Hillsong New York's senior pastor Carl Lentz has been dismissed. Lentz has been fired by the mega church's global pastor Brian Houston citing "moral failures" as the reason. Houston said it was not appropriate to detail events that led to the decision.
"I am very sad to inform you that Hillsong Church has terminated the employment of Pastor Carl Lentz," Mr Houston wrote.
"You can be assured that this decision was made in order to honour God and pastorally care for you, our East Coast family, Pastor Carl and his family."
Mr Houston added he had "no doubt in my heart" it was the right course to take even though it brought personal sadness, given he has known Pastor Carl more than 20 years. "As sudden as this feels to us, we must remember that it's not a shock to God," he said.
In a statement to church members, Mr Houston thanked Mr Lentz and his wife, Laura, for their service.
"They have a heart for people and we are confident that after a time of rest and restoration, God will use Carl in another way outside of Hillsong church. In terminating his tenure, we in no way want to diminish the good work he did here."
In 2010, Lentz co-founded Hillsong NYC in New York City with Joel Houston. Hillsong NYC currently has about 9,000 attendees among its 6 weekly services held at the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan and the Welmont Theatre in Montclair, New Jersey. In 2017, Hillsong NYC expanded to campuses in Connecticut and Boston.
Lentz baptized Justin Bieber, was present at the baptism of Kevin Durant, and has befriended various other well-known people