Brian Houston, the embattled founder of Hillsong Church, recently took to Facebook to address his followers following allegations that he covered up his father’s sexual abuse of minors.
Houston Explains Resignation
According to The Sunday Morning Herald, Houston addressed his close to 700,00 Facebook followers through a live stream on Thursday. In it, he delved into the issues surrounding his resignation from the church he founded in 1983.
The former Hillsong Church leader reportedly resigned from his post in March, while his wife, Bobbie, was expelled from the church.
Houston said they were ‘left with no choice but to end their time as leaders and pastors’ of the church. He also extensively quoted from the Bible during his Facebook stream.
The embattled pastor likewise denied accusations he was an alcoholic. Houston also talked about feeling “ultimate shame and humiliation” with Hillsong’s decision to make his resignation public knowledge.
A separate article mentioned that Brian had to resign following an internal investigation that revealed he had breached their code of conduct twice.
Brian reportedly sent a former staff member “inappropriate” text messages, which prompted the staff member’s resignation. The incident occurred roughly 10 years ago, the report said.
The former Hillsong pastor also allegedly went inside a female participant’s hotel room during a church conference and lingered there for 40 minutes. The report said no sexual activity happened between the two.
Many inside the church reportedly did not learn about the two incidents for almost a decade. It was only when the second incident came to light that most of the church leaders knew about the first incident.
Also Read: Archdiocese of Santa Fe Files Bankruptcy Reorganization to Compensate 400 Clergy Abuse Survivors
Houston’s Police Case
Aside from his issues with his former church, Houston also faces another problem, but one that could land him in jail.
The news website said that police investigators charged Brian Houston in 2021 for allegedly withholding information concerning his father Frank’s alleged sexual abuse of two boys. The report mentioned that the elderly Houston allegedly abused nine boys during his time as a Pentecostal preacher.
Frank, who died in 2004, reportedly confessed to his crime in 1999. Brian, however, allegedly did not alert authorities about the crime, which made him complicit.
One of Frank Houston’s alleged victims, Brett Sengstock, publicly accused Brian of concealing his father’s sexual abuse. Frank allegedly subjected Sengstock to sexual abuse for five years, beginning in the late 1960s and ending in the early 1970s.
Hillsong Church’s website previously published a blog article saying Brian knew about the abuse when he was 45. Sengstock, meanwhile, was 37 at the time of the alleged discovery.
The article claimed that Brian was not the first person in the church to learn about Frank’s abuses since many church pastors and members were privy to the crime before Brian knew about it.
“Upon being told of his father’s actions, Brian Houston confronted his father, reported the matter to the National Executive Assemblies of God in Australia, relayed the matter to the governing board of Sydney Christian Life Centre, and subsequently made a public announcement to the church,” the blog post read.
The article also claimed that Sengstock asked Brian not to bring the matter to the police, a statement that the former already denied.
Related Article: Vatican Commission Kickstarts Catholic Church’s Child Protection Program Yearly Report