Former Hillsong Church pastor Carl Lentz praised his wife’s (Laura) resilience and expressed gratitude that she did not leave him when his infidelity came to light. In an Instagram post celebrating Laura’s 45th birthday week, Lentz said his wife has faced the suffering of the past several years with grace.
“To watch my wife weather these storms of life the past few years has been inspiring,” said Lentz. “It would have been so easy and understandable for her to have walked out and ended our marriage. Yet she chose the harder road. The one that has included so much pain as she has had to endure the consequences of my decisions.”
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Carl Lentz: Laura’s ‘Strength Has Not Wavered’
Hillsong Church is a global megachurch based in Sydney, Australia. On Nov. 4, 2020, Hillsong East Coast (which has campuses in New York City, Boston, and New Jersey), announced it had fired its pastor, Carl Lentz, for “leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures.”
The next day, Lentz admitted that he had been unfaithful to his wife. “This failure is on me, and me alone and I take full responsibility for my actions,” he said. It later came to light that Lentz had an affair with Brooklyn jewelry designer Ranin Karim.
In December 2020, People magazine reported that Lentz was being treated for depression, anxiety, and pastoral burnout. His firing is one scandal among numerous others that Hillsong has faced throughout the past few years. Other high-profile church leaders have resigned amid controversy, not least of which was global senior pastor Brian Houston. In August 2022, a former employee filed a lawsuit against Hillsong, claiming the church was guilty of financial impropriety.
In May 2021, the Lentzes’ former nanny, Leona Kimes, alleged that Lentz had sexually abused her during the seven years she worked for the couple. The couple deny that any abuse occurred and have instead framed Lentz and Kimes’ interactions as another affair.
Several exposés about Hillsong Church have been released, including “Breaking Hillsong,” “Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed,” and “Secrets of Hillsong.” Both Laura and Carl Lentz appear in the latter docuseries.
In his Instagram post, Lentz described his wife as “the heartbeat of our church” and “a steady and consistent friend for anybody who’s ever leaned on her.” Laura “was and is above reproach throughout every aspect of her life,” said Lentz, who denied that his wife was “complicit” or knew anything about his destructive choices.