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World News

Brian Houston to start new online ministry and church

by Donna Birrell

The founder and former leader of Hillsong Church, Brian Houston has announced that he is starting a new church.

It comes less than two years after he resigned from Hillsong, a global megachurch with millions of followers. He was facing trial for allegedly not disclosing abuse offences committed by his father. Frank Houston, who died in 2004, is believed to have used his position as a pastor to abuse as many as nine boys in the 1970s.

In August, Brian Houston was acquitted after an Australian court ruled that he had a "reasonable excuse" under the law not to disclose the charges against his father.

Houston who was Hillsong's global senior pastor, has also faced allegations that he behaved inappropriately towards two women. Hillsong leaders at the time said alcohol and prescription drugs had played a role in Houston’s behaviour.

The 69 year old founded Hillsong in Sydney 40 years ago. The church, which Brian and his wife Bobbie began in a school hall, eventually became an international megachurch with a worldwide following. It was known for a particular style of evangelism, with huge concert-style meetings and large worship events, and attracted a number of A-List celebrities including Justin Bieber.

Announcing his new plans in a post on social media site X, Houston said:

"Bobbie and I are starting a weekly online ministry and church in 2024. I’m excited about building this new community."

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