In the wake of the controversial firing of former Hillsong NYC pastor Carl Lentz over moral failure, the woman with whom he allegedly had a relationship revealed Lentz introduced himself as a "sports agent" and did not tell her he was married.
In an interview with The Sun, 34-year-old Ranin, a designer, said she and Lentz met at Domino Park, Brooklyn when he came up to her and initiated a conversation. He told her "the most beautiful women come from the Middle East," and they started talking.
She told the New York Post that she found him "good looking" and enjoyed their conversation. Before they parted ways, Lentz asked for her number. She noticed he wrote it in the Notes app of his phone instead of saving it as a contact.
Ranin, who is a Muslim, claimed she did not recognize the celebrity pastor, as she had "no knowledge of the Christian world." Lentz apparently gave her just his first name so she could not search for him on Google.
That first meeting was followed by many others. After a few dates, Ranin asked Lentz if he is married, and he said yes. Ranin said she paid a website to get information about him based on his phone number. That was when she realized who he was.
However, that didn't put an end to their affair. They became intimate early on in the relationship. Ranin said Lentz visited her several times a week. When they were not together, they would constantly text and FaceTime each other.
She claimed Lentz even texted her while he was with his family celebrating the birthday of his wife, Laura, and told her he didn't know how to stop the affair. She said she tried to end it several times, but "he would keep coming back despite me telling him to leave me alone."
The relationship ended after five months when Lentz's wife discovered their messages on his work computer, which was connected to his phone. Some church staff apparently saw the messages, too.
Shortly after being found out, Lentz publicly confessed through an Instagram post that he had been unfaithful to his wife and would no longer be the pastor of Hillsong NYC.
"I was unfaithful in my marriage, the most important relationship in my life and held accountable for that. This failure is on me, and me alone," he said. He added that he is now in the process of rebuilding his marriage.
Lentz also officially ended his relationship with Ranin after posting his statement on Instagram, the designer claimed. He reportedly told her that his life was over and how he was often the one who counseled couples about extramarital affairs but was now "in their shoes."
A former church leader of Hillsong claimed in an exclusive interview that Lentz had been unfaithful in his marriage for years. She and her friend, both church leaders, had been aware that Lentz had been "sleeping around" with church members, as several people had reported the issue to them.
However, instead of doing something to investigate the reports, she and her friend were dismissed.
"There have been many sexual transgressions at Hillsong NYC. We tried to address them in 2017 and we were told that we were spreading gossip," she said.
She said she wasn't impressed by Lentz's recent apology about his infidelity. She believed it wasn't sincere and that he said it because "he just finally got caught."
Lentz's rep was not available to comment on the issue.