Founding pastor Brian Houston announced Thursday pastor Carl Lentz' dismissal from Hillsong East Coast, citing "moral failure."
Lentz has since shared on Instagram the reason for his resignation: infidelity to his wife, Laura, of 17 years.
Lentz, 41, was the lead pastor of the New York location. According to Religion News Service, he became pastor in 2010 after launching the megachurch's first U.S. location with Houston's son, Joel.
Lentz said in his post, "When you accept the calling of being a pastor, you must live in such a way that it honors the mandate. That it honors the church, and that it honors God. When that does not happen, a change needs to be made and has been made in this case to ensure that standard is upheld.
"When you lead out of an empty place, you make choices that have real and painful consequences. 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."
Lentz acknowledged the hard road of healing the family is now undertaking, one in which trust must be rebuilt. He also addressed the congregation: "I am deeply sorry for breaking the trust of many people who we have loved serving and understand that this news can be very hard and confusing for people to hear and process."
He continued, "So to those people, I pray you can forgive me and that over time I can live a life where trust is earned again."
His post concluded with thanks to pastors Bobbie and Brian Houston, and words pointing back to the redemptive nature of God, saying the Lentz family is "very hopeful and grateful for the grace of God."
Houston provided no additional details but wished Lentz and his family well.
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