One year after sexual allegations against Brian Houston and his resignation, Hillsong Church is welcoming his permanent replacements.
The co-founder of Hillsong church, Houston was accused of being sexually inappropriate with two women within the church. The allegations happened in early March, 2022. Two weeks later the pastor gave his resignation.
Houston leaving church leadership wasn't the only aftermath of the investigation and allegations. The worship band that also tours internationally, Hillsong United, decided to leave their U.S. tour after the news.
As of February 5, Phil and Lucinda Dooley have been appointed as the new global senior pastors of Hillsong Church in Sydney. The couple served as interim pastor since Houston resigned and they are now stepping in full-time.
"Phil and Lucinda were raised up in our church," says chair of the Hillsong Church Global Board, Stephen Crouch, during the worship service. "They have served many roles, as youth pastors, worship pastors, pastoral care, and for the last 14 years dedicating their lives to establishing and building [of] a flourishing church in South Africa."
The megachurch sees over 40,000 congregants each week with their 28 locations across Australia. On top of that, over 100,000 people tune in from around the world.
"We believe, that is the global senior board believe, that they have got the spirit of leadership on their life. And as we have come to see them more closely, as you have come to see them more closely, you can see that they follow the Lord wholeheartedly. That they are Jesus followers."
The allegations against Houston haven't been proven to date and he addressed his stance last November in a Facebook post.
"I want to be clear. The media and others incorrectly say I resigned because I breached the Hillsong code of conduct, but that’s just not true. I didn’t resign because of my mistakes. I resigned because of the announcements and statements that had been made, which Bobbie and I felt made my position untenable. And I spelled out my reasons for my resignation in my resignation letter to the Hillsong Church board."