Scandal continues to plague the life of former megachurch pastor Brian Houston, as he admitted on Tuesday (March 28) that he was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in Feb. 2022 while in the United States.
Houston was arrested on Feb. 26, 2022 in Newport Beach, California, after allegedly driving with a blood alcohol content of .08% or more and failing to display two license plates on the vehicle he was driving, according to The Christian Post.
The arrest came amid Houston’s slide out of favor with Hillsong Church, the Australian headquartered megachurch with global reach that he founded 40 years ago.
In Aug. 2021, charges were brought against Houston for allegedly covering up the child sex abuse of his late father, pastor Frank Houston. The next month, Houston stepped down from his roles on the church’s boards to focus on defending himself in court.
In Jan. 2022, Houston announced that he would be taking a year-long sabbatical from pastoral leadership at Hillsong for the same reason.
It was later revealed by the Hillsong Global Board that Houston’s sabbatical was also the result of disciplinary action for two instances within the span of a decade in which Houston acted inappropriately toward women, as well as for abuse of alcohol and prescription anxiety medication.
After the Global Board publicly disclosed Houston’s alleged moral failures, Houston resigned as global senior pastor of Hillsong Church in March 2022.
Houston’s DUI arrest occurred in the time between the start of his compulsory sabbatical and his eventual resignation.
Nevertheless, the arrest did not apparently play a role in the deterioration of the relationship between Houston and Hillsong Church.
“The global board and leadership of Hillsong Church did not become aware that Pastor Brian Houston had been charged in the USA for driving under the influence until after he had resigned as pastor of Hillsong,” the church said in a statement. “As he was no longer on staff, this was a personal matter for Pastor Brian to deal with. As always we continue to keep the Houston family in our prayers.”
Houston posted a statement to social media regarding the arrest on Tuesday, expressing that he takes “full responsibility” for his actions.