Joel Osteen, an American preacher, and televangelist does not own a Ferrari.Social media attackers descended on him based on fake news.
Pictures of the $325,000 Ferrari had surfaced on Twitter on Sunday, July 18.
But as it turned out the pastor does not have such a car in his garage.
A fact check by snopes.com has debunked the news, pointing out that the original purveyor of the news, the Houston Chronicle has deleted the news.
“While Osteen may own an expensive car (or two), he does not own the vehicle shown in this picture,” Snopes wrote.
“It should also be noted that reports about Osteen owning a Ferarri 458 Italia have not been verified. In fact, some news outlets that initially published this claim, such as the Houston Chronicle, have since deleted their articles.
“We have not been able to find any verified reporting that Osteen owns a $325,000 Ferrari. There don’t appear to be any photographs of Osteen driving this exotic sports car, and we have not been able to find any statements from Osteen in which he talks about an exotic collection.
“This rumour appears to be little more than an assumption. Osteen does have a reported net worth in the tens of millions (more on that later) and a large house in Houston, Texas.
“It certainly seems possible that Osteen has purchased an exotic car (or two), but so far these reports are not verified”,
Snopes.com further reported that the picture of the Ferrari linked with Osteen, was originally posted to an Exotic Cars Flickr page in 2010.
“A spokesperson for the Exotic Car Life Flickr account told us that the photograph was taken in Coral Gables, Florida down the street from the luxury car dealership The Collection.
“They told us that they saw the car, which they believed to be a customized order, at one other event and provided us with numerous photographs, none of which featured Osteen.
The spokesperson said: “I saw the car on another occasion at an event, no Joel Osteen was seen.”
The initial unverified report led to many asking the U.S. government to tax churches.
“If this isn’t the perfect argument to tax churches, then there isn’t one. Joel Osteen and his Ferrari,” Michael Alan Westen wrote.
The 58-year-old pastor has authored and sold 15 books.
He also gets paid for public speaking gigs.
However, Joel didn’t also start from scratch.
The famous Lakewood Church, as well as its television ministry, were an inheritance from his father, a Southern Baptist pastor.
Joel took over as the church’s pastor in 1999, after his father died.
Over the years the church’s broadcast has grown to 100 countries. The church reportedly welcomes more than 50,000 parishioners every week.
Joel’s weekly televised sermons have been averaging around 7 million people per week and reaching 20 million per month.
Some of his most popular books are Your Best Life Now, Become A Better You, and many more. He has written 15 books so far in his career.
However, Joel also lives in a 17,000 square-foot mansion in a wealthy suburb named River Oaks in Houston.
His property is estimated to be worth $10.5 million.