Hillsong Global Senior Pastor Brian Houston Resigns Amid Accusations Of Inappropriate Behavior

Hillsong Global Senior Pastor Brian Houston Resigns Amid Accusations Of Inappropriate Behavior

Hillsong Church founder Brian Houston is officially no longer the global senior pastor in the Australian megachurch. His resignation comes just days after it was revealed that he was the subject of allegations of misconduct in the last 10 years, officials said on Wednesday.

"We would like to advise you that Pastor Brian Houston has resigned as Global Senior Pastor of Hillsong Church and the board has accepted his resignation," the Hillsong Church Global and Australian boards said in a statement published on their website.

"We understand there will be much emotion at this news, and we all share these feelings," the board stated. Nonetheless, they praised Houson and his wife, Bobbie for having "served God faithfully over many decades" and helping millions of people globally be "impacted by the power, grace, and love of Jesus Christ."

According to the Christian Post, Houston's resignation came just days after Hillsong Church's Interim Global Senior Pastor Phil Dooley shared to congregants on Sunday that their church continues to be "built on Jesus, not just on any one person."

"Our hope and our trust is in Jesus," Dooley reminded the churchgoers. "We are guided by the word of God and the Holy Spirit of God, and we will continue to ask God for wisdom and guidance and strength in this season."

Back in September 2021, Houston stepped down as a member of the church's board after he was charged with "concealing child sex offenses." In January, Hillsong Church announced that Houston was leaving his role for the entire year as he continues to face criminal charges related to the concealed sex abuse committed by his father, Frank Houston.

The elder Houston served as a pastor in the Assemblies of God in New Zealand and Australia, where he was accused of abusing many young boys from 1965 to 1977. In 1999, the mother of a boy who had been subjected to sexual abuse since he was seven until 12 years old came forward, The Guardian reported. At the time, the younger Houston served as the National President of the Assemblies of God in Australia organization. Reports said that the younger Houston dismissed his father but did not report the crimes.

Today, Houston faces his own set of legal troubles when he violated the church's pastoral code of conduct by entering and then spending 40 minutes in a woman's hotel room during Hillsong Church's annual conference in 2019. Both Houston and the women could not confirm if they had sex, as they were both alcohol impaired during the incident. The pastor was also under the influence of anxiety medication.

In 2013, Houston sent an "inappropriate text message" to a Hillsong Church staff, who resigned following the incident. THe church blamed Houston's actions on his "sleeping tablets."

Hillsong Church's statement on the resignation of Houston asked for continued prayers for their family during the "challenging time." The board also admitted in the statement that they "acknowledge that change is needed" and pledged to an "independent review of our governance structure and processes" amidst the "time of humble reflection."