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‘I Don’t Identify as the Disgraced Former Pastor’—Carl Lentz Reflects on Scandals in New Podcast

Carl Lentz
Screengrab via YouTube / @The B-Side

Former Hillsong East Coast Pastor Carl Lentz has released a tell-all podcast alongside his wife, Laura. In the first episode of “Lights On With Carl Lentz,” Lentz opened up about the events of the past four years, during which he has been absent from the spotlight. 

The podcast is part of the B-Side network, which was founded by rapper Lecrae, singer Michelle Williams, and Pastor Tim Ross. Notably, Ross serves as oversight pastor at Mike Todd’s Transformation Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Lentz was hired in 2023 to help with ministry strategy. 

Lentz had been the pastor of Hillsong Church’s New York location, and during his tenure there, he grew the church into a multisite congregation while rubbing elbows with celebrities and professional athletes. However, he was dismissed from the church in 2020 after admitting to an extramarital affair. 

Later, allegations of spiritual and sexual abuse were levied against Lentz. He has denied that these allegations are true. No legal action against Lentz has resulted from the allegations. 

“When you go through something like we’ve gone through,” Lentz said at the beginning of the podcast, “you either break down and die and let it define you for the rest of your life, or you get up and you fight and you try to break through and remind yourself that we’re all writing our story and nobody else can control the true, real narrative of your life.”

“And we have had a journey of making sure we don’t lay down, die, and let a hard chapter define us,” he added. 

Speaking of the scandals that have surrounded his life, Lentz said, “I’m at fault.”

“My decision, my choices—that’s my responsibility, and I take responsibility for it,” he continued. “I have wanted people to know, when I get a chance to talk to them, that I’m deeply sorry for what happened, and it’s nobody else’s responsibility. It’s mine.” 

“I mismanaged my personal life. I hid things that I should not have hid. I lied about things I shouldn’t have lied about. I was confused about who I was at times, didn’t get help for it,” Lentz said. “And the result was a whole lot of pain for a whole lot of people, which I will remain deeply sorry for for the rest of my life.”

He added, “I don’t live in the shame of it, but I will never forget the impact that it had on people. And it’s nobody else’s fault. It’s my fault.”

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

Lentz said that his goal now is “living amends,” both publicly and privately. Even still, he went on to express that he doesn’t see himself as a “disgraced pastor.”