Hillsong Appoints New “Global Senior Pastors”

The multi-million-dollar Hillsong empire has appointed another husband-wife team–Philip and Lucinda Dooley–as the new “global senior pastors.” This follows the dismissal of former global senior pastors Brian and Bobbie Houston. In March 2022, Brian stepped down after the church sent a letter to its members exposing him for “inappropriate behavior” with two women. Hillsong churches have been inundated with moral scandals. In 2021, Hillsong Dallas was shut down due to the worldliness of its leaders, husband-wife “pastor team” Reed and Jess Bogard, who were “using church money to fund their lavish lifestyle” (“Hillsong Caving in on Itself,” Reformation Charlotte, Apr. 12, 2001). On March 25, 2022, The Christian Post reported that “an internal investigation commissioned by Hillsong Global showed that the married father of three [Bogard] was accused of rape by a junior female staffer with whom he had a months-long affair while serving at Hillsong NYC years earlier.” In November 2020, Carl Lentz was fired as pastor of Hillsong New York City after having an affair with a Muslim fashion designer. In 2019, Yelp identified Hillsong Los Angeles as one of the top ten “gay friendly churches” in the city. In 2017, Lentz and pop star Justin Bieber were photographed in New Zealand drinking heavily and partying in a tavern. Lentz had baptized Bieber in the bathtub of a pro-basketball player. In February 2016, former Hillsong pastor Pasquale “Pat” Mesiti pleaded guilty to assaulting his second wife and was awaiting sentencing (Christian Headlines, Feb. 29, 2016). In May 2016, Hillsong New York City hosted a Hillsong Women’s Conference that featured, among other things, scantily-dressed ‘cheerleaders,’ an Elvis impersonator, and a “naked cowboy” wearing only a cowboy hat, boots, and a guitar. According to the New York Times for October 17, 2014, a homosexual couple, Josh Canfield and Reed Kelly, sing in choirs at Hillsong New York City, and Canfield is a volunteer choir leader. In a 2014 interview with Christianity Today, Laura Lentz, Hillsong NYC co-pastor, said, “It’s not our place to tell anyone how they should live, it’s–that’s their journey” (“Hillsong New York Pastor Carl Lentz,” Christian Today, June 6, 2014).

(Friday Church News Notes, February 10, 2023, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143)