Hillsong Boston's senior pastor Josh and Leona Kimes have announced on April 18th that they have resigned from the megachurch. The announcement came after the results of an investigation into Hillsong New York City, where the couple worked previously, were leaked to a Christian online news outlet. Kimes did not give a reason for their resignation.
"It was never our plan to ever leave Hillsong Church. It's been home for 22yrs of my life. It's where I've pastored for the last 16yrs," Josh Kimes writes, noting that many of his life's milestones had occurred while he worked for the church, including meeting and marrying his wife, having kids and moving to the U.S.
Last spring, Leona Kimes accused former Hillsong NYC pastor Carl Lentz of sexual abuse, saying the misconduct occurred during the seven years she served as the family's nanny. Lentz, who was.fired for moral failures in November 2020, denies the allegations.
Kimes described feeling "trapped and silenced" by Lentz's unwanted sexual advances. Investigators said the power imbalance between the two made it "unlikely that Leona was capable of achieving the distance necessary to exercise true choice." A leak report mentions that Laura Lentz punched Leona Kimes in the face after catching Carl and Leona together.
Meanwhile, Josh Kimes faced allegations of overworking staff members and volunteers. Two years ago, former volunteer Tiffany Perez said she received just $150 per week to babysit, dog-sit, and clean for the family.
In his lengthy post, Josh Kimes writes, "I'm deeply sorry that many have been hurt a long [sic] the way. I apologize for any part my leadership has played in that hurt by perpetuating a culture that at times valued the building of the church at the expense of those building it."