Over Half a Million Dollars ($600,000) Stolen from Lakewood Church on Sunday

Lakewood Church is a nondenominational Christian megachurch along Houston's Southwest Freeway. It hosts the largest congregation in the U.S. and its pastor, Joel Osteen, is a national celebrity. (Eric Kayne / Houston Chronicle)
Lakewood Church is a nondenominational Christian megachurch along Houston’s Southwest Freeway. It hosts the largest congregation in the U.S. and its pastor, Joel Osteen, is a national celebrity. (Eric Kayne / Houston Chronicle)

A total of $600,000 in cash and checks – along with written credit card information – was stolen from Houston’s Lakewood Church on Sunday, according to an email sent by church leaders to members on Monday.

Someone  broke into the church’s safe Sunday evening, taking cash, checks and envelopes containing written credit card information, the statement said.  A church employee made the discovery Monday morning.

Lakewood, which is led by Pastor Joel Osteen, encouraged those who made contributions to the church on March 8 and 9 to monitor their bank and credit card accounts closely for fraudulent charges.

The statement reiterated that this was not an electronic data breach, and was only limited to donations made during those services. Further, if a church member put their offering in a drop box, gave online or through other electronic means, they are not affected by the robbery.

“The funds were fully insured, and we are working with our insurance company to restore the stolen funds to the church,” according to the Lakewood statement.

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SOURCE: Craig Hlavaty 
Houston Chronicle

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