Wednesday Crime Stories: Pop culture preacher busted in sex affair, Hillsong PR disaster

News of Carl Lenz’s extra-marital affair has set off a public relations nightmare for megachurch Hillsong. An internal investigation of Hillsong’s East Coast operations has begun, as has accusations of exploitation of the Australia-based organization’s congregants and their donations. Hillsong denies these accusations. We reached out for comment and were referred to the link below.

Statement on Recent Inaccurate Media Reports re: Finances

“A portion of the post from Hillsong: Recently there have been several stories circulating online alleging a serious abuse of trust – the misuse of church funds by Hillsong Church employees. We are particularly grieved that, in many cases, inaccurate accounts in these stories have been reported as if they are true.

“Hillsong Church strongly refutes that our culture casually allows for such gross misuse of church funds. In fact, these stories are especially troubling since Hillsong has a record of excellence in financial accountability globally and an unwavering commitment to financial integrity. Global leadership has always taken the stewardship of the tithes and offerings entrusted to us seriously and we have numerous structures in place to ensure financial accountability and integrity. Please find some of our policies below.

Even though we know many of the stories circulating are not true, we are still obligating ourselves to closely examine the claims in line with our ongoing commitment to financial integrity. We have always placed a high value on good governance and stewardship, and if we discover a breach related to this we will take strong and swift action. We have a biblical responsibility to be excellent stewards of the ministry funds that have been committed to our care at each of our church locations.”

Joining Nancy Grace Today:

Troy Slaten
Troy Slaten – Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney
Dr. Bethany Marshall – Psychoanalyst, Beverly Hills, New Netflix show: ‘Bling Empire’
Steven Lampley– Former Detective, Author of the upcoming book, “12 and Murdered”
Hannah Frishberg – New York Post Features Reporter, Twitter & Instagram
Art Harris – Emmy Award-winning National Investigative Correspondent

Additional Guest

  • Tanya Levin – Hillsong Critic & Author of, “People in Glass Houses: An Insider’s Story of a Life In and Out of Hillsong”

Crime Stories with Nancy Grace” on Fox Nation is also a national radio show heard on SiriusXM channel 111 airing for two hours daily starting at 12 p.m. EST. You can also subscribe and download the daily podcasts at iHeart Podcasts.

(Feature Photo: Carl Lentz via AP/Tina Fineberg)