Pastor’s wife says she chose to leave plane |

Pastor’s wife says she chose to leave plane

** FILE ** Victoria Osteen stands beside her husband, Houston Lakewood Church pastor Joel Osteen, during services at the church Jan. 9, 2005, in Houston. Osteen failed to comply with a flight attendant's instructions and was asked to leave a plane headed from Houston to Colorado, the FBI said Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2005. The plane's door had been closed Monday, Dec. 19, 2005 when she, got into a verbal altercation with a flight attendant, FBI spokeswoman Luz Garcia said. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)

HOUSTON ” The wife of the pastor of the nation’s largest church said she chose to leave a Vail-bound airplane after a disagreement with a flight attendant, disputing accounts that she was asked to go.

The FBI has said Victoria Osteen was asked to leave after failing to obey crew instructions. The Continental Airlines flight Monday from Houston to Eagle County airport., was delayed an hour as a result.

In a statement posted on the Lakewood Church Web site, Osteen says: “Regardless of how some have portrayed the situation, please know that it was truly a minor misunderstanding and did not escalate into what you saw or read in the news. Contrary to those reports, it was my choice to remove myself from the situation. Nonetheless, it was a most unfortunate event and I truly regret that it happened.”

A statement from Continental said the situation was resolved and a spokeswoman would not elaborate. The FBI reviewed a report from the airline and determined that no illegal activity had occurred, FBI spokeswoman Luz Garcia said.

“She failed to comply with the flight attendant’s instructions, and they were asked to leave the flight,” Garcia said Tuesday.

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Church spokesman Don Iloff said the Osteen family took another flight to Vail.

Pastor Joel Osteen took over his father’s church in 1999 and has since increased its following to more than 30,000 worshippers weekly. The congregation of Lakewood Church meets in a renovated sports arena where the Houston Rockets once played.

Osteen’s sermons are also broadcast throughout the country and his book “Your Best Life Now” has become a best seller.

On the web: Lakewood Church ”

Vail, Colorado

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