Lakewood Church pastor Joel Osteen faced a lot of criticism this year when he delayed in opening his church to shelter Hurricane Harvey victims. Despite this, Osteen still ranks third in the list of most influential evangelical leaders in the United States.
The list, which was created by Newsmax, shared the 100 most influential evangelicals in America this year, according to Chron. Billy Graham secured the top spot, with his son Franklin in second place.
Other religious leaders who made it onto the list are Cornerstone Church's John Hagee, The Potter's House's T.D. Jakes, Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress, Chuck Swindoll, Dr. Tony Evans, Trip Lee, Max Lucado, and Beth Moore of Living Proof Ministries.
The list wasn't limited to just pastors, since NBA star Jeremy Lin and former NFL star-turned-professional baseballer Tim Tebow also featured.
Politicians were also included, with Vice President Mike Pence ranking ninth in the list. TV and movie personalities such as Kirk Cameron, "Duck Dynasty" stars Phil and Willie Robertson, and singer Pat Boone were also among the influential evangelicals listed.
Aside from the Hurrican Harvey flak, Osteen has also been criticized for turning a blind eye towards sin, Satan, and the evils of the world. With his constantly positive messages, Osteen is often dubbed a "prosperity preacher" who waters down the Gospel.
But Osteen tends to disregard his critics. "If prosperity means God wants us to be blessed and healthy and have good relationships then yes, I'm a prosperity teacher. But if it's about money, no, I never preach about money. I probably stay away from it more than normal because televangelists get a bad name. People put me in that category because I do believe that God does want us to be happy, healthy, and whole," he told CBN.