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Florida church breaks with Hillsong after scandals

Andrew Gard and his spouse, Christina, are lead pastors of Grace Metropolis Church in Lakeland, Florida.(Picture: Fb/Grace Metropolis Church)

A Florida megachurch has ended its affiliation with Hillsong Church within the wake of a number of scandals, together with most just lately the resignation of the denomination’s founding pastor, Brian Houston.

Andrew Gard, co-pastor of Grace Metropolis Church, in Lakeland, instructed The Ledger that the scandals had been “devastating” for everybody involved and that the final straw had been “the information that got here out about Pastor Brian”.

Houston stepped down in March after investigations into complaints by two girls concluded that he had broken the Hillsong Pastor’s Code of Conduct.

Gard additionally voiced his heartache over the firing of Hillsong New York Metropolis pastor, Carl Lentz, in 2020 for ethical failures and management points. 

“It impacted us in that these are individuals I like. Carl Lentz was and is a pal. So it is devastating, it is heartbreaking,” he mentioned. 

He added, “We really feel unhealthy for everybody that’s concerned.”

Grace Metropolis Church was not a Hillsong church however had an affiliation with the denomination that meant its help could possibly be sought in sure situations. 

“If I had an ethical failure, our native church council may have gone to Hillsong to see if that is restorative or does Andrew should be fired,” Gard instructed The Ledger.

“Or quantity two if my spouse and I had been killed in a automotive accident they usually needed to discover new senior pastors, our council may have labored with Hillsong to assist us in that.”

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