Joel Houston

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Joel Houston
Joel Houston UNITED LIVE.jpg
Background information
Birth nameJoel Timothy Houston
Born (1979-09-19) 19 September 1979 (age 42)
Brisbane, Queensland
OriginSydney, New South Wales, Australia
GenresContemporary worship music, Christian rock
  • Bass guitar
  • vocals
  • acoustic guitar
  • electric guitar
  • piano
Years active1999–present
LabelsHillsong, Sparrow, Capitol
Associated actsHillsong United, Hillsong Worship, Able

Joel Timothy Houston (born 19 September 1979) is an Australian musician, songwriter, pastor, and leader in the Sydney-based band Hillsong United, a worship band of Hillsong Church.

He was co-pastor at Hillsong NYC between 2010 and 2017.[1] He is the head of the Christian worship band Hillsong United, for which he sings, plays guitar, and writes songs. In 2008, he became the creative director at Hillsong Church. He is the oldest son of the church's founders and Global Senior Pastors Brian and Bobbie Houston and grandson of Frank Houston. He has two siblings, a brother Benjamin and a sister, Laura.[2] Houston was also the bass player for the band Able, which was composed of Marty Sampson, Michael Guy Chislett and Luke Munns, which won the Channel V Leg Up competition in 2001.[3][4][5]


Early life[edit]

Joel is the oldest child of the Hillsong church's senior pastors and founders Brian and Bobbie Houston and grandson of pastor Frank Houston.

Joel has three siblings, Ben Houston (lead pastor of Hillsong Los Angeles) and Laura Toggs (pastor of the Hillsong youth ministry in Australia and also member of Hillsong Young & Free and his Sabrina Houston who sings too).[6][7][8][9]

Houston wanted to play the piano at the age of seven. However he found an inclination to play bass and this led him to play the bass guitar for a number of Hillsong Worship albums instead.[10]

Hillsong United and Hillsong[edit]

Houston's debut with the Hillsong United as a vocalist was in 2002, however he had been playing bass guitar with the band for several years prior to this, and contributing various songs, including the title track from the group's debut full-length live album, Everyday. As part of Hillsong United music team, Joel Houston has helped lead worship conferences in North America, South America, Africa, Europe and Asia. He has also contributed to the main Hillsong album recordings as well, which are led by worship pastor Reuben Morgan. Many of the songs he has written or co-written are sung in churches worldwide and have been translated into 32 languages. His music has been featured on Hillsong albums that have quickly risen on both the Australian and American Christian music charts.[11][12] In March 2007, Hillsong United's eighth album All of the Above debuted at No. 6 on the ARIA charts.[13] Joel Houston has been the creative director of Hillsong since 2008. Joel was co-pastor of Hillsong NYC with Carl Lentz until Lentz' employment was terminated by Brian Houston for unnamed "moral failings".[14]

Personal life[edit]

Joel married Brazilian model Esther Lima in 2012 and had a son, Zion, in 2013.[15][16][17]

External links[edit]

  • Christianity Today interview
  • "The Story Behind All of the Above" – Written by Joel Houston
  • interviews Joel Houston [3], [4]
  • A Passion for His Presence article at Beliefnet
  • Fresh 103.2 Interview
  • BBC Heart-throb rock gods united in song
  • The Bulletin interview and photo gallery[permanent dead link]
  • "CCLI SongSelect". Archived from the original on 14 February 2016. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
  • "Search Results for Joel Houston". Retrieved 5 February 2016.
  • "Esther Houston". Hillsong.
  • "Joel Houston". Hillsong.
  • "Highs & Lows". Hillsong.


  1. ^ Houston, Brian (14 April 2010). "Update #2: HILLSONG NEW YORK CITY". Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  2. ^ Jones, Caroline (1 August 2005). "The Life of Brian - Transcript". Australian Story. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 19 May 2008.
  3. ^ "Welcome to Twitter - Login or Sign up". Twitter. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  4. ^ "Welcome to Twitter - Login or Sign up". Twitter. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  5. ^[dead link]
  6. ^ "Joel Houston on Instagram: "My bro and my son - winning on both fronts! Love them both"". Instagram. 25 October 2015. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  7. ^ "Joel Houston on Instagram: "My sister is far cooler than I am. She also loves cows. These 2 qualities would be at the bottom of a list longer than the collective scroll of our insta feeds to describe just how awesome she is. Happy birthday @lauratoggs love you xoxo"". Instagram. 26 February 2015. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  8. ^ "Ben Houston". Hillsong Official Website.
  9. ^ "Laura Toggs". Hillsong Official Website.
  10. ^ Blessed. Special features. Hillsong Music. 2002.
  11. ^ [1] Archived 12 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ [2] Archived 12 July 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "He's on a musical mission for God". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  14. ^ Houston, Brian. "Announcement from Hillsong Church Global Senior Pastor Brian Houston. Re: Hillsong East Coast (USA)". Hillsong Church. Retrieved 5 November 2020.
  15. ^ Mackinnon, Olivia (1 July 2015). "Meet Hillsong's Power Couple, Draped In Tattoos and Designer Clothing". Retrieved 26 October 2018. Hillsong Church's Global Director, Joel Houston and his very glamorous wife, Esther Lima are Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin's spiritual guides - and the unofficial face of Hillsong church.
  16. ^ "Esther Houston". Hillsong.
  17. ^ "Joel Houston". Hillsong.