Brian Houston, founder and former global senior pastor of Hillsong Church, says that he and his wife, Bobbie Houston, will be starting an online ministry and church next year, which the pastor has said will be a “year of redemption.”
“Bobbie and I are starting a weekly online ministry and church in 2024,” Brian said on X (formerly Twitter) on Nov. 29. “I’m excited about building this new community.”
Bobbie and I are starting a weekly online ministry and church in 2024. I’m excited about building this new community.
— Brian Houston (@BrianCHouston) November 29, 2023
Brian also recently said that he is working on his autobiography, commenting, “I hope it illuminates people and blesses people.”
Brian Houston’s Tumultuous Exit From Hillsong
Brian Houston’s announcement follows a couple years that have been tempestuous, to say the least. In August, he was acquitted of charges that he covered up sexual abuse committed by his father, Frank Houston.
In 2021, the Brian was charged with allegedly concealing abuse that his father perpetrated against Brett Sengstock in the 1970s. In his ruling about the case, Magistrate Gareth Christofi said that because Brian believed Sengstock wished to keep the matter private, the pastor “had a reasonable excuse for not bringing the matter to the attention of police.”
“I’ve been found not guilty today, but in fact I’ve always been not guilty,” Brian said after the decision was handed down.
In November 2022, during an event in Sydney, Australia, called “An Evening with Bobbie and Brian,” Brian said, “It’s been a hell of a year,” but that he felt “encouraged, believe it or not.” He shared that he and Bobbie anticipated having “at least another decade of productive ministry, fruitful ministry, whatever that looks like.”
At the time, Brian had been charged for allegedly concealing his father’s abuse, but the case had not yet gone to trial. The “hell of a year” the pastor referred to pertained to his exit from his global megachurch. In September 2021, he stepped aside from Hillsong Church boards, and in January 2022, he announced that he would be stepping aside from leadership at Hillsong for all of 2022 in order to focus on the court proceedings.
In March 2022, the Hillsong Global Board revealed that Brian’s sabbatical was related to the pastor’s past inappropriate behavior toward two women, as well as substance abuse. Days after this news broke, Hillsong announced that Brian Houston had resigned as global senior pastor.