Carl Lentz, in first staff position since Hillsong, joins Transformation Church in Tulsa

by | Mar 28, 2023 | Religion

(RNS) — Carl Lentz, the ousted pastor of Hillsong New York City, has landed on staff at Transformation Church, a predominantly Black, nondenominational megachurch in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that is led by pastor, author and popular YouTuber Michael Todd.Transformation, a juggernaut in a town replete with megachurches, has confirmed that Lentz, who was fired from Hillsong in 2020 when an extramarital affair came to light, has joined its staff.
“We gladly welcome Carl Lentz to our Transformation Church staff, helping TC with strategy as we continue to move forward in our vast vision,” Tammy McQuarters, the church’s executive pastor of operations, told Religion News Service in an email Monday (March 27).
A source close to Lentz also confirmed to RNS that Lentz and his family had relocated to Tulsa and were attending Transformation Church, though the source did not confirm Lentz was on staff at the church. Lentz, according to the source, has launched a consulting and coaching business and his clients include churches.
Tulsa was the right place for Lentz’s family to “continue to heal and move forward,” said the source.
Pastor Michael Todd gives a sermon recently at Transformation Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Video screen grab
Lentz, 44, once labeled a “hypepriest” by GQ Magazine for his fashionable attire and ministry to NBA players and celebrities such as Justin Bieber, has been mostly silent since his firing, even as rumors and ongoing accusations have dogged him and his former church.
“After two years of Carl being in his own discovery and healing process, he has shown readiness to use his God-given gifts towards the local church again. We believe in Carl, his marriage, his skill set, and his restoration,” McQuarters said.
McQuarters said the church’s vision to “re-present God to the lost and found for transformation in Christ” includes restoration. The two go “hand-in-hand,” she said, pointing to Scripture from the Book of Galatians that includes a message to “restore one another” after sin, mistakes and repentance.
“We are called to be a safe environment for people to evolve and transform,” she added.
Transformation Church, founded in 1999 in the historically Black Greenwood District of Tulsa, home to the city’s 1921 race massacre, now meets in the nearby suburb of Bixby, at the 4,500-seat SpiritBank Event Center, which the church owns. The arena, purchased by Transformation in 2019 for $10.5 million, was among the nearly $67 million in real estate properties the church has bought in the area in the past four years.
Transformation Church in the Bixby suburb of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Photo courtesy of Google Maps
Todd and Transformation Church have become known in Tu …

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