FORMER Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz appears unrecognizable in shocking new photos after quietly moving to Florida in the wake of his cheating scandal.
The disgraced religious leader was fired from the New York-based church in 2020 for “moral failure” before moving to California and then disappearing from public view.
His alleged lover, fashion designer Ranin Karim, exclusively told The Sun sordid details of their affair, but his wife Laura chose to stand by him during the ordeal.
Exclusive photos from The Sun confirm the family has now settled in Florida after a disastrous few years that saw many in the Hillsong community forced to abandon them.
In one fell swoop, Justin Bieber’s former spiritual advisor, with a thinner figure and messy medium-length locks, looks almost unrecognizable as his wife dropped him off at the airport ahead of a solo trip.
He was spotted without his signature large glasses and opted for a black t-shirt, light blue jeans and black cowboy boots as he exited Laura’s car.
Carl, who was caught grinning as he climbed an escalator, was also carrying a gray weekender and black bag as he checked in ahead of his flight on Friday morning.
A source. told The Sun in 2021 that after his release, Carl “used every resource to land a TV deal,” but has yet to revive his career or join a new church.
Laura, 43, who has rebranded herself as an interior designer and started her own business, also appears in photos leaving her home as she walked her young son to school.
With brunette hair tied back, she was seen dressed casually in a black sleeveless top, jeans and dark Converse trainers as she juggled a bag, jacket and other belongings.
Her move to Florida is preceded by a scathing three-part documentary, Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed, due out on Discovery+ March 24, and set to open old wounds.
A new trailer for the series sees Ranin discussing her torrid affair with Carl for five months on camera.
After being ousted from the church, Laura supported her 43-year-old husband during a stay at an outpatient facility that specializes in “depression, anxiety and pastoral burnout,” according to PEOPLE.
He previously admitted to being unfaithful in his marriage in an emotional Instagram post in November 2020, saying he wants to “rebuild the trust” with his wife and children.
The couple have been married for nearly two decades, having tied the knot in 2003, and also left Hillsong after her husband’s cheating was exposed.
Last year, Laura shared her story with followers on Instagram, saying she struggled with anxiety and PTSD for the first time in the wake of the scandal.
She added that she wouldn’t wish her trip on “my worst enemy” and joked that she has “a few” but is now recovering, focusing on family and learning to grow in her marriage.
Laura was encouraged to take an online course and continue her education as a designer, but has noticeably dropped her last name from her company and created the Instagram name @laurajaynedesign and a dedicated website.
“Starting something new is scary and risky…but the past year has taught me that life is too short not to try things you’re passionate about,” she wrote in a post.
Former socialite Pastor Carl previously hid his affair with jewelry designer Karim from his wife for months until she apparently read his text messages and exposed the infidelity.
In an exclusive interview with The Sun, Karim said the two met at Brooklyn’s Domino Park during the coronavirus lockdown and hit it off immediately.
However, she claimed Carl lied about his true identity, telling her he was an unmarried sports agent and they “fell in love quickly.”
However, their relationship took an explosive turn after she claimed his wife saw all of their messages – including “naughty photos” – connected to his work computer at the church office, while several other employees were also present.
Hillsong launched an investigation and he was fired, while sources told The Sun at least THREE other women have come forward to claim they have connections with the pastor but wished to remain anonymous.
Carl and the Church have never responded to requests for comment on these claims.
The scandal-stricken speaker briefly relocated to LA, and The Sun revealed that Tyler Perry spent “$100,000” on her $4.29 million luxury beachfront rented home when the film mogul vowed to to stick to him.
The home was later put up for sale and the family hasn’t been photographed in months as they quietly packed up and moved to Florida after selling their own home in the town of Montclair, New Jersey for $1.5 million.
Now, the bombastic Discovery documentary Hillsong is back in the spotlight, with more details likely to emerge about Carl’s behavior during his time at the church.
The series is also set to focus on founder Brian Houston – who resigned in January amid an ongoing court case accusing him of concealing his late father’s child sexual abuse – which the church has denied.
Brian, 67, is expected to plead not guilty on March 10 and later faces a two-week hearing in Syndey, Australia, where Hillsong was formed in 1983.
Police say he has known since September 1999 that his late father, Frank, had indecently assaulted a man in 1970.
Hillsong is a global megachurch with more than 150,000 members that has grown into a brand and popular with wealthy celebrities.
Some controversies within megachurches usually involve the disastrous and toxic leadership of pastors.
“The Hillsong story is an incredibly compelling story that we wanted to explore,” said Howard Lee, President of TLC Streaming and Network Originals, ahead of the premiere.
He added, “Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed will take viewers on an eye-opening journey that will provide new insights into a controversy that continues to be investigated.”
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https://www.thesun.co.uk/tvandshowbiz/celebrities/17871932/hillsong-pastor-carl-lentz-unrecognizable-disheveled-hair-florida/ Disgraced Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz looks unrecognizable with his hair disheveled in a rare sighting near his new Florida home