Hillsong megachurch’s freshly resigned founder Brian Houston would like congregants to know he has “no intention of retiring,” he informed congregants in an apology email reportedly sent from his Hillsong email address.
“As hollow as it may sound, I believe I am the person and pastor you believed me to be,” Houston, 68, wrote in a seemingly less repentant than self-pitying apology message sent out internally Wednesday. The 68-year-old most recently resigned this month from the church he and his wife Bobbie co-founded in 1983.
Although the shockwaves of Houston’s alleged missteps are only beginning to be felt by the multinational church — which has seen multiple pastors resign following Houston — it would seem Houston has already forgiven himself.
“Imperfect and flawed, but genuinely passionate about God, people, calling and life. I am determined that my mistakes will not define me,” the email continued, before referencing the ongoing court trial which he credited as the reason for his first resignation in January. “Bobbie and I are unified and we are believing together that this year will be a year of respite and restoration to our souls, as I continue to prepare to fight for my innocence in the legal proceedings ahead of me.”
Hillsong did not respond to The Post’s request for comment.
The disgraced global senior pastor was charged in August with failing to turn over evidence concerning the child sex offenses committed by his late father, the Pentecostal pastor and pedophile Frank Houston, whose ministry career was functionally terminated after Brian sacked him in 1999.
The new email opened with an apology to church members.
“Let me start with the words I want and need most to say — I am so deeply sorry,” Brian wrote. “To those impacted directly by my actions, I am sorry for the pain I have caused you.”
Later in the missive, he wrote that “personal turmoil” over his “father’s evil” contributed, among other factors, to an inability to handle daily pressure, which led to an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. “I haven’t coped very well at all. I openly admit that alcohol has been no friend and I am determined to relegate it to my past,” Houston said in the email, which was obtained by The Post and also published in full by Christian publication Eternity News.
His most recent resignation this month was attributed to an internal misconduct investigation that found merit to two women’s years-old complaints that he committed “indiscretions” with them while under the influence of pills and alcohol.
The email is concluded with Houston rehashing that he still believes “the best is yet to come.”
Insiders reacted with concern to the fact that the email was sent from a Hillsong address.
“His resignation would assume a separation from access or use of all Hillsong property,” a source told The Post on the condition of anonymity. “Hillsong attendees are ropeable. Firstly they received this from a Hillsong email address and secondly the comeback plan and lastly the blow up of Bobbie.”