New Hillsong church underway in New York City

Hillsong NYC is now underway following the announcement in March, that Hillsong Church, based in Sydney, be starting a church in New York City.

The church, famous for its worship, has congregations in major cities around the world including London, Paris, Moscow, Stockholm, Kiev and Cape Town.

The new church is led by Carl and Laura Lenz and Joel Houston and is the first ever Hillsong Church in the USA. Houston is the world renowned songwriter and worship leader with Hillsong United and the founder of the 'I-HEART' movement.

Following the announcement, Brian Houston, the founder of Hillsong, said: "As the story of Hillsong New York unfolds, our mandate will remain the same: We desire to build a church that loves God and loves people."

He added: "Since we announced our plans in New York City, I’ve learned that in Bible college days, Joel and Carl spoke about a dream to one day work together and build a church in New York.

"With their unique skill sets and capacity for the ever changing, busy, transient and widespread demographic of New York, I could not be more excited for the future of this team, and our newest global campus."

With more than 11 million records sold, Hillsong is one of the most popular worship groups in the world. In July, the worship group was featured on CNN as it embarked on a two week tour of the United States, the first in nearly a decade. Their album, “A Beautiful Exchange”, hit No 1 on Billboard's Christian music chart following its release.

Yesterday, Lentz responded to the hundreds of supporters from around the world who have shown an interest in the new venture now underway in New York.

"When we say we are starting from absolute ground level, we really mean it. We are not hiding any administrative staff, we don't have access to Madison Square Gardens (just yet), we are not housing the Hillsong United crew in NYC garage waiting to unveil a stellar worship team at the proper time...this is All New!"

Lenz explained the importance of volunteers in building the new church - those who are "willing to serve with no expectations or a personal agenda".

He said, "The strength of Hillsong Church has always been our belief that God builds his church from the inside out. When people come, get planted and serve God wholeheartedly, the possibilities are endless.

"Everywhere we look, there is need. When you plant a church, it's a good idea to remind yourself that you look to fill the need before you look to feel a certain role of title. We need ‘all hands on deck’, all the time."

Responding to those who had questioned the need for another church in New York City, he said, "We also feel extremely passionate about stating this emphatically: if you are already an active part in the local church, especially in New York City, we encourage you to stay planted in your church.

"When churches add numbers due to Christian switching churches, often it's a giant subtraction for the church as a whole."

He emphasised that the vision of Hillsong is to help build and support churches in the city. "By the grace of God we will see that happen in a major way."

Hillsong NYC has yet to announce the start date for regular Sunday services. However, the church has already begun to meet across the city in connect groups, of 10 to 20 people.

Lenz referred to the ‘city that never sleeps’, saying: "It's 2 AM and the streets are so full, you'd think it was midday ... It's the adventure of a lifetime."

For more information on Hillsong New York City please visit