‘I’m not going anywhere’: Hillsong founder Brian Houston slaps down rumours he’s leaving the church amid Carl Lentz sex scandal
- Hillsong founder Brian Houston has dismissed talk he will be leaving the church
- Houston did concede he will have a reduced role alongside his wife Bobbie
- John Termini as well as Chrishan and Danielle Jeyaratnam groomed for new roles
- Hillsong has endured unwanted scandalS globally, with Carl Lentz main culprit
Hillsong founder Brian Houston has rubbished claims he is leaving the church, stating ‘I’m not going anywhere’.
Houston was the subject of media reports he was handing over global control of the church, only for the man himself to deny the suggestion on Twitter.
‘I just learned that I’m handing over control of Hillsong Church,’ Houston tweeted.
‘Thanks for letting me know. The only problem is I’m still here and I’m not going anywhere.’
Hillsong founder Brian Houston (pictured left) had denied claims he is leaving the church
Alongside wife Bobbie Houston (pictured left) the couple will have a reduced role as they nudge towards their 70s
The tweet from Brian Houston (pictured above) confirming ‘he isn’t going anywhere’
A Hillsong Church spokesperson confirmed pastors Brian and Bobbie Houston were not giving up their primary duties.
‘Rather, Gary and Cathy Clarke will be moving into a support role in Hillsong Global. This will allow Pastor Brian, in particular, more time to focus on mentorship, leadership development and his other pastoral responsibilities,’ the spokesperson said.
Houston’s public denial that he is leaving his post follows a tumultuous few months, with the global church enduring a sex scandals and ugly lawsuits, notably involving disgraced pastor Carl Lentz.
Real-estate broker John Termini as well as ‘power couple’ Chrishan and Danielle Jeyaratnam have been earmarked to take over from the fallen Lentz.
Lentz, who was head of the New York church before his dramatic fall from grace, also admitted to cheating on his wife last November.
In a leaked email last year, Houston admitted that Lentz had not created a ‘caring’ or ‘healthy environment’ for parishioners in the Big Apple.
In a follow up letter to members of the East Coast chapter of the church, Houston said he was very sad to have to sack Lentz but put the decision down to ‘leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures’.
‘I know this will come as a shock to you, but please know that this action was not one made lightly and was done in the best interests of everyone, including Pastor Carl,’ he said.
Jeyaratnam and his wife Danielle joined Hillsong in its early days as a small church in Sydney’s west.
Houston said the couple – who have four young girls and have been in charge of the Perth and Bali chapters of the church over recent years – were strong candidates to put the church ‘back on track.’
Taking over in London will be glamorous couple Tim and Nicola Douglass, who in recent years have been leading the church in Victoria and Tasmania.
The couple have been together for more than 16 years and have three young kids.
Chrishan and Danielle Jeyaratnam (pictured above) have been earmarked for a bigger role in the Church abroad
Real-estate broker John Termini (pictured right) is also tipped to be promoted with a larger role with Hillsong
The Douglass family – with parents Tim and Nicola (pictured above) will take over Hillsong in London
Mrs Douglass is from the UK originally and Houston told a Sunday service she was looking forward to returning home.
Houston told parishioners it was part of his plan to put ‘younger leaders’ in place as he and wife Bobbie close in on their 70s.
‘It’s virtually impossible, unsustainable for us to lead everything that we’re leading right now,’ he said.
‘So over these next few years… I would really like to put in place younger leaders in Australia and younger leaders around the globe.
‘We are definitely not retiring. We will be around, but I do think it’s the right season for us to look at a whole new season for us personally.’
Hillsong was founded in the Hills District of Sydney in 1983 and has more than 28 churches in Australia, and more than 100 around the world.