A holy mess! The controversial Hillsong Church has been rocked with another scandal. Pastor Darnell Barrett recently resigned after he sent lewd photos to a female volunteer at the church and played it off as an accident.
In photos obtained by Daily Mail, the married creative director of Hillsong’s Montclair, N.J., chapter shared multiple revealing snaps of him shirtless to the unsuspecting female after a workout wearing compression tights that revealed what the outlet described as his “engorged member extending half-way down his thigh.”
“Day 2 of kicking depressions tight a*s,” he wrote over one of the photos, referring to his battle with depression and anxiety, that he shared to his Close Friends list on Instagram, saying that the gym is what has been helping him through his dark time.
An unidentified female told the outlet that the married pastor sent her similar photos before sharing them to his Instagram Story. However, he claimed he sent her the photos by “accident” and that it was “an honest mistake” after the woman took offense to the risqué snaps.
“Hey! I think I might’ve added you to my close friends list by accident. I’m so sorry. Trying to figure out how the hell to edit it. It’s some real raw sh*t I send to my friends man. Lol,” Barrett messaged the woman in screenshots obtained by the online site.
“Lol rude! I’m NOT a close friend is what you’re saying," the woman replied back to the married pastor’s message. “Haha that’s alright.” Barrett quickly shot back. “Seriously, sorry about that. I guess,” he added, before the woman blocked him on the social media platform, the outlet reported.
After some time, the female unblocked the pastor and scolded him for sending her the NSFW photos. "For you to go out of your way to make it seem like you 'accidentally' added me to your close friends… and then, went out of your way to message me about it KNOWING that would make me go look is bulls**t," messages obtained by the outlet show. "Obviously, what you wanted me to see were the shirtless photos and the outline of your d*ck, let's not play and act like that wasn't the point. Your messages to bait me into seeing your 'raw sh*t' are obvious.'"
Barrett stepped down from his position at the embattled church following the salacious photo scandal. He told the Daily Mail that he and his wife “thought it was best” that he move on from the church and admitted that “there was infidelity in my marriage” and that the couple was trying to work through it.
Barrett’s exit from the church comes months after pastor Carl Lentz, also Justin Bieber’s former spiritual advisor, was fired from Hillsong in what the church described as past “moral failures.” In November, Lentz got candid with his followers about his sexual escapades on Instagram, stating that he's committed to working things out with his wife after cheating on her.
"I was unfaithful in my marriage, the most important relationship in my life and held accountable for that. This failure is on me, and me alone and I take full responsibility for my actions. I now begin a journey of rebuilding trust with my wife, Laura and my children and taking real time to work on and heal my own life and seek out the help that I need,” he wrote at the time.