Plumber receives $20K reward after discovering cash in wall of Joel Osteen’s church

The plumber found 500 cash and check-filled envelopes

Plumber speaks after getting reward

HOUSTON, Tx. – On Nov. 10, a plumber found 500 cash and check-filled envelopes in the wall of Joel Osteen’s megachurch, Lakewood Church, in Houston.

The money that the plumber found is believed to be connected to a $600,000 donation theft from the church that took place back in March 2014.

However, Lakewood Church officials have not yet contacted the man who discovered the envelopes.

“I wanted to hear [Joel Osteen] say, ‘You know, Justin, what you did was right. We understand what you did and what you could have done,’” the plumber, who wishes to remain anonymous, said. “I feel like, at this point, I should have heard something. I’m just a little upset.”

In 2014, Crime Stoppers, a nonprofit whose mission is to solve and prevent serious crime, was originally offering a $25,000 reward for anyone who could solve the case. $5,000 was being offered as part of their normal procedure, along with a $20,000 supplement reward from Lakewood Church.

While the statue of limitations for that reward has passed, Crime Stoppers still chose to reward the plumber with a one-time gift of $20,000.

Crime Stoppers CEO, Rania Mankarious told KPRC, “In 2014, Lakewood Church gave us $20,000 to work on this case. In 2016, they chose to gift us those funds for operations. Today, we are gifting that same amount of money to this Good Samaritan and wishing he and his family a wonderful holiday season.”

About the Author:

Kamryn Buza joined 10 News as an intern in September 2021.