Burglars leave cash near Joel Osteen’s church

People at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church, where he worships, left a lot of cash on Sunday morning. Credit: Ray and Cynthia Hatesing via Wikimedia Commons

Joel Osteen may have to dust off his finest flowered vest and nickname his next sermon after it was discovered that two hundreds-dollar bills — tied to an unsolved burglary at a Buena Park home last year — were left around his sanctuary in Houston.

A janitor at Lakewood Church, whose Orange County campus serves primarily as the seat of power for the televangelist leader, discovered the unidentified bills around 8 a.m. on Sunday, the Orange County Register reported.

They had been soiled with sweat, meaning Osteen had possibly been mowing his outdoor lawn as he arrived at his church at 8 a.m. in the morning.

“The note stated, ‘We’ve come to our senses, you can now go to heaven now,’” Craig Haubert, a fire marshal, told the outlet.

According to Orange County Sheriff’s spokesman Jeff Hall, the bills were framed and heavily embossed, and thus had been “exceedingly difficult” to decode, but it did point toward foul play.

“The handwriting just seemed very distinct, very in line with someone,” Hall said, adding that deputies also found clothing and other evidence at the scene that pointed to a burglary, though more evidence hadn’t been found when they examined it late Sunday afternoon.

“It’s frustrating,” Haubert told The Washington Post. “Anyone that lives in a neighborhood of this caliber or anybody that lives in a Lakewood Church would know exactly who it was.”

Osteen’s manager did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Owners of a home in Buena Park were planning to attend a Sunday church service at Osteen’s church but didn’t find the bills when they arrived, according to the Register. Police said the notes had been unsigned and, because they weren’t tied to a specific neighborhood, wouldn’t further investigate whether they may have been left to solve the burglary or be found someplace else.

Osteen is the founder and senior pastor of a large Dallas-based church with more than 25,000 worshipers, according to Time magazine.

He achieved infamy in 2013 for naming an “electro-shark” as the biggest scarer in the house. In April, the church hosted the Real Housewives of Dallas reality TV crew for a special, according to Mediaite.com.

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