A scathing letter written by a senior member of Hillsong church has criticised the account of events surrounding Brian Houston’s resignation as “dribble”.
John Mays, the church’s head of people and development, said in a letter seen by The Guardian that employees of Hillsong deserved better than to be told what they have about the Hillsong founder’s reasons for leaving the organisation in March.
Houston resigned as the Hillsong board considered two allegations of inappropriate behaviour about him.
Mays, a former colleague and friend of the Houstons, said Brian Houston’s behaviour showed that he was a man who believed himself to be “beyond disciplinary boundaries” and defied them “without further recourse from those responsible for his discipline”.
He also criticised Houston’s wife Bobbie – who was Global Senior Pastor – for “her willingness to tolerate such behaviour and defiance on the part of her co-leader”.
Mays said the purpose of his letter was to urge the board to adopt better practices to honour employees.
He wrote: “I do not believe our employees have bought the narrative within the statement made in the staff meeting”. He said the message had been met with “scepticism and mistrust despite urgings to avoid gossip and talk to leadership about any concerns”.
“One insulting example (of many) is that Brian lost his room key so knocked on the lady’s door, a detail he no doubt recalls despite memory loss during the following 40 minutes. Are we really asking our staff to accept such dribble and defend our Church with such?”
Hillsong Church have issued a formal apology after the allegations of inappropriate behaviour came to light.
The board has also spoken of how the events surrounding the Houstons are “heart-breaking for all of us at Hillsong Church who are so honoured to have ministered alongside Brian and Bobbie”.
The church is currently being led by interim global leaders Phil and Lucinda Dooley.