۱۹ آذر ۱۴۰۱ |۱۶ جمادی‌الاول ۱۴۴۴ | Dec 10, 2022
Brian Houston

Megachurch says Houston, who has stepped down as leader of the church, breached its code of conduct.

Hawzah News Agency – Hillsong has been forced to “apologise unreservedly” after the church’s founder, Brian Houston, was found to have engaged in conduct “of serious concern” by the church.

Following media reports on Friday, the church’s global board said in a statement that Houston had breached Hillsong’s pastor code of conduct in two incidents over the past decade.

“We have sadly been dealing with two complaints made against Pastor Brian over the last 10 years,” the church’s global board said.

The board said the first incident occurred “approximately a decade ago”, in which “inappropriate text messages” from Houston were sent to a staff member, “which subsequently resulted in the employee resigning”.

“At the time, Pastor Brian was under the influence of sleeping tablets, upon which he had developed a dependence,” the statement said. The board said it “worked with Pastor Brian to ensure he received professional help to eliminate his dependency on this medication, and this was achieved successfully”.

The second investigation concerned a complaint the church received in 2019, about behaviour which Hillsong attributed to medication and alcohol.

“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 global board’s statement 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.”

The Hillsong global board said “that whatever the circumstances at this time, this person did not deserve to be placed in the situation she found herself in by Pastor Brian”.

“The investigation by the integrity unit appointed by the global board found that … the conduct was of serious concern,” it said. “We apologise unreservedly to the people affected by Pastor Brian’s actions and commit to being available for any further assistance we can provide.”

Hillsong said the investigations “were conducted by either board members or a body appointed by the global board to hear and resolve complaints against credentialled pastors, and were assisted by highly respected external pastors and advisers”.

Hillsong said Houston “remains on a period of leave”. Following investigation of the second incident, he “agreed to take specific action including stepping down from leadership for a period. However unfortunately he failed to take all of the agreed steps which resulted in further action being taken by the board in late 2021.”

Guardian Australia made attempts to contact Brian Houston and approached Hillsong for further comment.

Comment

You are replying to: .
1 + 16 =