*A publicist for Israel Houghton has informed EURweb that our story, sourced from Radar Online, about Houghton being put on “indefinite leave” by Lakewood church is incorrect.
See the statement below for details.
“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.”
EARLIER WE REPORTED:
Israel Houghton Put on ‘Indefinite Leave’ by Joel Osteen’s Church Amid Cheating Scandal
According to RadarOnline, Houghton has been put on indefinite leave as a minister at Joel Osteen‘s 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.
READ RELATED STORY: Israel Houghton Sets Record Straight on Adrienne Bailon Relationship
“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.
News of Houghton’s indefinite leave follows the singer’s public revelation of his relationship with Bailon after pictures surfaced of the couple enjoying time together on a Mexican getaway at the Dreams resort in Tulum over the weekend.
Upon announcing he and Meleasa were splitting up, Houghton was still wearing a wedding band and admitted at the time that he had “failed and sinned” against his wife.
Despite all the talk of Bailon being the cause of the end of his marriage, Houghton fired back on social media on Tuesday (Mar. 22), saying the 32-year-old “The Real” co-host was not the other woman.
READ RELATED STORY: Adrienne Bailon and Fiancé Lenny Santiago Call It Quits
“In the midst of all that’s going on in the world… Suffering, terrorism, deciding a future for our country, and making the world safer; It is sad that I am even having to address this matter,” Houghton wrote on Facebook.
“I met Adrienne Bailon a bit over 2 years ago,” on the set of the movie I’m In Love with a Church Girl, he explained. “As two single adults we have very recently begun to explore a dating relationship.”