Philip and Lucinda Dooley have been commissioned as the new global senior pastors of megachurch Hillsong.
During a Sunday service in Sydney, Chair of the Hillsong Global Board, Stephen Crouch, said the couple had a long history with the church and was adamant they would lead the church "with grace and wisdom”.
At the beginning of 2022, the Dooleys were appointed as interim global leaders. This came following founder Brian Houston’s resignation, who was required to take time to stand trial for criminal charges that he allegedly concealed his father’s abuse.
Since then, and amidst a series of controversies related to Houston and other pastors across the network including claims of financial abuse, Pastor Philip has vowed to rebuild transparency in the church.
During his 14 months as interim global pastor, he announced a raft of changes to the church’s governance structure, including separating the positions of lead pastor and chairman of the board, having previously been a single role held by Brian Houston.
Among other changes, Pastor Philip has also ensured at least 40 per cent female representation on the church’s global board, as well as a new spiritual board which has been created.
Pastor Philip said during Sunday’s service that he and his wife Lucinda have resolved to “serve our global church family with humility of heart, love and conviction that the church is the hope of the world”.
Houston told a court in December he did “the right thing” by not going to the police following his father, Frank Houston's admission that he had molested an underage boy, as the boy’s mum had asked for the story not to be made public.
68-year-old Houston has pleaded not guilty to concealing the abuse of his father and is due to appear in court in June when his case will resume.