Take a Closer Look at the Hillsong Church's Scandals in New Docuseries Trailer

Discovery+ speaks to former members of the famous Hillsong Church in a preview of the three-part docuseries Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed.

By Cydney Contreras Feb 16, 2022 9:35 PMTags

Hillsong Church is getting the Hollywood treatment in Discovery+'s latest docuseries Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed.

The streaming platform dropped the first trailer for the three-part docuseries on Wednesday, Feb, 16, previewing never-before-seen interviews with former congregants and other insiders. Those interviewed discuss the rise and fall of the megachurch, as well as the impact it had on their own lives. 

And though Ranin Karim wasn't a Hillsong attendee, she is able to speak to the downfall of pastor Carl Lentz, who was fired for sexual misconduct in November 2020. At the time, Lentz admitted to cheating on his wife, Laura, in a public statement, explaining, "I was unfaithful in my marriage, the most important relationship in my life and held accountable for that."

A legal rep for the Lentz's told Religion News Services they "vehemently" deny allegations of sexual misconduct.

And while her relationship with Carl was consensual, Ranin claims, "It was the most toxic thing I ever had to deal with."

But Lentz's affair is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Hillsong Church's many scandals.

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In August, New South Wales police arrested co-founder Brian Houston on the charge of concealing a serious indictable offense. NBC News reported that Brian believes the allegations are connected to accusations that his late father, former preacher Frank Houston, sexually abused a young boy. "These charges have come as a shock to me given how transparent I've always been about this matter," Houston said at the time. "I vehemently profess my innocence and will defend these charges, and I welcome the opportunity to set the record straight."

According to NBC News, Houston has since stepped down from his leadership position in the church, saying in a statement, "I need to be fully committed to preparation and engagement with the case and work closely with my lawyers in defending this charge."

Paul Harris/Getty

His attorney told NBC News that he intends to plead not guilty.

Additionally, Hillsong closed its Dallas church in April 2021, shortly after the resignation of its lead pastor, who was reviewed over an alleged "failure to uphold the standards of Hillsong leadership." 

The Christian church first came into the national spotlight when pop star Justin Bieber began attending services in 2010. His relationship with Lentz was even highlighted in a popular GQ article, which detailed their unconventional friendship. 

However, the artist has since declared he's no longer affiliated with Hillsong, writing in a January 2021 Instagram Story, "Hillsong is not my church… For clarity I am a part of Churchome."

Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed premieres on Discovery+ Thursday, March 24.

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