The Hillsong pastor who baptised Justin Bieber and was inseparable from the popstar during a tour of Australia has been fired by the Christian mega-church for alleged 'breaches of trust' and 'a recent revelation of moral failures'.
Carl Lentz, who was connected to Hillsong in New York City, was sacked by the church's founder Brian Houston this week.
'This action has been taken following ongoing discussions in relation to leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures,' Mr Houston said.
'While I have no doubt in my heart that this is the right course of action, I must mention Bobbie's (Houston's wife) and my personal sadness, as we have known Laura her entire life and Carl for well over 20 years.'
Carl Lentz (right), who baptised Bieber (left) in 2014, was sacked by Hillsong founder Brian Houston this week
Lentz is married to Australian woman Laura Lentz. The couple have three children together
Lentz has said he first met when Bieber was already a star in 2008, when he was just 14-years-old
Mr Houston said it was 'not taken lightly and was done in the best interests of everyone, including Pastor Carl'.
'We thank Pastors Carl and Laura for the way they have served faithfully and sacrificially since the start of Hillsong NYC and for contributing so significantly to the countless lives that have been transformed for Jesus Christ through this ministry.'
Mr Houston said it 'would not be appropriate' to provide details on the events which led to the church's decision.
'Our focus at this time is to honour God and pastorally care for our East Coast church community as well as the Lentz family,' he said.
Lentz, who baptised Bieber in 2014, dropped out of university and attended a seminary in California before moving to Australia.
He enrolled in a Hillsong 'leadership' course where he met his Aussie wife, Laura. The couple have three children together.
The 41-year-old has become a Hillsong star in his own right, with more than 678,000 Instagram followers including Drake and NBA stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Lentz copped backlash earlier this year when he ignored large gathering limits to allow 200 to enter the New York church. He tested positive to COVID-19 in March.
Hillsong was brought to public attention when Justin Bieber was baptised in an NBA player Tyson Chandler's bath by Lentz in 2014.
It played a central role in transforming his image from a partying ladies' man to a clean-cut Christian devotee.
His wife, Hailey Baldwin, is also a believer, and are frequently spotted in church together.
Bieber and Lentz were inseparable during a trip to Australia in 2017, where they were spotted brunching together at swanky Sydney restaurants while the pop star was on tour
Now a father-of-three, Lentz described their relationship in the past as 'regular friends who talk all the time'. Pictured with rapper Lil Wayne
Founder Hillsong Brian