Child abuse investigation into Frank Houston, father of Hillsong lead pastor Brian Houston

Child abuse allegations against Frank Houston, the father of Hillsong's lead pastor Brian Houston, are to be investigated by a national inquiry, the Guardian reports.

In particular, Australia's royal commission on sexual abuse will examine the way in which the churches Houston was linked with dealt with the abuse.

Originally trained as a Salvation Army officer, Frank Houston later became a Pentecostal pastor in the Assemblies of God. He founded Sydney Christian Life Centre, which was in 1999 merged with his son Brian's church – Hills Christian Life Centre, now known as Hillsong.

He is therefore credited with building a movement that became one of the largest megachurches in the world.

Before his death in 2004 aged 82, Houston confessed to sexually abusing a boy in New Zealand three decades earlier, and was immediately removed from ministry by Brian.

At his funeral, Houston reportedly said of his father: "He was a man who perhaps made some big mistakes a long time ago, but everyone here knows that he was a man who stood for what he believed in."

In August 2007, further allegations were made against Frank Houston. Former trainee pastor Peter Laughton claimed Houston had had sexually abused him in the 1980s as part of an attempt to "cure" his same-sex attraction.

Laughton described counselling sessions with Houston as "nothing more than sexual abuse disguised in the form of the need of a father's love and disciple."

He said he endured naked beatings among other abuses, and these allegations will now be investigated in full during a public hearing running from October 7.

Hillsong Church gave a statement to Guardian Australia which said it "welcomes any inquiry and will co-operate fully with the Royal Commission".

The investigation will also explore the response to allegations made against two other church men in the 1980s and 1990s.

Kenneth Sandilands of Northside Christian Centre, now Encompass Church in Victoria, and Jonathan Baldwin of Australian Christian Churches are both still alive.