Following the Houston couples' publicly shared communications from Hillsong, the megachurch has denied that they terminated Bobbie Houston through text.
On Saturday, Hillsong Church denied that they terminated its co-founder, Bobbie Houston via text message after her husband, founder Brian Houston, took to social media to share a text message she received about her termination. Brian Houston, who has been embattled with controversy, resigned last month following the revelation that he faced misconduct allegations from two women.
But Brian accused Hillsong of "losing its soul" after his wife, Bobbie, received a text message from a church leader that read, "Dear Bobbie, I wanted to text to let you know I will be sending you an email shortly regarding your employment. Please let me know if you would like to talk about it or if you have questions."
Brian, who said the exchange was over the termination of his wife's employment, shared a screenshot of the exchange on social media, including Bobbie's reply, which read in part, "I don't even have words to express how cold and callous this has all become."
The Christian Post reported, however, that Hillsong Church's global and Australian boards sent an email to church members on Saturday to clarify the situation. The email said that the message was sent to Bobbie as a follow-up to discussions held with the Houstons in late March about Bobbie's future with the megachurch.
"This required the board to initiate difficult and challenging conversations with Bobbie regarding the transition in her role as co-global senior pastor, given that Brian had resigned and was no longer working for Hillsong Church," the email read, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald.
The message to Bobbie with regards to the redundancy plan was sent out of "genuine care" and the "opportunity for further discussion." Hillsong's global boards expressed dissatisfaction with the way the narrative was being reported in the media.
"This has been interpreted and reported that the Hillsong board 'made her role redundant by text,' which is not correct," the board wrote. "We are saddened by Brian's public response and hope that he and Bobbie will understand the heart behind the decisions that are being made."
Hillsong Church has long been plagued with controversy following its pastor Carl Lentz's firing in November 2020 amidst allegations of "moral failures," "leadership issues," and "breach of trust." Last month, Brian was investigated amidst allegations of misconduct by two women. One was a staffer who previously worked for Hillsong, who alleged that Brian sent her an "inappropriate text message." Brian was also involved in an incident where he entered a women's hotel room following a Hillsong conference. He claimed to be under the influence of alcohol and medication at the time.
Brian has since apologized for his behavior and stepped down as the megachurch's Global Senior Pastor. However, he pledged that he and his wife are not retiring from their careers.
"I still have a sense of bright hope for the future and I know God is not finished with me yet," Brian wrote in an email to Hillsong followers, as reported by Eternity News. "We have no intention of retiring. As Bobbie would say, 'the final chapters of our lives are not yet written.'"