Josh Howerton’s Church Apologizes For Trying to Deceive City, Manipulate Traffic Study To Get a Free Traffic Light

Church leaders at Lakepointe Church in Rockwall, Texas, have apologized after a leaked memo showed members were being encouraged to falsely manipulate a traffic study near their church to get a free traffic light from the city.

The multisite megachurch led by senior Pastor Josh Howerton presently has to pay police officers to direct traffic near its south wall entrance due to increased congestion during church events. Desiring to get a traffic light installed but not wanting to foot the entire bill, the church commissioned a traffic study to show that a traffic light is needed because of how many vehicles drive by every day, and not just on Sunday.

However, the church’s actions did not stop there. A memo was circulated urging congregants to artificially inflate the traffic numbers by signing up for time slots to drive by the area repeatedly, up to ten times an hour.

Each shift is a commitment to drive the prescribed route 10 times within that hour shift. It’s great if you make more than 10 laps within the hour, but laps are only counted toward that specific shift,

This unethical behavior designed to mislead the city was promptly leaked to the public and city leaders, who scrapped the church’s study. It also prompted the church to release a statement on Facebook, with “Lead Pastor of Creative” Chris Burkley sharing: (and later adapted by Lakepointe Church Senior Executive Pastor Tim Smith) “the decision was made without knowledge by senior executive leadership at Lakepointe” and that “ the sign-up list was immediately taken down (on Saturday) as we were made aware of what occurred” (full statement in end notes)

Notably, two pastors signed up to take a driving slot, including lead pastor Nicholas Costello, demonstrating they were both content with the manipulation. 


The city of Rockwall said they still plan on going ahead with a traffic study for the area, but it will be done later that year using their own consultants, and Lakepointe Church will have to pay for it. 


Lakepointe Church Senior Executive Pastor Tim Smith:

“In an effort to increase the safety of our people, our traffic officers and to improve the egress of traffic, we made application to the city for a traffic signal at our main south entrance on W Ralph Hall Parkway. From our initial application with the city, it has been Lakepointe’s commitment to pay for the total cost of the signal being installed. There was no expectation that any tax dollars would be utilized if the city approved the request for a light. The city has been a great partner to Lakepointe and we have always worked diligently to bless the city of Rockwall.

Part of the due diligence and process of that light being installed was the commission of a traffic study at our entrance with a ratio of cars needed to fulfill its requirements. It was determined that the study would be held over specific hours during the week beginning on May 13. On Friday afternoon, a staff member made the unfortunate decision to attempt to sign up people from within Lakepointe to positively impact the count. That decision was made without knowledge by senior executive leadership at Lakepointe and the sign-up list was immediately taken down (on Saturday) as we were made aware of what occurred. We immediately apologized to our city leaders who made the decision to postpone the traffic count. We are in the process of reaching out to all the leaders who received the sign up and are apologizing to them as well.

We regret how this reflects on the Body of Christ and its impact in our community.

We love our city and have much respect for our leaders. We will continue to work with the city to make the traffic around Lakepointe as safe as possible.”

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3 thoughts on “Josh Howerton’s Church Apologizes For Trying to Deceive City, Manipulate Traffic Study To Get a Free Traffic Light

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  3. This despicable action should be surprising, but it isn’t

    Anyone involved with this fraud should resign. And if they won’t resign they should be relieved of their position of leadership.

    What a horrible witness

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