Another Hillsong media statement defending the indefensible behaviour of Brian Houston.

Leading up to Brian Houston’s court hearing this month, will the explosive revelations emerging from Hillsong’s global staff meeting this morning and the linked ‘important message’ from the ‘Hillsong Global Board’ seal the fate of Brian Houston and confirm the incompetence of the Hillsong Global Board to biblically handle ongoing sexual abuse allegations.

The ‘important message’ released by the Hillsong Global Board will be scrutinised in due course and compared to what was leaked from the private staff meeting today. Included is the list of current members who make up the ‘Hillsong Global Board’.

An important message from the Hillsong Global Board
Mar 18 2022

The global board of Hillsong Church would like to advise you of some important information concerning our Global Senior Pastor Brian Houston.

There is significant media coverage around these issues, and it is important that you hear from us, understand the truth, and have knowledge of the actions of the board during these times and the heart behind these actions.

As you are aware, Pastor Brian recently stepped aside from his ministry duties. When he stepped down in January this year, the reasons he gave were genuine. The situation with his father over many years had taken a personal toll that was greater than he had realised, and he needed to focus on his upcoming legal issues.

At the time of his announcement, the Hillsong Church board did not make a public statement because we were still working through a number of issues privately with Pastor Brian. These issues are now public, and therefore we would like to share with you the details.

We have sadly been dealing with two complaints made against Pastor Brian over the last 10 years. These matters – like all such matters under our code of conduct – were dealt with confidentially. In both of these cases we respected the confidentiality of both Pastor Brian and those involved, and we also must abide by local employment law. We are a church that believes in grace, love, restoration and integrity; these are our guiding values.

You can be assured that investigations into these complaints were treated extremely seriously. Each of these were conducted by either board members or a body appointed by the global board to hear and resolve complaints against credentialled pastors, and were assisted by highly respected external pastors and advisors.

The first issue was approximately a decade ago and involved inappropriate text messages from Pastor Brian to a member of staff, which subsequently resulted in the staff member resigning. At the time, Pastor Brian was under the influence of sleeping tablets, upon which he had developed a dependence. He immediately apologised to the person. We also worked closely with Pastor Brian to ensure he received professional help to eliminate his dependency on this medication, and this was achieved successfully.

To this former staff member, we again apologise and would welcome the opportunity to provide further assistance if this is needed.

The second issue involved a complaint received in 2019. Following an in-depth investigation, it was found that Pastor Brian became disoriented after a session at the Hillsong Conference, following the consumption of anti-anxiety medication beyond the prescribed dose, mixed with alcohol. This resulted in him knocking on the door of a hotel room that was not his, entering this room and spending time with the female occupant.

The investigation by the integrity unit appointed by the global board found that although all parts of the complaint were unable to be sustained, important elements of the complaint were sustained and the conduct was of serious concern. Ultimately, the board found that Brian had breached the Hillsong Pastor’s Code of Conduct.

We also acknowledge that whatever the circumstances at this time, this person did not deserve to be placed in the situation she found herself in by Pastor Brian.

We felt that we did all we could to assist the person who made the complaint and treated this person with compassion and respect, and also abided by her requirement for confidentiality.

The board also met a request for a refund of money donated to the church by this person, and agreed to that in order to bring resolution in a spirit of love and care. Pastor Brian was extremely remorseful and insisted on repaying the church for this.

We apologise unreservedly to the people affected by Pastor Brian’s actions and commit to being available for any further assistance we can provide.

Following that investigation, Pastor Brian agreed to take specific action including stepping down from leadership for a period. However unfortunately he failed to take all of the agreed steps which resulted in further action being taken by the board in late 2021. Pastor Brian remains on a period of leave.

The board has always endeavoured to act biblically and in accordance with good governance. However we understand that there has been a significant breach of trust. The board has been seeking external, wise counsel and is reviewing our governance structure and measures to ensure higher levels of accountability across Hillsong Church globally. Like many other churches of its size, Hillsong’s governance model has historically placed significant control in the hands of the senior pastor, but we recognise that the way we do things needs to be reviewed. We know there are areas on which we can improve, and we will work honestly and transparently to that end.

We are here for you, and as we work through this together we are available to help and offer you support. Our pastoral care team can be contacted through our church office at your location. We also believe this is a time to focus our attention on the God who restores and rebuilds, and encourage you to continue to meet together regularly not just on Sundays but in connect groups.

Our Interim Global Senior Pastors, Phil and Lucinda Dooley, are doing an amazing job under difficult circumstances. We want to thank them and ask you to keep praying for everyone involved and for our church.

We love you and thank you for your ongoing support.

Hillsong Global Board

Source: Hillsong,

From the Hillsong website:

The Hillsong Global Board

George Aghajanian
Board member since 2016

George Aghajanian is General Manager and a director of Hillsong Church Australia and its international entities. Upon leaving university he entered the private sector where he gained extensive experience in management, customer service, sales and marketing. George possesses a wealth of senior management experience working with both Australian and international organisations, and brings a strong balance of faith and practical business application to his role. George is married to Margaret and they have four children.

Tolu Badders
Board member since 2020

Tolu Badders, MEcon serves as the Executive Pastor and Chief Operating Officer at Hillsong East Coast. Tolu holds a Master of Economics in Regional Science and is currently finishing a PhD in Regional Economics at Cornell University. She brings extensive experience and knowledge in the areas of leadership, management, strategy, and operations. She is passionate about building the church and championing people. She and her husband Brett live in New York City.

Gary Clarke
Board member since 2016

Gary is a Hillsong Global Pastor who assists in the growth and development of our international Hillsong Churches and their teams. Originally from Hillsong Sydney, before leading Hillsong UK for many years Gary brings a broad and unique perspective to our Global Board and Eldership.

Dr Stephen Crouch
Board member since 2016

Stephen is a Charted Accountant [Fellow] and Principal of an accounting and financial services firm. With over 30 years of industry experience – starting as a CA with KPMG and then moving to private practice in 1996 – Stephen has a wealth of commercial experience and is well placed to make contributions to strategy and structure, financial reporting and taxation, risk and assurance, supply chain and information systems. Stephen completed his Doctorate of Business Administration at Macquarie Graduate School of Management in 2010.  In addition to this he chairs and is a director in both commercial and charitable organisations. Stephen is an active member of Hillsong Church Sydney and has served in a voluntary capacity for over thirty years.

Russell Dacre
Board member since 2016

Russell Dacre, MBE is the Managing Director & Owner of LIND / The Automotive Family. LIND is a premium retailer of BMW, Harley-Davidson, and Triumph motorcycles, and Porsche cars in the south-east of the UK. As well as his business interests, Russ is the Founding Chairman of the OPEN Youth Trust, an influential youth charity which he helped to establish in 2004. Russ and his wife Alethea (+ RB & Raffi) also enjoy being part of Hillsong Church in London.

Phillip Denton
Board member since 2016

Phillip Bradley Denton is an Executive Director of Hillscorp, a property development company, and is the director of several other property-related companies. In his past 25 years in the industry, he has gained a wealth of experience and skills in negotiation, sales and acquisitions, feasibilities and building relationships with joint-venture parties, clients and staff.

Phillip Dooley
Board member since 2016

Phil Dooley is the lead pastor of Hillsong Church South Africa alongside his wife, Lucinda. They have three children, Abbey, Bella & Zac, two dogs (Bruno & Oscar who feature occasionally in Instagram stories!). Phil grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to Cape Town South Africa in 2008 to launch church.

Phil is passionate about building a church in South Africa that brings hope to all people and ultimately helps build a nation. He loves AFRICA, and believes the best days for this continent are ahead!

Phil is committed to lifting the lives of people through whatever means possible, believing that every person has a unique God-given purpose, therefore everyone is valuable and everyone can make a difference in the life of someone.

Phil is a dynamic communicator and passionate about leadership, constantly learning to become a better leader himself and encouraging others to develop their own personal leadership.

Benjamin Houston
Board member since 2017

Ben Houston and his wife Lucille are the Global Online Lead Pastors of Hillsong Church. Ben is passionate about God and the Church and has a real heart to see people find hope, life, and answers in Jesus Christ. He was previously the Extension Service Campus Pastor at Hillsong Australia, overseeing the Extensions Services located throughout New South Wales and Queensland. Ben is an avid lover of all sports and has made a great impact in local rugby teams in Sydney. Ben and Lucille live in California and have four beautiful children Savannah Winter, Lexi Milan, Bailey Love & Blaze Benjamin.

Darren Kitto
Board member since 2019

Darren Kitto is a key member of the Hillsong Global Team, and has worked closely with Pastor Brian Houston developing the Global Ministry. Darren has been on the Hillsong Team for 25 years, and in 2016 moved to California to launch the Hillsong Channel. Darren oversees many of Hillsong’s Global Ministries including the Hillsong Leadership Network, Hillsong Family and Hillsong Channel. He has also led Hillsong Aid and Development programs for the past 15 years, which are focused on uplifting people from extreme poverty and helping make a way for some of the most marginalised people to see lasting change in their circumstances for the better. Darren is passionate about justice and seeing people become all they were designed to be. Darren is married to Karen and has four children Bethany, Annabelle, Samuel and William.

Nabi Saleh
Board member since 2016

Nabi Saleh is the former Executive Chairman of Gloria Jean’s Coffees worldwide and Chairman of Praise International USA which operates It’s A Grind coffee houses. His drive, passion and belief in people coupled with his strong business acumen and Godly wisdom have enabled him to continue to sit on several boards for large, non-profit organisations.

Source: The Hillsong Global Board, Hillsong,, Accessed March 18, 2022.

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