Carl Lentz, former Hillsong NYC pastor, joins Transformation Church as ‘strategist’
More than two years after a sex and leadership scandal led to his firing from Hillsong Church NYC, Carl Lentz is now back in ministry as a “strategist” at the Transformation Church led by Pastor Michael Todd in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
In a statement to 2 News Oklahoma, Transformation Church’s Executive Pastor Tammy McQuarters said they believe Lentz has been restored and are pleased to have him “help others experience restoration” as well.
"After two years of Carl being in his own discovery and healing process, he has shown readiness to use his God-given gifts towards the local church again. We believe in Carl, his marriage, his skill set, and his restoration,” McQuarters said.
“We pray that Carl, Laura, and their family experience not only their own restoration, but help others experience restoration by using their triumphs and failures to create resources for the body of Christ at large. We believe that this is part of what it looks like for the church to be the church,” she added.
The Christian Post contacted the church Tuesday afternoon for further details about Lentz’s new position and will update this piece after a response is received.
Last September, Lentz’s wife, Laura, announced that Lentz had “humbled” himself, and taken responsibility for his failures in ministry.
“Yep, it has been challenging and hell yeah it’s taken a LOT of work the past 22 months (but who’s counting) to make our marriage what it has become, & we will never stop working on ourselves, for this marriage and for our kids! I know there are many that don’t or would never do what I chose to do, and that’s ok, it’s not for everyone!!,” she wrote on Instagram.
“I look forward to sharing our story, how I came to that conclusion and I think it’s going to help a lot of people. But I am so proud of my husband & for the responsibility he’s taken! Mostly I’m grateful for a man who humbled himself & didn’t try to defend himself, he has kept quiet publically and he has remained focused on the one thing that matters most — our family!”
Lentz, who attracted a list of celebrities to Hillsong Church, including pop singer Justin Bieber, was fired from his post at Hillsong NYC in November 2020 over “leadership issues” and moral failures, including being unfaithful to his wife.
Details from an internal investigation shared with The Christian Post earlier this year that was conducted on behalf of Hillsong Church by the New York City law firm Zukerman Gore Brandeis & Crossman, LLP, would later report the extent of Lentz’s failures.
As he wooed celebrities to the Manhattan church he started in 2010 to help elevate the global Hillsong Church brand, some former staff and volunteers alleged that he manipulated them and caused them to suffer mental illness.
Zukerman Gore Brandeis & Crossman, LLP, added in the report: “Due to the limited amount of documentary evidence, the extensive assertion of failure of memory by certain witnesses, and the necessity to rely upon oral testimony and demeanor, the conclusions in this report, although they may be phrased in a ‘factual’ style for readability, should be understood as the contentions of a witness, or statements of opinion by the investigating attorneys.”
The details in the 51-page report allege, among other things, multiple incidents of consensual or non-consensual sexual interaction between church leaders and congregants, staff, volunteers, or non-churchgoers. It presents an unflattering view of Lentz as a lying adulterer who presided over a congregation in which he did as he pleased in a hierarchy where he seemingly answered to no one.
A recently released trove of documents first made public on March 9 by Andrew Wilkie, an independent member of the Australian Parliament thanks to the work of a whistleblower, alleges that Lentz and other Hillsong leaders enriched themselves through book deals and honorariums.
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