Discovery + announced new details on their upcoming docuseries on the fall of Carl Lentz and the scandals that rocked Hillsong Church in 2020 and 2021, including the list of key participants who will play a big role in the narrative.
Claiming it will be an “explosive three-part documentary series” the new show is called HILLSONG: A MEGACHURCH EXPOSED, and will premiere, the show aims to:
“…Weigh in on Hillsong Church’s alleged exploitation, abuse and coverups are former Hillsong pastors, volunteers who witnessed the corruption and a student who was assaulted by a Hillsong employee. The series will also examine how the star-studded Hillsong was able to grow into a global brand that attracted high-profile celebrity attendees, unearth the truth behind headlines of recent scandals and shine a light on the fine line between culture, corporation and cult….(the show will also) profile numerous ex-members of the church who have come forward en masse, to share harrowing allegations of the trauma, abuse, financial and labor exploitation and homophobia that created a culture of chaos at Hillsong.
Key participants include:
- Ranin Karim — Had a 5-month affair with Carl Lentz, which ultimately led to Lentz’s termination from Hillsong
- Hannah Frishberg — New York Post reporter who has covered Hillsong’s scandals and alleged abuse in the aftermath of Carl Lentz’s firing
- Jaclyn Hayes — Former volunteer at Wave Church in Virginia Beach, where Carl Lentz served as a pastor prior to joining Hillsong, who alleges he exhibited controlling behavior towards her
- Janice Lagata — Former Hillsong student and volunteer who had close working relationships with Hillsong NYC’s church leadership, including Carl Lentz, and who frequently raised concerns about gender and racial inequality within the church
- Ben Kirby — Author with expertise on megachurches and creator of the viral Instagram account PreachersNSneakers which chronicles the expensive wardrobe worn by some pastors.”
To see a list of some these things that will be covered, click here and start reading
The upcoming film will surely be a bitter pill to swallow for Hillsong’s head honcho Brian Houston, whose American wing has been embroiled in several high-profile scandals all year, so much so that he had to disband and shut down one of them, and who likely isn’t happy to have the dirty laundry aired in public.
Hillsong HQ launched an internal investigation into the New York branch but never made the findings public. At the time, Houston said that the Church failed in “significant ways” to reflect the culture they wished to impart. Houston also said previously in a leaked phone recording that there was a “culture of dysfunction” at Hillsong and other officials confirmed that the misadventures of staffers using the church like a seedy dating service, “sleeping around” with volunteers and asking them to send nude pictures was “mostly true.”