Carl Lentz, the disgraced celebrity pastor whose cheating scandal caused his dismissal from Hillsong Church, sold his $1.5million home just days before the affair went public.
Last week, Hillsong Church confirmed that Lentz, 42, and his wife of 17 years, Laura Lentz, were fired from their roles with Hillsong Church.
Last week, it was revealed that Carl Lentz (right) and his wife, Laura Lentz (left), were dismissed from Hillsong NYC
Carl Lentz (right) became well-known for his relationships with celebrities like Justin Bieber (left), who with Lentz at the 2017 Aces Charity Celebrity Basketball Game at Madison Square Garden
The mid-century modern residence, which is home to the Lentz and their three children, has four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a fire place and a two-car garage.
Photos of the estate showed sleek hardwood floors, pristine white walls and cozy furniture placed around the property.
The home was purchased just 11 days before Hillsong founder Brian Houston fired Lentz for ‘ongoing discussions in relation to leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures.’
It also came before Lentz’s alleged paramour, a fashion designer named Ranin Karim, told The Sun that she dated the megachurch pastor for five months before breaking up last week.
Lentz rose to public prominence as the leader of Hillsong Church NYC and spiritual advisor for Justin Bieber, who he baptized in 2014.
A sales associate with Halstead confirmed that the Lantz sold their Montclair, New Jersey, home (pictured) 11 days before Carl Lentz’ cheating scandal broke
The New Jersey home, with four bedrooms and four bathrooms, was purchased on October 23 for $1.5million
The New Jersey residence is equipped with stainless steel, hardwood floors and marble counter tops
The Lentz family reportedly bought the home in 2017 and paid $1.2million, marking a $300,000 profit from the latest sale
The Lentz family reportedly bought the home in 2017 and paid $1.2million, marking a $300,000 profit from the latest sale, New York Post reports.
Houston revealed on Thursday that an independent investigation was launched into the operations of Hillsong NYC.
‘We need a solid foundation for a fresh start and new beginning,’ he noted.
Lentz, who brought Hillsong from Australia to the US, confessed on social media the that he had cheated on his wife with 34-year-old Ranin Karim.
New details have also emerged about how the five-month affair between the pastor to the stars, 42, and New York City designer Ranin, 34, (pictured) first came to light.
They met in May in Domino Park, Williamsburg, when he offered her his socially distanced circle on the grass.
In a statement last Wednesday, the church said that Laura – his wife of 17 years – had also left her role in the organization but they did not say why.
Sources have told The Sun that she was cast out because of her husband’s infidelity despite having known the church founders her entire life.
‘That was their reasoning for having to also get rid of Laura for Carl’s mistakes,’ the source said, adding that Laura was ‘devastated’ by the news which was ‘just the cherry on top of this whole ordeal for her.’
Church leaders reportedly dismissed Laura immediately on learning about Lentz’s affair because ‘if a married couple both work at the church and one of them is terminated, they both will be fired immediately,’ a source said.
New details have also emerged about the five-month affair between Lentz and Ranin, and how Laura found out about it when seeing his iCloud messages on a computer.
Ranin has also admitted to researching his phone number once she had it and learning about his family life and the church.
The New Jersey residence has a partial open floor plan, with the kitchen extending into a homey dining table just a few feet away
Harwood floors and wooden features stretched the home’s main rooms with shelving, tables and chairs
Amid news that the Lentzs family sold the home, Hillsong founder Brian Houston revealed an independent investigation was launched into the operations of Hillsong NYC. Pictured: the residence’s sitting room is outfitted with french windows to allow light to filter in
She says she is speaking out now to share the ‘truth’ and says she would not be surprised if other women come forward.
The scandal erupted last Wednesday, when the church issued a statement announcing that Lentz was leaving because of ‘moral failures’.
They would not disclose what those were. The next day, Lentz gave more details on Instagram.
‘I was unfaithful in my marriage, the most important relationship in my life and held accountable for that.
‘This failure is on me, and me alone and I take full responsibility for my actions. I now begin a journey of rebuilding trust with my wife, Laura and my children and taking real time to work on and heal my own life and seek out the help that I need,’ he wrote.
Ranin was identified the following day.
Celebrity pastor Carl Lentz’s wife has also been fired from Hillsong Church over her husband’s affair as it’s revealed his cheating was discovered when she and their church colleagues saw messages from the cloud on his computer (Lentz and Laura pictured together)
At first, she said she did not know he was married. In her first interview, she said she learned about it ‘a few dates in’ and that he had told her he was a single sports agent.
‘I wasn’t there for just sex, we both found comfort and a deep, special connection with each other. I am very hurt because we both feel the same way about each other,’ she said in an interview with The Sun on November 8, adding: ‘I have no knowledge of the Christian world, I’m Muslim’.
But in an interview overnight with The New York Post, she said she actually learned he was married the day after they first met, when they reconvened in the park.
‘When I saw him, he asked me so many questions. I still didn’t know who he was,’ she said.
She then Googled him. ‘Everything came out. It hit me so hard,’ she said.
She claims he texted her afterwards, saying ‘sorry if you were bummed to find out I am married, I could tell you kind of were’, but that they kept seeing each other always meeting in Ranin’s home where they would drink ‘so much tequila’.
She said the first time he came to her house the weekend after they met, – Lentz had been ‘awkward’ and acted ‘like he was a virgin’.
Ranin, (left) who said she met Lentz at a park in Brooklyn, told the New York Post Laura and other church members saw the texts between her and pastor on his computer. ‘All his messages are linked from the iCloud,’ she said. ‘He’s not really a good cheater’
‘We were sitting and he asked if he could put his hand on my thigh. It was awkward, he didn’t know how to act at first. He was timid, acting like he was a virgin.’
He nicknamed her his ‘Middle Eastern unicorn woman’ and told her she reminded him of the Kardashians – who are friends of his, she said.
Ranin told the Post they grew ‘obsessed’ with each other and often tried to break off their relationship but would end up back together.
He would often talk about his ‘amazing’ wife and feeling guilty but ‘he never knew how to say bye,’ she claimed.
‘He kept saying that we didn’t plan this, that this is life and we fell into it. He was like a drug to me. I was a drug to him.’
However she also described him as ‘a professional narcissist’ who ‘lies too much’, hitting out that ‘people like him shouldn’t preach’.
‘It seems like it’s a cult,’ she added of Hillsong.
She said they would argue often and that she would ‘leave him on read all the time’ because he ‘p*sses her off’.
The pair continued their relationship, she said, until this past weekend when his wife and the church discovered it by seeing the iMessages on his computer while in the church office, with other peope.
Ranin claims he came to her home the next day and told her: ‘My life is over. I usually am the one who is helping couples who are cheating, and now I’m in their shoes.’
She now says that she does not believe their affair would have happened if it hadn’t been for the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘He hadn’t been doing anything for so many months, he hadn’t been onstage, what else was going on in his life? He needed to do something that would excite him,’ she said.
She also claimed he was having a ‘midlife crisis’ and was on a ‘self-sabotaging journey’ because he’d spent much of his life, with Laura, in a ‘stagnant relationship’.
Lentz and Laura (pictured together) met as students at Hillsong’s training college and worked their way up through the ranks
Pictured on their wedding day. The couple moved to New York City in 2010 to set up the Big Apple branch and largely being credited for drawing in its famous worshippers
What is Hillsong?
Hillsong, which describes itself as a ‘contemporary Christian church’, is a global mega-church that was first founded by Pastor Brian Houston and his wife Bobbie in Australia in 1983. It was originally known as the Hills Christian Life Centre.
The church was originally part of the Australian Christian Churches group, however it left the organization in 2018 in order to become an autonomous denomination.
At the time, Houston cited a desire to branch out internationally and become more contemporary as being behind the decision.
The mega-church now boasts locations in 21 countries around the world, including the US, UK, Indonesia, and Israel. It has 28 locations across Australia in places like New South Wales, Queensland, and Tasmania.
According to Hillsong’s website, the church boasts an ‘average global attendance’ of 150,000 every week – however this number has likely been altered, and perhaps increased, as a result of the church moving its services online amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition to Hillsong Church, founder Houston has also launched several sister companies, including three record labels, a film and TV network, and an international training college, Hillsong International Leadership College, which is located in Sydney.
Lentz first began working with Hillsong in Australia after relocating there from Los Angeles, where he spent time studying at The King’s College and Seminary.
He and Laura met as students at the training college and worked their way up through the ranks, moving to New York City in 2010 to set up the Big Apple branch and largely being credited for drawing in its famous worshippers.
Lentz preached to the likes of Bieber, Selena Gomez, Hailey Bieber, and several NBA stars including Carmelo Anthony, David Lee, Kevin Durant, and Jeremy Lin.
It was his close relationship with Bieber, now 26, that gained him the most notoriety, particularly after it was revealed that the popstar had been baptized by the pastor in 2014, and even moved in with Lentz and Laura for six weeks in the same year.
But Hillsong founder Houston revealed in a message to the church’s East Coast congregants last Wednesday Lentz had been ousted from the church ‘following ongoing discussions in relationship to leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures’.
The following day Lentz confessed he had cheated on his wife of 17 years and mother of his three children.
‘When you lead out of an empty place, you make choices that have real consequences,’ he wrote.
‘I was unfaithful in my marriage, the most important relationship in my life and held accountable for that.’
Lentz hinted that he and his wife will attempt to work through his infidelity, writing that he is focusing on ‘rebuilding trust’ with her and their children.
Just two days after Lentz was fired from Hillsong, his teen daughter, Ava, supported her father with a heartfelt birthday message.
The 16-year-old penned a message of support on Instagram on Friday, saying: ‘Happy birthday Dad. I love you.
‘Best friend, strongest man, drippiest, music is fire, skinny jean legend, you’ve taught me everything I know!! Our family 4L we love you.’
Laura is yet to issue a public statement. She last uploaded a post to her Instagram on October 28, sharing an image of a ‘rhythms for life’ planner and journal, alongside which she commented: ‘2020 has been quite the year