Brian Houston, Chistmas Eve, Frank Houston, Hillsong, Hillsong Church, letter, Royal Commission, The Australian
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.
‘It’s your fault’ Hillsong founder told child sex abuse victim
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]
News reports from Royal Commision on Hillsong 07/10/2014
Controversies around Frank, Frank’s son and Frankston
At least 50 pastors in New Zealand said nothing about Hillsong’s sexually abused
Christian Post covers national inquiry into Hillsong’s sex abuse scandal
The Guardian reporting on Hillsong & the Royal Commission
Brian Houston: sins of my father….
“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 knew Barbara Taylor back in the mid 1980’s. When I was selected to do a one year bridging/training course with the old Telecom (the old phone company, now Telstra) I spent the first 6 months at their Homebush/Strathfield training facility. Some weekends I stayed in Sydney, instead of going home to Newcastle.
She was “old school” Pentecostal – many considered her a ‘borderline missionary’ as the Mt Druitt area was virtually bushland back in those days. She lived in a house on acreage near to her smallish church building, and had a small congregation. Her husband had passed away and she was left to carry on the ‘mission’ work with the help of a few faithful workers.
So what’s the point in sharing all of this? Well, old school Pentecostal people had standards – they may not have held to a ‘reformed’ view of Christian doctrine and practice, but neither did they participate in the current “Charismania/NAR/WOF” rubbish. I can remember a number of AOG churches in Newcastle, proactively banning Copeland and Hagin publicly from the pulpit in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s – “no books, tapes or videos by those false prophets in our book store or back of church table” would be the catch cry.
For that stance, I honour them, and also state that Barbara Taylor had standards too. On several occasions she invited me to stay for the weekend (instead of going all the way home and back again the following Monday) she would always have 2 other women stay over for the weekend too – everything had to be seen to be above board.
I know how some of you folks feel about ‘women in ministry’ and considering the plethora of rather unruly women who strut their stuff on the WOF/NAR/Emergent platforms of our day – I can say that I understand!!! Barbara Taylor comes from a different background and context and performed her work for the Lord in partnership with her husband, and continued faithfully in that work after he died, ably assisted by other faithful believers.
Having said all of that, I cannot condone anyone who would knowingly cover up the gross sin of child abuse – I sincerely hope that she did not do that…
Austin – have you had a chance to watch the live stream of the Royal Commission? On again this morning at 10am. (By the way, what are the chances Steve Rowe/Actually is back on “Exposing Error” 🙂 )
No livestreaming for me – my dongle just hasn’t got that kind of capacity – but I could go to the library and use their internet…
Steve Rowe was there again yesterday at the MPBC blog – posing as “Actually” and muddying the waters with his buffoonery through his usual style of twisting everything others have said in order to form a basis for his deluded arguments – is that enough for you to say “yes”?
“Argumentative, uncooperative, dictatorial and non negotiable” are the terms that seem to come to mind – judge it for yourself, here’s the link address:
Let’s face it – if you’re going to put a padlock on your own blog, (which he did recently – it’s now password protected) then you’ll have to use OP’s (Other People’s) blogs instead…
“Let’s face it – if you’re going to put a padlock on your own blog, (which he did recently – it’s now password protected) then you’ll have to use OP’s (Other People’s) blogs instead…”
this nonsense earns Gordy his well-deserved HYPOCRITE OF THE YEAR award..
austin, yeah thats Gordy over there, spouting his usual trash.
everyone knows he is an expert at contorting Scripture. but that is nothing he should to be proud of. yet i get the impression every time he finishes one of his ‘masterpiece’ posts, he sits there devilishly chuckling to himself..
I checked the link you gave, and the article refers to “The weirdo Steve” who has “[made repeated demands], like a broken record”.
Poor old Steve Rowe: misrepresenting God and annoying people everywhere he goes. He’s either a dead-set masochist or the dumbest individual on the face of the earth, but I guess he thinks it’s all OK because Phil “Fake Doctorate” Pringle thinks he’s just wonderful.
Hey Steve, you’re a great advertisement for C3: you exemplify what a mob of uninformed idiots they are, and how they are deaf to pretty well everything but the sound of their own voices. Keep up the good work.
P.S. What’s the problem with your blog? Can’t stand the heat in the kitchen? (There’s really nothing funnier than a pentecostal “pastor” throwing a big tanty and taking his football home, is there?)
Folks, I don’t mean to take away from the current thread and its thrust, but Steve Rowe is over at the MPBC blog, attempting to muddy the waters once more. I’ve done my best to create an online track record which can be traced, but feel free to pop on over, and add your two bob’s worth…
He needs to be exposed, and that can only be accomplished by the Churchwatcher “choir”, ‘singing in unison’ – so feel free to add your harmonised words to the song, currently being played by him…
I took a small peek at the houston facebook page…hundreds of hillsong supporters..but a few brave Christians decided to bring up the point of victims. They were soon shouted down. God Bless them for their courage.
“a few brave Christians decided to bring up the point of victims. They were soon shouted down”
those of us here and elsewhere who make our attempt to “contend for the faith” & demand the truth.. are often outnumbered by those who “contend for the cults”.
nevertheless i refuse to give in and do like they do, elevating their “feelings & emotions & ‘supernatural’ experiences & allegiances” above God’s Word.
hillsong and similar movements are helping to separate the wheat from the tares..
Hello NFG – it’s interesting to note that early ‘incarnations’ of Latter Rain doctrine taught that there was only one church – and that those dreaded ‘denominations’ (abominations?) were the tares, and that they would “be bound in denominational bundles” to be burnt…
I actually heard an LRM preacher (Enoch Nelson) preach this while on a visit to Newcastle back in 1980. Of course, William Branham’s followers were that “true church” – everyone else was of the tares churches…
I personally believe that the tares and wheat are individuals, not denominations…
hi austin, yes a couple things on what you said…
i agree i too have always felt wheat & tares refers to individuals.
william branham.. maria woodworth edder. aimee semple mcpherson. anytime anyone mentions any of these three, i run the other way.. fast.
I attended Hawkesbury Church (then Hawkesbury Christian Centre) in the early 2000s under its minister Ian Woods, who was then State Superintendent of the AOG and presumably also on the National Executive.
Frank Houston was parked at Hawkesbury after he was stood down and the congregation was told to treat him like royalty. Certainly there was no warning to families in the congregation that we were harbouring a pedophile. He was our National Leader’s father, and a super-apostle in our movement.
Although I do not believe there was a risk of him reoffending, still, what I recall was the total veil of silence that fell over the matter, to the extent that one Hillsong member left the Sunday service when Brian Houston was forced to say something, believing that Frank was guilty of some kind of financial mismanagement.
Brian says that his Father never preached again. I’m pretty sure that’s wrong. While he was with us, he was allowed to preach. Brian is, yet again, a liar.
Truth_will_out – I just heard Brian Houston state yet again on the live stream (as he did yesterday) that his father never preached again. Did you actually hear Frank preach during your time there? And if you did, two thoughts – maybe Brian Houston was unaware, and/or shouldn’t the Royal Commission be made aware?
so you are from newcastle’ didnt hillsong plant another church there with scott sangar samways leading it.
there is another newcastle in england and guess who has a church there? hillsong this church is called newcastle christian life centre.
it is a hillsong church.
is newcastle near brisbane?
i havent heard of barbara taylor.
@Mrhatch – apparently ‘sanga’ Samways now runs a youth ministry:
His website looks like an introduction to “Rock Music for Dummies”. Some years ago, Hillsong was accused of infiltrating schools and proselytizing the youth to become Hillsong members.
Perhaps this “Youth Alive” concept attempts to somehow legitimize that approach, by giving proselytizing a name and a human face, some bright lights and a venue that is under their control and not the NSW Department of Education’s control – i.e. – “schools”!
Brisbane is the state capital for the State of Queensland. Newcastle is a provincial city in NSW, approximately 100 miles north of Sydney.
It is situated just to the north of Lake MacQuarrie – my home town of Swansea sits right on the Lake’s entrance.
Hillsong didn’t plant a church in Newcastle but they did rebrand a church. I believe it used to be called Church 180 and the pastor was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and hence couldn’t fulfill his role as head pastor. (This is all from memory, so might not be 100% correct!)
But yes, there is now a church under the Hillsong banner in Newcastle, NSW. I do not know who leads it.
there is a older woman in hillsong called margaret stunt, she is from australia. she moved to london now she is back in sydney.
has anyone heard of her?
@Mrhatch – http://www.smh.com.au/national/mercy-ministries-home-to-close-20091027-hj2k.html
Apparently, Margaret Stunt was involved with both Hillsong Sydney, at a staff level and also the now defunct “Mercy Ministries” – a series of group homes for vulnerable women…
Up until now I had always read that the first revelation about sexual abuse committed by Frank Houston had been about an incident in New Zealand. Brian Houston, to me, suggests this in the 2007 SMH article by David Marr, and it is stated as such in the 2004 SMH article about Frank Houston’s funeral. http://smh.com.au/news/national/hillsong–the-church-with-no-answers/2007/08/03/1185648145760.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap2 http://smh.com.au/news/National/Hillsong-farewells-a-lost-sheep-pioneer/2004/11/12/1100227581958.html Now it turns out that that first incident that was revealed occurred in Sydney.
It is very confusing.
I for one would be interested to know what efforts or actions did Brian Houston take to look after the victims? You know, the scarred souls who will probably never have a normal life. Brian is the pastor of a mega church, a so called leader of the community. But I have heard very little about him being proactive to lessen or address the damage his father did. And if anyone was in a position to do so, he was.
But it appears he tried to bury it, like it was only one small incident , or minor indiscretion. Nothing to see here folks, how about we play some loud music and shine some pretty bright lights?
Then again I don’t buy the story that he never had any idea either. From what’s come out Frank was a creep for decades, you can hide the trash but not the stench.
No sexual abuse is a minor discretion. As you so accurately stated, these victims never have a normal life. The lack of concern over destroying another persons life indicates the perpetrators (and the cover-uppers) are so far away from God, and they are preaching! Scarey stuff. It’s disgusting for anyone to cover up such a heinous crime. I see so many people in society who’s lives have been devastated by such abuse. This sick lack of empathy is rife in many churches. The pathetic answer from these “leaders” is forgive and repent and all your problems will be over. The “if you want to fly with the eagles don’t hang around the turkey’s” prideful deception junk. That answer shows me the shallow ignorance, both theologically and humanly, of these so called “godly” men.
there is a Swansea in Wales in England, some of the names in Australia are the same as the ones in the uk.
how funny is that?
a lot of pastors seem to be in the news at the moment, and its all linked to sexual sin.
in the UK A guy name Rory Alec who founded the God Channel,which Hillsong TV. has stood down because he has left his wife foe another woman.
another pastor Mark Stibbe who was a really close friend of J John, left his wife for another woman.
this is the last days.
Wolves in sheeps clothing, mr hatch.
its not good that brian houston had a pervert for a dad, because he just knows him as his dad.
but i do feel sorry for the victims.
No matter what Houston says at the end of day he covered up his fathers pedophilia. If he had any decency at all he would stand down along with any other heads of the church that knew about this and did nothing.
We will never set foot in a Hillsong church ever again.
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Pingback: Pastor Ian Wood. ShoreLife Church, Mornington, Victoria. Pedophile Protector. Former Pastor Hawkesbury Christian Centre. Should be charged with not reporting a pedophile to the Police and for sheltering a pedophile. | donaldelley
Pingback: Pastor Ian Woods. Pedophile Protector. Former Pastor Hawkesbury Christian Centre and NSW AOG State President. Should be charged with not reporting a pedophile to the Police and for sheltering a pedophile. | donaldelley
Pingback: Pastor Ian Woods. Pedophile Protector. Former Pastor Hawkesbury Christian Centre. Now at Hillsong Church. Should be charged with not reporting a pedophile to the Police and for sheltering a pedophile. | donaldelley