Megachurch Co-founder Resigns Following Probe into Inappropriate Conduct

    Photo: Paul Miller/AAP [via The Guardian]

    The Facts

    • Brian Houston, a co-founder of the megachurch Hillsong, has resigned after investigations found he had engaged in inappropriate conduct with two women.

    • Houston, 68, had reportedly sent unacceptable text messages to one and had entered the hotel room of another. The church is still reeling from allegations that he had covered up sex abuse.

    The Spin

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Hillsong had a culture of preferential celebrity treatment and, clearly, untouchable and unaccountable leadership. Aside from the fact he had to settle cases of inappropriate behaviour towards women, Houston has also been accused of concealing his father's sex abuse offences.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Hillsong was founded due to Houston's obedience and commitment to Christianity, but mistakes made by the church are being acknowledged and acted upon. Phil Dooley, the church's interim global leader, has pledged greater transparency and systematic changes to make Hillsong a place of healing.

    Establishment split



    More neutral establishment stance articles

    Sign up to our daily newsletter