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Money Found in Walls of Joel Osteen’s Church May Be Linked to 2014 Robbery Case



“A large amount of money” — which included “cash, checks, and money orders” — was discovered inside a wall within the Lakewood Church amid a renovation project, according to Houston Police

A large sum of money that was recently found inside the walls of Joel Osteen‘s church is said to be linked to a 2014 robbery case, according to the Houston Police Department.

On Friday, authorities in Texas released a social media statement that police were summoned to the celebrity televangelist’s Lakewood Church on Nov. 10 around 2:30 p.m. local time.

There, police said that members of the church stated that “a large amount of money” — which included “cash, checks, and money orders” — was discovered inside a wall within the establishment amid a renovation project.

Per the Houston Police Department, burglary and theft officers responded and found “an undisclosed amount of money” upon their investigation. The funds, authorities noted, were “inventoried, documented, and left in the custody of Lakewood Church” as the money was “property found on its premises.”

JOEL OSTEEN: In a statement years ago, the Lakewood Church said that the “funds were fully insured, and we are working with our insurance company to restore the stolen funds to the church,”

Police added that evidence from the discovered checks suggests that the money could be connected to a theft report that was previously placed in March 2014. That amount was undisclosed at the time, authorities said.

In a statement, which was obtained by The New York Times, a representative for the Lakewood Church acknowledged the discovery of the money.

“Recently, while repair work was being done at Lakewood Church, an undisclosed amount of cash and checks were found. Lakewood immediately notified the Houston Police Department and is assisting them with their investigation,” read the statement. “Lakewood has no further comment at this time.”

Previously, when the initial theft took place in 2014, a church employee discovered funds were stolen from the church’s safe, a Houston Police spokesman explained to The Houston Chronicle at the time.

In a statement years ago, the Lakewood Church said that the “funds were fully insured, and we are working with our insurance company to restore the stolen funds to the church,” the publication reported.

According to local media outlets, the money was discovered by a plumber who was working on renovating the church in November.

The worker — only identified as Justin, per ABC 13 and KHOU 11 — revealed that he was the one who found the money when he called into The Morning Bullpen with George Mo and Erik.

“There was a loose toilet in the wall, and we removed the tile,” the caller said, according to KPRC-TV. “We went to go remove the toilet, and I moved some insulation away and about 500 envelopes fell out of the wall, and I was like, ‘Oh wow!’ ”

“I went ahead and contacted the maintenance supervisor that was there, and I turned it all in,” he added.

The investigation currently remains ongoing, with the Houston Police Department noting: “No other information is being released at this time.”

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Black History

Texas Southern Great, NFL Player Charley Frazier Dies at 83



Texas Southern University’s track & field and professional football great Charlie Frazier passed at 83. Frazier was a native of Angleton, Texas, and starred in track star with fellow TSU great Homer Jones.

Frazier ran a 9.4 sec. 100-yard dash and 20.8 sec. 220-yard sprint at Texas Southern. The speedster teamed with Homer Jones, Barney Allen, and Lester Milburn to win the sprint medley (3:22.4), quarter-mile (41.2), and half-mile (124.4) relays at the Drake Relays in 1961.

He was incredibly fast. Frazier went undrafted in 1962 but earned a roster spot with his hometown Houston Oilers, where he played until 1968. In 1966, he caught 12 touchdowns and over 1,200 receiving yards and was voted to the 1966 AFL All-Star team. Frazier left Houston to compete with the American Football League’s Boston Patriots (now New England) from 1969-70.

Charlie Frazier coached at Houston’s John Reagan High School and college sports at Rice, Tulsa, and Texas Christian universities.

He retired from professional football with 3,452 receiving yards, 207 receptions, and 29 touchdowns.

Culled from the  Texas Southern Athletics

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Okwesilieze Women’s Club Prevails in Contentious Civil Lawsuit Against Defecting Members



Defendants shall immediately cease to use the name “Okwesilieze”; desist from using Plaintiff’s theme songs and greetings “Kwesi”; pay to Plaintiff Organization the sum of $37,000.00, and return specified items in their possession.”

A prolonged civil lawsuit between the Okwesilieze Women’s Club of Nigeria and a rival group formed by defecting group members “De Okwesilieze International Women’s Club” has ended in favor of the founding group, court documents show. In a final verdict that might affect similar cases still pending among various groups in the Houston’s Nigerian Community, the defecting group, De Okwesilieze, and their listed agents avoided what would have been a humiliating verdict and succumbed to mediation and settlement negotiations that completely appeased the plaintiff’s demands.

As part of the settlement, the Defendants and their representatives, namely: Hope W Aobikeze, Emiliana ; Chukwu, Rose Ekeke; Genevieve Onyirioha, Oluchi; Duruji, Philomena Chinwe; Ekwealor, Veronica; Onwukamuche, Nkechi Eko; Ijeoma Opara, and Veronica Onunze, shall immediately;

  • cease to use the name “Okwesilieze” as any part of their organization’s name.
  • shall immediately cease to use the Plaintiffs team songs and greetings “Kwesi” as part of their Organization songs or greetings.
  • shall return the Plaintiff organization items in the procession of the defendants, to wit (official documents and items transferred by former outgoing president, Emilana Chukwu to former in-coming President, Dr. Genevieve Onyirioha).
  • shall return the items given to Dr. Genevieve Onyirioha by Dr. Gracie Chukwu (These items are attached to the agreement.
  • shall pay to Plaintiff Organization the sum of $37,000.00. The payment shall be paid within a 5-year period, paid quarterly for a minimum payment of $1850.00 each quarter. The first payment is due June 1, 2022, and continues each quarter until paid in full.

The Okwesilieze Women’s Club of Nigeria was founded in 1976 in Enugu, Nigeria with the core mission to promote family values, harness wellness, economics, and community activities, and help the less fortunate women in the society overcome life challenges. However, an internal squabble at the Branch in Houston  created a division, causing some members to defect and register the conflicting group “De Okwesilieze International Women’s Club” on February 28, 2020.

The group’s Founder and Leader Dr/Mrs. Gracie Gboliwe Chukwu who instituted the legal action against the defecting members asserted two general claims. First, she affirmed various trademark claims, alleging that the mark Okwesilieze Women’s Club of Nigeria International’s trade name was trespassed upon by the Defendants’ incorporation and use of the name “De Okwesilieze International Women’s Club.” Second, Dr. Chukwu alleged that Defendants committed conversion by taking the funds from Okwesilieze Women’s Club of Nigeria International as described above.

The case litigated at the United States District Court might set the precedent for very similar cases involving other organizations of Nigerian descent. For instance, according to court papers, Defendants Hope Waobikeze, Emiliana Chukwu, and Rose Ekeke, in the course of the squabble, went to the bank and withdrew $14,400.00 from the OWCNI savings account and $58,000.00 from the OWCNI checking account. After withdrawing the funds, these three Defendants divided the money between the remaining Defendants, who all accepted and converted the funds and called it a “refund” of the OWCNI membership dues —a practice very conversant in many organizations of Nigerian descent.

Texas Guardian News
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Grubido’s Art of Fufu Series Returns to Houston for Spectacular Week of Food, Art & Celebration



After a long five-year hiatus, Art of Fufu, one of Houston’s most popular African food cultural pop-up experiences, returns to the city this August with a two-day celebration of events featuring tastings, art displays and cooking interactions that will educate patrons on one of west Africa’s most popular cuisines. The series, presented by Grubido, Inc., will host two events in the Greater Houston area on August 18 and 19.

Over the past ten-plus years, Houston’s own chef Kavachi Ukegbu has made it her mission to promote and elevate the conversation surrounding African cuisine into American food culture. Most notably, Fufu, a mouthwatering and warm starchy dough eaten by hand and enjoyed most with the pairing of various flavorful west African soups. With the release of her new cookbook which bears the same name, Chef Kavachi’s journey has continued to make noise on the local and national stage with appearances on celebrity chef Marcus Sammuelson’s No Passport Required (PBS), David Cordua’s The Houston Cookbook (PBS), KHOU’s Great Day Houston with host Deborah Duncan.

Nigerian-American Celebrity Chef Kavachi Ukegbu Announces Debut Cookbook |  PRUnderground

To celebrate the newly recognized National Fufu Day in the US, the Art of Fufu kicks off with a fun cooking class for the general public at HEB’s Central Market on Thursday, August 18th, followed by the return of the popular and interactive Art of Fufu Art Show on Friday, August 19th at Texas Southern University. The art show will highlight fufu-inspired artwork, cooking demonstrations, and food tastings with live afrobeat tunes and selfie stations. The Art of Fufu’s art showcase is partly supported by the City of Houston’s Houston Arts Alliance grant.

Chef, Kavachi  is a global ambassador for good food and stronger cultural connections. As the founder of Grubido, Kavachi fuses her training in the culinary arts, marketing, and hospitality management to host enriching in-person experiences crafted to expand guests’ culinary horizons. Grubido has been featured in several media outlets, including No Passport Required, Great Day Houston, Fox 26 News, the Houston Press, the Houston Cookbook, the University of Houston Celebrity Chef series, and continues to grow in its native Houston and beyond.

Texas Guardian News
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