Who is Stephen Carl Lentz? 'Multiple' affairs of Hillsong NYC's ex-lead pastor were known to church for years

In July 2017, the church’s directors received an email from its member containing 'allegations' that leaders of the church 'were texting nude photos to female volunteers'


                            Who is Stephen Carl Lentz? 'Multiple' affairs of Hillsong NYC's ex-lead pastor were known to church for years
Pastor Carl Lentz (Getty Images)

Hillsong Church, widely known simply as Hillsong, is an Australia Christian megachurch. Stephen Carl Lentz, who was the lead pastor of Hillsong Church NYC, was fired by Hillsong Global Pastor Brian Houston on grounds of "moral failures". Lentz was lead pastor till November 4, 2020. Turns out, according to PageSix, Lentz had "multiple" affairs, that weren't secret, and Hillsong knew about it for years. Sexual misconduct accusations about Lent date as far back as 2017, according to Twitter handle @aurora_divva.

According to the Twitter handle, there was a scandal in 2017 Hillson NY where Lentz was accused of "inappropriate sexual behavior" and this was then covered up. The tweet read, “While Carl Lentz messed up, I have no issues with him and I’m praying for him and his family. It’s the pastors that handled the whole incident that need to be fired for real. Cos all this could’ve stopped or handled back then. What Carl Lentz got fired over has been happening for years.” A statement from Hillson during the allegations in 2017 said, “At the time, our team in cooperation with legal counsel spent five weeks investigating the claims and could find no corroborating evidence for any of the allegations made. For this reason, it was not escalated to Pastor Brian at that time. However, our independent investigator is revisiting these allegations, and we await their findings.”

Furthermore, the former lead pastor was also accused of making a volunteer “extremely uncomfortable” because he was inappropriate and "has been involved in inappropriate sexual behavior with different women”. PageSix also revealed that an insider had said that back in 2017 July, the church’s directors received an email from a member of the church that contained "allegations" that leaders of the church "were texting nude photos to female volunteers". In a leaked audio of a church meeting of executives and donors around November 19, church founder Houston also said that the NY lead pastor had "more than one affair".

According to reports, Lentz does not work at present, and is spending time with his family - wife Laura and three kids - as he tries to mend his marriage. The couple was reportedly going through "intense therapy". A friend of the couple said: “He is not working and plans to take time away from the church to work on his marriage. He has no plans to open a church or seek fame at this time. He never planned to leave his marriage nor asserted he would do so. That is completely inaccurate. He has dutifully lead the church and his parishioners for more than 20 years and takes his duties extremely seriously and has never shared confidential information about parishioners."

The friend added that Lentz has the "utmost respect" for the church, and while that he has disgraced them he is "appreciative" of his opportunities. "He is also reaffirming his relationship with God," the friend said. The pastor is set on "rebuilding trust" with his wife, with the source revealing that the family spends more time as one now and that the pandemic has been a blessing "in a lot of ways".

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