It appears Hillsong Church has a nasty pattern?
In a new report from the DailyMail.com, a former member named Lezeth has come forward with details of how the megachurch allegedly knew about ex-pastor Darnell Barnett sending d**k pics.
In case you missed it, the 32-year-old from the Montclair, New Jersey branch stepped down from his role last month after posting a lewd photo of himself on Instagram Stories. Darnell had shared two snaps of himself standing in front of a gym mirror, showing off his privates in tights and sending them to his “close friends.” The disgraced pastor allegedly DM’d Lezeth a link to the images, along with at least one current member.
At the time, he reportedly tried to play it off like he made a mistake by sharing it, but the 30-year-old volunteer called him out, accusing him of “fishing.” Speaking with Dailymail.com, she apparently didn’t even know Darnell and only interacted with him in person when she left the chapter in 2016.
“He came up and was like, ‘I’m really going to miss you.”
The pair then followed each other on the ‘gram, where the man would allegedly only comment on some of her bikini shots. Four years later, she says, Darnell also messaged her to say he was coming to Austin, where she currently lived after the Carl Lentz sex scandal came to light. He allegedly wrote along with a heart emoji:
“I’m looking to be off the grid. Wouldn’t be upset if I didn’t have cell phone signal — but need a local liquor store.”
Then, the manhood snapshots happened. And Barrett later left his position at the church, citing “infidelity” he was processing through with his wife.
Now, Lezeth opened up to the publication about how she feels the sex controversies have become a habit for the place of worship.
“They already knew about it. I think they were just waiting to see if it got out. If it didn’t, they’d just keep going on as if nothing happened – which is what we’re finding to be a common thing with Hillsong.”
As you may know, this is definitely not a first for Hillsong as church elders had even known about disgraced lead pastor Lentz’s sexual misconduct accusations when they first broke out three years ago. In January, the Dallas chapter also shut down after it was discovered pastor Reed Bogard and his wife used donations to support their apparently lavish lifestyle. The cover-ups made Lezeth hesitant to report Barrett’s indiscretions to leaders, especially after hearing whispers of them doing the same for his after-hour romps with women.
“The church has done a really good job of keeping these things really quiet. I just knew the church isn’t the place to go to because the pastors are here to protect themselves.”
Ultimately, she thinks part of it all comes down to the normalized misogyny built into the church’s foundation.
“Men are to be respected and be leaders and women are to be followers. There’s a common idea that women are supposed to be submissive to men. And I think it’s what allows these big pastors on stage to think, ‘If I send a shot like this of me shirtless showing my penis, she’s definitely going to be interested in that and I can definitely do that even though I have a wife.’”
Even more so, Lezeth finds the systemic problem started with founder Brian Houston, who was previously accused of sexual abuse.
“The whole point of why I’m doing this is not to say I want to cancel Hillsong. But I think something needs to be brought to light, that there is something going on here that isn’t right, that’s not Christlike. There’s something a little more sinister, a little bit dark, a little bit f***d up that’s going on that I hope people can start recognizing. This has been going on for years.”
The property manager continued:
“People have been covering up a bunch of stuff and getting away with it. There’s a saying that a spoiled fruit ruins the harvest. I think that’s what’s happening here. You have a few bad apples messing up something that should be beautiful and should be great. But it’s gone on for too long now where it’s all starting from the top, and these top people are creating this really bad situation for a lot of people.”
Wow… This really makes us wonder what other serious issues could be there that Hillsong may have kept secret all these years. Okay, Perezcious readers, what do U make of Lezeth’s accusations and claims? Let us know in the comments (below).
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