Joel Osteen is known for his gigantic church and huge following. Lakewood Church was broken into over the weekend and as much as $600,000 in cash and checks were stolen from a safe inside the church. The safe also contained the credit card information of several church congregants.
A church employee became aware of the break in on Monday morning and quickly alerted the authorities and other church members. The Lakewood church has more than 40,000 members and both Joel and his wife lead televised services from the church that are broadcast to millions of people each week.
“We were heartbroken to learn today that funds were stolen from the church over the weekend,” Lakewood officials said.
The church is working closely with the Houston Police Department to investigate the theft. The police have not arrested anyone and church officials were not offering many details for fear of compromising the investigation.
Church members who had credit card information on file in the safe were told to contact their credit card companies and monitor their accounts closely to determine if the thieves had tried to use the credit card information.
The police did not say exactly how much money was in to the safe, but the church said that their was at least $600,000 worth of money inside. Of that money, $400,000 of it was checks and $200,000 was cash.
The church said that the money in the safe was limited to what had been donated at church services on March 8 and March 9, 2014.
Image via JoelOsteen.com