Plumber Finds 500 Envelopes of Cash & Checks Stashed in Wall at Joel Osteen’s Church

By Julie Roys
Joel Osteen Lakewood Church
Lakewood Pastor Joel Osteen (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

A plumber working at Joel Osteen’s church recently had a shocking discovery—500 envelopes of cash and checks stashed in a bathroom wall!

The news came to light yesterday when the plumber, identified as “Justin,” called the morning show at 100.3 The Bull in Houston, Texas.

“There was a loose toilet in the wall and we removed the tile,” Justin said. “We went to go remove the toilet, and I moved some insulation away and about 500 envelopes fell out of the wall. And I was like, ‘Oh wow!’”

Justin told the radio station that he made the discovery on November 10 and immediately contacted the maintenance supervisor and turned in all the money.

Osteen’s Lakewood Church has since confirmed the plumber’s account, according to a statement reported by Salon.

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“Recently, while repair work was being done at Lakewood Church, an undisclosed amount of cash and checks were found,” the church representative said. “Lakewood immediately notified the Houston Police Department and is assisting them with their investigation. Lakewood has no further comment at this time.”

The discovery comes six years after Lakewood—a megachurch in Houston with an average attendance of 52,000—had reported the theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars from a church safe.

In 2014, Houston police said $200,000 in cash and $400,000 worth of checks had been stolen from a safe at Lakewood, according to Houston’s KRPC. That investigation remains open, KRPC reported.

At that time of the theft, Crime Stoppers of Houston had offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the subject.

When contacted yesterday by KRPC and asked if Justin would receive a reward, Crime Stoppers said the statute of limitations had expired and the plumber would not get any money. Crime Stoppers added that to receive any reward, the plumber would have had to provide identifying information on the suspected thief.

The station said that after Justin’s discovery, he stayed at the church for seven hours while Houston investigators came to Lakewood, ripped out the entire wall revealing additional bags of money and checks, and questioned Justin.

According to the radio station, Justin hasn’t received much thanks for his good deed.

“Justin said the church or HPD never thanked him or reached out to him about $25,000 reward money,” the station said. “Justin said he even called Crime Stoppers about reward money, but never heard back. He even tried reaching out to Joel Osteen but hasn’t heard back.”

KRPC Story:

Correction: An earlier report had said the plumber found $600K in the wall. Though $600,000 was reportedly stolen from Lakewood, the actual amount found in the walls has not been disclosed.

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