Carl Lentz, who is famously known for being a pastor at Hillsong Church and for his close relationship with Justin Bieber, has been fired by the church. In an email sent out to the church staff on the East Coast, Hillsong founding Pastor Brian Houston announced that Lentz, 41, had been terminated, citing reasons such as: “leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures.”
“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 wrote in the email, according to the New York Post.
“Please understand that it would not be appropriate for us to go into detail about the events that led to this decision. However, you can be assured that this decision was made in order to honor God and pastorally care for you, our East Coast family, Pastor Carl and his family,” he continued.
Lentz, who started working at the church in 2010, was the pastor of the church’s New York location. In a statement on the church’s website Wednesday, Houston also wrote positive things about Lentz and his wife.
“They have a heart for people and we are confident that after a time of rest and restoration, God will use Carl in another way outside of Hillsong church. In terminating his tenure, we in no way want to diminish the good work he did here,” the statement said.
Lentz — who has drawn much media attention over the years for his style, tattoos, and connection to several celebrities, including Bieber, — has not publicly responded to his termination.
Pastors Brian and Bobbie Houston originally founded the Hillsong Church in 1983 near Sydney, Australia. It now has locations in 28 countries.