Shock as worship leader Israel Houghton divorces wife of 20 years

Shock as worship leader Israel Houghton divorces wife of 20 years
Israel Houghton and ex-wife Meleasa

After 20 years of marriage, Grammy award winning gospel singer Israel Houghton and his wife Meleasa have called it quits.

Announcing their divorce through a lengthy social media post, Israel explained to his global fan-base that he was to blame for their breakup.

“Several years ago I failed and sinned in my marriage. Though this is new to many, it is not new to us as we have been working through this for over 5 years,” revealed the worship leader.

The Friend of God singer said that he and his now ex-wife had been separated for some time – an issue that only few people we privy to. He explained that although they had tried to work things out, the marriage could not be redeemed.

“Although we tried, the challenges in our relationship have proven too much to overcome,” he wrote.

The father of three confessed that he had sinned and failed in his marriage, adding that he has repented for his shortcomings.

“I am in the process of restoration and I have repented for my actions. Although I am sincerely sorry, and forgiven, I soberly realize that I will live with the consequences of my failings for the rest of my life,” he wrote.

Though divorces can often be adversarial, Israel says he and his wife are being kind to each other for the sake of their children.

“We have always handled our family and ministry with grace and generosity toward others, discretion, and privacy. So, for the sake of our amazing kids, we are also handling this privately with pastoral oversight and assistance. We choose to remain friendly and kind to each other going forward.”

Israel serves as a worship leader at Pastor Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church. In 1995, he and his ex-wife founded a music collective called Israel & New Breed and the world-famous band is responsible for churning out numerous gospel hits.

Knowing that news of his divorce might disappoint many who believed in his ministry, a contrite Israel offered an apology.

“I’m sorry for the many who will be hurt to learn of my personal failure. I regret any pain or disappointment that this news may cause you. We thank you for your prayers and for allowing us to handle this privately with those who are set over us in this process,” he said.

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Story By Cynthia Nduta
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