A-list life of fired Hillsong pastor
Until Wednesday, Carl Lentz was best known as the fashionably dressed pastor who spent his days playing basketball with celebrities like Justin Bieber and Drake.
The Hillsong minister, who worked out of the New York City church, famously baptised the Baby singer in the bathtub of Los Angeles Lakers player Tyson Chandler in 2014.
But on Wednesday he was fired by Hillsong leader Brian Houston, who shared the news of his "moral failings" in an email to church members, which was quickly leaked and led to a public admission from Lentz that he had cheated on his wife.
Lentz was born in Virginia, in the United States, and had studied at a California seminary college while working at a Gucci shop before discovering Hillsong.
He transferred his studies to the mega-church's International Leadership College in Sydney and graduated in 2003.
He later became the lead pastor of the Manhattan branch of the church in New York, which he co-founded with his wife Laura and Brian Houston's son, Joel, in 2010.
The church quickly amassed a young following, with up to 8000 attendees able to fit in the building at any one time, and Lentz amassed a net worth of $2.5 million, according to The Wealth Record.
He met wife Laura, an Australian, at the Leadership College in 2000. She followed him to New York after graduation, and the pair married in 2003.
The couple went on to have three children; Ava, 16, Charlie, 14, and Roman, 11.
Since their involvement in the church, a number of celebrities have been reportedly seen attending services.
Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Kourtney Kardashian, Selena Gomez, Chris Pratt and Katherine Schwarzenegger, Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler, Nick Jonas, Hailee Steinfeld and Bono have all previously been spotted at services.
Lentz was also reportedly present at the baptism of NBA basketballer Kevin Durant who plays for the Brooklyn Nets.
He had also been filmed playing basketball with singer and producer Quavo - who has featured in pop songs like Congratulations by Post Malone and No Brainer with DJ Khaled.
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today is a fantastic day to thank God for what you DO HAVE and be mindful of people immersed in various trials..over the past 3 days, our volunteer army has worked HARD and deserves encouragement!! Given away 600 meals in the Marcy projects, our church gathered 3k side dishes for various meals and today in the Rockaways we gave 550 gloves and today we are occupying 5 different homes in the Rockaways where we are cleaning, cooking and EATING..charity donates. Family celebrates..special shoutout to @jordandurso for allowing us to serve w/ Legacy center!!! #theregoestheneighborhood
On Thursday, Lentz took to Instagram to admit he "was unfaithful in his marriage", which he said was the most important relationship in his life.
"Laura and I and our amazing children have given all that we have to serve and build this church and over the years I did not do an adequate job of protecting my own spirit, refilling my own soul and reaching out for the readily available help that is available," the post read.
"When you lead out of an empty place, you make choices that have real and painful consequences.
"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."
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Just here to give the people what they want, highlights have been demanded...Espn left all my highlights out, whole network is dead to me now. @quavohuncho @sheckwes @spademuzik @justinbieber @djclue we had a solid run, team of the day for sure! @champagnepapi hit a few on me too, to be fair! @cbrickley603 @harrington1313 love y’all! #occupyurownhighlights
Hillsong was founded in Sydney by Brian and Bobbie Houston in 1983.
The contemporary Christian church had since expanded churches located across 28 countries around the world and an average global attendance of 150,000 weekly.
Originally published as A-list life of fired Hillsong pastor