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Pastors Josh and Leona Kimes Resign from Hillsong Boston After Enduring 'Immense Pain'

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ABOVE: Justin Giboney, president of the And Campaign, appeared on the Monday edition of CBN News' Faith Nation to talk about how churches can create official structures of governance to make their leaders more accountable. 

Two more Hillsong co-pastors have decided to quit the global church movement that has been plagued by scandal, causing it to lose several pastors and even entire American church campuses.

Josh and Leona Kimes, the co-pastors of Hillsong Boston, announced on Monday that the two have "made the difficult decision to resign," Religion News Service reports. 

The couple's departure from the Boston church comes a little more than one week after a report was leaked to The Christian Post about the investigation into Hillsong NYC where the Kimeses had worked with former pastor Carl Lentz. 

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As CBN News reported, Lentz was fired in November of 2020 for "leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures."

The Kimeses resignations also come after Hillsong co-founder Brian Houston recently resigned from the Australia-based church after allegations surfaced involving separate incidents with two women, including a staff member.  

As CBN News has reported, Hillsong was co-founded by Houston and his wife Bobbie 39 years ago and had grown to 150,000 members in 30 countries. Since Houston's resignation, more and more U.S.-based Hillsong churches have been leaving the global organization.

The Kimeses also helped start Hillsong NYC under Lentz before going on to found the Hillsong campus in Boston, Massachusetts. 

In an Instagram post that has now been made private, Josh Kimes wrote, "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," according to RNS

The news outlet noted that he did not give a reason for their resignations, but apologized for any part he played in "perpetuating a culture that at times valued the building of the church at the expense of those building it."

"Transparency, honesty, accountability & a culture that allows people to create healthy boundaries is so important & I'm encouraged to see things starting to change," Kimes explained.

"Hillsong will always hold a special place in our hearts, even with the immense pain we've endured while building church here in the USA. Pastors are meant to be shepherds who protect the sheep, not wolves who prey on the sheep they're entrusted to protect," he continued.

According to the RNS, in May of 2021, Leona Kimes accused Lentz of sexually abusing her when the Kimeses were a part of the staff at the Manhattan church and she was working as a nanny for Lentz's children. She told the outlet that she had not told her husband, then an associate Hillsong NYC pastor, about the alleged abuse while it was happening, saying she feared for her family and for his job.

Leona told her husband and Hillsong's leadership about the alleged abuse after Lentz was fired. Lentz's attorney at the time denied Kimes's allegations.

In his Instagram post, Josh Kimes said he was proud of his wife for coming forward with the allegations against Lentz. He also asked for prayers as they "carefully consider what's next."

During an interview with CBN News' Faith Nation on Monday, Justin Giboney, president of the And Campaign said anytime church leadership fails it leaves a wound. 

"It is heartbreaking to see the church hurt," he said. "It leads to all kinds of things. We also know that people don't trust institutions anymore. And so the church can simply blame that on a kind of insurgence of irreverent progressivism or we can take responsibility for it. We can set up accountability, making sure that we surround our leaders with a structure of accountability."

"It's very important," he added. "We as a church have a responsibility to protect people from abuses of power."

When CBN News asked what this accountability might look like, Giboney replied, "A board of elders or things of that nature. We're not always talking about pastors. Sometimes we're talking about official structures within your governance to make sure that we don't leave leaders to their own devices. To make sure we get their best, and to make sure that it's encouraged as they go forward, but at the same time, if they do something that falls below a biblical standard that they are held accountable for that."

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About The Author

Steve Warren is a senior multimedia producer for CBN News. Warren has worked in the news departments of television stations and cable networks across the country. In addition, he also worked as a producer-director in television production and on-air promotion. A Civil War historian, he authored the book The Second Battle of Cabin Creek: Brilliant Victory. It was the companion book to the television documentary titled Last Raid at Cabin Creek currently streaming on Amazon Prime. He holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a B.A. in Communication from the University of