Leadership of Hillsong interim pastors made permanent

Phil and Lucinda Dooley(Photo: Hillsong)

Phil and Lucinda Dooley, who have been interim lead pastors of Hillsong since the resignation of its founder Brian Houston last year, are to take permanent charge of the Sydney-based denomination.

Announcing their appointment as Hillsong's new global senior pastors, chair of the board, Stephen Crouch, said it was a new era for the Church, which has had a troubled through years marred by successive scandals.

The Dooleys were officially commissioned during the Sydney church's Sunday morning service, which was also livestreamed internationally.

"They have served many roles, from youth pastors, to creative pastors, pastoral care, to dedicating the last fourteen years establishing Hillsong Church in South Africa, a flourishing church," said Crouch.

"Each time they have applied themselves with diligence and excellence," he said, adding that "they will lead our church with grace and wisdom."

Pastor Phil said that he and his wife were ready to see Hillsong through its period of transition and serve "with humility of heart, love and conviction that the church is the hope of the world".

"Our simple desire is to continue to lead a healthy church changing lives through Christ," he said.

"We look towards the future with humble expectation, an expectation that God will continue to pour out his grace over our church."

Houston, Hillsong's founding global senior pastor, resigned in March 2022 following allegations that he had sent inappropriate text messages to a staff member who subsequently resigned, and entered the hotel room of a woman who was not his wife.

An internal investigation concluded that Houston had "breached the Hillsong Pastor's Code of Conduct".

Last month, he stood trial accused of concealing his father's child sexual abuse. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and is awaiting the verdict.