There’s been an interesting development regarding a story – sourced from a Radar Online report – that we ran earlier about Israel Houghton and Joel Osteen’s Lakewood church in Houston.
Jojo Pada, who is Houghton’s personal publicist, informed us – via a statement – that the gospel musician and minister has NOT been put on “indefinite leave” by the church.
However, it is true that at this time Houghton is not associated with the church … because he’s taking a “personal sabbatical of his own choosing.”
See Pada’s statement below:
“Israel has been on staff at Lakewood for 15 years since 2001 (not 2011) and actually remains officially on staff. He was never suspended, nor was he put on an indefinite leave but is on a personal sabbatical of his choosing. We are happy to answer any questions, and have reps at Lakewood church that will support our claim.”
So, how did Radar Online get it wrong? Well, we’ve learned exclusively that the site was given wrong information by an unnamed intern at the church who spoke without authority.
We’ve reached out to Don Iloff, the communications Director of Communication for Lakewood for a comment, but as of this posting there’s been no response.
Earlier we reported:
Israel Houghton Put on ‘Indefinite Leave’ by Joel Osteen’s Church Amid Cheating Scandal
Despite going public and explaining his relationship with Adrienne Bailon, Israel Houghton is professionally feeling the sting of cheating rumors.
According to RadarOnline, Houghton has been put on indefinite leave as a minister at Joel Osteen‘s Houston, Texas-based Lakewood Church, a position he held for five years. The action comes amid talk that surfaced about Houghton cheating on his wife Meleasa after 20 years of marriage as well as the super-church’s website mysteriously eliminating him from its website.
Speaking with Radar, a rep for Lakewood Church confirmed that Houghton is no longer part of the fold after announcing his divorce amid cheating rumors in February.
“Lakewood Church released Israel Houghton from his responsibilities as a worship leader [in February] and placed him on indefinite leave, rep for the church told the site. “Since that time, he has not been featured in any Lakewood Church related activities.”
“Lakewood Church is not at liberty to discuss publicly any details regarding Israel’s personal situation, but stands ready to provide Israel with spiritual counseling and guidance should he choose to seek it,” the rep continued.
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