(ETH) – We are receiving reports that Hillsong East Coast Pastor Carl Lentz has reportedly been terminated from Hillsong as lead pastor from what is being deemed as “breaches of trust” and moral failures.
According to CBN News, A letter was emailed by Brian Houston, who is Hillsong Church’s founding pastor, to Hillsong East Coast members and staff in New York City on Wednesday, where the announcement was made. In the letter, it stated: “I know this will come as a shock to you, but please know that this action was not taken lightly and was done in the best interests of everyone, including Pastor Carl,” Houston wrote.
“This action has been taken following ongoing discussions in relation to leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures.” “Please understand that it would not be appropriate for us to go into detail about the events that led to this decision. However you can be assured that this decision was made in order to honor God and pastorally care for you, our East Coast family, Pastor Carl, and his family,” Houston said.
According to CBN, Carl Lentz, 41, and Houston’s son Joel began the Hillsong East Coast church in Manhattan, New York, ten years ago back in 2010. The church is a part of Hillsong’s global church network headquartered in Australia. Lentz grew in popularity after major media outlets highlighted him for his hipster style, tattoo-covered arms, and his celebrity members, including the likes of pop singer Justin Bieber. CBN News reported that they reached out to Hillsong for comment Wednesday evening and received the following statement from Brian Houston:
“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.”