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Hillsong hit by fresh scandal


Hillsong issued a apology for senior pastor Brian Houston’s ’inappropriate behaviour’.

Bobbie and Brian Houston are the founders of Hillsong church. Picture: Hillsong Church

WHEN Hillsong senior pastor Brian Houston stepped down from his position in January, the reason was due to investigations concerning sexual assault allegations towards his father, Frank Houston.

It has since come to light that Houston has engaged in “inappropriate behaviour” too, and Hillsong church has formally issued an apology.

The reason for his stepping down was that his actions on two occasions were found to be against the code of conduct.

The statement said the first issue had occurred 10 years ago and involved inappropriate text messages from Houston to a staff member, which resulted in her resignation.

“At the time, Pastor Brian was under the influence of sleeping tablets, upon which he had developed a dependence. He immediately apologised to the person.”

The church continued: “We also worked closely with Pastor Brian to ensure he received professional help to eliminate his dependency on this medication, and this was achieved successfully.”

Additionally, the statement confirmed drug misuse by Houston in the second complaint.

“Following an in-depth investigation, it was found that Pastor Brian became disoriented after a session at the Hillsong Conference, following the consumption of anti-anxiety medication beyond the prescribed dose, mixed with alcohol.”

The church said: “This resulted in him knocking on the door of a hotel room that was not his, entering this room and spending time with the female occupant.”

Hillsong church apologised profusely to the people affected by Houston’s actions.

While Houston has stepped down from his position, his wife, Bobbie, remains engaged in church life and her leadership positions.

Last year, Bobbie came under fire for her 2003 audiobook titled Kingdom Women Love Sex in which she used a slur against disabled people.

“Like many other churches of its size, Hillsong’s governance model has historically placed significant control in the hands of the senior pastor, but we recognise that the way we do things needs to be reviewed.”

“We know there are areas on which we can improve, and we will work honestly and transparently to that end.”

‘Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed’ docuseries is a three-part production that will air on Discovery Plus on March 24. The logline for the show reads: “With more than 150,000 global members, Hillsong has recently been entangled in scandal.”

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