PASTOR Carl Lentz has been “fired” by Hillsong Church because of "a recent revelation of moral failures".
But what is Hillsong Church all about and why have they got such a large celebrity following? Here's all you need to know about the Pentecostal megachurch…
Who is former Hillsong Church pastor Carl Lentz and when was he fired?
Carl Lentz is an American pastor who has become famously close to stars such as Justin Bieber and Kendall Jenner.
He was fired by Hillsong Church for a "revelation of moral failures", according to a statement that was allegedly sent out to church members on Wednesday, November 4.
In the communication Hillsong founder and senior pastor, Brian Houston, said that the church was “very sad” to inform that Carl’s employment had been terminated.
He said: “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.
“This action has been taken following ongoing discussions in relation to leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures."
Carl helped Bieber to get connected with Hillsong after the singer reached out to him back in 2010.
The pastor proceeded to baptise Justin in the bathtub of NBA player Tyson Chandler after the pop star said he wanted to re-commit to God.
Carl and Justin became extremely and the singer even moved in with Carl and his wife Laura for a month in 2014.
Laura is a Lead Pastor at Hillsong East Coast Church.
The couple met at Hillsong College, a school affiliated with the international organisation, and they have three children, Ava, Charlie and Roman.
What is Carl Lentz's net worth?
Where is the Hillsong Church?
Hillsong Church was founded by Brian and Bobbie Houston in 1983 in the western suburbs of Sydney, Australia.
It now has churches in city centres in 28 countries around the world.
The church has an average global attendance of 150,000 weekly.
According to its official website, Hillsong has almost 1,100 churches and more than 250,000 believers across Australia.
The church's official mission statements reads: "To reach and influence the world by building a large Christ-centered, Bible-based church, changing mindsets and empowering people to lead and impact in every sphere of life."
Carl was senior pastor of the Hillsong Church in New York City.
Which celebrities attend Hillsong services?
Hillsong has a large following from the "young Hollywood" crowd including the likes of Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian, as well as their half-sisters Kendall and Kylie Jenner.
Justin Bieber is officially a member of Hillsong NYC but has also been seen attending services across the States and overseas.
Before marrying Hailey Baldwin, Bieber took his girlfriends to church to get Lentz's approval – including Paola Paulin.
The church is also attended by Justin's manager Scooter Braun, musician Bono and basketball star Kevin Durant.
What allegations have been made about Hillsong Church?
Hillsong Church has faced a string of controversies as it's grown in size.
In 1999 Brian Houston’s father Frank — also a pastor — confessed to him that he had sexually abused a seven-year-old boy in Australia 30 years earlier.
Brian did not report the abuse to the police. He suspended his dad, who was given a retirement package.
The victim received a cheque for £6,000, but later claimed that Brian told him: “It’s your fault all this happened – you tempted my father.”
He claimed Frank would come into his room “nearly every night of the week” and molest him while staying with his family from 1970.
Eight more allegations of sex abuse were levelled at Frank Houston before he died of a stroke in 2004. None were reported to the police.
An Australian royal commission which examined allegations censured Brian in 2015 and accused him of covering up his father’s crimes.
Hillsong has also had to face "cult" allegations from former members, who have also claimed it is fuelled by financial greed.
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