Another married New Jersey Hillsong church pastor resigned on Tuesday after sharing explicit photos to at least one of his followers, a woman, on Instagram. Pastor Darnell Barrett, the creative director of Hillsong's Montclair, New Jersey, chapter, allegedly shared a revealing post-workout selfie with a church volunteer on Instagram story last month. The pastor was wearing nothing in the photo except for a white Nike Pro tights, according to the DailyMail.
However, Barrett, 32, tried to play it off as a mistake claiming that his posts were not in an attempt to lure the woman. Barrett is the latest pastor from the celebrity-loved mega church to resign amid a sex-related scandal.
According to the DailyMail, Barrett shared two photos of himself standing in front of a mirror after a workout, with what appeared to be his engorged member extending half-way down his thigh beneath his tights, in clear view. The photos were posted on Barrett's "close friends" story, which is only visible to followers he specifically selects, as seemingly motivational snaps of his apparent battle with "depression and anxiety."
However, he then shared his Instagram story in a direct message to one follower. "Day 2 of kicking depressions tight a**," Barrett wrote over the image, which he sent to a follower, a 30-year-old woman who volunteered for him from 2014 to 2016 at the Australia-based church's New Jersey branch.
The clergyman then followed it up with another message to the 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," Barrett, a married father of two, texted the female volunteer after purportedly sending the obscene photo.
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 followed up with. Barrett reportedly texted the volunteer several times to convince her she had only received the image by accident, before the volunteer blocked him.
Barrett apologized but by that time he had already shown his true nature and intent. On Tuesday, he resigned after things came to light. When the Daily Mail approached the pastor for comment, he admitted to sending the explicit selfie and confirmed that he had already resigned from his role.
"We thought it was best for me to move on. I don't want to get into the details," he told a reporter outside the West Orange, New Jersey, home he shares with his wife, adding that he and his wife are "working through" his apparent "infidelity."
Although the pastor still claims to have sent those photos mistakenly, the womanDarnell Barrett, who hasn't been named, told the outlet that it was no accident. She said she barely knew Barrett when she volunteered for Hillsong from 2014 to 2016, but claimed the pastor had reached out to her earlier this year saying he was heading to the state where she had moved.
"Darnell, I'm not going to lie, I blocked your for a second but I've decided I need to say something to you," she wrote in messages obtained by DailyMail.
"First off, I'm insulted that you wouldn't understand what you're doing but I'm not f**king stupid," she wrote.
"To be honest, this whole 'fishing' scheme of yours to see if I will bite isn't what even pisses me off. What pisses me off is knowing that I'm not the only person you've probably done this to," she wrote. "I'm actually horrified by the thought of how many other innocent girls you've manipulated with this ploy of yours," she wrote back.
Barrett's sex scandal comes just six months after Hillsong was rocked by the dismissal of New York City pastor Carl Lentz who was caught cheating on his wife. Hillsong, a Christian megachurch, was founded in 1983 in Sydney, Australia, and has since expanded to 23 countries. Lentz, who had become somewhat of a celebrity due to his close ties to Justin Bieber and other Hollywood stars, confessed last November to cheating on his wife of more than a decade.