Pastor Carl Lentz of the East Coast branch of the Hillsong megachurch has been terminated, according to a statement by the church’s founder, Brian Houston. In the statement, obtained by People, Houston says, “This action was not taken lightly and was done in the best interests of everyone, including Pastor Carl.”
Houston said the firing followed “ongoing discussions in relation to leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures.” He added, “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.”
Lentz launched Hillsong’s first U.S. location in 2010 and helped make it a haven for celebrities, including Justin, who even lived with Lentz and his wife for a time in 2014. According to People, Lentz also counseled Justin about his relationship with Selena Gomez.
This summer, when Justin posted photos of he and wife Hailey being baptized together in a lake by Lentz’s friend, Pastor Judah Smith, Lentz wrote in the comments, ““Amazing. Love you.”
By Andrea Dresdale
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