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Church Investigations

Plumber Reportedly Finds Cash and Checks in Walls of Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church

Did a plumber just discover a new clue in a seven-year-old burglary case at Joel Osteen’s megachurch?

A caller on a Houston-area radio show Thursday (Dec. 2), claimed he found hundreds of envelopes full of cash and checks in a wall while fixing a loose toilet last month at Osteen’s Lakewood Church in the city.

During a morning show segment on radio station 100.3 The Bull, hosts were asking listeners if they’d ever found something of value. One call-in guest told the hosts he’d been working on the plumbing at the church on Nov. 10, when, he said, “I moved some insulation away, and about 500 envelopes fell out of the wall.”

The caller said he turned in the envelopes to the church’s maintenance supervisor and did not know how much money they contained, according to Houston NBC station KPRC 2.

Local news outlets have pointed out that $600,000 was stolen from a safe at Lakewood Church in 2014 and speculated the two events might be related.

Lakewood Church confirmed to Religion News Service that an “undisclosed amount of cash and checks” were found during recent repairs on the church building. The church contacted the police department and is assisting its investigation.

The church did not comment further on whether the money was connected to the previous burglary.

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Emily McFarlan Miller

Emily McFarlan Miller is a national reporter for RNS based in Chicago. She covers evangelical and mainline Protestant Christianity.

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