Hillsong Church Founder Reflects on Carl Lentz Firing and Controversy


Hillsong Church co-founder Brian Houston is speaking out further about the controversy and firing of former pastor Carl Lentz, one of the global megachurch’s pastors famous for his celebrity following.

The disgraced figure was terminated in November from Hillsong East Coast, the group’s New York-based branch. At the time, Houston said in a statement that Lentz’s firing followed “leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures.” Lentz himself later wrote on Instagram that he had been unfaithful in his marriage to wife Laura, mother of their three children, adding, “This failure is on me, and me alone and I take full responsibility for my actions.”

On NBC’s Today show on Wednesday, May 19, Houston spoke to Savannah Guthrie about the alleged actions that led to Lentz’s firing. “Carl is Carl. He’s a unique character. There’s a lot of things I miss about Carl,” he said. “But having said that, there were leadership issues that I believe included lying, including what I would call narcissistic behavior.”

Houston continued. “I’d have to admit I’ve had concerns and many conversations over the years with Carl. I think there’s a lot of things I should have known earlier and hopefully, moving forward, we’ll make sure we have far better systems in place and better accountability.”



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