Sex Abuse Allegations by Carl Lentz’s Former Nanny Put Spotlight on Hillsong (Church) Culture
May 31, 2021
By Roxanne Stone
NEW YORK (RNS) — A former Hillsong NYC staff member has come forward with allegations that the megachurch’s former pastor Carl Lentz subjected her to “bullying, abuse of power and sexual abuse” over the course of seven years as she worked as a nanny in Lentz’s home.
“I felt trapped and silenced. I also felt so ashamed and I had been told not to say anything or tell anyone,” Leona Kimes, 37, told Religion News Service via email Sunday (May 30).
In a statement published on Medium on Monday, Kimes, now a co-pastor of Hillsong’s Boston location, claimed Lentz abused her sexually on multiple occasions. “I was physically violated by his unwanted and repeated sexual touching of my intimate areas. I froze. Every time, I froze,” Kimes said in her statement.
…Kimes’ allegations are the most recent chapter in a scandal that has caused turmoil in the global church founded in the 1980s by Brian and Bobbie Houston in Australia, now a multimedia empire with 130 locations around the world.
by L. Blair
Months after being fired last November from his role as lead pastor at New York City’s Hillsong Church over “leadership issues” and cheating on his wife, Carl Lentz has been accused of bullying and sexual abuse by one of his former nannies who is now a co-pastor at Hillsong Boston.
Leona Kimes, who currently leads the Boston congregation with her husband Josh Kimes, accused Lentz of “repeated sexual touching” in (Link): a post on Medium Monday. Through a legal representative, Lentz has denied the allegations.