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Hillsong Church fires Pastor Carl Lentz, famously known as Justin Bieber’s pastor, over ‘moral failures’


A New York City megachurch pastor who gained celebrity from his past ties with singer Justin Bieber has been fired from his position due in part to what its leadership called “moral failures.”

Hillsong Church notified its congregation that Pastor Carl Lentz was terminated on Wednesday, Senior Pastor Brian Houston said in a statement. Lentz was the lead pastor of Hillsong NYC.

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Houston said the decision to part ways with Lentz was made following “ongoing discussions in relation to leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures,” but did not mention specifics.

“It would not be appropriate for us to go into detail about the events that led to this decision,” the statement said. “Our focus at this time is to honor God and pastorally care for our East Coast church community as well as the Lentz family.”

Hillsong NYC Pastor Carl Lentz pictured backstage at the Hillsong Conference at Allphones Arena in Sydney, New South Wales. (Toby Zerna/Newspix/Getty Images) - File

Hillsong NYC Pastor Carl Lentz pictured backstage at the Hillsong Conference at Allphones Arena in Sydney, New South Wales. (Toby Zerna/Newspix/Getty Images) – File

Lentz, 41, began megachurch’s New York City location, the first on the East Coast, in 2010 with Houston’s son Joel, according to Religion News.

Famous congregants of the Hillsong network of churches have included Bieber, his wife Hailey Baldwin Bieber, and Kendall and Kylie Jenner, according to a GQ profile published in 2015.

Lentz has not publicly commented on his firing.

On Lentz’s firing, Houston said: “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.”

He said that he remains confident that “God will use Carl in another way outside of Hillsong church” after “a time of rest and restoration.”

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The statement said Hillsong Church would not comment further on the matter.

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