Hillsong pastor Darnell Barrett resigns after 'sending explicit photo of his bulge in tights to female parishioner'
HILLSONG pastor Darnell Barrett resigned after "sending explicit photo of his bulge in tights to female parishioner."
The church has recently gone through a shake-up as pastor Carl Lentz was also outed from the church due to several women coming forward about their affairs with the married man.
In a new sex scandal surrounding the long-standing popular church, the 32-year-old pastor for Hillsong in Montclair, New Jersey, was forced to step down from his role on Tuesday over the lewd Instagram story he posted of himself in February, DailyMail.com revealed.
Darnell shared two pics of himself standing in front of a gym mirror as he showed off what he had going on under the belt – he then proceeded to share the pics with his "close friends" on Instagram stories.
The "close friends" stories are only visible to manually selected followers.
Along with the pictres, he wrote: "Depression and anxiety got the best of me in the last 30 hours.
"Barely got out to bed yesterday, I'm just proud of myself for maing it to the gym today even. ifit was a cheap 30 minute workout.
"One of the insidious things about grief is it's capricious nature. I'm learning to give myself grace in how I deal with it."
However, he didn't just share it with his "close friends," but he also shared it as a direct message to at least one person, a 30-year-old woman who volunteered under him at his New Jersey church.
Following him sharing it, he messaged her privately and said he made a mistake in sharing it with her but used the chance to start up a conversation.
In messages obtained by the DailyMail.com, he told her: "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."
He also claimed that the explicit photos were "some real raw s**t I send to my friends."
Following the incident, the pastor admitted to DailyMail.com that he had posted the photos in question and admitted that the pics did show off his private areas, but stood by the claim that he shared them accidentally.
"Yeah, it shows me with my leggings on," he said, describing the photos as "gym photos" designed to get his followers moving.
"This was something that was just an honest mistake and I informed my wife as soon as it happened."
He further said that he had resigned as Hillsong New Jersey's creative director, citing "infidelity" in his marriage that he and his wife are now "working through."
He had been on the job since January 2019, according to his LinkedIn page.
He continued: "We thought it was best for me to move on. I don't want to get into the details."
As for the photo he sent directly to the woman, the father of two claimed he had no intention of meeting up with the woman, saying: "I was not at all trying to lure her.
"I get that she, within the context of what's happening with Hillsong, that she would draw those conclusions.
"But I barely know her. That was not my intention."
The 30-year-old, however, said that it was no accident as she barely knew Darnell when she volunteered for the church from 2014 to 2016.
She further claimed that he had reached out to her earlier this year, saying he was heading to the state where she moved to.
In a series of texts on January 13, he told her: "Hey! I'm looking to come to Austin to the most isolated (and scenic) place I can find. Do you have any suggestions?"
"Oooo yes!" she replied. "Ok like are you looking for places to stay? Areas to stay in? Places to visit?"
He replied: "All of thee above, honestly. Haha. I'm looking to be odd the grid. Wouldn't be upset if I didn't have cell phone signal – but need a local liquor store."
After he sent her the "gym" photos in February, the woman claimed she didn't look close enough at the pic to know that he was flashing his bulge in the picture.
She only realized after she had sent it to a friend, who replied: "Is that his penis?"
In her shock, she blocked the pastor but then unblocked him to rant at him.
She wrote, in a series of messages obtained by the outlet: "Darnell, I'm not going to lie, I blocked your for a second but I've decided I need to say something to you.
"First off, I'm insulted that you wouldn't understand what you're doing but I'm not f**king stupid. 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."
She continued: "Obviously, what you wanted me to see were the shirtless photos and the outline of your d**k, let's not play and act like that wasn't the point. Your messages to bait me into seeing your 'raw s**t' are obvious.
"To be honest, this whole 'fishing' scheme of yours to see if I will bite isn't what even pissed me off.
"What pisses me off is knowing that I'm not the only person you've probably done this to. I'm actually horrified by the thought of how many other innocent girls you've manipulated with this ploy of yours…."
Darnell replied to the message with "I'm sorry?" before he was blocked again.
When speaking to the outlet, Darnell revealed that he immediately told his wife of the incident, before the Hillsong officials heard about it.
He said: "I don't know who shared it, but it was brought immediately to the supervisor's attention."
DeuxMoi was the first outlet to reveal last week that there were rumors of a senior Hillsong leader who had been sending inappropriate messages.
DailyMail.com confirmed that said leader is Darnell Barrett.
Darnell is not the first Hillsong church pastor to be ousted from the community for inappropriate behavior.
Carl Lentz was kicked out after an alleged months-long affair with Ranin Karim being exposed by The Sun, while married to wife of 17 years, Laura.
Ranin claimed he initially told her he was an unmarried sports agent, before she looked him up online.
The stunning brunette said: "I wasn’t there for just sex, we both found comfort and a deep, special connection with each other. I am very hurt because we both feel the same way about each other.
"He loves me and I love him. It was a love relationship that wasn’t planned. It wasn’t just a fling or just a sexual relationship."
Hillsong announced the famous Christian figure was no longer a member of the church due to “moral failures” and “breach of trust.”
In a statement posted, Justin Bieber’s former close pal admitted he was unfaithful but assured fans he was “building back trust in his marriage.”
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