UPDATE: Did Joel Osteen Fire Israel Houghton Because of Adrienne Bailon?

UPDATE: Did Joel Osteen Fire Israel Houghton Because of Adrienne Bailon?

The minister and gospel singer clears up the rumors.

Published March 24th

UPDATE: A rep for Israel Houghton reached out to BET.com to set the record straight about whether or not he was suspended from ministry services at Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church. Earlier reports indicated he was put on indefinite leave due to his relationship with Adrienne Bailon and divorce from his wife of twenty years.

"Israel has been on staff at Lakewood for 15 years since 2001 (not 2011) and actually remains officially on staff," the rep states. "He was never suspended, nor was he put on an indefinite leave but is on a personal sabbatical of his choosing."

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Adrienne Bailon
 and her new man, gospel singer Israel Houghton, went public with their relationship just days ago, and already it's spurred all kinds of drama and scandal. Rumors are swirling that Houghton left his wife of 20 years for Adrienne — a fact that he outright denied in a lengthy Facebook post yesterday.

But his explanations don't seem to be enough for his boss Joel Osteen, who reportedly put Houghton on indefinite leave from his Lakewood Church, where Houghton had been a minister since 2011. RadarOnline reports that Houghton "was mysteriously wiped from the website," adding that a rep for the church confirmed that "he is no longer part of the fold after announcing his divorce amid cheating rumors in February."

A rep for Lakewood says, “Lakewood Church released Israel Houghton from his responsibilities as a worship leader [in February] and placed him on indefinite leave. Since that time, he has not been featured in any Lakewood Church related activities.”

The rep continues, “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.”

Well, that wasn't subtle. Sounds like Lakewood Church is perfectly clear about what went down in Houghton's marriage and new relationship and isn't here for any of it. 

Wendy Williams recaps the drama surrounding the new couple, below:

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Written by Evelyn Diaz

(Photo from left: D Dipasupil/Getty Images, Mike Coppola/Getty Images, Maury Phillips/Getty Images for BET)

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