Hillsong East Coast Pastor Carl Lentz broke his silence Thursday, just one day after the church’s founding pastor, Brian Houston, announced the New York-based preacher had been fired.
In an Instagram post published Thursday afternoon, Lentz admitted he “was unfaithful” in his marriage to his wife Laura, whom he married in 2003. He called his bond with his wife “the most important relationship in my life.”
“This failure is on me, and me alone and I take full responsibility for my actions,” Lentz wrote. “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.”
“I am deeply sorry for breaking the trust of many people who we have loved serving and understand that this news can be very hard and confusing for people to hear and process,” he continued. “I would have liked to say this with my voice, to you, in person because you are owed that. But that opportunity I will not have. So to those people, I pray you can forgive me and that over time I can live a life where trust is earned again.”
Lentz also thanked Houston and his wife, Bobbie, for their “grace and kindness, especially in this season,” adding they have “done so much to protect and love us through this.”
“We, the Lentz family, don’t know what this next chapter will look like,” the pastor concluded, “but we will walk into it together very hopeful and grateful for the grace of God.”
As CBN News previously reported, Houston disclosed Lentz’s dismissal in an email revealing “a recent revelation of moral failures,” which led to his ouster.
Without giving many details, Houston said the decision to fire Lentz “was made in order to honor God and pastorally care for you, our East Coast family, Pastor Carl, and his family.”
Several prominent preachers expressed support for Lentz and his family.
Levi Lusko, an author and megachurch pastor, said his and his wife Jennie’s lives “would not be where it is without you and Laura’s ministry, influence, and friendship.”
“So grateful for your ministry at [Hillsong East Coast] and how it changed so many lives, ours included,” he added in an Instagram comment. “Can’t wait to see what God has next. Love you.”
The 41-year-old Lentz has become something of a celebrity preacher, most notably due to his close relationship with pop star Justin Bieber, whom he baptized in 2014.