Months after Hillsong Church fired her and her husband following his moral failures and infidelity, Laura Lentz has opened up for the first time about what she’s learned about herself in this challenging season.
Lentz took to Instagram on Wednesday for the first time since October to share a photo looking upward toward several tall palm trees. The wife of the celebrity pastor Carl Lentz started her caption off by explaining how symbolic the trees are to her current season.
“They are strong, can weather the biggest storms, they always grow upwards,” she wrote, equating those facts to “Freedom, righteousness, reward, resurrection.”
“I have taken time away from social media because it was not good for my soul, I have blocked & deleted more people & comments than I can count,” she continued.
Lentz and her husband were the focus of many headlines following his cheating confession last November and termination by the Australia-based international church network.
The attention on her family brought out negativity. And in her post, she maintained that “Trolls are cowards, SOME ‘Christians’ are anything but kind, gracious, or loving… but that won’t stop me from growing upwards & getting stronger.”
“I have learnt a lot about myself over the past few months. now more than ever I know the kindness of God, His grace, forgiveness & strength,” she continued. “I have found true friendships– the ones who have been with me on the mountaintops are the same ones who are with me during my darkest valley!!”
Carl Lentz, who led all Hillsong campuses across the east coast of the United States, was often pegged a celebrity pastor in mainstream media. His friends and congregants included A-list stars such as Justin and Hailey Bieber, Kevin Durant, Selena Gomez, Kylie Jenner and others.
He is also credited for baptizing Justin Bieber in the bathtub of former New York Knicks player Tyson Chandler. But following the scandal, Bieber publicly distanced himself from Hillsong, saying that he was never a member of the church and that his pastor has always been Judah Smith of Churchome.
Laura Lentz's post continued by saying: “I will not forget who abandoned us, but I choose to keep my heart free of bitterness & remain thankful for those that have stayed & loved us. I don’t want to judge others nor do I want to be judged.”
She concluded the statement with a powerful quote about treating people with grace.
“One thing a friend told me during this time is, ‘I would rather be accused of being too gracious toward someone, over being accused of judging someone too harshly,’” she wrote. “I want to be known as a woman who sees the good in people & truly loves people unconditionally.” She included the hashtags “#youcanonlychangeyou, #lovewins, #growupwards.”
In a statement sent to The Christian Post in 2020 by Hillsong, Hillsong Global Senior Pastor Brian Houston revealed that Lentz’s termination was due to “leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures.”
The church then launched an investigation after additional details of his affair with a Muslim designer and actress were made public.
The Lentz’s have been married for 17 years and they have three children together.
Carl Lentz admitted to the affair in an Instagram post after his firing from Hillsong.
“When you lead out of an empty place, you make choices that have real consequences,” he wrote. “I was unfaithful in my marriage, the most important relationship in my life and held accountable for that. This failure is on me, and me alone and I take full responsibility for my actions.”
Houston, who founded Hillsong in 1983, first announced Lentz's termination in an email to staff and members of Hillsong East Coast on Nov. 4.
“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,” Houston, whose church has locations across the globe, wrote in the email.
Houston said how much he and his wife appreciate Lentz, his wife and all of their work with Hillsong over the past decade.
In his post, Lentz said that he and his family gave all they had to serve and build Hillsong NYC over the years. But now, he will focus on rebuilding his family.
“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,” Lentz stated.
“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. 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."