Justin Bieber was spotted Monday in New York bonding with his favorite pastor Carl Lentz while on break from his Purpose World Tour. The two were joined by the minister's wife, Laura, for lunch at the exclusive members-only SoHo House hotel. They then went out for an afternoon of shopping.
The trio appeared completely relaxed in their casual clothes. Bieber wore an all-black attire, consisting of a shirt, hoodie, and athletic shorts matched with dark-rimmed glasses and white rubber shoes. Lentz was also in black from his hoodie that was over an undershirt, to the dark leggings paired with camouflage shorts.
The two were introduced 10 years ago by pastor Judah Smith which marked the start of a long friendship. Bieber began attending church at Hillsong, New York where Lentz preaches. The church's club vibe and 11-piece rock band had been attracting athletes, actors and other celebrities.
Bieber had found a kinship with the 49-year-old "hipster pastor" whose body ink and leather jacket make him look more like a rock star or a cool guy at the record store than the head of a Pentecostal church. In 2015, Lentz baptized the singer, who said "I want to know Jesus" after being immersed in water.
Lentz once described his relationship with Bieber as "regular friends who talk all the time." He also came to the defense every time the pop sensation was embroiled in trouble. "This boy is 21. He's in a horribly toxic world. He is trying to do his best to figure this out. He has never been anybody but who he has professed to be, which is a work in progress," he said during a 2015 interview.
Last March, Bieber joined Lentz at the mother church's Colour conference launch in Australia where the two were inseparable. They were seen taking breakfast at the swanky The Boathouse in Balmoral Beach, eating at a McDonald's restaurant and at the Stoned Crow in Sydney's north shore.
That same month, Lentz uploaded on Instagram a photo of himself, his son and Bieber wearing matching eyeglasses. "Love these two legends," he wrote in the caption. He also quoted the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13 to express his love for the young pop star.