Hillsong Church East Coast announced Wednesday that it has fired Pastor Carl Lentz — famous for palling around with celebrities like Justin Bieber and the Jenner sisters, Kendall and Kylie — for "leadership issues," "breaches of trust," and "moral failures."
In an email sent to church staff and later published on the megachurch's website, Hillsong's founding Senior Pastor Brian Houston said that Lentz, 41, will no longer serve as lead pastor for the New York City location.
What are the details?
In a statement on the church's website, Houston announced that the church opted to terminate Lentz's employment for the "best interests of everyone" involved.
"The action has been taken following ongoing discussions in relationship to leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures," the statement added. "It would not be appropriate to go into detail about the events that led to this decision."
The church pointed out that it will not publicly comment further following the statement.
The full statement said:
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.
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.
This action has been taken following ongoing discussions in relation to leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures.
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.
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 years.
Hillsong East Coast services and all of our ministries will proceed as usual, and we will continue to be a place of hope, love and faith through the powerful and transforming message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is a message our nation and the world need to hear more than ever during a time of such instability and uncertainty.
I appreciate the great team of people who serve here, and as we embark on the process of selecting new leadership, we are praying that God would bring about an exciting new season for our church and this region.
Hillsong Church will not be making further public comments on this matter.
Lentz — who has been fairly active on Instagram — has not issued and remarks about the firing, and has not updated his page since Sept. 19.
In 2017, the former megachurch pastor took heavy fire after refusing to call abortion a "sin" during an appearance on "The View."
(H/T: Religion News Service)