Carl Lentz, lead pastor of Hillsong NYC, made the announcement with Judah Smith, pastor of Churchome, on Instagram Live Monday night.
The Sunday after Hillsong NYC closed its doors at United Palace and went completely online, Lentz said his “team got hit pretty hard.”
“I’m fine,” he said. “I’m good…Let me tell you something. It is definitely real…the symptoms are so real. It’s kind of like a flu times 50…still don’t feel like myself…I look forward to getting my energy back.”
“I started feeling so bad,” Lentz told his friend Smith, who pastors in Seattle and Los Angeles. “I got my test. It came back positive.”
He added, “My breath is a lot shorter. Fatigue is a lot quicker. My advice to people is try to take this as seriously as you can.”
The Hillsong NYC team held a gathering to tape the online service at the church office. Since those 200 gathered, it is unclear how many have the virus. At least one other pastor, John Termini, said it is highly likely, as he awaits his results, that he tested positive.
Lentz preached a recorded message titled, “We Are Gonna Get Through This,” online Sunday to thousands.
If anyone else tests positive, Lentz, 41, said: “You’re not alone.”
“I’m praying that we find something that eradicates this thing completely. That’s my hope.”
Smith asked all watching to pray over Lentz over his family and told him it’s “sobering” to find out his longtime friend tested positive.
Disclaimer: Caleb Parke attends and serves at Hillsong NYC.