The name “Hillsong” will be familiar to anyone with a passing knowledge of pop culture: the megachurch became hugely popular in the mid-2010s, largely thanks to the celebrities in its congregation. A-List stars including Chris Pratt, Bono, Nick Jonas, Austin Butler and Kendall and Kylie Jenner were all linked to the organization, and most notably, pop star Justin Bieber was frequently seen in the company of celebrity pastor Carl Lentz.
But while the famous faces lining the pews lent Hillsong a certain sheen of glamor, the church has since fallen from grace and become mired in all kinds of rumors relating to misappropriation of funds, discrimination within its own ranks, and even allegations of sexual and emotional abuse.
These shady inner goings-on are all explored in the new four-part Hulu docu-series The Secrets of Hillsong, which delves into the conduct of Hillsong founder, Brian Houston, as well as the scandal surrounding Lentz, who left the church under a cloud after admitting to having had extramarital affairs.
Philip Ellis is a freelance writer and journalist from the United Kingdom covering pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ+ issues. His work has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller and MTV.
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