Hillsong Church Founder Brian Houston Resigns Amid Allegations of Inappropriate Behavior Toward 2 Women

Pastor Brian Houston has officially resigned from his position at Hillsong after he was accused of behaving inappropriately with two women.

By Tamantha Gunn Mar 23, 2022 9:22 PMTags
Watch: Pastor Carl Lentz Admits to Infidelity After Hillsong Church Firing

Brian Houston has stepped down from his position as Global Senior Pastor of Hillsong Church after he was accused of behaving inappropriately toward two women. 

The Hillsong board announced Houston's resignation on March 23, writing, "We acknowledge that change is needed. We have 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 God is honoured, and our eyes are fixed on Jesus."

The complaints were made by two women separately "over the last 10 years," the Australian megachurch said previously in a March 18 statement.

The first alleged incident, the church said, took place "approximately a decade ago and involved inappropriate text messages from Pastor Brian to a member of staff, which subsequently resulted in the staff member resigning." Hillsong said Houston was "under the influence of sleeping tablets" at the time he sent the texts and "immediately apologized" to the person.

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The megachurch said they worked with Houston, now 68, to successfully "eliminate his dependency" on the sleeping meds.

Hillsong said the second incident took place in 2019. "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 in a statement. "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."

After an integrity unit assigned by Hillsong's Global Board conducted an investigation, the church said it found that Houston "had breached the Hillsong Pastor's Code of Conduct."

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"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," the church added. "We know there are areas on which we can improve, and we will work honestly and transparently to that end."

Houston—who has been married to Bobbie Houston since 1977—has faced troubling accusations before. He temporarily stepped away from his ministry duties in late January to order to prepare for a court battle after he was charged with concealing the alleged child sex offenses of his late father, Frank Houston. The 68-year-old has since denied those allegations, telling Insider in a statement in August 2021, "I vehemently profess my innocence and will defend these charges, and I welcome the opportunity to set the record straight."
In October 2021, Houston's lawyers announced that their client would enter a not guilty plea. According to PerthNow, his trial has been delayed several times.

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Houston's resignation is the latest controversy to hit the megachurch. In November 2020, Carl Lentz—former pastor of the institution's New York City location—was terminated from his position for what Houston previously described as "leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures."
Following his firing, Lentz took to Instagram to admit that he cheated on his wife Laura Lentz—who he has been married to since 2003. 
"I was unfaithful in my marriage, the most important relationship in my life and held accountable for that," Lentz, 43, wrote alongside a photo of him, his wife and their three children. "This failure is on me, and me alone and I take full responsibility for my actions."

E! News could not reach Houston's rep for comment. E! News reached out to Hillsong Church for additional comment, but the church has not provided any more information. 

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