A married pastor for Hillsong Church has resigned after being caught sharing photos of his bulging manhood on Instagram – just months after the head of the church’s New York City chapter was fired over his own sex scandal, DailyMail.com has learned.
Darnell Barrett, a 32-year-old pastor for Hillsong in Montclair, New Jersey, stepped down from his role on Tuesday over an Instagram story he posted of himself last month wearing nothing but white Nike Pro tights.
The clergyman 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 eye-popping pictures 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.’
Pastor Darnell Barnett, 32, resigned as creative director of Hillsong’s Montclair, New Jersey chapter on Tuesday after admitting to sharing explicit photos of himself on Instagram last month
The Christian church leader stepped down after he was accused of posting photos of himself wearing nothing but white Nike Pro workout tights which outlined his large manhood
Barrett, however, then shared his Instagram story in a direct message to at least one follower, a 30-year-old woman who used to volunteer under him at the New Jersey church.
The sex scandal comes just six months after Hillsong was rocked by the dismissal of NYC pastor Carl Lentz who was caught cheating on his wife.
In messages obtained by DailyMail.com, Barrett initially tried to play it off as a mistake before apparently trying to lure the woman into a conversation.
‘Hey! I think I might’ve added you to my close friends list by accident,’ Barrett wrote. ‘I’m so sorry. Trying to figure out how the hell to edit it.’
He later claimed that the explicit photos were ‘some real raw s**t I send to my friends man. Lol.’
‘Seriously, sorry about that. I guess,’ he continued.
DailyMail.com approached the pastor for comment outside of the West Orange, New Jersey home he shares with wife on Tuesday.
Barrett admitted he posted the lewd photos and revealed he had just resigned as Hillsong New Jersey’s creative director.
In February, Barrett posted two photos on his ‘close friends’ Instagram story, which is only visible to followers he specifically selects. At first glance the posts seemed to be innocuous, motivational snaps of him tackling his ‘depression and anxiety’
DailyMail.com has learned Barrett, however, later sent the lewd posts to a woman, a former volunteer at the church, and then tried to play it off as an accident
The woman, who is not being identified, said she didn’t notice the bulge at first until her friend pointed it out. She initially blocked Barrett’s account after realizing, but then briefly unblocked him to vent her anger
He explained he stepped down Tuesday morning citing ‘infidelity’ in his marriage that he and his wife are now ‘working through.’
‘We thought it was best for me to move on. I don’t want to get into the details,’ he told DailyMail.com.
Barrett acknowledged that the photos indeed showed off his private parts, but insisted they were shared accidentally.
‘Yeah, it shows me with my leggings on,’ he said.
He described them merely as ‘gym photos’ and said they were meant to encourage his followers to participate in a ‘gym challenge.’
‘This was something that was just an honest mistake and I informed my wife as soon as it happened,’ he added.
Barrett, who has two children, said he had no intention of meeting up with the woman
‘I was not at all trying to lure her,’ he said. ‘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 woman who received the photos, however, told DailyMail.com it was no accident.
The woman, who is not being named, 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.
The married father-of-two was photographed Tuesday outside his West Orange, New Jersey home where he lives with his wife
When approached by DailyMail.com, Barrett confirmed he had sent the photos and said he had resigned earlier Tuesday
The pastor insisted the incident was an ‘honest mistake’, but admitted he stepped down because ‘there was infidelity in my marriage’
‘Hey! I’m looking to come to [city] to the most isolated (and scenic) place I can find,’ he wrote her on January 13. ‘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?’
‘All of thee above, honestly,’ Barrett responded. ‘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,’ he added with a heart emoji.
Then in February, Barrett messaged her the ‘gym’ photos he posted on Instagram Stories.
He wrote a caption beneath one of the photos stating that he was suffering from depression, while standing shirtless and humble-bragging that ‘I’m just proud of myself for getting to the gym today even if it was a cheap 30 minute workout.’
The woman told DailyMail.com that she didn’t look closely enough to see his tights at first, but forwarded the photos to a friend who replied with astonishment: ‘Is that his penis?’
The woman said she initially blocked his account after receiving the photo, but then briefly unblocked him to vent her anger.
Sources told DailyMail.com that Hillsong had made Barrett, a black man, a public face for the church, in part to counter criticism they’ve received for having a nearly all white leadership
Darnell was spotted coming out and taking luggage out of the car and bringing it into his home
‘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.com.
‘First off, I’m insulted that you wouldn’t understand what you’re doing but I’m not f**king stupid,’ she wrote.
‘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.
‘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,’ she continued.
‘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….’
Barrett replied to the messages saying: ‘I’m sorry?’ before the woman cut him off by blocking him again.
On Tuesday, Barrett told DailyMail.com he had immediately informed his wife of the incident. Soon after, he said, Hillsong officials got wind of it.
‘I don’t know who shared it, but it was brought immediately to the supervisor’s attention,’ he said.
The sex scandal comes just six months after Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz was fired for cheating on his wife Laura (pictured together left) with a New York City designer identified as Ranin Karim, 34 (right)
Lentz was the head of the megachurch’s New York City chapter and had become somewhat of a celebrity after baptizing Justin Bieber in 2014
The woman told DailyMail.com she didn’t notify Hillsong but said she learned of another Hillsong member who did.
Barrett described himself as creative director of Hillsong, but has been a high-profile member for years.
Sources told DailyMail.com that Hillsong made Barrett, a black man, a public face for the church, in part to counter criticism they’ve received for having a nearly all white leadership.
He’s been featured on national media outlets as a Hillsong pastor talking about his experience with the church and, a few years ago, surprised his congregation by embracing his biological father, who abandoned him as a child.
‘You know, Dad, I, uh, I prayed for this moment to be able to look you in the eye and say that you’re not a failure,’ Barrett told his dad in front of a packed house, Fox News reported in 2018.
Influential celebrity Instagram account DeuxMoi shared a tip last week about a senior Hillsong leader who had been sending inappropriate messages
Rumors of the scandal began circulating on social media last week when influential celebrity Instagram account DeuxMoi shared a tip about a senior Hillsong leader who had been sending inappropriate messages.
DailyMail.com has confirmed that the leader is Darnell Barrett.
The account shared an anonymous post from a former Hillsong member who referenced Barrett’s explicit Instagram stories.
It marks the latest sex scandal for Hillsong, a Christian megachurch founded in 1983 in Sydney, Australia that has since expanded to 23 countries.
Church officials were forced to fire one of Hillsong’s most prominent pastors, Carl Lentz, the head of the church’s New York City chapter, over his own infidelity.
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.
In an Instagram post addressing his firing, Lentz wrote: ‘I was unfaithful in my marriage, the most important relationship in my life and held accountable for that.’
‘This failure is on me, and me alone and I take full responsibility for my actions,’ he added alongside a picture of him posing with his wife and their three children – daughters Ava, 16, and Charlie, 14, and a son, Roman.
It was later revealed Lentz had an affair with 34-year-old New York City designer Ranin Karim who claimed she dated the megachurch pastor for more than five months.
In the wake of his resignation Tuesday, Barrett told DailyMail.com he’s not sure what he’ll do next but said he is eager to move past the incident.
‘At this point I want to move forward,’ he said. ‘I want to work on healing and repairing my marriage. This story is probably going to set us back a few months, if not years.’