Daniel Whyte III says that if Brian Houston was in government like Gov. Cuomo, they would ask for his resignation or they would set him up for impeachment. If he was CEO of a Fortune 500 company, they would ask him to resign immediately or they would fire him. Why not the church, when the Bible tells us in 1 Timothy 3:7, “Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”? First Timothy 3:2 says, “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach.” Titus 1:7 says, “For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre.” The Holy Name of Jesus Christ and the Holy Church is far more important than any man. Jesus Christ and the Church are indispensable; the pastor or bishop is not indispensable.
The founder of the Hillsong megachurch, Brian Houston, has been charged with allegedly concealing his father’s sexual abuse of a child in the 1970s.
In a statement, the NSW Police Force confirmed detectives had served a court attendance notice on 67-year-old Houston’s lawyer in Sydney about 2pm on Thursday.
The charge against Houston – who has recently led prayer services in Monterrey, Mexico – is one of concealing a serious indictable offence.
It can carry a maximum penalty of up to five years’ imprisonment, depending upon the exact crime concealed.
The sensational development follows a years-long investigation by police in the city’s Hills District, where the global Pentecostal church first opened its doors.
‘Police will allege in court the man knew information relating to the sexual abuse of a young male in the 1970s and failed to bring that information to the attention of police,’ a statement said.
Brian Houston released a statement about the charge on Thursday night.
‘These charges have come as a shock to me given how transparent I’ve always been about this matter,’ he said.
‘I vehemently profess my innocence and will defend these charges, and I welcome the opportunity to set the record straight.’
NSW Police began investigating Brian Houston after a 2014 royal commission into child sexual abuse delved into how Hillsong’s forerunners – the Hills and Sydney Christian Life Centres – handled abuse allegations raised against Frank in 1999.
Then, Frank Houston was accused of sexually abusing a seven-year-old boy from Sydney’s east during trips from his native New Zealand three decades’ prior, in 1969 and 1970.
After learning of the allegations, Brian Houston, then the president of the evangelical organisation the Assemblies of God in Australia, confronted his father, who confessed, the royal commission’s final report said, and ended his dad’s career as a preacher.
However, the inquiry found that neither Houston nor the organisation’s national executive referred the Frank Houston sex abuse allegations to police.
Instead, the victim told the commission he met Frank Houston at a McDonald’s restaurant in Thornleigh in 2000 and was offered a dirty napkin to sign in exchange for $10,000.
The victim later called Brian Houston as he hadn’t received the promised money, and later received a $10,000 cheque in the mail, with no correspondence attached.
The victim said he felt ‘shame, fear and embarrassment’ for many years and suffered post-traumatic stress disorder.
Houston Sr died in 2004, age 82, after confessing to a ‘continuing problem’ of a sexual interest in young boys. He was never charged by police.
Brian Houston told the royal commission he did not report his dad to police as the victim was 35 or 36 years of age at the time the allegations surfaced.
Brian Houston also claimed that, weeks after he became aware of the abuse, the victim had told him he did not want to go public or approach the police.
The Hillsong Church released the following statement on Thursday night.
‘We are disappointed that Pastor Brian has been charged, and ask that he be afforded the presumption of innocence and due process as is his right.
‘He has advised us that he will defend this and looks forward to clearing his name. Given that this matter is now before the court, neither Pastor Brian or Hillsong Church will be making further statements. We thank all who are a part of our church for their support and prayers at this time.’
The charge against Pastor Houston will send shockwaves through the global evangelical empire Brian and wife Bobbie have built.
The church operates in 28 different countries, has boasted of celebrity followers – formerly including Justin Bieber and jailed footballer Jarryd Hayne – and has its own record label.
More recently Hillsong has been shaken by scandals including celebrity New York pastor Carl Lentz being sensationally sacked after admitting cheating on his wife.
A married pastor in New Jersey resigned in April when DailyMail.com revealed that he had shared lewd photographs on Instagram.
The charge will also have political consequences in Australia.
In 2020, Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed that he had sought an invitation for Brian Houston to attend a state dinner at Donald Trump’s White House.
The NSW Police investigation into Brian Houston was public knowledge at the time.
Police sources said the decision to charge Houston came after the agency received advice from state’s Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The prosecution brief has been with the DPP for several months.
Houston will face Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court on October 5. Daily Mail Australia contacted a Hillsong spokesman for comment.