Justin Bieber was reportedly baptized last week by Hillsong Church pastor Carl Lentz in a low-key ceremony in New York City, according to celebrity gossip site TMZ.
Lentz told TMZ he spent a week doing Bible study with the young star after a video leaked allegedly showing Bieber telling a racist joke. The baptism took place several months after Bieber was reported to be searching for a private pool for the ceremony to take place.
Bieber first began his search in February after a photo emerged reportedly showing the singer with an adult dancer The singer apologized in June for his racist comments depicted in the leaked video -- which was recorded when he was 15 years old. Bieber, 20, said in a statement:
As a young man, I didn't understand the power of certain words and how they can hurt. I thought it was OK to repeat hurtful words and jokes, but didn't realize at the time that it wasn't funny and that in fact my actions were continuing the ignorance. I take my friendships with people of all cultures very seriously and I apologize for offending or hurting anyone with my childish and inexcusable mistake. I was a kid then and I am a man now who knows my responsibility to the world and to not make that mistake again.
After the incriminating video leaked, Hillsong pastor and longtime Bieber friend Carl Lentz tweeted:
I hate to see peoples past mistakes cause pain in the present.. I'm proud of @justinbieber, the man he is/is becoming, despite old videos..
— carl lentz (@carllentzNYC) June 5, 2014
Bieber has been vocal about his faith in the past. In a Christian rap video released in April Bieber spoke about God's forgiveness, saying, "God forgave everyone and they killed his son. That shows how much grace God has."