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Brian Houston announces 2024 comeback with new online ministry and church

Former Hillsong Church Senior Pastor Brian Houston of Sydney, Australia, speaks at Catalyst Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, on Oct. 7, 2016.
Former Hillsong Church Senior Pastor Brian Houston of Sydney, Australia, speaks at Catalyst Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, on Oct. 7, 2016. | Catalyst

Nearly two years after Hillsong Church founder Brian Houston formally resigned as global senior pastor of the megachurch network amid revelations that two women made allegations of misconduct against him, he is getting ready to make a comeback with a new online ministry and church in 2024.

Houston, 69, announced in a recent post on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, that he and his wife, Bobbie, are gearing up to launch a new ministry. 

"Bobbie and I are starting a weekly online ministry and church in 2024," he wrote last Wednesday. "I'm excited about building this new community."

Houston didn't share any additional details about what the new ministry will entail. 

The announcement comes about two months after Houston's daughter Laura Toganivalu and her husband, Peter, who resigned earlier this year as global pastors of Hillsong's youth ministry, Hillsong Young & Free, also announced the launch of a new church.

Houston initially stepped down from the Hillsong's boards in September 2021 as he faced criminal charges related to allegations he concealed sex abuse committed by his father, Frank Houston, decades earlier after he heard about it in 1999. 

Hillsong Church announced in January 2022 that Houston was stepping down from his role at the church's helm for all of 2022. Houston denied any wrongdoing, and in August, an Australian court found him not guilty of the charges.

Sydney Magistrate Gareth Christofi ruled that Houston had a valid reason for not reporting his father's abuse of Brett Sengstock to police in the 1970s, namely that Houston believed that Sengstock didn't want the abuse to be reported to police. 

Four months before the acquittal, Houston pled guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol and driving with a blood alcohol content of .08% or more. He was also sentenced to three years probation, a $140 fine and other penalties.

Court records show that after an arrest on Feb. 26, 2022, Houston pled "not guilty" to driving under the influence of alcohol, driving with a blood alcohol content of .08% or more and failing to display two license plates on the vehicle he was driving.

The Hillsong Church founder, who was set for a pre-trial hearing in June, reversed course on the drinking charges while the charge for failing to display two license plates on the vehicle he was driving was dismissed.

In addition to the three years probation and the $140 fine he received for the driving under the influence charge, the court required him to complete a three-month first-offender alcohol program by May 11, victim impact counseling by July 10 and participate in self-help meetings for one year until April 11, 2024.

Contact: leonardo.blair@christianpost.com Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost

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