EDIT 26/02/2015: Since Hillsong leadership have quickly responded to this publication from SundayWorld, we offer our readers what Hillsong leaders have said in relation to the story below.
“Saiko Woods contacted Carl earlier today and he said it wasn’t true at all.”
Source: FaceBook, https://www.facebook.com/piratechristian/posts/10205689062133080?comment_id=10205689123254608&offset=0&total_comments=34, Published 25/02/2015, 17:08. (Accessed 25/02/2015.)
Saiko Woods also stated,
“Carl Lentz said the report isn’t true. Justin isn’t performing at his church at all.”
Source: Saiko Woods, FaceBook, https://www.facebook.com/saiko.woods/posts/10203322676500098?comment_id=10203322693980535&offset=0&total_comments=24, Published 25/02/2015, 08:16. (Accessed 26/02/2015.)
Source: Saiko Woods, FaceBook, https://www.facebook.com/saiko.woods/posts/10203322676500098?comment_id=10203322694540549&offset=0&total_comments=24, Published 25/02/2015, 08:16. (Accessed 26/02/2015.)
Chris Rosebrough reported Lyall Mercer offered a statement made by Brian Houston,
Lyall Mercer who is a PR agent for Hillsong says that Brian Houston has issued a statement saying “Not true that Justin Bieber has qualified to be lay preacher or plans by Hillsong to rush him onto our platform.”
Source: Chris Rosebrough, FaceBook, https://www.facebook.com/piratechristian/posts/10205689062133080, Published 25/02/2015, 16:42. (Accessed 25/02/2015.)
LYALL MERCER (Hillsong’s PR)
Chris Rosebrough published the original article on Beiber from SundayWorld on twitter. Lyall Mercer replied,
@piratechristian No truth to this. Dangerous to believe Hollywood gossip stories.
Source: Lyall Mercer, Twitter, https://twitter.com/LyallMercer/status/570454929812299778, 9:27 PM – 24 Feb 2015. (Accessed 26/02/2015.)
@LyallMercer Are you speaking as an official representative of Hillsong?
Source: Lyall Mercer, Twitter, https://twitter.com/LyallMercer/status/570454929812299778, 9:31 PM – 24 Feb 2015. (Accessed 26/02/2015.)
What was Mercer’s response?
@piratechristian on behalf of the church, yes.
Source: Lyall Mercer, Twitter, https://twitter.com/LyallMercer/status/570469488476475392, 10:24 PM – 24 Feb 2015. (Accessed 26/02/2015.)
On Twitter, Lyall Mercer writes,
@sundayworld abt Justin Bieber “performing” at Hillsong LA not correct. Also not true that he is lay preacher. Totally fabricated
Source: Lyall Mercer, Twitter, https://twitter.com/LyallMercer/status/570453837896511488, 9:27 PM – 24 Feb 2015. (Accessed 26/02/2015.)
Justin ‘Believer’ Bieber to perform… from the pulpit
Justin Bieber is planning a series of new performances… delivering sermons from the pulpit of his favourite church.
The pop brat claims to have turned over a new leaf after qualifying as a lay preacher following an intensive, three-month bible study course.
And he even wants to bring TV cameras into L.A.’s trendy Hillsong Church so he can preach to the masses and spread the good word as a part-time televangelist.
Bieber, who turns 21 next Sunday, has helped Hillsong become the first church in history to be signed by top Hollywood talent agency William Morris Endeavor.
The agency, whose megastar clients include Robert De Niro, Ben Affleck, John Travolta, Taylor Swift and Kanye West, is already reportedly negotiating a prime time small screen slot on Sundays with two networks. And, to help boost ratings, The Bieb has offered to help staff clergy by reading sermons and even appealing for donations on camera.
Hillsong is a Pentecostal church that was founded in Australia in 1983 by married pastors Brian and Bobby Houston and quickly achieved popularity through its pop-style worship music, selling more than 12 million Christian records worldwide.
It now draws 100,000 attendees to services in 11 countries every week, including at the Belasco Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles, where keen devotee Bieber has brought several fellow celebrities.
These include his former girlfriend, 22-year-old singer Selena Gomez, High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens (26) and Glee star Lea Michelle (28), who has raved about Hillsong’s “amazing vibe”.
Bieber claims the church has “transformed” his life after two years of bad boy behaviour around the world that landed him in several legal scrapes and even punch-ups with rival stars like Orlando Bloom.
He said: “I’ve done a few things that might not have been the greatest. But I’m ready to own up to them.”
Source: By Mike Parker, Justin ‘Believer’ Bieber to perform… from the pulpit, http://www.sundayworld.com/news/justin-believer-bieber-to-perform-from-the-pulpit-hillsong, Accessed 25/02/2015.
Once again, we ask the question. Has Hillsong made any attempt to get Sunday World to retract their story?