By Leonard Blair, Christian Post Reporter Wednesday, March 29, 2023
Less than a month before he was to step down as senior world pastor in March 2022 following revelations that two women accused him of guilt over the past 10 years, Hillsong Church founder Brian Houston was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in Newport Beach. , California.
California Superior Court records in Orange County show Houston was arrested on February 26, 2022 and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or more, and failing to display two license plates for his vehicle. driving
Houston has already been charged six times and is expected to appear in court again on April 4.
In a statement posted to Facebook on Tuesday, Houston explained that the arrest took place at the most difficult time in his life, calling his decision to be drunk “stupid.”
“In February 2022, and prior to my departure as Senior Pastor of Hillsong Church, I was infamously charged with a DUI in the US. I made a stupid decision to just drive 200-300 yards.) to the parking lot and thank God no damage or injuries were caused,” Houston said.
“At that moment it seemed like all hell was breaking loose in the midst of Hillsong Church and it was reeling under tremendous pressure and emotion. That is absolutely no excuse, and I take full responsibility for my actions.”
More than a year after his arrest, Houston said he is “in a much stronger place now” thanks to the support of his family and “trusted friends in ministry.”
“Thirteen months have passed since that event took place, and now I am in a much stronger place in mind and soul. I am grateful to God for his support and grace, and I am grateful for the faithful ministry of a friend who, along with Bobbie and our family, through the most difficult and They have provided their continued love and support during a troubled time.” “We look forward to a fruitful season ahead.”
A March 23 announcement by Hillsong Church Global and the Australian board of the megachurch global network sent Houston solemnly resigned as a global senior pastor following revelations that two women have made the most serious accusations against him in the last 10 years.
Hillsong Church said Houston violated the church’s pastoral code of conduct by entering a hotel with an unidentified woman for 40 minutes under the influence of alcohol and prescription drugs during the church’s 2019 annual conference.
Both Houston and the woman said they had no recollection of the incident. Hillsong Global Church Senior Pastor Phil Dooley suggested at the time that the reasons for what had happened were not entirely certain because of alcohol and Houston was impaired even under the influence of drug treatment.
The church also revealed that Houston had exchanged an inappropriate “text message” with a staff member in 2013. According to Dooley, the text reads “if I were with you, I’d like to give you a kiss and a hug.” or a lot A staff member resigned shortly after. Hillsong Church criticized Houston’s actions in this case for “sleeping balls.”
In November, Houston criticized the public statements made by the church for the abrupt resignation that all “mistakes” have been made in the ministry. He argued that the notice boards led to public speculation and “encouraged people to run and draw their own wild conclusions” about Hillsong’s departure, including allegations that he was an alcoholic or addicted to sleeping pills or for anxiety.
“In a most sincere apology to the people of Hillsong Church and the Church in general, I have said that the very calling is not my friend. But it’s unfortunate that he created the narrative that I’m an alcoholic,” he said. “Stories about my alcoholism” come from rumors, whispers and insinuations. The narrative that I’m an alcoholic is false. In fact, I’ve been told by healing experts that I don’t display typical alcoholic behaviors.