Hillsong Church hit with another scandal as pastor steps down over revealing pic

Darnell Barrett has stepped down from the Church (Picture: Hillsong)

The Hillsong Church has been hit by further scandal after a pastor resigned over revealing pictures posted on his Instagram stories. 

Darnell Barrett, a pastor for Hillsong in Montclair, New Jersey, stepped down from his role as creative director on Tuesday, after he shared a picture of himself wearing NikePro tights on his stories on social media.

The 32-year-old, who is married, posted the explicit picture, which, according to the DailyMail.com, showed off his genitals in the tights, to his close friends – meaning it was only visible to a group of people he selected.

However, Barrett reportedly also shared the picture, captioned: ‘Day 2 of kicking depressions tight a** [sic]’, via direct message with a 30-year-old woman who used to volunteer at the Church.

DailyMail.com published messages in which Barrett played off the picture as a ‘mistake’ to the woman, and described the picture as ‘some real raw s**t I send to my friends man’.

However, the woman, who remains anonymous, accused Barrett of a ‘fishing scheme’ and wanting her to see the ‘shirtless photos and the outline of [his] d***’.

Barrett confirmed that he was stepping down from the Church, citing ‘infidelity’ in his marriage that he and his wife are now ‘working through.’ 

The pastor denied that he was trying to ‘lure’ the woman and said that he had no intention of meeting up with her.

He said: ‘I was not at all trying to lure her. I get that she, within the context of what’s happening with Hillsong, that she would draw those conclusions.

‘But I barely know her. That was not my intention.’

Lentz admitted to cheating on his wife (Picture: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

This comes after prominent Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz was sacked from the Church after cheating on his wife.

Lentz, one of the Church’s most high-profile figures due to his former friendships with stars including Justin Bieber, admitted: ‘I was unfaithful in my marriage, the most important relationship in my life and held accountable for that. 

‘This failure is on me, and me alone and I take full responsibility for my actions. I now begin a journey of rebuilding trust with my wife, Laura and my children and taking real time to work on and heal my own life and seek out the help that I need. 

‘I am deeply sorry for breaking the trust of many people who we have loved serving and understand that this news can be very hard and confusing for people to hear and process.’

Hillsong, which was first founded in 1983 in Australia, is known for its young following and its worship music, and has attracted celebrities including Kendall Jenner, Kourtney Kardashian and Chris Pratt.

However, it has gained criticism over its stance on gay people in roles of leadership in the church, with Houston saying in a 2015 blog post: ‘Hillsong Church welcomes ALL people but does not affirm all lifestyles. Put clearly, we do not affirm a gay lifestyle and because of this we do not knowingly have actively gay people in positions of leadership, either paid or unpaid.’

In 2019, Elliott Page called out Chris Pratt for attending a church that was ‘infamously anti LGBTQ’. 

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