Hillsong founder’s shock decision amid sex scandal


Hillsong founder Brian Houston has revealed he and his wife Bobbie are stepping away from their leading roles to make way for a new generation of leaders.

Mr Houston, who turns 67 this week, told attendees at Hillsong's Vision Sunday service he had been "doing a lot of soul-searching and praying" about the future of the megachurch.

The announcement follows a spate of international lawsuits and revelations of New York Pastor Carl Lentz's affair.

Ms Houston also found herself under fire for "fat-shaming" slurs.

It has been 38 years since the couple started their Australian empire in Baulkham Hills, in Sydney's leafy northwest.

"For Bobbie and I, moving forward and I guess globally we've grown so rapidly and it's been really a time when what has become clear is we need to put a whole lot more structure into what we're doing globally," Mr Houston said.

The Houstons will hand over global responsibility.
The Houstons will hand over global responsibility.

"It's at the point where it's virtually impossible … unsustainable for us to lead everything we are leading right now."

Mr Houston is looking for ways to share the load, particularly with "younger leaders".

But he made it clear he and Ms Houston were not retiring.

"We'll still be here preaching and part of the team," he said.

"We've grown so fast around the world and need to put structures in place to carry that."

In November last year the Hillsong pastor who baptised pop star Justin Bieber was sacked.

The action to fire New York pastor Carl Lentz followed the recent discovery of "moral failures", Mr Houston wrote in an email to Hillsong East Coast church members.

Hillsong was founded in Australia in 1983 but in recent years has branched into the United States and Britain.

Originally published as Hillsong founder's shock decision