Laura, who is Brian and Bobbie Houston’s daughter (which makes Peter the Houstons’ son-in-law), said goodbye to the church where she spent most of her life growing up and serving.
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Recently appointed global senior pastors of Hillsong Church, Phil and Lucinda Dooley welcomed the Toganivalu family on the stage as Phil made the announcement.
“We just wanted to honor a couple who are moving on from roles in our church,” Phil Dooley, who once served as the Toganivalus youth pastor when they were younger, said. “They’ve been just a blessing over so many years.”
Dooley explained that at the end of last year Laura shared with leadership that she felt it was time for her to come off staff. “We’re like, hey,” he said. “If that’s what you need to do—we’re with you—we want you to do well because we’re about the kingdom aren’t we? We’re not just about one church. We’re about the kingdom of God. We’re about seeing people step into whatever the next season looks like, flourishing, stepping forward in faith, and cheering them on.”
About a month ago, Peter approached Dooley and shared that he believed it was time for him and his family to step into a new season of life that didn’t involve them continuing their current roles at Hillsong Church.
“We are with you guys, whatever the choice is,” Dooley told Peter. “If you’re gonna stay, hey, we love you and let’s go for it. If you feel there’s a season for you to step into that is outside of what we’re doing as Hillsong Church, we’re gonna cheer you on as well.”
Laura’s father, Brian Houston, was Hillsong’s global senior pastor until he resigned in March 2022. Phil Dooley, who now fills that role, commended the Toganivalus for their many years of faithful service to the church.
Dooley also thanked Brian and Bobbie, telling Laura, “Obviously your parents, Laura, have just been the reason why so many of us are here, and we are so grateful for them, and we just want to also honor them in this moment.”
Peter expressed the love and respect the Toganivalus have for the Dooleys and how much Dooleys mean to them.