Aussie superchurch Hillsong is accused of knowing about disgraced pastor Carl Lentz’s sexual misconduct as far back as 2017, Page Six has learned.
An alleged former church member, using the Twitter handle @aurora_divva, tweeted about an alleged 2017 Hillsong NY scandal where a church member accused Lentz of inappropriate sexual behavior.
She says this was covered up by church staff.
She tweeted: “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.”
She added: “What Carl Lentz got fired over has been happening for years.”
According to one insider, in July 2017, a Hillsong member wrote to one of the church’s directors an email with allegations that some Hillsong leaders were texting nude photos to female volunteers, and that Lentz had been accused of making one volunteer “extremely uncomfortable” after he “acted inappropriately,” was “extremely flirtatious,” and “has been involved in inappropriate sexual behavior with different women.”
As we reported, Hillsong founder Brian Houston publicly cited “moral failures” for Lentz’s exit. In newly leaked audio, Houston alleged that Lentz was unfaithful several times — including with Brooklyn designer Ranin Karim, with whom he split in October.
Lentz is now working on his marriage by going through “intense therapy” with wife Laura and spending time with his three kids. He is committed to rebuilding trust and fixing his marriage, a friend said, adding: “Covid has been a blessing in a lot of ways. They have been able to spend more time together as a family watching movies, game nights and reading (they have a book club).
“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 source added: “He continues to have the utmost respect for Hillsong and everyone who works there. He recognizes he has put them in a bad spot but is appreciative of all of the opportunities that Hillsong afforded him. He is also reaffirming his relationship with God.”
In a statement referring to the 2017 allegations, Hillsong told Page Six: “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.”