Adrienne Houghton breaks down on 'The Real': Carl Lentz played a part in me wanting to come back to church

Adrienne Bailon
Adrienne Bailon, one of the members of the pop music group "The Cheetah Girls", poses as she arrives for the world premiere of the animated film "Wall-E"in Los Angeles, California, June 21, 2008. |

“The Real” co-host Adrienne Houghton got emotional during a segment on the show Wednesday when the ladies discussed Carl Lentz's firing from Hillsong and his admission that he'd had an affair. 

"What he did is absolutely wrong and I'm sure that his family is feeling that more than we are, and that's what we really have to remember,” Houghton, who's married to worship leader Israel Houghton, said on the daytime talk show. 

Houghton who was raised in the church and is the wife of a famous gospel singer, said she knows firsthand that people of God are not flawless. 

“I recognize that these people have gifts and they have talents, but they are human,” she said. “I literally told my husband, I said, 'If I ever was a pastor, the first speech I would give on the first day of opening my church would be, check it out: I'm just like you. I'm human like you are. I'm just as human as the person in row number 16, row number 20, row number 103.’” 

"The difference is, God has given me a gift to speak, and that is a gift. The same way that somebody in row 14 has a gift of doing hair. It's just different giftings, but we're all human and we all are not flawless,” Houghton continued.

Hillsong announced last week that Lentz was fired from the global megachurch due to “leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures.” Lentz later acknowledged on Instagram that he cheated on his wife, Laura. 

Houghton, a New York native, noted that sometimes church leaders want to be placed on a pedestal, but that’s not always the case. 

"I really do believe that no preacher, no pastor, no singer is higher than I am. I really do believe the only person that we should be looking up to in that way is God and Jesus Himself, because that's the only person that's gonna save me. So I think we do need to reassess how we view people in leadership in our churches,” Houghton said.  

"More than anything, I think we also need to remember that even if they do wrong, let's not completely erase all the good that they did,” she added.

After stating that, the TV personality began to choke up and the tears began to flow. 

"I was getting emotional this morning just talking about it because I know Carl, not super personal on that level, my husband knows him better than I do. But I actually went to the church Hillsong New York and I know the impact that he had on my life. And I can truly say that Carl was a part of me wanting to come back to church,” she revealed. “So while it's disappointing, we can all be disappointed, no one is more disappointed than his family and his wife. But let's not erase the good that he did.”

Lentz served as pastor of Hillsong NYC during its foundational years, starting in 2010 up until his termination this month. The edgy pastor and the Hillsong name drew thousands of people to the church, which was held at Irving Plaza in Manhattan during its inception and was a church by day and nightclub by night.

Lentz’s rise to fame came after he became the lead pastor of Hillsong NYC and was known for his fashion, tattoo-covered arms and celebrity congregants. 

On "The Real" Houghton added: "I'm really getting emotional about it. I remember hearing Carl preach and I absolutely do believe that God has used him, because it affected me. I remember being in the balconies of Irving Plaza and being like, 'wow, like his words spoke to me.’ I don't want to erase that because he did something wrong.”

She concluded by saying, "I have a hard time imagining just dedicating your whole life to a ministry, and then the moment you do something wrong, you're just kicked out from it.”

“Sometimes the church is so good at being there for the lost or seeking out the lost, but we kind of can be terrible at showing love to those that are already found, those that are already in ministry, those that are already in leadership,” Houghton added.

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