Ex-Hillsong Pastor Carl Lentz to seek treatment for 'depression, anxiety’ after firing
Former lead pastor Carl Lentz of New York City's Hillsong Church, who was fired last month over “leadership issues” and moral failures, including being unfaithful to his wife, is reportedly now getting treatment for “depression, anxiety, and pastoral burnout."
An unnamed source told People magazine that Lentz, 42, will be seeking "treatment at an outpatient facility that specializes in depression, anxiety, and pastoral burnout."
In a statement on Lentz’s firing last month that was shared with The Christian Post, Hillsong founding Pastor Brian Houston explained that it wasn’t appropriate to go into the details of the firing but said the pastor’s termination was due to “leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures.”
Last week, DailyMail.com reported on a released audio recording of Houston addressing church leaders and top donors in which he said Lentz had “more than one affair” before his eventual firing.
The affairs were “significant,” Houston reportedly said, and noted that Lentz had a history of “bad moral behavior.” The New York City pastor’s infidelity was allegedly uncovered after a church staff member found compromising text messages on his computer. New York City–based designer Ranin Karim later claimed that she had carried on a monthslong affair with Lentz who only gave his first name and claimed to be a sports agent.
Lentz blamed his fall on his failure at “protecting my own spirit, refilling my own soul and reaching out for the readily available help that is available” in a Nov. 5 post on Instagram.
“When you lead out of an empty place, you make choices that have real and painful consequences. 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,” he wrote.
The unnamed source told People on Tuesday that Lentz is focused on repairing his relationship with his wife, Laura, who he married in 2003, and their three children.
"He wants to be better for his family and is dedicated to doing the work," the source said of Lentz. "His family is supporting him and hopes their privacy will be respected on this journey. He has no ill will toward the church and recognizes that they needed to take some course of action to address his missteps.”
According to the U.K.’s Sun, Lentz’s friend, media mogul Tyler Perry, paid nearly $100,000 to cover a six-month lease on a $4 million Manhattan Beach home in Los Angeles to assist him through the scandal.
"Tyler has been friends with Carl and his wife Laura for years and is sticking by them and their kids during this difficult time,” a source told the publication.
It was noted that both Perry and Lentz are represented by the same LA-based PR company which boasts celebrity clients such as the Duchess of Sussex.
Lentz was responsible for all Hillsong campuses on the East Coast, and was frequently called a celebrity pastor because a number of his friends and congregants included A-list stars such as Justin and Hailey Bieber, Kevin Durant, Selena Gomez, Kylie Jenner, and others. He's also credited for baptizing Justin Bieber in the bathtub of former New York Knicks player Tyson Chandler.
Last year, Lentz made headlines after he was named on a list of celebrity preachers known to wear expensive watches.
“He wearing the youth pastor’s salary,” quipped Tyler Miller on an Instagram account called ProphetsnWatches about the $37,995 solid gold Rolex Daytona Lentz wore during an appearance on “The Breakfast Club” morning radio show.