Hillsong has clarified the reason behind its move to investigate its NYC Branch with the help of a New York-based legal firm.
In a statement, Hillsong church finally gave answers to the questions behind the recently launched investigation over its NYC branch, which was under relieved pastor Carl Lentz prior to his termination.
The statement said Hillsong wants the NYC church to move forward in such a way that will encourage more people to "find hope in Jesus," the Christian Post reported. It said the investigation was launched following reports from a "number of people" who spoke "about their experiences and concerns" inside the church branch.
The church added that it has launched the investigation after details of Lentz's alleged affair with a Muslim fashion designer recently surfaced in public.
The international ministry has asked the aid of a New York-based legal firm to conduct an independent investigation after terminating Lentz's employment. The legal firm is not in any way associated with the ministry.
Hillsong said that the investigation intends to ensure that the church remains a place where people seek to glorify God in words and in deeds. It also said that it is willing to do whatever actions are deemed necessary to right whatever wrongs it finds so that Hillsong East Coast can move forward and have a fresh start.
The investigation into Hillsong NYC follows after recent events surrounding the termination of the branch's pastor, Carl Lentz.
Lentz, who went public to confirm his infidelity after Hillsong's Global Senior Pastor, Brian Houston, announced his termination from pastoral leadership, admitted that he had been unfaithful to his wife and said he is working towards restoration and rebuilding trust in his family.
On Nov. 14, Ranin Karim, a fashion designer, admitted to having an affair with Lentz. She said their five-month-long relationship ended a few weeks ago.
Karim, a Muslim of Egyptian Palestinian descent. said in an interview that she met the celebrity pastor, who first claimed to be a sports agent, at Brooklyn's Domino Park. She later found out he was married yet continued on with their liaison including Lentz going to her house and FaceTiming when they are apart.
Lentz is married to Laura and is blessed with three kids.He was considered a celebrity pastor due to his connection to some famous celebrities - Kylie Jenner, Kevin Durant, and Selena Gomez are but some of his connections and congregants.
He shot to celebrity status after baptizing Justin Bieber on the bathtub of Tyson Chandler, a former New York Knicks player. Bieber was known to be under Lentz's spiritual guidance after the couple helped him to rise up from addiction a few years ago.
Recent reports revealed that Justin Bieber and his wife Hailey Baldwin started to distance themselves from the disgraced pastor. The couple reportedly unfollowed his social media accounts soon after the reports on his termination went out. The couple also unfollowed Laura Lentz's Instagram account although reports say that the Biebers' heart goes out to the wife.
A day after Houston announced what he described as a tough decision, Carl and his wife Laura were spotted having a tense argument in front of the Biebers' apartment in New York City.