Once hailed as a spiritual guide for A-list celebrities like Justin Bieber, former Hillsong Pastor Carl Lentz found his career in shambles after being fired for “leadership issues, breaches of trust,” and undisclosed “moral failures.” As details of Lentz’s multiple affairs and other controversies surfaced, many wondered what would become of the once-beloved pastor. However, recent developments indicate that Lentz is finding redemption and new opportunities in both his personal and professional life.
From Hillsong Pastor to Disgraced Figure
Carl Lentz joined Hillsong in 2010 and quickly became the head of the New York branch, guiding thousands through their faith. However, a decade later, he was fired amid allegations of moral failures. Churchgoers revealed that Lentz was having multiple affairs, with one mistress, Ranin Karim, becoming a major topic of discussion in the Discovery Plus docuseries Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed. Furthermore, in May 2021, Lentz’s former nanny, Leona Kimes, published an essay on Medium that exposed bullying and sexual abuse by her employer.
A New Beginning at Transformation Church
Despite his past, on March 28, 2023, news broke that Lentz had been hired by Transformation Church, a predominantly Black, nondenominational megachurch in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Led by pastor, author, and popular YouTuber Michael Todd, the church has welcomed Lentz to their staff. Executive Pastor of Operations Tammy McQuarters stated, “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.”
Lentz and his family have relocated to Tulsa, where he has also launched a consulting and coaching business for churches. A source close to Lentz said that Tulsa was the right place for the family to “continue to heal and move forward.”
Speaking Out in FX Docuseries ‘Secrets of Hillsong’
In addition to his new role at Transformation Church, Lentz is set to appear in the upcoming FX docuseries, The Secrets of Hillsong. The four-part series will feature the first interviews with Carl and his wife, Laura, since their departure from Hillsong, as well as interviews with former congregants and others connected to the church. The docuseries aims to provide a well-rounded and definitive story of Hillsong and the impact of its scandals on the community.
Joel Chiod, head of documentary at Scout Productions, stated, “Because of these voices, along with unprecedented access to Carl and Laura Lentz, The Secrets of Hillsong offers new insights into how decades of scandal and corruption went unchecked within the church, and more importantly, at what it meant for the community left in their rubble.”
The Secrets of Hillsong is set to premiere on May 19 at 10 p.m. EST on FX and will be available for streaming on Hulu.
Carl Lentz’s journey from a disgraced pastor to a member of the Transformation Church staff is a testament to the power of redemption and the importance of second chances. Lentz’s new opportunities, both in his role at the church and his appearance in the upcoming docuseries, signify a willingness to confront his past and move forward. As Lentz embarks on this new chapter of his life, his story serves as a reminder that even in the face of adversity and scandal, it is possible to find redemption and new opportunities.