Hillsong founder Brian Houston’s ‘indiscretions’ with women

founder brian houston hillsong congregation hillsong founder historic child sex abuse brian houston
Image: Brian Houston Facebook

A video conference of 800 Hillsong Church staff members heard today that Hillsong founder Brian Houston committed ‘indiscretions’ towards two women.

Pastor Phil Dooley revealed the ‘indiscretions’ during a global online staff meeting. Dooley took over as head of Hillsong in January. Houston stepped down at the time to focus on a criminal charge alleging he concealed his father’s child sexual abuse.

One incident involved a female church member who quit Hillsong after making a complaint about Brian Houston. The Hillsong founder sent the staff member an ‘inappropriate’ text message about a decade ago.

Pastor Dooley described the massage as: “along the line of, ‘If I was with you, I’d like to kiss and cuddle you,’ words of that nature.”

The woman then left her job with Hillsong and the church later paid her ‘a couple of months’ salary’ as compensation when she could not find other employment.

2019 Hillsong Conference opened by Scott Morrison

The other incident occurred at the 2019 Hillsong conference opened by Houston’s friend, Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Pastor Dooley described Houston meeting a woman in the foyer of the Pullman Hotel.

“It was after one of the conference nights and he was drinking with a group.

“Later that evening, Pastor Brian attempted to get into his room but didn’t have his room key and ended up knocking on the door to the woman’s room.

“She opened the door and he went into her room.”

“Sin is messy and it brings all kinds of pain.”

“The truth is we don’t know what happened next. The woman has not said there was any sexual activity. Brian has said there was no sexual activity but he was in the room for 40 minutes.”

The pastor said Houston had no memory of what occurred in the room after drinking and taking prescription drugs. The woman also could not remember as she too had been drinking.

Houston took three months off following that incident and promised to abstain from alcohol.

“Unfortunately, he didn’t abide by that. He did conduct some ministry, I believe on three separate occasions… and he also did, as he would say, consume some alcohol.”

Dooley told the meeting that the church never mentioned Houston’s ‘indiscretions’ when he stepped because of “a desire to see Brian healthy…

“We acknowledge Pastor Brian has made significant mistakes … We also do want to pray for Pastor Brian and for Bobbie and the family because there is a lot of pain associated with this.

“Sin is messy and it brings all kinds of pain.”

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