Hillsong New York City pastor Carl Lentz has been fired from the church over what is believed to be ‘moral failures’.
The pastor to stars like Justin and Hailey Bieber was terminated this week and an email sent to East Coast members of Hillsong outlining his sacking.
“Today Hillsong Church East Coast advised our congregation that we have terminated the employment of Pastor Carl Lentz,” Global Senior Pastor Brian Houston said in an email to church members. “This action has been taken following ongoing discussions in relation to leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures.
“This action was not taken lightly and was done in the best interests of everyone, including Pastor Carl.
“While I have no doubt that this is the right course of action, I must mention Bobbie’s and my personal sadness, as we have known Laura her entire life and Carl for well over 20 year.
“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.
“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.”
Lentz has been the pastor of Hillsong New York since 2010 with his Australian wife, Laura. The pastor has been a hit with the young and hip of New York, helping build a vibrant church in one of the world’s most powerful, yet secular, cities.
He has been sen as a celebrity pastor, as well as looked to by secular media for comments on Christianity and the church.
In 2010, he co-founded Hillsong NYC in New York City with Joel Houston. Hillsong NYC currently has about 9,000 attendees among its 6 weekly services held at the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan and the Welmont Theatre in Montclair, New Jersey.
In 2017, Hillsong NYC expanded to campuses in Connecticut and Boston.
Lentz baptized Justin Bieber, was present at the baptism of Kevin Durant, and has befriended various other well-known people.
At the time of publishing, new pastors for New York have not yet been announced.