Nearly two years after a sex and leadership scandal that led to his firing from Hillsong Church NYC, Carl Lentz has “humbled” himself, taken responsibility and is getting ready to tell his story after a long season of public silence, according to his wife, Laura.
In messages shared two hours apart on Instagram Wednesday, the couple announced their return to public life, and Laura Lentz made it clear that they are looking forward to “sharing our story.”
“Yep, it has been challenging and hell yeah it’s taken a LOT of work the past 22 months (but who’s counting) to make our marriage what it has become, & we will never stop working on ourselves, for this marriage and for our kids! I know there are many that don’t or would never do what I chose to do, and that’s ok, it’s not for everyone!!,” she wrote on Instagram.
“I look forward to sharing our story, how I came to that conclusion and I think it’s going to help a lot of people. But I am so proud of my husband & for the responsibility he’s taken! Mostly I’m grateful for a man who humbled himself & didn’t try to defend himself, he has kept quiet publically and he has remained focused on the one thing that matters most — our family!” she ended.
Two hours earlier, Lentz said his family is now “at peace” and thanked God that his family is still together. He also thanked their family and friends for showing them “unconditional love and grace.”
“It’s been a challenging road but we are alive, we are at peace and thanks to the grace of God we are TOGETHER. Not sure what the future holds for us, but we do know that we face it as a family and for that I am so thankful,” he wrote. “My deepest thanks to our friends and family that have shown us such unconditional love and grace when we have desperately needed it. Forever grateful… we are hopeful about what is ahead!”
Lentz, who attracted a list of celebrities to the church, including pop singer Justin Bieber, was fired from his post at Hillsong NYC in November 2020 over “leadership issues” and moral failures, including being unfaithful to his wife.
Lentz, who was known for befriending celebrities, including pop singer Justin Bieber, was fired from his post at Hillsong NYC in November 2020 over “leadership issues” and moral failures, including being unfaithful to his wife.
Details from an internal investigation shared with The Christian Post earlier this year that was conducted on behalf of Hillsong Church by the New York City law firm Zukerman Gore Brandeis & Crossman, LLP, would later report the extent of Lentz’s failures.
As he wooed celebrities to the Manhattan church he started in 2010 to help elevate the global Hillsong Church brand, some former staff and volunteers alleged that he manipulated them and caused them to suffer mental illness.
Zukerman Gore Brandeis & Crossman, LLP, added in the report, however, that, “Due to the limited amount of documentary evidence, the extensive assertion of failure of memory by certain witnesses, and the necessity to rely upon oral testimony and demeanor, the conclusions in this report, although they may be phrased in a ‘factual’ style for readability, should be understood as the contentions of a witness, or statements of opinion by the investigating attorneys.”
The details in the 51-page report allege, among other things, multiple incidents of consensual or non-consensual sexual interaction between church leaders and congregants, staff, volunteers, or non-churchgoers. It presents an unflattering view of Lentz as a lying adulterer who presided over a congregation in which he did as he pleased in a hierarchy where he seemingly answered to no one.
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