The creative director of Hillsong Church in Montclair, New Jersey, has resigned his post after admitting to infidelity and the sharing of explicit photos on Instagram.
Pastor Darnell Barrett, who is married, says he shared the photos with “close friends” and only “accidentally” shared photos of himself to a woman in his congregation. People magazine reports the photos showed him after a workout, shirtless and wearing Nike Pro Compression tights that were sexually revealing.
Barrett says he sent the pictures to show friends how he was dealing with “anxiety and depression” by strenuous gym workouts.
According to the Daily Mail, the 32-year old Barrett wrote that “depression and anxiety got the best of me in the last 30 hours” in text written over the pictures he posted to his Close Friends list on Instagram, saying the gym is what’s been helping him get out of bed.
But a woman in his congregation, a former volunteer in the church, who received similar posts from Barrett isn’t buying his claim that they were sent to her as “an honest mistake.”
A screenshot exchange obtained by the Daily Mail that can hardly be termed “Christian” by Biblical standards, shows a raw conversation between Barrett and the unidentified woman.
“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 s—t I send to my friends man. Lol.”
The woman replied, “Lol rude! I’m NOT a close friend is what you’re saying. Haha that’s alright.”
“Seriously, sorry about that. I guess,” the pastor wrote, before the volunteer blocked him.
She later unblocked him, and in explicit language, let him know she wasn’t buying his explanation.
“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—.” She then accused Barrett of trying to “bait” her to see if she would respond positively to his supposed sexual come-on.
Perhaps no one but Barrett and God Himself knows what his real intentions were with this woman. He has admitted to infidelity in his marriage and resigned on Tuesday. His resignation follows that of another high-profile Hillsong minister, Carl Lenz, last November. Lenz received notoriety after he baptized singer Justin Bieber in 2014, and also admitted to cheating on his wife.