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‘You Do Not Want To Be in This Chair’—New Docuseries To Feature First Carl Lentz Interview Since Scandal

Carl Lentz Secrets of Hillsong
Screengrab via YouTube @FX Networks

Nearly three years after being fired as pastor of Hillsong East Coast, Carl Lentz will offer his first public interview since his fall from grace in FX’s new four-part documentary series, titled “Secrets of Hillsong,” which is set to release on May 19. 

In a newly released trailer, viewers are given a brief preview of what Lentz’s interview will contain.

“You do not want to be in this chair,” Lentz says in the trailer. “I cannot stress it enough.”

Lentz’s physical appearance in the series is dramatically different from the last time Hillsong Church members saw him on a stage. Sporting shoulder-length hair and a plain t-shirt, Lentz admits, “I had some major lies.” Lentz’s wife, Laura, recounts her husband telling her, “I have been unfaithful.” 

When Lentz was dismissed from Hillsong for “leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures” in November 2020, he admitted to having an extramarital affair

New York fashion designer Ranin Karim soon garnered national attention for exposing the secret relationship between Lentz and herself, claiming that at the beginning of their affair, she had no idea Lentz was a pastor. 

Roughly six months after Lentz’s firing in May 2021, Leona Kimes, a former Hillsong staff member who had worked as a nanny for the Lentz family, claimed Lentz abused her sexually on multiple occasions. 

Lentz “vehemently” denied those accusations through a legal representative. 

In the years since Lentz publicly admitted his extramarital affair via an Instagram post, he has kept a low profile, only posting to social media once since then and making very few public appearances. 

However, that recently changed when it was announced in March that he would be joining the staff of Transformation Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to help the church “with strategy as we continue to move forward in our vast vision.”

Pastored by Mike Todd, Transformation Church is no stranger to controversy itself. Todd’s sermon illustrations, which have included bringing his brother onstage to wipe spit on his face and cuddling a mannequin while preaching about sex, have often been called into question. 

Some critics even went as far as to characterize the church’s recent Easter play as “blasphemous.” 

After Transformation Church came under fire for hiring Lentz despite his admitted moral failures and the allegations of abuse against him, Tim Ross, who serves as the church’s oversight pastor, downplayed the controversy.

“It made national news last week that somebody got a job,” Ross said during a Sunday service. “And I’m happy when anybody gets a job. I want people employed.”