‘Moral failures’: Hillsong sacks Bieber’s pastor
Hillsong founder Brian Houston has sacked one of the mega-church's most high profile pastors telling followers the decision was "not taken lightly" in a mass email.
Former Hillsong New York City pastor Carl Lentz was fired over "leadership issues", "breaches of trust" and "a recent revelation of moral failures".
Mr Lentz is most known for his high energy sermons, designer clothes and baptising Justin Bieber.
The American studied at Hillsong International Leadership College in Sydney. While in Australia, Houston, his son Joel and Lentz formed the idea to plant the church in New York.
In 2010, Houston Jr and Lentz founded Hillsong NYC which has since become one of the most high-profile churches in the world.
In the email, Houston said he was sad to terminate Lentz's employment.
"I know this will come as a shock to you, but please know that this action was not taken lightly and was done in the best interests of everyone, including Pastor Carl," he wrote.
"This action has been taken following ongoing discussions in relation to leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures.
"Whilst I have no doubt in my heart that this is the right course of action, I must mention Bobbie's (Houston's wife) and my personal sadness, as we have known Laura her entire life and Carl for well over 20 years."
Mr Lentz is married to an Australian woman, Laura Lentz, and the couple have three children together.
The 41-year-old has been seen largely as the poster boy for the mega-church.
He has more than 678,000 thousands on Instagram and until September 19 posted regularly on the social media platform.
At the time of publishing, he has not posted anything about his dismissal.
Among these followers are celebrities like NBA stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, as well as Justin Bieber and his wife Hailey Baldwin and world-famous rapper Drake.
Lentz came under fire earlier this year after keeping his church open to 200 people despite being urged to limit large gatherings. He also contracted coronavirus in March.
Hillsong has been contacted for comment.
Originally published as 'Moral failures': Hillsong sacks Bieber's pastor