MONTCLAIR, NJ - Famed pastor to celebrities such as Justin Bieber and countless others, has been terminated from his position as pastor of Hillsong Church, located in Montclair.
Former Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz had confirmed his departure on his Instagram page. According to People Magazine, Lentz reportedly sold his New Jersey home shortly before he was terminated for "moral failures." The Montclair home is reported to have sold for $1.5 million on October 23, prior to the November 4 publication of his departure from the church. Previously residing in Glen Ridge, the Lentz family purchased the 3000-square foot home for $1.2 million in 2017.
According to published reports, those moral failures include allegations of theft and cheating on his wife Laura, of 17 years.
Lentz wrote on his post, "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."
Shortly after the news broke of his departure, Lentz posted a picture standing alongside his wife and children, with an apologetic tribute.
"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," he wrote.
"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 pray you can forgive me and that over time I can live a life where trust is earned again."
On November 4, when the news first broke, Hillsong put out the following statement:
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.
NOTE: Though it is being reported that the woman, with whom Lentz had the affair, is speaking publicly, TAPinto Montclair will not be reporting on the allegations at this time, out of respect for his family's privacy.