Hillsong Founder Brian Houston Resigns as Senior Pastor

Brian Houston announced on Sunday that he is taking a leave of absence from his role as senior pastor of Hillsong in 2022. The megachurch founder is currently on trial, he is accused of covering up sexual abuse perpetrated by his father, Frank Houston, in the 70s.

The co-founder of Australia's Hillsong megachurch is stepping down as the church's senior pastor until the end of the year. A decision he announced in a pre-recorded video shown during Sunday morning worship at Hillsong headquarters in Sydney, Australia reports Christianity Today.

The pastor, who had already resigned from church board in September, said in this video where he stands alongside his wife, Bobbie Houston, that “best practice” dictates that he absent himself from church leadership altogether as he faces a lawsuit for having concealed sexual abuse perpetrated by his father. He believes that the legal proceedings “are likely to lengthen and take most of 2022”.

“The Hillsong Global Board believes it is in my interest and that of the church for this to happen, so I have agreed to step down from all ministry responsibilities until the end of the year. year,” he added.

The Guardian Revealed last August that pastor Brian Houston, 67, was charged in an ongoing investigation since 2019. He is accused of failing to inform police of the actions of his father, Franck Houston in a sexual abuse case.

According to the police department, he "knew information relating to the sexual abuse of a young man in the 1970s and did not bring this information to the attention of the police."

Brian Houston proclaims his innocence “I vehemently profess my innocence and will defend these charges,” he said in August, comments reported by CBN News.

In the video released to the church on Sunday, he backtracked on the allegations, saying they had come as a "shock". He said he planned to "fight the prosecution and seize the opportunity to set the record straight", and that he had to "commit fully to the preparation of this case".

He also announced that Phil and Lucinda Dooley, senior pastors of Hillsong Church Cape Town, will step in as acting world senior pastors. His wife Bobbie will remain "fully engaged in the life of the church" and in her leadership positions, he added.

“It is 50 years this week since I started a Bible college in New Zealand, so with five decades of active ministry behind us, rest assured that we will make the most of this season to replenish ourselves spiritually, emotionally and physically.” , concluded the co-founder of Hillsong.

Camille Westphal Perrier

Image credit: Shutterstock / David L Young

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