BRIAN HOUSTON’S DILEMMA
This is Brian Houston’s account how he and the AOG dealt with his dad’s pedophilia,
“By the way I had to confront my own father. Again, hardest day of my life.
I talked to [Frank Houston] about this, he had just come back from overseas. In my office, he went all dry in the mouth. You ever talk to your hero and your father about something so horrible and-? He went all dry in the mouth and he confessed that that had happened, all those years before.
So maybe twelve or eighteen months later, a psychologist actually from New Zealand made an appointment to see me. I met him down town and I had a feeling this was going to be bad news as well. And he went on and told me a similar story about when he was fourteen. And so the problem had grown and I- I-I, by God’s grace, in the middle of it was clear enough in my mind to know what I can do and what I can’t do. And everything in you wants to protect your own father. But I did what I had to and took it to our denomination, which I led and they asked me to stand aside from the investigation. And they investigated it fully and ahh- the end result was he never preached, he never ministered, he was never in leadership again.” [Source] [Video source]
Below are articles from various news outlets.
The Australian reports,
‘No reason’ to make Hillsong abuse public, churches told
THE Pentecostal Christian movement led by Hillsong Church founder Brian Houston told its ministers “we cannot see any reason” for the serial child abuse committed by his father to be publicly announced, a royal commission has heard.
A letter sent on Christmas Eve 2001 to every minister of the Assemblies of God in Australia movement said “We are aware that the above information may be a surprise and shock to some of you.
“We cannot see any reason for this to be announced to your church or further afield. Sadly there are always one or two people with their own agendas who will try and get mileage from other people’s pain,” the letter said.
The letter, tendered in evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, does not detail the offences committed by Brian Houston’s father, William Francis ‘Frank’ Houston.
Brian Houston, the then national president of the Assemblies of God, had received “a serious allegation” about his father in 1999, the letter said. The commission has heard this was that Frank Houston had sexually abused a seven-year-old boy decades before, which the older man subsequently admitted.
The Assemblies of God subsequently investigated “claims of serious moral failure” by Frank Houston, the letter said, although it provided no details of what these were. The commission has heard these were allegations that Frank Houston had sexually abused six other children in New Zealand several decades before.
“Obviously both these circumstances have brought great anguish to our National President and I would encourage you to give him your prayer and support,” stated the letter, sent by the Assemblies of God vice-president, John Lewis.
Brian Houston had forced his father to stand down as a preacher after the 1999 allegations, the commission has heard. Frank Houston subsequently left the organisation and died in 2004. The commission has heard there is no evidence the allegations against Frank Houston were reported to police.
Pastor Barbara Taylor, who initially raised the abuse allegations with the Assemblies of God national executive, “hadn’t been told” what action was taken as a result, she told a hearing of the commission in Sydney this morning.
“I though things were just going on as normal and I didn’t think that was proper.
She later “heard a whisper (about the New Zealand allegations) but nothing official … I wasn’t told anything,” Pastor Taylor said.
A week after Brian Houston first stood his father down, Pastor Taylor said she “heard from people with knowledge of the problem” that he was still preaching publicly, but that she did not have any evidence of this herself.
Brian and his wife Bobbie Houston took over the running of his father’s Sydney Christian Life Centre in 1999, the commission has heard, subsequently merging it with their own Hills Christian Life Centre and renaming the organisation Hillsong Church.
Brian and Bobbie Houston remain central to the working of the church, which now operates in 12 countries, the commission has heard, and generates millions of dollars in revenue each year. The hearing continues.
Source: By Dan Box, ‘No reason’ to make Hillsong abuse public, churches told, The Australian, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/in-depth/no-reason-to-make-hillsong-abuse-public-churches-told/story-fngburq5-1227083748056, Published 08/10/2014
[Watch this space]