Fired Hillsong church pastor Carl Lentz has taken to Instagram to celebrate his wife Laura’s birthday, thanking her for “upholding their family when he could not.”
The former global church pastor was fired from Hillsong Church NYC in November 2020 over “leadership issues” and moral misconduct. While commemorating his wife’s 45th birthday anniversary on Saturday, he appreciated her for sticking with him through the affair.
“To watch my wife weather these storms of life the past few years has been inspiring. It would have been so easy and understandable for her to have walked out and ended our marriage. Yet she chose the harder road. She was the heartbeat of our church, was and is above reproach throughout every aspect of her life, a steady and consistent friend for anybody who’s ever leaned on her,” Lentz wrote in the Instagram post.
“She gave me a kind and firm ultimatum and told me she believes I can change and heal. That kept me going when I couldn’t see the light ever coming through the clouds. Those clouds have broken, we are on our feet, and I don’t take for granted that I get to celebrate this birthday as her husband. Thank you, Laura, for holding our family together when I could not. I’m grateful for how you have trusted God, and I love you. Happy birthday!”
A year after his departure, in an article on Medium, Lentz family nanny Leona Kimes alleged that she had been sexually and emotionally abused by the “lead pastors” of Hillsong NYC.
Lentz “categorically” denied any “notion of abuse” but admitted to having an “inappropriate relationship” with her.
Speaking in The Secrets of Hillsong documentary, he said: “I am responsible for allowing an inappropriate relationship to develop in my house with someone that worked for us.”
At the time, Laura said she was “so proud” of her “husband & for the responsibility he’s taken.” “Mostly I’m grateful for a man who humbled himself & didn’t try to defend himself, he has kept quiet publicly. And he has remained focused on the one thing that matters most — our family,” she added.