Justin Bieber’s recent split from Selena Gomez seems to have hit the Canadian star hard, reportedly prompting him to go on a “religious retreat” with a pastor.
The 20-year-old singer has sought the counsel and company of pal Pastor Carl Lentz, and is currently staying with the minister and his family in Glen Ridge, New Jersey.
Lentz is a popular pastor at Hillsong Church in New York City, and Justin previously paid visits to the Los Angeles and NYC branches of the Pentecostal church. Back in June, TMZ reported that Carl re-baptized the heartthrob after a week of intensive bible study during a stressful period.
Multiple eyewitnesses in Glen Ridge and its bordering town, Montclair, have tweeted about seeing Justin in New Jersey.
On Tuesday, October 28, comedienne Carey Reilly revealed on her “Not So Skinny Mom” blog, that she saw Bieber at the Forest Avenue Elementary School her son attends in Glen Ridge.
Photos posted on her blog, and another local ‘happenings’ website, Baristanet.com, along with social media postings, showed Justin walking in a playground with Lentz and a young boy — reportedly, Carl’s son, Roman.
(Photo: Justin wore long orange shorts, a white T-shirt, a grey snapback hat and a pair of black Adidas sneakers, while the pastor kept it casual in a black and orange ensemble.)
The “Confident” singer was also secretly filmed playing with Roman on a slide.
“Look there’s Justin Bieber! What?,” Carey recalled of her conversation with two mothers also collecting their children.
On her blog, Reilly wrote, “Allegedly the man he is staying with (pictured here) is a pastor and Justin is staying with him as he embarks on a religious retreat.”
Here’s a photo of @justinbieber at my kids’ school today. pic.twitter.com/aQmmcGBl0E via @biebbodyguards
— Charles Ornstein (@charlesornstein) October 28, 2014
Thank you for being so kind and talking to me today I love you @justinbieber pic.twitter.com/dMGoGo8UBF
— (@avonsrhythms) October 28, 2014
— sofia (@avon_drew) October 28, 2014
— MARTONI (@sarah_martoni) October 28, 2014
Later on Tuesday, Bieber was snapped leaving the Aire Ancient Baths spa in New York, wearing the same clothes he wore to the New Jersey school earlier.
He was also seen grabbing a pizza, Daily Mail Online reports.
(Photo: The Biebs leaving the Aire Ancient Baths spa in New York, Tuesday, October 29.)
As the Inquisitr noted, Justin was reportedly seen “crying” by some concert goers when he left a Hillsong United event at The Forum in Inglewood, California, last Thursday, October 23.
One Twitter user, known as @Baby Daisy, wrote, “So Justin Bieber came to the Hillsong concert and came out crying.”
The tearful sighting was seemingly confirmed by another witness who wrote:
“I had a blast and joy worshipping and seeing @justinbieber worship God with a huge amount of passion #thankyouLord. It was awesome to see @justinbieber give his while heart to worshiping God with all his might man I’m ministered.”
Justin is believed to have attended the concert with Lentz and pal, Ryan Good.
It’s unclear whether the singer was emotional because of the concert, or his breakup with Gomez. The couple split during their recent Paris Fashion Week trip.
The “Come & Get It” songstress unfollowed her ex on Instagram, after posting two tweets suggesting their reunion was over, a day after Justin took pal supermodel Kendall Jenner to lunch in Paris. Selena previously fell out with Kendall.
Although dating rumors were denied via a source to E! News, many media commentators noted both Bloom and Gomez share a mutual sore point in Bieber, and would have known pics of them together would explode the rumor mill.
After meeting up with the pastor last week in L.A., Justin and Lentz were seen boarding a private jet headed for New York on Saturday, October 25.
The morning after, Justin attended Lentz’s 10 a.m Sunday service at Hillsong NYC.
Just worshipped in the same church as @justinbieber
— Amelia Sauter (@life_as_amelia) October 26, 2014
Further sightings followed of the singer at Bible Study on Tuesday night.
Justin and Carl have mixed up their study time with recreation. After the Sunday service at Hillsong NYC, the pair visited Madison Square Garden to watch the NY Knicks pre-season scrimmage.
The two were also spotted leaving the city’s Catch Restaurant the same day.
It’s not known how long Justin’s retreat is set to last. But it’s likely his decision to stay with Lentz is supported by his born-again Christian mother, Pattie Mallette.
On Tuesday night, the Nowhere But Up author and inspirational speaker tweeted,
Instead of worrying about him or criticizing him, pray for him! Its about a generation. #GenerationChange
— Pattie Mallette (@pattiemallette) October 29, 2014
Meanwhile, some of Justin’s recent Instagram posts suggest self-reflection is ongoing.
(Photo: Justin shared a snap of his trip to Guatemala, Central America, last year with the Pencils Of Promise charity organization, which builds schools in the developing world. It was captioned, “What Matters.”)
In the caption to another snap alluding to social media bullying, Justin wrote:
“For those who look at someone else’s Instagram and say I wish my life was like that.”
“Know that often Instagram is not who people really are but who they want people to think they are. I’m choosing to not let other people define me.”