Estranged daughter of adulterous Hope City founder Jeremy Foster says he is unrepentant
Despite his recent claim on social media that he apologized to his ex-wife and children for an affair that destroyed his marriage and ministry, Jeremy Foster, the founder of Hope City Church in Houston, Texas, remains unrepentant, his estranged oldest daughter claims.
"From the moment I found out he had an affair, my dad moved in with his mistress," Jayden Foster said in a recent series of Instagram videos titled "spicy q&a," where she fielded questions related to the relationship with her father after finding out about his affair that led to his resignation from the church last January.
"A month and a half after my parents' divorce was finalized, I got an email — because I don't have communication with him — and he was telling me that he had gone ahead and gotten married," she added, saying that her mother had previously told her that her father remarried. "It like gutted me. Like, it really, really wrecked me. And I don't know if I can adequately put into words how that felt."
She added that her father was living with his "affair partner" after the affair became public while still legally married to her mother. After her father moved in with his "mistress," she said she didn't see him for three months.
"He would spend the weekend at my grandparents when the [younger] kids went over to spend time with him," Foster said. "In an email he sent to me, he said they were getting married because he wanted my younger siblings to have a correct biblical view of marriage. That is a little ironic."
Foster and his ex-wife, Jennifer, founded Hope City Church in 2015. Within four years, the church had roughly 12,000 people attending weekend services, earning it the title of the "fastest-growing church in the country," according to Ministry Solutions.
On Jan. 1, 2022, however, overseers of the church announced in an approximately 3-minute YouTube video that Foster "confessed to an extramarital affair with a woman not affiliated with Hope City." Jeremy and his ex-wife, Jennifer, have five kids.
The Hope City Church founder recently claimed on social media that he took responsibility for the affair and apologized to Jennifer and his children.
"Our marriage was well documented [and] had been challenging. At the same time, that gave me no right to do what I did. It was on me. I know people who've gone through really hard marriages and didn't have an affair. That was my fault. I have no defense. I have an apology," Jeremy Foster said. "I have learned through this. I can either have grace, or I can defend myself. … I have no defense. I need grace. I need God's grace deeply. I have apologized to Jennifer. I've apologized to the kids. We've walked through a divorce. Divorce is ugly in every form of the word. And it's still not OK."
Jayden Foster says her father posted that video without her knowledge and "repositioned us in the spotlight." She contends there is a "big difference between apology and repentance" and "grace and enabling."
Foster's resignation came approximately a year and a half after TBN UK published an interview where the Fosters candidly shared how God healed their dysfunctional marriage, where Jennifer physically abused him. He, at times, called her "crazy."
"And abuse started on our honeymoon," he said.
"We're getting married. And literally, on the honeymoon is where the abuse started again. Only this time, it didn't come from a man. It came from a woman. It came from me. You see, that's the only way I knew how to fight. That's the only way I knew how to argue," Jennifer said.
"It existed in every relationship that I ever knew in some form. ... So when we got in an argument, and he didn't respond to me that way, like all this rage, like literally pent-up rage, just came out of me and projected onto him."
Jayden Foster, who says she doesn't currently have a relationship with her father, said she never witnessed her mom being abusive to her father.
"I've never ever in my life, seen my mom lay a hand on my dad, ever," she said.
"I have seen my dad display aggression and anger. And he's gotten in my face, and he's yelled. And my mom threw rotisserie chicken at my dad once, which is not right. That's kind of funny," she quipped. "My mom is one of the sweetest people I've ever met, who was abused for so many years of her life, and she talks publicly about it. But to throw that on her and to say those things about her is vile."
Asked if she thinks her father being overworked contributed to his affair, she said it could have but insisted that being overworked was not an excuse.
"I do think that there are a ton of contributing factors to why somebody would have an affair, why my dad would have an affair. And I think that being overworked is 100% one of them, but that does not excuse the behavior. There is a lot of talk about forgiving my dad for the mistake that he made. He didn't make a mistake," she said.
"He made the conscientious decision every single day for a year, possibly more, who knows, to continue an affair despite the fact that he was being called out by people on his staff, me, his daughters, his wife, his overseers," she continued. "My sisters and I called his overseers, had a conversation and said we were concerned. They called him, called him out, and he fired them. So there are a lot of things that point to this not being an accident."
The daughter claims her father never repented for his actions. She alleged that about a week after she learned about the affair, she wrote him a letter asking him to leave his mistress and reconcile with her mother. "He did neither of those things," she said.
"And so that, and then a ton of other things ... have led to a relationship with him, like just being really, really toxic and harmful," she said. "Right now, it's just not possible. But pray that maybe one day the Lord gets through to him, and he's able to repent."
She added that she and her father were "best friends" for most of her life, and she has felt a deep pain in losing that relationship. She ultimately desires to have a relationship with him again one day but argues that her father has not taken any "step toward reconciliation that is meaning full to me." Answering another question, Foster said two of her sisters also don't communicate with their father.
In another video, she said that her grandparents officiated her father's wedding ceremony with his new wife in their home, and she was not informed of the ceremony. She said that decision has "fundamentally altered" her relationship with her grandparents.
When asked if she feels supported by the church, she said that she feels supported by the big-c Church because of people who have rallied around their family in support but stressed that some people in "ministerial positions" have let her and her family down.
Foster also challenged the notion of celebrity pastors and suggested it is antithetical to the Gospel.
"Celebrity pastors, I think those two words are antonyms. I just think that we need to look at how Jesus led. We need to look at how the disciples led, and first and foremost, there is a book called Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund," she said. "It talks about the heart of the Father. … I think that spiritual leaders need to be gentle and lowly, and I don't think you can do that when you refer to yourself as a celebrity."
Contact: email@example.com Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost