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Brian Houston (pastor)

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Brian Houston
Pastor Brian Houston 2008.jpg
Born (1954-02-17) 17 February 1954 (age 63)
Auckland, New Zealand
Occupation Pastor
Spouse(s) Bobbie Houston
Children 3
Website brianchouston.com

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

Life and career

Early life

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

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]

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 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] This program also airs daily on Hillsong's television channel, the Hillsong Channel.

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

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

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

Title Year ISBN Notes
"Get A Life" 1996 ISBN 978-0957733619 No longer in print
"You Can Change The Future" 1999 ISBN 978-0957733626 No longer in print
"You Need More Money" 1999 ISBN 978-0957733602 No longer in print
"How To Build Great Relationships" 2002 ISBN 978-0957733671
"How To Live A Blessed Life" 2002 ISBN 978-0957733633
"How To Flourish In Life" 2003 ISBN 978-0957733688
"How To Make Wise Decisions" 2004 ISBN 978-0957733602
"How To Live In Health & Wholeness" 2005 ISBN 978-0975206003
"Selah" 2006 ISBN 978-0975206027
"For This Cause" 2006 ISBN 978-0957733657
"Selah 2" 2007 ISBN 978-0975206034
"For This I Was Born" 2008 ISBN 978-0849919138
"Live Love Lead" 2015 ISBN 978-1455533428

References

  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 huffingtonpost.com, Australia's Hillsong Church Has Astonishingly Powerful Global Influence, USA, 5 novembre 2013
  8. ^ Croucher, Rowland (6 January 2003). "Australian Christian Churches". John Mark Ministries. Retrieved 24 January 2017. [unreliable source?]
  9. ^ Brooks, Adrian; Gallagher, Paul (11 April 2000). "Spreading God's Fire in Australia". Charisma Magazine. Retrieved 24 January 2017. 
  10. ^ AUSTRALIAN PENTECOSTAL MINISTERS FELLOWSHIP (January 2001). "INQUIRY INTO THE DEFINITION OF CHARITIES AND RELATED ORGANISATIONS". Archived from the original on 18 June 2005. Retrieved 24 January 2016. 
  11. ^ Stephen Gibbs (13 November 2004). "Hillsong farewells a lost sheep pioneer". Sydney Morning Herald. John Fairfax Holdings. Retrieved 21 June 2006. 
  12. ^ "About Hillsong". My Hillsong Australia. Archived from the original on 25 July 2010. Retrieved 24 January 2017. 
  13. ^ Executive Producer Credits
  14. ^ Hillsong Music info and statistics
  15. ^ Shout to the Lord on American Idol on YouTube
  16. ^ Hillsong College Info Archived 24 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  17. ^ Hillsong TV Viewers Archived 25 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine.

External links

Preceded by
Andrew Evans
National President of Australian Christian Churches
1997–2009
Succeeded by
Wayne Alcorn