Blessed are the … VIPs.
Scandal-ridden Hillsong Church was so obsessed with being the hippest ministry that it operated its church services like a nightclub to ensure that its most fashionable followers got special treatment, a former insider tells us.
The church once held its weekly New York services at concert venue Gramercy Theatre and we’re told VIP members were able to reserve seats — while the regular flock had to wait for hours to get a good spot.
“They rented out the space every Sunday to hold their services and they had like this VIP congregation with reserved spots for celebrities, influencers and nightlife people in the know,” a source who works nightlife told Page Six.
“There were probably, like, 100 seats reserved for notables and regular people would line up to get one of the few seats from the back row … I’m talking they’d show up an hour or two before the church opened,” the source said, “A guy like me, I could show up five minutes before and get a seat. I’d hit up one of my friends and be like, ‘Hey, I’m coming to service with a plus-one,’ and they’d have two seats for me just like that. It’s one of those things where they were treating the church with a nightclub mentality.”
There were plenty of other less-glamorous spots available.
At its peak, Hillsong counted regulars like Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, Chris Pratt and and Selena Gomez as some of its famous members.
The church has recently been rocked by revelations that the founder of its US wing, Carl Lentz, had a series of affairs.
It no longer uses Gramercy Theatre, and has been online-only since COVID-19 hit.
A rep for the church didn’t immediately get back to us.
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