Israel Houghton has not been canned by Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church because of his relationship with Adrienne Bailon, contrary to published reports.
The Grammy-winning gospel artist took to Twitter and Facebook on Thursday to dispel tabloid reports that he was no longer associated with the ministry.
He then posted a link to report on the web site of KHOU, a Houston television station, followed by: “Treasure of my heart & of my soul. In my weakness You are merciful. Redeemer of my past & present wrongs. Holder of my future days to come…”
“We can confirm that Israel is on indefinite leave, but it is important to clarify that we still consider Israel to be a part of the Lakewood family and that his employment has not been terminated.”
A recording at Lakewood said the Houston megachurch was closed for the holiday.
RadarOnline claims Houghton was “booted from his five-year position as a minister”for allegedly cheating on his wife of 20 years with former Cheetah Girls member Adrienne Bailon. In its headline, though, it says Houghton was placed on indefinite leave.
The Daily Mail’s headline said “Adrienne Bailon’s new boyfriend Israel Houghton ‘loses job as worship leader at Joel Osteen megachurch’ amid cheating rumours.”
Houghton earlier took to social media earlier to explain his relationship with Bailon. It said the two met about two years ago, worked together and became friends. That friendship later evolved and “as two single adults we have very recently begun to explore a dating relationship.”
He goes on to say that his marriage had been over for quite a while before going public with his divorce announcement.
“It deeply saddens me that an innocent party would be dragged into this situation that I have taken personal responsibility for. Adrienne is a woman of integrity & character.”
On Facebook and Twitter, he found some support.
“Man of God, I apologize for the immaturity of so many who are foraging for dirt to make themselves feel better. Divorce is devastating no matter which part you play. You have amazing gifts and your fruit shows your relationship with God is right where it should be,” Jenece Jenkins DelToro wrote on Houghton’s Facebook page.