The global leader of Hillsong Church has said that it is time for a "fresh start and new beginning" at Hillsong NYC after the church's senior pastor was fired for infidelity. Pastor Brian Houston said that an "independent investigation" is to be launched into the goings-on at the Manhattan megachurch after its preacher, Carl Lentz, was found to be having an affair.
"We are launching an independent investigation into the inner workings of Hillsong NYC/ East Coast," Houston wrote in a short tweet. "We need a solid foundation for a fresh start and new beginning. The best is yet to come."
In an extended post on Instagram last week, Lentz openly confessed to being "unfaithful" to his wife.
"I was unfaithful in my marriage, the most important relationship in my life and held accountable for that," he wrote. "This failure is on me, and me alone and I take full responsibility for my actions. I now begin a journey of rebuilding trust with my wife, Laura and my children and taking real time to work on and heal my own life and seek out the help that I need.
"I am deeply sorry for breaking the trust of many people who we have loved serving and understand that this news can be very hard and confusing for people to hear and process."
At Hillsong NYC's Sunday service, Brian Houston said that the decision to fire Lentz was made with the help of the church's leadership.
"This is a season of transition," he said in a recorded video message. "It's a time when I'm so grateful for the team we have there - we have such strong, committed, deeply loyal people who are part of the team...and I must say that not only are our key leaders in New York supportive of the decisions that have been made, but in fact they've been part of the process."
In a statement released last week, Houston announced that he had "terminated the employment of Pastor Carl Lentz", after uncovering "leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures".