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Televangelist and “prosperity gospel” hawker Joel Osteen may find it easier to put a camel through the eye of a needle than to recover his image after a plumber discovered a stolen horde of material wealth in the walls of his megachurch.
Years ago, back in 2014, someone stole $600,000 in cash and checks from a safe at Osteen’s Lakewood Church. Now, the missing cash seems to have re-surfaced, thanks to the unwitting efforts of a plumber called in to do a bathroom repair at the megachurch, who discovered the reported “bags and bags” of cash in the wall.
One of the plumbers, a subcontractor identified only as Justin, called into radio morning show Morning Bullpen at 100.3 The Bull, saying that his superior contractor got a call about a loose toilet at Lakewood, and Justin’s crew arrived to do the job, which he had no reason to believe wouldn’t be like any other, until the shocking discovery, according to Click 2 Houston, which broke the story to the world at large (audio of the phone call from Justin is available on their site).
“There was a loose toilet in the wall, and we removed the tile. 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 then went on to call his supervisor, who called the Houston police. The incident ended up requiring him to stay for 7 hours while police questioned him and examined the scene.
The incident has brought in a flurry of commentary and speculation, the most common theme being that Osteen himself is responsible, and that this is his personal stash that has been uncovered.
What? Joel Osteen is corrupt?
That’s craaaaaazy. https://t.co/DLIjVRyHJF
— USEmCee. (@USEmCee) December 3, 2021
“Why are there envelopes full of money hidden in the wall?”
Joel Osteen: pic.twitter.com/WPyUB9wiFl
— The Pro & Con Podcast (@TheProandConPod) December 3, 2021
Coincidence? Accident? Hardly. Seems clear Joel Osteen is stealing from his Lakewood Church and congregation. Tax the church and send him to prison.
The money mystery comes after $600,000 in checks and cash disappeared from the church’s safe in 2014https://t.co/e9QIcZNS00
— John Oberlin (@OMGno2trump) December 3, 2021
Others noted the extravagant, wealthy lifestyle the pastor leads:
Since megachurch pastor Joel Osteen is trending, here’s a photo of his $10.5 million mansion… pic.twitter.com/CAU3arrllV
— Christian Nightmares (@ChristnNitemare) December 3, 2021
Still, others took the moment to draw attention to the time he declined to open up his Lakewood church to Hurricane Harvey victims in 2017:
— Tara Dublin (Taylor’s Version) (@taradublinrocks) December 3, 2021
While $25,000 in reward money was offered for finding out who was behind the 2014 grab, Justin allegedly hasn’t seen a penny of it, despite numerous attempts to contact Osteen and Crime Stoppers of Houston. For their part, Crime Stoppers says that the reward money is for information leading to the arrest of the culprit, not simply discovering the lost cash, and that the statute of limitations has expired anyway, therefore no reward money will be paid out.
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