Hillsong Boston co-pastors announce resignation

Josh Kimes and his wife Leona are stepping down as co-pastors at Hillsong Boston.

The co-pastors of Hillsong Boston have announced they are stepping down.

Josh and Leona Kimes said in an Instagram post that it had been a "difficult decision" to make, according to The Roys Report.

Their resignation follows reports of a leaked investigation into failures at Hillsong New York City, in which Leona Kimes was named.

The independent investigation was launched after the firing of Hillsong NYC's former pastor, Carl Lentz, in 2020 for "leadership issues", "breaches of trust", and "moral failures".

Lentz admitted to being unfaithful to his wife, Laura Lentz, and the investigation alleged that he had several extramarital affairs.

Of his relationship to Leona Kimes, investigators claimed that the pair were caught "in flagrante delecto on a couch late at night" by Laura Lentz. 

Carl Lentz has contested aspects of the report. 

Leona Kimes became close to the Lentz family in New York while working as the nanny to their children for seven years. Josh Kimes was associate pastor at Hillsong NYC during this time.

Last year, Leona Kimes accused Carl Lentz of "manipulation, control, bullying, abuse of power, and sexual abuse". He has denied the claims.  

In his resignation announcement, Josh Kimes said that he and his wife were "ready for a fresh start". 

"It was never our plan to ever leave Hillsong Church. It's been home for 22yrs of my life. It's where I've pastored for the last 16yrs," Kimes said. 

He also spoke about "perpetuating a culture that at times valued the building of the church at the expense of those building it".

"Transparency, honesty, accountability & a culture that allows people to create healthy boundaries is so important & I'm encouraged to see things starting to change," he said.

"Hillsong will always hold a special place in our hearts, even with the immense pain we've endured while building church here in the USA.

"Pastor's [sic] are meant to be shepherds who protect the sheep, not wolves who prey on the sheep they're entrusted to protect." 

He did not share any details about their plans for the future but asked supporters for their prayers.

He also paid tribute to his wife.

"She's the bravest woman I know," he said. 

"My wife could easily choose hate & bitterness toward those who've abused, hurt, judged, lied, tried to shame & silence her but instead has chosen love, humility, resilience & personal growth."

They are the latest pastors to step down from Hillsong in recent weeks.

Founder and Global Senior Pastor Brian Houston resigned last month after an investigation concluded that he had broken Hillsong's Pastor's Code of Conduct. 

The pastor of Hillsong Atlanta, Georgia, then announced he was quitting the Church due to the scandals. 

This was followed by Hillsong Phoenix requesting to formally split from the Hillsong network.