Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church Robbed $600K

Lakewood Church robbed of $600K Insured FundsLakewood Church in Texas was robbed on Sunday of a total of $600K. Houston Police Department confirmed, in addition to written credit card information, cash totaling $200K and checks totaling $400K was taken from a safe at the church. Senior Pastor of Lakewood Church, Pastor Joel Osteen, encouraged his membership to begin monitoring their credit card and bank statements for fraudulent activity.

Osteen was thrust into ministerial leadership after the passing of his father, John Osteen, who founded the church. He is known for his ability to simplify scripture and make it relevant for everyday life. Osteen begins every sermon with a joke and a story.

Osteen believes that people have become less interested in specific denominations and the church has to change with the times. Osteen leads a non-denominational congregation of greater than 40,000 members. He says he has friends who used to be hardcore Baptists which have transitioned and no longer include
“Baptist” in the church name.

The famed pastor and his wife Victoria say despite their huge following accompanied with international success they never aimed to be a large church. Osteen’s parents started the church with only 90 people and it grew from there.

Osteen believes that his connection with his congregation is what has helped to expand membership. When he speaks from the pulpit he says it is as if he is talking to one person. Osteen tells people, “Yes we are a big church” but he would love to meet them. After each service he takes about an hour to meet and greet about 500 people.

Osteen says when he prepares his message he always takes the practical approach. In his mind it is as if he were only talking to about two or three people; he speaks the same way he would talk to them. Osteen says it definitely would not be “preachy” or very religious. Religion has been known to turn people off so he would rather talk about relationship with God.

Osteen, who says he never did any of this for money, has an estimated net worth of about $40 million. According to this mega successful pastor, neither he nor his wife takes a salary from the church. Instead, Osteen says he wrote a book that sold millions of copies.

Osteen has been the recipient of much criticism; he has been called a salesman who waters down the gospel. People have disapproved his message saying he is less concerned with people walking the narrow path of righteousness and more worried about believers being happy. This criticism has not detained him from establishing himself as the head of the country’s largest church and one of the most popular ministers in the United States and abroad.

In 2003 the former home of the NBA’s Houston Rockets became the new home of this Houston-based church. The stadium cost reportedly $105 million to renovate in order to accommodate the thousands of people who attend services on a weekly basis.

Although his appeal stretches the entire globe, Osteen says he, Victoria and their two children lead as normal of a life as possible. He says he is a happy person who plays basketball, rides his bike, runs and is not afraid to go out in public and chat with people.

Osteen says his father was raised during the Depression and he saw him come from nothing and make something great of his life. This is what Osteen believes God wants for everyone. God wants people to be leaders and excel.

On Sunday Lakewood Church in Texas was robbed of a total of $600K. This was not an electronic data breach but was limited to donations received during services that day. The monies were fully insured and the church is working with their insurance company to restore the funds Lakewood Church.

By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)


Houston Chronicle
CBS News
Christian Post

31 Responses to "Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church Robbed $600K"

  1. Tom Joad   August 30, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    This man is a fraud. He takes in huge sums of cash, and wastes it on multi-million dollar houses and his MegaChurch, with no crosses or other Christian symbols. He is a snakeoil salesman. If you think Osteen preaches the word of Jesus, then you don’t know it very well. Saint Francis led a truly Christian life. Osteen doesn’t.

  2. shahid   August 29, 2017 at 1:54 am

    joel is a great man of greatest GOD ,

  3. Jeffrey   January 17, 2016 at 8:36 am

    People who love GOD loves all no matter what
    Harsh statements and Indu windows that whole no merit
    He always speaks the word of God you should listen to ur heart and read your Bible

    JOEL YOU HAVE Changed many peoples lives please never stop in Why Victoria is absolutely wonderful I would love The opportunity to meet you and or her one day
    Thank you very much for all you have accomplished

    JEFFREY CAMPBELL 713-305-5167

  4. pam baker   March 27, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    Lord thank God For john osteen and mr joel you look exactly like him….thank God for you no matter what ignorant people say.

  5. Samuel Smith   December 8, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    The Bible says there will be many false prophets and I believe he is one of the worst. How much did Jesus charge.

  6. Belinda Gonzalez   August 24, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    He’s a prideful man. The bible says a rich man has no place in Heaven. He has mislead fools. He has built a temple to worship himself

  7. jennifer   August 24, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Next to Billy Graham Joel Osteen is my favorite minister..he makes sense as does Billy Graham

  8. Kenneth Copeland daily devotional   August 5, 2014 at 10:45 am

    David says in Psalm 23:4, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…” He didn’t say, “I stay in the valley, I build my house in the valley, I live in the valley.” No, he said in effect, “I’m coming out of the valley.” The valley is temporary.

  9. Chuckied69   August 3, 2014 at 9:16 am

    If the money that would have lined Joel’s pocket and instead used for charitable means can we say “amen my brother”

  10. Angela austin   July 27, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Joel Osteen for president! Would not be Great he is non denominational so he would be perfect and Victoria would be the best ever 1st lady

  11. Ruth sowers   June 4, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    I love Joel.I believe he preaches what God lays on his heart.God will reward him.let God be the will never be able to please everyone.God is looking on his heart.he will stay in Gods care.God bless him is my prayer,

  12. keith   May 18, 2014 at 8:59 am

    I love joel

    • Mitchell Bellardini   May 18, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      First I loved his father John, he inspired me for many years. I can still see him hopping and skipping around the stage and look right into the camera and shout, ” no, no, devil you can’t bother me!! I belong to Jesus!!”. Joel is a bit toned down compared to his father but still a great man of God. His message is always faith not condemnation. Joel is unpopular in some circles for many of the same reasons Jesus Christ was when he preached on this earth.

  13. jeff sheaffer   May 6, 2014 at 7:00 am

    What’s wrong with preaching prosperity: Show me where scripture salutes poverty. I would rather hear his messages takes people away from ripping off me and other taxpayers with food stamps, Section 8 housing and long term unemployment. The same with preaching healing. I have seen healing over the last ten years that has helped people stay out of dangerous diseased filled hospitals!

  14. Maureen   May 5, 2014 at 1:28 am

    I have never heard Joel say one thing that was not based on the Word of God. There is not one of us who has seen his bank statements or any of his financial records. We have not seen one iota of proof of him taking money out of the ministry and we do not know how he uses his money or what he gives to others. Where is the scandal and proof of scandal and wrong doing that has been stated here? When I see that I might be taken aback, but until I do, I am not going to believe anything other than the best of this man. When the IRS came calling and demanded an audit, Lakewood Church willingly opened their books to them. They didn’t have to, but they did. There were other ministries that refused to do so, but not this Church. (You may recall that the IRS has been taken to the woodshed about this because they were unfairly targeting Christian Ministries.) Here is a good and decent man who has devoted his life to God and to encouraging all of us to live decent lives. Let us have more men like him!! Let us all aspire to walk this path. And if someone could print his faults out for me to see, I would merely print mine right next to his for all the world to see. God wants us to walk in love. We are to love one another and even if he fell from grace, I would still love him and stand in prayer for him and his family. Why is it okay for celebrities and politicians to have money, big homes, etc. and not a decent man of God? It would be okay for me to have money, but not Joel Osteen because he is a minister? I am so tired of this mind set. None of us is perfect, but this is a decent, God loving man and he loves all of us.

  15. John   April 9, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    If God inspired Joel to write his books to help people, then the money made from them belongs to God, not Joel and his materialistic wife. That money should go to the poor and the “least of us.” He should only use what is necessary to live a comfortable life, not one of huge riches.

    • Mitchell Bellardini   April 9, 2014 at 6:45 pm

      Why don’t you leave Joel and his wife alone. Worry about keeping your own back yard clean. First seek to remove the beam in your own eye, before you seek to remove the splinter from your brothers eye. How do you know for sure what they do with the money?

  16. Jonathan O.   April 3, 2014 at 8:33 am

    It is very likely that he has made a fortune from revenue acquired through book and other product sales, although I am sure there are also tens of millions of dollars that are unaccounted for coming from his extensive following and church services. This is the perfect example of why religion is one of the most powerful businesses in the world as far as devotion to the “product” or “service” goes. It would not be accurate to say that what Osteen is doing is immoral in the sense that he is exploiting religion for financial benefit, because many people genuinely DO benefit from his service, although the power of religious influence can definitely be felt when incorporated with capitalism. I do believe that much of his wealth was acquired through various products or services outside of his primary (church) service, as would reflect most successful entrepreneurs, but to believe that his income is not also supported by his extensive following and the revenue brought in by his church services would be sheer ignorance of his followers.

  17. Mitchell Bellardini   March 29, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    If Joel is just another link, you must be the missing one.

  18. Larry T.   March 26, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Joel Osteen is just the next link in the chain. He’s worth 40 million on paper and probably triple that on what is hidden in “church” property and funds. It was Jim and Tammy in the 80’s and Jimmy Swaggert not far behind. They tell you what you want to hear, pocket your cash, make you believe in a fairy land that doesn’t exist, and have things to hide like every other fraud. Why people eat it up and keep emptying their pocket book I will never understand.

  19. Janet Irby-Miller   March 24, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    Joel Osteen helps more people realize a better life than most preachers. He should be rewarded.

  20. ssugiharto   March 24, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Great comments

  21. Mitchell Bellardini   March 20, 2014 at 8:43 am

    Beautifully said Merry Mac. Keep walking in the spirit! God bless you!

  22. MerryMac   March 19, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    It is my understanding Joel’s income is mainly from his best selling books. He writes books that help people. Nothing wrong with that. He doesn’t claim to be someone other than who he is. It is not free to run a church, especially of that magnitude. The church is known to do outreach programs or give back, which is what most churches do as much as they can afford to. Or they should. If people believed a church of that size would not have a lot of donations they were fooling themselves. No one is forced to be part of his services or to purchase his books. Personally, I find it a lot easier to have a deep, honest and ever growing relationship with God when various religious “guidelines” aren’t being forced down my throat. I wish I had access to that amount of money because it would mean there were that many more I could play a part in helping during my time on earth. I won’t bother quoting scripture which can contradict itself if we quote enough of it (and we will only know its real meaning if or when we are standing before God). If you believe you are meant to live poor, power to you. If you believe you should prosper, power to you too. But ask yourself, “am I a good person, do I lie and cheat, do I help others when I can, do I harm others, am I living the life God intends for me, am I trying to live God’s will for me?” A congregation of 20 or of 20,000 will usually make a difference in amount of money contributed. What matters is what is done with the donations.

  23. Mitchell Bellardini   March 13, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    1. Ceniz (plural)
    God says in his word ” beloved I wish above all things that you should prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers. Why is it so terrible when a Christian is rich? A rich Christian can help a lot more people than a poor one. You don’t like Joel because like his father , he is non judgemental. He prefers to emphasize the love of God. God bless Joel Osteen and his ministry. Whomever among you who is without sin, cast the first stone.

    • MerryMac   March 19, 2014 at 11:34 pm

      Amen! 🙂

  24. Jason Sevigny   March 13, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Certainly not “His Best Life Now.”

  25. Joseph   March 13, 2014 at 10:27 am

    I think its some lie. He spent that money on his mistress to keep her mouth shut. If he hadthe holy spirit he would pray and the answer would be there dont look for God on tv. Read the bible pray practice makes perfect.

  26. Buffy Singleton   March 13, 2014 at 7:36 am

    He’s “not afraid to go out in public and chat with people?” Well, that’s good, since Jesus wasn’t either! Of course, Jesus didn’t leave a $10+ million mansion to do it either!

  27. Sean   March 12, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Are those four wildly delightful people in jumping for joy in the picture the one’s who successfully made off with the best part of a million dollars?

    • ssugiharto   March 24, 2014 at 12:13 pm

      Why do people hate Joel Osteem living in millions dollars home that he has made from his books? Follow his foot steps, stop hating him, we may live in a million dollars home too.


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