$600K stolen from Joel Osteen's Lakewood church in Houston
Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, was robbed of more than half a million dollars Sunday.
Authorities say $600,000 in cash, checks and credit card donations were discovered missing and presumed stolen sometime between Sunday afternoon and Monday morning.
Joel Osteen, pastor of the nation's largest megachurch, preaches at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, where services are broadcast around the world. (Photo by Frank E. Lockwood/Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT via Getty Images)
Members of the Lakewood Church along with first time visitors worship Saturday, July 16, 2005 at the grand opening of the new facility in Houston. The Lakewood Church, led by televangelist and best-selling author, Joel Osteen, officially opened the doors of the new building, formerly the Compaq Center, home of the Houston Rockets. The Lakewood Church Central Campus took 15 months and approximately $75 million to complete and will seat 16,000 people. (AP Photo/Jessica Kourkounis)
Lakewood Church pastor Joel Osteen, left, leads his congregation in prayer for the victims of last month's tsunami Sunday, Jan. 9, 2005, in Houston. Beside Osteen are Soemadi D.M. Brotodiningrat, Indonesia's ambassador to the United States, center, and U.S. Rep. Ted Poe. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
Victoria Osteen stands beside her husband, Lakewood Church pastor Joel Osteen, during services at the church Jan. 9, 2005 in Houston. Osteen is among an all-star cast of church first ladies scheduled to address more than 2,000 women, from all 50 states and more than 20 nations, at the "Free to Soar" Pastors' Wives Conference slated for Jan. 25-27 in West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
A close to capacity crowd prays during Lakewood Church pastor Joel Osteen's "A Night of Hope" event on Saturday at Dodger Stadium on April 24, 2010. Osteen and his wife Victoria preached to a crowd estimated at 45,000 people Saturday night. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
Joel Osteen, a nationally televised evangelist and pastor of the nation's largest megachurch, greets Jose and Dalia Salas of Laredo, Texas, after service at Houston's Lakewood Church, in Houston, Texas. Dalia Salas said she hopes her infant, Joshua, will grow up to be 'an anointed man of God' like Osteen. (Photo by Frank E. Lockwood/Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT via Getty Images)
KRIV reports all $600,000 in donations were collected during church services Saturday and Sunday and then placed in a safe. But online donations are safe - the theft did not include any online data breaches.
According to Lakewood Church, the money lost in the theft is insured but the bigger problem might come from churchgoers who donated with their credit card information.
According to KHOU, 'There is an insurance policy on its collections so they are not expected to lose money. However, you can if your identity was stolen.'
Lakewood released a statement Monday after the theft, which said in part: 'We were heartbroken to learn today that funds were stolen. If you made a contribution ... we would encourage you to pay close attention to your accounts.'
According to Outreach Magazine, Lakewood is the largest church in America with an average weekly attendance of more than 43,000 members.