Brian Houston was charged with DUI before Hillsong resignation

Brian Houston was charged with DUI in Newport Beach, California.(Photo: Hillsong)

Hillsong founder Brian Houston has admitted to being charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in the US shortly before his resignation as head of the Australian-based denomination.

Houston made the admission in a personal statement shared on Instagram in which he said he was charged in February 2022.

He said he had taken the "foolish decision" to drive a few hundred metres to park the car while under the influence.

He was charged with DUI in Newport Beach, California.

Houston said the incident occurred at a time when he was "under immense pressure and emotional strain" but that he took "full responsibility" for his actions and that he was "grateful to God that no damage or injury occurred".

The DUI charge happened just a few weeks before his resignation as global senior pastor of Hillsong.

At the time, the denomination was grappling with a number of scandals.

Houston's resignation in March 2022 followed an internal investigation into allegations that he had entered the hotel room of a woman who was not his wife while under the influence of "anti-anxiety medication beyond the prescribed dose, mixed with alcohol", and had sent "inappropriate" text messages to a member of staff at Hillsong who subsequently resigned.

The board concluded that he had "breached the Hillsong Pastor's Code of Conduct".

In his statement on his DUI charge, posted to Instagram on Tuesday, he said, "At the time it seemed like all hell had broken loose within Hillsong Church and I was under immense pressure and emotional strain. Clearly that is not an excuse, and I take full responsibility for my actions."

He added that he was "in a much stronger place now" and was looking forward to the future.

"Thirteen months have past (sic) since that incident occurred and I am now in a much stronger place within my spirit and soul," he wrote.

"I am grateful to God for his sustenance and grace, and I am grateful for trusted ministry friends who, along with Bobbie and our family, have offered their constant love and support in a very difficult and disruptive season.

"We are looking forward together to a fruitful season ahead."