Hillsong founder Brian Houston resigns after investigations into conduct

Brian Houston founded Hillsong Church with his wife Bobbie in 1983.(Photo: Hillsong)

Brian Houston has formally resigned as Global Senior Pastor of Hillsong Church after an internal investigation found he had "breached the Hillsong Pastor's Code of Conduct".

The Hillsong founder was already on a leave of absence as he prepares to stand trial for charges that he allegedly concealed knowledge of his father's sexual abuse. 

The findings of two investigations into his conduct were made public last week. In a statement, the Global Board said that Houston 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. 

In a joint statement on Wednesday, the Hillsong Global and Australian Boards said they had accepted his resignation and asked for prayers for the Houston family. 

"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 [wife] 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 statement said. 

"Hillsong Church was birthed out of Brian and Bobbie's obedience and commitment to the call of God and we are extremely grateful for all that Brian and Bobbie have given to build His house.

"We ask that you continue to pray for them, and the entire Houston family, during this challenging time." 

The statement added that "change is needed" and that the Church is carrying out an independent review of its governance.

"As you can appreciate, there is still much to be done and our church leadership continues seeking God for His wisdom as we set the course for the future," the statement continued.

"We acknowledge that change is needed. We have committed to an independent review of our governance structure and processes, understanding that this is a time of humble reflection and we are committed to doing what is necessary to ensure God is honoured, and our eyes are fixed on Jesus.

"We value your ongoing support and prayers. We are also praying for our entire church family at this time."