‘Medicine for my soul’: Court hears Brian Houston discuss his father’s crimes in a Hillsong sermon

Hillsong founder Brian Houston told a stadium of worshipers in 2002 how news of his father’s historic child sexual abuse had affected his own children, telling an enthusiastic crowd that his son’s response was “medicine.” for my soul,” a Sydney court heard.

Houston, 68, was charged last year with concealing a felony indictable offense for failing to tell police that his father, high-profile Pentecostal pastor Frank Houston, had sexually abused a boy in 1970.

Hillsong founder Brian Houston arrives at Downing Center local court on Thursday with his wife Bobbi. Credit:Kate Geraghty

The younger Houston, who learned of the accusation in 1999 when he was president of the national executive of the Assemblies of God network of Pentecostal churches, pleaded not guilty and defends the charge based on his belief that the victim did not want to inform the police that it was a “reasonable excuse” for him not to do it.

Houston lawyer Phillip Boulten, SC, told a hearing at Sydney’s Downing Center Local Court earlier this week that “there were many, many, many people who knew about the abuse of the victim” between 1999 and the death of Frank Houston in 2004, “none of whom reported it to the police.”


Boulten said police would be among the “tens of thousands” who knew about the crime, which Frank Houston had told his son he was guilty of.

On Thursday, the court was shown footage of a Hillsong convention at the SuperDome in Sydney’s Olympic Park in 2002, in which Brian Houston alluded to his father’s crime in a sermon praising his 19-year-old son’s response to the news as “incredible medicine.” ”.

He revealed to the crowd that he had discussed the crime with his son, telling him that he did not want the news to affect his faith.

“He said, ‘That won’t happen, Dad… I’ve had my own revelation of Jesus,’” Houston said in the video.

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