Celebrity Pastor of Hillsong Church Fired for Multiple Violations, Including ‘Moral Failures’


Carl Lentz has been removed as pastor of Hillsong NYC, and admitted in the aftermath of that announcement that he he had been unfaithful to his wife.

On Wednesday, Hillsong announced that Lentz was being fired in a statement from Hillsong Church Global Senior Pastor Brian Houston that was posted on its website.

“This action has been taken following ongoing discussions in relation to leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures,” the statement said.

Lentz followed that up with a confession on Thursday:

“I was unfaithful in my marriage, the most important relationship in my life and held accountable for that. This failure is on me, and me alone and I take full responsibility for my actions,” Lentz said in a post on his Instagram account.

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Lentz indicated in his post that his ouster followed a time of personal and spiritual troubles.

“When you accept the calling of being a pastor, you must live in such a way that it honors the mandate. That it honors the church, and that it honors God. When that does not happen, a change needs to be made and has been made in this case to ensure that standard is upheld,” he wrote.

Lentz admitted that “over the years I did not do an adequate job of protecting my own spirit, refilling my own soul and reaching out for the readily available help that is available. When you lead out of an empty place, you make choices that have real and painful consequences.”

Lentz apologized and asked for forgiveness.

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“I now begin a journey of rebuilding trust with my wife, Laura and my children and taking real time to work on and heal my own life and seek out the help that I need. I am deeply sorry for breaking the trust of many people who we have loved serving and understand that this news can be very hard and confusing for people to hear and process. I would have liked to say this with my voice, to you, in person because you are owed that. But that opportunity I will not have,” he wrote.

“So to those people, I pray you can forgive me and that over time I can live a life where trust is earned again,” he wrote.

Some on Twitter suggested doing more than gossiping about Lentz’s fall.

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In his statement that announced Lentz was fired, Houston said that “This action was not taken lightly and was done in the best interests of everyone, including Pastor Carl.”

Lentz had led Hillsong NYC since 2010, according to Religion News Service. The high-profile pastor who hobnobbed with celebrities was praised for his work by Houston.

“We thank Pastors Carl and Laura for the way they have served faithfully and sacrificially since the start of Hillsong NYC and for contributing so significantly to the countless lives that have been transformed for Jesus Christ through this ministry,” Houston wrote.

They have a heart for people and we are confident that after a time of rest and restoration, God will use Carl in another way outside of Hillsong church. In terminating his tenure, we in no way want to diminish the good work he did here.”

In the final words of his Instagram post, Lentz sought to find hope.

“We, the Lentz family, don’t know what this next chapter will look like, but we will walk into it together very hopeful and grateful for the grace of God.”

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