Pastor Carl Lentz said goodbye to his Hillsong NYC congregation and issued an apology for marital infidelity via Instagram yesterday.
Earlier in the week, Lentz was dismissed by Brian Houston, senior pastor of Hillsong Global Church.
“This action has been taken following ongoing discussions in relation to leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures,” Houston said in a statement.
“I was unfaithful in my marriage, the most important relationship in my life,” Lentz wrote on Instagram. “This failure is on me, and me alone and I take full responsibility for my actions. I now begin a journey of rebuilding trust with my wife Laura and my children and taking real time to work on and heal my own life and seek out the help that I need.”
Lentz admitted that he did not do an adequate job of protecting his spirit, refilling his soul, and reaching out for readily-available help as he pastored one of the biggest churches in New York City.
“When you lead out of an empty place, you make choices that have real and painful consequences,” he wrote.
Lentz, who co-founded Hillsong NYC with Joel Houston in 2010, mentored several celebrities, such as Justin Bieber, and professional athletes like Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. He also was a frequent speaker at Hillsong Church in nearby Montclair, New Jersey.
“This is a hard ending to what has been the most amazing, impacting and special chapter of our lives,” Lentz wrote. “Leading this church has been an honor in every sense of the word and it is impossible to articulate how much we have loved and will always love the amazing people in this church.”
In his apology, Lentz said he was “deeply sorry for breaking the trust of many people who we have loved serving…I pray you can forgive me and that over time I can live a life where trust is earned again…”
“We, the Lentz family, don’t know what this next chapter will look like, but we will walk into it together very hopeful and grateful for the grace of God.”