Hillsong Founder and Senior Pastor Brian Houston Resigns

Hillsong announced on Wednesday that its founder and lead pastor, Brian Houston, has resigned after revelations about the pastor's inappropriate behavior towards two women in the church emerged days ago. 

The board of directors of the Australian megachurch Hillsong announced this Wednesday, in a brief press release, the resignation of its founder and senior pastor Brian Houston.

"We would like to inform you that Pastor Brian Houston has resigned as the Global Senior Pastor of Hillsong Church and the board has accepted his resignation," the church's board of directors said in the document.

A few days earlier, Friday March 18, the international organization had released another statement which highlighted two complaints filed against Brian Houston “over the past 10 years”.

The first charge, which dates back "a decade", "involved inappropriate messages from Pastor Brian to a staff member", which subsequently resulted in "the staff member's resignation".

The second complaint, received in 2019, relates to an accusation that the married pastor spent time alone in a hotel room with a woman. Hillsong's board of directors states that "following a thorough investigation", it was found that Brian Houston was "disoriented" after consuming anxiolytics, beyond the prescribed dose, mixed with alcohol.

A state that led him to knock on the “door of a hotel room that was not his, to enter this room and to spend time with the occupant” during a conference of Hillsong.

The council's investigation into this second complaint concludes that Brian Houston "violated Pastor Hillsong's code of conduct."

In a statement released on Wednesday, Hillsong's board of directors said that "regardless of the circumstances" it should be recognized that "Brian and Bobbi [his wife Editor's note] have served God faithfully for many decades and that their ministry has enabled millions of people around the world to be touched by the power, grace and love of Jesus Christ”.

He also recalls that the church "was born out of Brian and Bobbie's obedience and commitment to God's call" and says he is "extremely grateful for all that Brian and Bobbie gave to build his house". .

He then invites us to continue to pray for the couple and for their family “during this difficult period”.

In conclusion, Hillsong reaffirms its commitment to change within the church organization by continuing to “seek God and his wisdom” and keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus.

“As you can understand, there is still much to do and our church leadership continues to seek God for His wisdom as we set the course for the future. We recognize that changes are needed. We are committed to an independent review of our governance structure and processes, understanding that this is a time of humble reflection and we are committed to doing what is necessary to ensure that God is honored and our eyes are fixed on Jesus. »

At the end of January, Brian Houston announced that he was taking a leave of absence from his role as senior pastor of Hillsong in 2022 to prepare for an upcoming trial. He is accused of hiding sexual abuse perpetrated by his father, Frank Houston, in the 70s.

Camille Westphal Perrier

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