For almost a decade, the celebrity-friendly megachurch Hillsong was the toast of latest evangelical Christianity in America. Fronted by a lovely and hyper-charismatic pastor in Carl Lentz and primarily based within the media mecca of New York, Hillsong was the stuff of shiny journal profiles, daytime-talk-show hits, and tabloid fascination. Congregants flocked to Lentz and his protégés’ weekly providers within the 1000’s—none extra seen than the church’s most-celebrated follower, Justin Bieber, who briefly lived with Lentz and his household following a interval of profession and private turmoil. Having saved Bieber’s soul, Hillsong skyrocketed in reputation for a lot of the 2010s.
Then it went to hell. As Self-importance Honest contributing editor Alex French and employees author Dan Adler reported in their definitive account of Hillsong’s Lentz saga, revealed in February 2021, church founder and world head Brian Houston fired Lentz and his spouse, Laura, days earlier than Lentz’s trysts with a Brooklyn-based jewellery designer turned a full-on gossip cyclone.
However there was a lot extra to the story than a single pastor behaving poorly, as French and Adler discovered. The pair documented a long-running tradition of impunity among the many church’s management, who typically requested every little thing of their congregants whereas demonstrating little to no accountability themselves. Even because the story went to press, scandals continued to subsume the church and Lentz’s mentor-master, Houston, who’s presently awaiting his destiny in his native Australia in a felony case surrounding his alleged concealment of his personal father Frank’s predatory abuse. (Frank was by no means charged with against the law.)
Two years later, and with a wealth of latest reporting gathered within the meantime, Self-importance Honest Studios and Scout Productions are set to premiere The Secrets and techniques of Hillsong, a four-part investigative docuseries, on Friday, Might 19, solely on FX at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Directed by Stacey Lee (Olivia Rodrigo: Driving Dwelling 2 U; Underplayed), the sequence options the primary interviews with former pastors Carl and Laura Lentz since their public ouster from the church in addition to poignant conversations with lots of the congregants left within the wake of a still-unfolding world reckoning because the church faces a rash of contemporary revelations.
With the church at an existential crossroads, The Secrets and techniques of Hillsong goes past the sensational headlines and examines its humble beginnings, meteoric rise, and troubling sample of protecting up misconduct to guard itself. The portrait that emerges—by way of interviews with former leaders, victims, and consultants together with ex-worship pastor Geoff Bullock, writer Tanya Levin, congregants Ashley and Mary Jones and Janice Lagata, Frank Houston survivor David Cowdrey, onetime Hillsong NYC choir director Josh Canfield, and Australian senator David Shoebridge—exhibits a cornerstone of worldwide evangelicalism that was typically as compromised because it was influential.
“Uncovering tales that deal with energy and the individuals who maintain it’s core to Self-importance Honest’s mission,” says Agnes Chu, president of Condé Nast Leisure. “Because of stellar reporting by Alex French and Dan Adler, and the braveness of those that stepped ahead to share their experiences, we all know that energy—and its systemic abuse over individuals searching for religion and neighborhood—is central to the Hillsong collapse. I’m grateful to our companions at Scout Productions, and to FX for serving to us carry this eye-opening story to mild.”
Says Joel Chiodi, govt producer and head of documentary for Scout Productions, “With the depth and readability of this venture owed to the wonderful reporting of Self-importance Honest, and the views of these talking out for the very first time, we have now been dedicated to telling a well-rounded and definitive story of Hillsong. Due to these voices, together with unprecedented entry to Carl and Laura Lentz, The Secrets and techniques of Hillsong gives new insights into how a long time of scandal and corruption went unchecked throughout the church, and extra importantly, what it meant for the neighborhood left of their rubble.”
The Might 19 premiere will embody the primary two episodes, with the ultimate two episodes airing Might 26. All episodes will stream the following day on Hulu. The Secrets and techniques of Hillsong is produced by Scout Productions and Self-importance Honest Studios. Government producers embody David Collins, Joel Chiodi, Michael Williams, Rob Eric, Agnes Chu, Dan Adler, Sarah Amos, and Alex French.
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