FORMER Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz appears unrecognizable in shocking new photos after quietly relocating to Florida in the aftermath of his cheating scandal. Then Lentzs former dog walker went public about a 2014 incident in which he stumbled in on Lentz making sex noises with a younger star. Pictures of the family appeared on gossip sites: Carl, shirtless in cornrows, performing Sun Salutations on the beach; Laura beelining into a tanning salon. Days later, a Lentz insider told The Sun that Carl wants to use all the attention hes received to boost his post-scandal career, maybe land a faith-based Netflix reality series. Carl Lentz is a former Hillsong pastor who was previously involved in an adultery scandal. On May 31, 2021, the former nanny of Lentz's children accused him of bullying, abuse of power, and sexual abuse. Omar Abreu was in high school when they found Hillsong. The church has made Brian Houston wealthy and well-connected. She wrote in a statement on Medium that during the seven years she spent as a nanny for Lentz and his wife, Laura, I was subjected to manipulation, control, bullying, abuse of power, and sexual abuse., I felt trapped and silenced. The doctrine, popularized by American televangelists, holds that Jesus wanted health and wealth for his followers. After a decade working at the Australia-based church, John Termini who temporarily served as lead pastor for Hillsong's NYC branch in the wake of Carl Lentz's adulterous fall from grace is. Following months of scandal surrounding Hillsong, a pastor at the megachurch alleged on Monday that Carl Lentz repeatedly sexually abused her and threatened her during conversations about his conduct. Hillsong, like many of its peers, recommends its congregants tithe 10 percent of their earnings. (He later deleted the tweet and apologized for it. Of all the ARC pastors invited to Hillsong, Gray seems to have commanded the largest honorarium. That came to a. their relationship was consensual.) Theyre one of Hollywoods brightest starsand most troubled actors. Kane came out and he looked me right in the eye. The person was a youth leader, not a youth pastor. The pastor, a former real estate broker, is the developer Abram Shnays son-in-law. Then Lentz told the assembly, This idea came to us from our one and only Kane Keatinge. On Sundays Lentz sometimes delivered six sermons a day, ducking out between services to minister to the homeless. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement and Your California Privacy Rights. corroborate her account. All rights reserved. In September 2013, following two years forfeiting shifts at her paying job to serve on the host team, former volunteer Ashley Jones earned a promotion: spearheading the launch of Hillsong NYCs choir. Carl Lentz. Brian and his wife, Bobbie, worked at SCLC until 1983, when they founded Hills Christian Life Centre in the suburbs of Sydney. Im in the beginning stages of planning to start a church in Hawaii where my brother, his wife and baby live, Termini said, adding that Pastor Brian and I have a close relationship and he has given me his blessing. (Hillsong didnt return a request for comment, but following the publication of this story, Houston and Termini both announced Terminis departure from the church on Instagram. In 2019 it opened new outposts in Indonesia, Brussels, Edinburgh, Milan, Dallas, Kansas City, and Monterrey, Mexico, as well as a college campus in Phoenix. But Lentzs scandal and subsequent departure caused many of its congregants to reevaluate their relationship with the church. He was ultimately accused of abusing nine young boys at his ministries. Lower overhead means higher profits. One night, a friend invited her to hang out at the home of another Hillsong congregant. Theres no problem. Sometimes, exhausted from her weekend volunteer work, Austen had to move her day off at her paying job. An Intimate View of a Young Queen Elizabeth II The Sacklers Launched OxyContin. Hed interrupt lectures from the back of the room to pose counterarguments at length. Laura and Carl Lentz met in Sydney, Australia, when Lentz enrolled himself in the Hillsong International Leadership College at the age of 20 (via People ). The letters authors accused a former Hillsong intern under Keatinge of multiple inappropriate sexual relationships with several female leaders and volunteers in church and said he was verbally, emotionally, and according to one woman, physically abusive in his relationships with these women. (A Hillsong spokesperson said the former intern was asked to leave the church after leadership found out about his behavior. Crowds climbed to 1,000 per night in under a year. Ad Choices. Carl Lentz appears during an interview on Oct. 23, 2017, in New York. 2 min read. Last month, Houston announced that the investigation was complete, and that while the church wouldnt release the results, its board of directors had learned that it needed to make changes at the branches Lentz had led (and, the announcement seemed to imply, only at those branches). If you dont complain, you can climb the ladder. former Hillsong staffer, One year Joness superiors excluded her, the only Black woman leader on the worship team, from planning meetings for a Black History Monththemed tribute. In 2019, Hillsong paid Gray $14,178 (AUD). Its all about God, its not about whos up here, she recalls him saying. Pre-pandemic, the weekly production required about 300 people, although Hillsong NYC operates with a lean paid staff of pastors, back-office workers, and interns who themselves pay up to $4,000 to work at the church. An avid sports fan, Houston loved Lentzs basketball stories and his aptitude for name-dropping while telling them. Lentz brought the Hillsong megachurch to the US from Australia and led a charmed life in a $1.5 million home in New Jersey as lead pastor of New York City before his world came crashing down. Hillsong permitted Canfield, who declined an interview request for this story, to remain a coach but banned him from singing. During a visit home before his sophomore year, his parents brought him to a service at the newly established Wave Church. Get ready to dive into the world of the Hillsong Church. William thought it would be a one-on-one, but other church leaders showed. But I can point you to a person that never will.. Amid safety concerns, and anxiety over the fate of a $200 million movie. Since. V.F. After hearing Williams story, the volunteer reached out to the young woman at the center of the complaint and met her for coffee in December 2017. ), If you complain, youll keep cleaning toilets. 2023 Cond Nast. Its contemporary spin on Christianity, embodied by Lentz, packed a thriving network of on-trend believers into services across the globe every week. Lentz moved his family to the Williamsburg waterfront. She claims he was "very conflicted with his own work . Keatinge prompted her to tell her story. Ad Choices. The daughter of Lionel Richie said the process has been one of the greatest experiences of her life. News of the relocation shocked Hillsong NYC congregants, who felt the Lentzes had just picked up and left. The Hillsong Church's global senior pastor Brian Houston released a statement on the church's website announcing that Lentz had been fired. New York Post. It was first launched in India on March 23, 2020. The church offers a version of the gospel that can cohere with the rest of your urban professional life. Amid the turmoil, Termini is now leaving Hillsong too. ), One of the most delicate conversations I had with a former volunteer deals with Pastor Carl, William wrote in the complaint, the existence of which The New York Times first reported in December. Houston contacted his New York pastor right away. Here are 7 facts you should know: Pastor Carl Lentz ran from speaking the truth on national TV. (In my opinion theyre just looking for dirt on Carl, says one. Hes worked with the youth ministry for years, driving all over the state to pick kids up to bring them to meetings. In 2017, a New York connect group leader caught word of some troubling claims. Lentz was for years the New York pastor and face of Hillsong, a global megachurch that counted Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez among its followers at the peak of its cultural power. People are not looking for stale religion, Houston wrote in his 2015 book, Live Love Lead. The Sydney Morning Herald reported in a 2015 investigation of the churchs finances that that figure was likely incomplete, and Houston hasnt disclosed his salary since. Scene Stealer: The True Lies of Elisabeth Finch, Part 2. Many noticed that Justin Bieber stayed silent this fall as scandal overwhelmed the church he attends,. I also felt so ashamed and I had been told not to say anything or tell anyone, Kimes told Religion News Service, which first reported the allegations. [6] Early life and education Carl Lentz was born in Williamsburg, Virginia. Carl Lentz is one of the senior pastors of Hillsong Church in New York City and is growing his business each passing day. ), Aspiring pastors, typically dressed in some permutation of the Lentz uniform, served as members of the drive team. Nominally, they ferried pastors to and from services on busy Sundays, but they were on call 24/7 for Lentz, former volunteers said. Missing the community Hillsong provided, William organized his own prayer meeting. The celebrity-beloved religious couple's new $700,00. Assistants answered his emails. FX has released its official trailer for The Secrets of Hillsong, which, essentially, is former Hillsong New York pastors, Carl and Laura Lentz's, side of the story.. As they were leaving, the man who tried to intervene asked her not to tell anyone what had happened. reported in February, Kimes paid a former Hillsong College student $150 a week to look after her own daughter. We will have to reevaluate if youre fit for leadership positions, she recalled Keatinge replying. You have to choose where your loyalty lies, she recalls him telling her. But the wounds from Sydney remained. Lentz lives in Florida with his family and reportedly wants to start an entertainment career Days before his termination from Hillsong Church, Lentz sold his $1.5 million Montclair, New Jersey, house. Whats happening with the payment I was promised? Brett Sengstock, who was allegedly abused between ages 7 and 12, asked the younger Houston. A royal commission in Australia found in 2015 that Brian Houston failed to notify authorities about the allegations upon learning of them. Neither Hillsong nor Lentz immediately returned The Post's request for comment. In 1989, Brian Houston made a trip to the United States, where he met with pastors preaching the so-called prosperity gospel. Houston and Hillsong have falsely claimed that Frank Houston, who retired with a pension, didnt preach after his son learned of the abuse. ), Still, many Hillsong faithful remain. Kimes said in her statement that Lentz repeatedly physically violated her, including on two occasions, in a movie theater and while she was driving, with one or more of his children present. In December the board of Hillsong Church Australia wrote an email to congregants dismissing the stories, some of which included allegations of exploitation and discrimination, primarily as gossip. The incident joined a growing list of things that upset Jones about the church: cliques, favoritism, a general lack of diversity. (Lentz declined to comment for this story.). Rupert Murdoch and Ann Lesley Smith Call Off Their Engagement. Watching from her seat, Jones filled with anticipation. Producers and studio execs wouldnt take his calls. For years, Hillsong experienced rapid growth as it offered itself as a house of worship and community for its young followers seeking what they neededbe that healing, fellowship, or grace. Rumors of Lentz sleeping around were nothing new, but William says he didnt think they could be true. As college students, Crenshaw and her friend couldnt drink alcohol, but some of the men could. Australia-based megachurch Hillsong has been engulfed in scandal since November when celebrity-beloved Carl Lentz was fired from his position as the NYC branc She wrote in her statement that I was physically violated by his unwanted and repeated sexual touching of my intimate areas. Though a volunteer, William ran a connect group populated by members who were fiercely devoted to him. The case has continued to plague Hillsong. ), She reported the incident to Margaret Aghajanian, Hillsongs head of pastoral care oversight. But as Beyer would soon realize, Finchs past wasnt what she claimedand Beyers own difficult history was up for the taking. Hillsong Church founder Brian Houston said former pastor Carl Lentz had leadership issues that included lying and narcissistic behavior in an exclusive interview with "Today." Houston sat . A 2009 Virginian-Pilot report noted that the service, Soul Central, kicked off at 8 p.m., just as happy hours wound down. In September 2016, Jones emailed Lentz asking that Hillsong address some of the things that bothered her about the church: its racial disparity, cliques, cronyism, overworked volunteers. To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. Ad Choices. I was completely overwhelmed the first time I went, says one longtime worshipper. Carl Lentz Accused of Repeated Sexual Abuse by Hillsong Pastor A current pastor at the megachurch, who also worked as a nanny for the Lentz family, said that he threatened and belittled her. January 5, 2021 In case it wasn't already obvious when Justin Bieber and his wife Hailey Baldwin unfollowed their former pastor Carl Lentz on Instagram in November, the pop star kicked off. Back in New York, they tried going to services again; their best friends were and still are part of the church. After the celebrity-friendly megachurch Hillsong fired embattled pastor Carl Lentz in November, his initial replacement as the head of the churchs East Coast locations was executive pastor John Termini. Carl caught the culture from Brian, the former staffer says. Other people at the house, occupied with video games, didnt notice as Mays moved closer to Crenshaw and put his hand on her inner thigh. His closest colleagues and friends moved in too, and their building, 184 Kent Avenue, became known among Hillsong staff, congregants, and volunteers as the compound., The building served as the locus of church business in the city and the site of boys nights, to the extent that the two differed. Days after the meeting, the Nigerian student attended a special dinner party for Hillsong congregants who tithe above 10 percent. According to Jones, Keatinge brought the proposal to Lentz and returned with news that the idea had been approved. Tweet. Lentz allegedly asked her for massages, and Kimes felt that she couldnt decline. Carl Lentz was an integral part of the Hillsong church family before his firing in early November of 2020. The crew team unloads trucks. (A church spokesperson said its leadership was unaware of any inappropriate activity at the Kent Avenue address. The Lentzes loved Virginia BeachCarls parents lived there; they had a house and friends. Crenshaw left Hillsong College and the church, enrolling at a different Australian Bible college. The churchs doors were still open to him, Keatinge wrote, if he were to contact Hillsong on his own. In an Instagram post that included photos of palm trees and a blue sky, Laura Lentz alluded to the backlash that their family faced following the ordeal. Lance Vivar, a pediatric ICU nurse in New Jersey, says that the church is just too important for him. Kimes said in her statement that she told her husband about the alleged abuse after she learned of Lentzs departure from Hillsong, and she told Religion News Service that she had previously kept quiet because she feared both losing her family and Josh losing his job. Lentzs famous followers included Justin and Hailey Bieber. She imagined herself as leader of the class, answering Jesuss call. Hillsong told V.F. Sundays labor ends around midnight after the last service wraps, the equipment is broken down and the theater is cleaned. Our pastoral team will continue to care for Anna as they have been, but we also have an obligation to care for Jason, his wife and family as a church, he wrote in part. ArtAnd Lots of It, The actor, who plays a Bob Rossesque character in the new comedy, Breaking: Donald Trump Surrenders to Face Charges in New York. Vanity Fair may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. She noticed a staff administrator and volunteer singer named Jason Mays, son of the Australian churchs human resources head, John Mays, drinking heavily. While the source suggested that Termini had grown tired of Hillsongs controversies, the pastor struck a more sanguine tone when reached by text message. HILLSONG CHURCH IS A SNAKE PIT OF OPEN DEMONIC ACTIVITY AS IT'S REVEALED THEIR NY PASTOR CARL LENTZ AND STAFFERS RAN IT LIKE THE PLAYBOY MANSION by Geoffrey Grider for Now The End Begins The whistleblowers also claimed that Hillsong Church which has been rocked by recent revelations that its former leader, Carl Lentz, had multiple tawdry affairs was "a breeding ground for unchecked . Having recently sold their home in Montclair, New Jersey, the Lentz family moved to a grand Spanish-style home with a terra-cotta roof and ocean views in Manhattan Beach, California. A few days later, Houston announced that Chrishan and Danielle Jeyaratnam, formerly pastors at Hillsongs location in Perth, Australia, would replace Lentz on a permanent basis. When Crenshaws father wrote again to Hillsong leadership, he received a response from the churchs general counsel, Timothy Whincop.

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