mega churches are loosely defined as non-Catholic churches with at least 2,000 weekly attendants. (Photo by Timothy Fadek/Corbis via Getty Images)
Service at Lakewood Church in Houston, where Pastor Joel Osteen preaches to some 25,000 people each week. There are currently 842 mega churches that host an excess of three million people on any given Sunday. Mega churches are loosely defined as non-Catholic churches with at least 2,000 weekly attendants. (Photo by Timothy Fadek/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 03: Joel Osteen participates in 'Joel Osteen Live' featuring Joel and Victoria Osteen with special guests Fr. Ed Leahy, A. J. Calloway and Matt and Laurie Crouch at SiriusXM Studios on October 3, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
Service at Lakewood Church in Houston, where Pastor Joel Osteen preaches to some 25,000 people each week. There are currently 842 mega churches that host an excess of three million people on any given Sunday. Mega churches are loosely defined as non-Catholic churches with at least 2,000 weekly attendants. (Photo by Timothy Fadek/Corbis via Getty Images)
Lakewood Church in Houston, where Pastor Joel Osteen preaches to some 25,000 people each week. There are currently 842 mega churches that host an excess of three million people on any given Sunday. Mega churches are loosely defined as non-Catholic churches with at least 2,000 weekly attendants. (Photo by Timothy Fadek/Corbis via Getty Images)
Joel Osteen, a nationally televised evangelist and pastor of the nation's largest megachurch, greets Jose and Dalia Salas of Laredo, Texas, after service at Houston's Lakewood Church, in Houston, Texas. Dalia Salas said she hopes her infant, Joshua, will grow up to be 'an anointed man of God' like Osteen. (Photo by Frank E. Lockwood/Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT via Getty Images)
Service at Lakewood Church in Houston, where Pastor Joel Osteen preaches to some 25,000 people each week. There are currently 842 mega churches that host an excess of three million people on any given Sunday. Mega churches are loosely defined as non-Catholic churches with at least 2,000 weekly attendants. (Photo by Timothy Fadek/Corbis via Getty Images)
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The 54-year-old pastor believes the narrative that Lakewood Church didn’t want to help people was totally inaccurate and not emblematic of the church’s mission.

“The narrative is that we didn’t want to take people in, or that we didn’t open in time — it’s totally not true.”

RELATED: These six dudes heckled Joel Osteen like nobody’s business, and clearly, they couldn’t be happier

“I think somebody created that narrative that somehow we were high and dry, and none of that is true.”

According to Osteen’s version of events, the building was inaccessible during the beginning of Hurricane Harvey, and his staffers were unable to make it to the complex. Had he opened the doors to welcome people to shelter, nobody would have been there to attend to them.

“[W]e had nobody in this facility. We were fearing that it would flood. The last thing we would do is put people in it in the beginning,” Osteen explained.

“We’ve been here 60 years helping people, and we’re going to be here long after this dies down, helping these people as well.”

Osteen’s Lakewood Church boasts one of the largest weekly congregations in the country. Prior to becoming the home of the church, the building was once the home of the NBA’s Houston Rockets.

RELATED: Money, food, clothing, diapers: How to help Hurricane Harvey victims

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