Last June, six men were dragged out of Lakewood Church after interrupting Pastor Joel Osteen’s sermon.
Wednesday, four of them — Kevin Fessler, Matthew Martinez, Randall Valdez, and Mark DeRouville — walked out of the Harris County Courthouse singing in victory after they were cleared of all charges.
“We were unashamed of the gospel onto death,” says Kevin Fessler. “We were willing to suffer. We were willing to go to jail or anything.”
They’re members of the Church of Wells, a religious group based in Wells, Texas, that some call a cult.
Pastor Joel Osteen was allowed to walk in through the back to take the stand. He told the court he couldn’t really see the men but could hear them, and he sensed hostility in their tone. The defense says his testimony actually helped their case.