Justin Bieber’s favorite pastor just got the boot from Hillsong, the worldwide megachurch popular among the Hollywood elite.
In a statement posted to the church’s website Wednesday, one of the lead Hillsong pastors, Brian Houston, announced that Pastor Carl Lentz had been “terminated” from the east coast branch due to “moral failures.” Though the church declined to elaborate on exactly what those were, Lentz has since explained in an Instagram post that he was “unfaithful” in his marriage.
“Today Hillsong Church East Coast advised our congregation that we have terminated the employment of Pastor Carl Lentz. This action was not taken lightly and was done in the best interests of everyone, including Pastor Carl,” Houston said. “It would not be appropriate for us to go into detail about the events that led to this decision. Our focus at this time is to honor God and pastorally care for our East Coast church community as well as the Lentz family.”
Lentz addressed the incident and apologized to those who followed him and the church.
“I was unfaithful in my marriage, the most important relationship in my life and held accountable for that,” he wrote on Thursday. “This failure is on me, and me alone and I take full responsibility for my actions. 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.
Despite having to fire Lentz, the church took time to thank him and his wife for their service.
“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 continued. “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 was known for his friendships not only with Beiber and his wife Hailey Baldwin, but with other celebrity churchgoers including Kendall Jenner, Kevin Durant, and Oprah. Other celebrities known to attend Hillsong services include Chris Pratt and Katherine Schwarzenneger, Selena Gomez, Tyson Chandler, Kylie Jenner, Kourtney Kardashian, Luka Sabbat, Vanessa Hudgens, and Austin Butler.
Read original story Justin Bieber’s Hillsong Pastor Fired By Church Over ‘Moral Failures’ At TheWrap