JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

He is known around the nation as America’s preacher and he is coming to Jacksonville.

Joel and Victoria Osteen will hold “A Night of Hope” at the Veterans Memorial Arena on Friday.

Joel Osteen reaches one of the largest audiences in the United States and across the globe. Millions watch his weekly television broadcasts. Osteen and his wife are the pastors of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. It is also America's largest church.

"I call it a celebration. I'm trying to inspire people to show God is good, that he's on their side," Osteen told Channel 4. "It's a lot of music, my wife and mother are involved. I always tell people, if they come, they'll leave better than they came before."

Osteen worked behind the scenes for his father's televised sermons for many years. He said it was his father who persuaded him to preach.

"I never planned on being a minister. I took over when my dad died. It's just who I am," he said. "I've always been encouraging, positive. I feel my real gift is encouraging, inspiring."

A Night of Hope at the Veteran Memorial Arena starts at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m.