Documentary series to probe Hillsong and Carl Lentz scandal

Carl Lentz led Hillsong NYC for 10 years before being fired amid a cheating scandal

A new documentary series is to take a closer look at Hillsong in the wake of the Carl Lentz scandal that led to a major overhaul across the Australia-based Church.

Breaking Hillsong is to air on Discovery+, although a release date has not been given yet.

The three-part series is a partnership between Breaklight Pictures and The New York Post, which has run a number of stories on Hillsong and former members by investigative journalist Hannah Frishberg.

The documentary will include interviews with current and former Hillsong members, as well as Ranin Karim, the New York-based fashion designer who claimed to have a five-month affair with Lentz. 

"The project will chronicle the headline-making world of global star-studded megachurch Hillsong and the downfall of its ultra-hip, celebrity senior pastor, Carl Lentz," said Discovery+. 

"Breaking Hillsong will take viewers into the world of Hillsong, the megachurch with more than 150,000 global members that has recently come under scrutiny.

"The series will profile numerous current and ex-members of the church who have come forward en masse to share harrowing stories of the trauma, abuse, financial and labor exploitation, homophobia and racism that created a culture of chaos at Hillsong.

"Additionally, Breaking Hillsong will examine the greater phenomenon of corruption within megachurches."

Lentz admitted to cheating on his wife when he was fired as the pastor Hillsong NYC last November for moral failure and "leadership issues".

But the scandal didn't end there, and other locations were affected as people came forward with allegations of lavish spending, inappropriate relationships or behavior, and a culture that put pastors and celebs on a pedestal.

Hillsong senior pastor Brian Houston addressed the controversy in an interview with NBC's Today show last month in which he said the issues with Lentz included "lying" and "narcissistic behaviour".

Since Lentz left, Reed and Jess Bogard of Hillsong Dallas have resigned and the Dallas operations suspended. Darnell Barrett of Hillsong Montclair also resigned over a photo scandal.