Brian Houston (born 17 February 1954) is a pastor in the Australian Christian Churches. He is currently the senior pastor[1] at Hillsong Church which has locations around the world. He was the National President of Australian Christian Churches from 1997 to 2009. The denomination is the Australian branch of the Assemblies of God.

Life and career Edit

Early life Edit

Houston was born in Auckland, New Zealand, on 17 February 1954.[2] His parents, Frank and Hazel, were then Salvation Army officers. When Houston was three his parents joined the Assemblies of God in New Zealand and began pastoring a church in Lower Hutt, near Wellington.[3] Here Houston and his brother and three sisters spent their childhood. After completing school he went to a Bible college for three years.[4] Shortly after completing college he met his future wife, Bobbie, on Papamoa Beach in New Zealand during a Christian convention. They were married in 1977.

Ministry Edit

After moving to Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, in 1978, Houston served at the Sydney Christian Life Centre in Darlinghurst, where he became the assistant pastor to his father, Frank Houston.[5] In 1980 he started a church on the Central Coast and worked at a church in Liverpool in 1981. In 1983, Houston saw a need in Sydney's north-western suburbs and hired the Baulkham Hills Public School hall to start a new church, the Hills Christian Life Centre.[6][7] The first service was held on Sunday, 14 August 1983.

In May 1997, Houston was elected the president of the Assemblies of God in Australia (now called Australian Christian Churches) after Andrew Evans' retirement. He helped to create the Australian Christian Churches network of Pentecostal churches in February 2000. This alliance represents over 200,000 members in affiliate churches[8] and was its inaugural president.[9] He is also a member of the Australian Pentecostal Ministers Fellowship (APMF).[10] At the 2009 National Conference of Australian Christian Churches, Wayne Alcorn was voted in to replace Houston after he chose not to run again for the position.

In 2000, Houston took control of the Sydney Christian Life Centre after his father, Frank Houston, confessed to the sexual abuse of young (under-age) male members of his New Zealand congregation 30 years earlier.[11] From an initial congregation of 45 people, the combined churches grew to become Hillsong Church with a weekly attendance of over 20,000.[12]

On 5 April 2009, it was announced that the board of Garden City Christian Church in Brisbane had nominated Houston and his wife Bobbie to become their new senior pastors. Garden City had been searching for a new senior pastor after the resignation of Bruce Hills in December 2008. On 26 April 2009, a majority of registered members of Garden City Christian Church voted to support the board's nomination.

He is an executive producer for Hillsong Music Australia (HMA), which is the music ministry of Hillsong Church.[13] Their albums are distributed in nearly 90 countries, and to date HMA have released 63 albums, with sales well into the millions.[14] This music ministry has been very successful over they years with chart topping albums from Hillsong United (born out of the youth ministry), and Hillsong Live, which is the "worship expression" of Hillsong Church and incorporates their entire worship team. Each year Hillsong records their annual live album, and the songs from this live recording are then sung by church congregations all over the world. Some of the most popular songs sung today in churches are Hillsong songs, including "Mighty To Save" and "Shout to the Lord" (which was featured on a special episode of American Idol called "Idol Gives Back" in 2008.[15]

Houston is the president of Hillsong International Leadership College.[16] In 2010 Evening College was launched, with over 550 students, giving a total of 3,010 people being trained within Hillsong College. The college's students are from all over the world, representing over 70 different nationalities training full-time. Students can study pastoral leadership, worship music, TV and media or dance and receive a certificate, diploma and advanced diploma in ministry.

Houston is the host of Brian Houston @ Hillsong TV a Christian weekly television program (originally called Life is For Living) and is seen on TV screens in over 180 countries every week.[17]

He leads the Hillsong Leadership Network which gives opportunities to connect with the Hillsong team and other pastors and leaders at events, open house events, informal gatherings and luncheons globally as well as annual leadership retreats in London and Sydney. Network members also receive resources and online training services designed to equip church leaders. As of 2011 there are over 500 members from nearly 50 different countries around the world.

Family and personal life Edit

Brian and Bobbie Houston's home is in the suburb of Glenhaven, Sydney.

Houston has three grown children, Joel, Ben, and Laura. Ben and Laura currently live in Sydney.

Joel and his wife Esther have one son. Joel is a musician, a songwriter, and a creative director for Hillsong Church. As of 2010, he co-pastors Hillsong New York with Carl Lentz.

Ben is married to Lucille and they are the Lead Pastors of Hillsong Los Angeles. They have three daughters and a son.

Laura married Peter Toganivalu in 2008, and they have one daughter and one son. Laura, along with her husband Peter are the pastors of the Hillsong youth ministry in Australia. Laura also oversees the youth music/worship ministry known as 'Young and Free'. Previously she was involved with the church communications team, which included overseeing artwork and design.

Bibliography Edit

Brian Houston has written several books. Below are details about his bibliography.

Title Year ISBN Notes
"Get A Life" 1996 Template:ISBN No longer in print
"You Can Change The Future" 1999 Template:ISBN No longer in print
"You Need More Money" 1999 Template:ISBN No longer in print
"How To Build Great Relationships" 2002 Template:ISBN
"How To Live A Blessed Life" 2002 Template:ISBN
"How To Flourish In Life" 2003 Template:ISBN
"How To Make Wise Decisions" 2004 Template:ISBN
"How To Live In Health & Wholeness" 2005 Template:ISBN
"Selah" 2006 Template:ISBN
"For This Cause" 2006 Template:ISBN
"Selah 2" 2007 Template:ISBN
"For This I Was Born" 2008 Template:ISBN
"Live Love Lead" 2015 Template:ISBN

References Edit

  1. Brian Houston Title & Occupation
  2. Wayne Detzler, Emerging Awakening-A Faith Quake: Revival Is Rising in the Emerging Church, Wipf and Stock Publishers, USA, 2013
  3. Sam Hey, Robert P. Menzies, "Megachurches: Origins, Ministry, and Prospects", Wipf and Stock Publishers, Australie, 2013, pages 62
  4. Sam Hey, Robert P. Menzies, "Megachurches: Origins, Ministry, and Prospects", Wipf and Stock Publishers, Australie, 2013, pages 66
  5. Paul Oslington, The Oxford Handbook of Christianity and Economics, OUP USA, USA, 2014, page 266
  6. Allan Anderson, An Introduction to Pentecostalism: Global Charismatic Christianity, Cambridge University Press, UK, 2013, page 155
  7. Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Journal, Australia's Hillsong Church Has Astonishingly Powerful Global Influence, USA, 5 novembre 2013
  8. Template:Cite webTemplate:Unreliable source?
  9. Template:Cite web
  10. Template:Cite web
  11. Template:Cite news
  12. Template:Cite web
  13. Executive Producer Credits
  14. Hillsong Music info and statistics
  15. Template:YouTube
  16. Hillsong College Info Template:Webarchive
  17. Hillsong TV Viewers Template:Webarchive

External links Edit

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