After Houghton’s suspension went viral, rumors swirled that he was fired from the church, were he served as a minister for five years, because he cheated on his ex-wife, Meleasa, with Bailon. But apparently this was not the case. “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,” Lakewood Church said in a statement Thursday.
Though Bailon, 32, didn’t add any commentary, Houghton professed his admiration for Osteen and the Texas megachurch. “I truly love @joelosteen and my gracious Lakewood family,” he wrote on Twitter on Thursday. “Here is their official statement. I have not been fired.”
Houghton, 44, maintained that his 20-year relationship to Meleasa was over before he became intimate with Bailon, who formerly dated “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” star Rob Kardashian.