Grammy award-winning gospel artist, Israel Houghton has announced the end of his 20-year marriage to Meleasa Houghton, apologizing to his family, friends and fans for cheating on his wife.
Israel Houghton says the news might be shocking to some, but many close to them were already aware of their marital troubles.
The 44-year-old singer made the announcement on his Facebook page, saying “I failed and sinned in my marriage.”
“It is with a collective heavy heart that we announce that after over 20 years of marriage and a long separation, Meleasa and I are officially divorced.
“Several years ago, I failed and sinned in my marriage…. Although we tried, the challenges in our relationship have proven too much to overcome. We have always handled our family and ministry with grace and generosity toward others, discretion, and privacy.
“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.
“As this has become a public matter, I want to apologize to the many who have supported my ministry through the years. 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,” Houghton said.
Israel Houghton is the senior worship leader at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas.
He and his ex-wife Meleasa founded New Breed Ministries in 1995. New Breed Ministries is comprised of noted musicians and singers who serve within their respective churches and, together, serve the church at large.
Houghton has won five Grammy Awards, 13 Dove Awards, two Stellar Awards and a Soul Train Music Award.
The couple has three children, Mariah, Israel and Milan.