3/12 6:24 AM PT -- 3/12 -- Joel just announced this weekend's services are canceled, saying, "Lakewood's leadership has decided not to hold public services this weekend. Instead, Lakewood will broadcast its services exclusively online ... we will continue to monitor the situation week by week and hope to resume the assembly in the very near future."
The statement continues, " ... we feel that this move is necessary to ensure the well being of all of the citizens of this great city, especially the most vulnerable among us."
Joel Osteen's megachurch services will power through the coronavirus crisis -- which has officially been classified a pandemic -- meaning close to 50,000 people will gather to worship with him this weekend.
Sources close to Osteen and his Lakewood Church in Houston tell TMZ ... its 3 scheduled upcoming services -- one Saturday night and 2 Sunday -- are still on, with expected crowds of 16,000 at each service.
We're told the staff is taking recommended precautions, such as sanitizing surfaces and bathrooms and leaving doors propped open so guests don't have to touch them.
On top of that, our sources say church members and all potential attendees are being advised to stay home if they don't feel well, have traveled to areas affected by COVID-19 or been in contact with anyone who has.
We're told Lakewood's plans could change with the developing news, but as of right now ... it's church business as usual for Osteen and his congregation.
Joel's also set to hold a service in Jackson, Mississippi Friday for roughly 7,500.
However, our sources reiterate ... things could change with those plans too.
Originally Published -- 3/11 11:07 AM PT