The co-founder of a popular worship centre in Australia, Hillsong Church, Brian Houston has resigned over allegations of misconduct involving two women.
The development was disclosed in a statement released on the website of the church on Wednesday.
The statement read in part, “Pastor Brian Houston has resigned as Global Senior Pastor of Hillsong Church and the board has accepted his resignation.
“We understand there will be much emotion at this news, and we all share these feelings.
“Irrespective of the circumstances around this, we can all agree that Brian and Bobbie have served God faithfully over many decades and that their ministry has resulted in millions of people across the world being impacted by the power, grace, and love of Jesus Christ.”
The church in its reaction disclosed that it has commenced an independent review of the ministry’s governance structure and processes.
Two different women had accused Houston of behaving inappropriately towards them on two separate occasions over the past decade.
The current head of the ministry, Pastor Phil Dooley in a conference with the church’s global staff last week said the incidents included an “inappropriate” text message and a hotel night encounter.
It was stated that the cleric sent a text message to a female staff member, while under the influence of sleeping tablets at the time.
Pastor Dooley during the conference said it was a long line of text, “if I was with you, I’d like to give you a kiss and a cuddle or a hug”.
The second incident happened during the church’s conference held at Qudos Bank Arena in 2019.
The cleric who was under the influence of alcohol reportedly entered an unnamed woman’s hotel after knocking on her door.
Pastor Dooley said, “It was after one of the conference nights and he was drinking with a group.
“Later that evening, Pastor Brian attempted to get into his room but didn’t have his room key and ended up knocking on the door to the woman’s room. She opened the door and he went into her room.”
However, the woman involved made no report of any sexual activity during the encounter.