Hillsong Church Shuts Down Texas Branch Amid Investigations of Pastor’s Lavish Lifestyle
The Hillsong Church’s leadership announced to the members of Hillsong Dallas on Saturday that it has decided to “pause all operations” at its Dallas, Texas church campus for the time being.
The Daily Mail reports the announcement was made in an email sent to all Dallas church members from Brian and Bobbie Houston, the founders of the Australia-based global megachurch.
“Many factors, all amplified by the pandemic have resulted in the difficult decision,” the Houstons wrote in the email, which was obtained by the newspaper.
Back in January, Reed and Jess Bogard, the lead pastors of Hillsong Dallas announced their resignation in a videotaped message that was played during the church’s live-stream worship service. During the short announcement, Reed Bogard said the last 10 years of being involved in church planting had taken a bit of a toll on the couple, according to the Religion News Service (RNS).
“We just really feel like it’s time to transition off of our staff and take some time. Remain healthy, get healthy, and really see what this next season holds for us,” he said.
In their email on Saturday, the Houstons told the Dallas church members they had received several complaints about Reed Bogard’s leadership which led to the church suspending the pastors before they both resigned.
“Early in our process, the Bogards decided to resign from Hillsong Church. We accepted their resignations and acknowledged the time that the Bogards spent establishing our Dallas location,” the Houstons wrote in the email obtained by The Daily Mail.
“It was very disappointing to learn that, while some of you experienced the Bogards as dedicated pastors, many others have experienced leadership that failed to meet the commitments and standards of Hillsong Church,” the Houstons said, mentioning a now-concluded “examination” that involved anonymous church members.
‘I want to be the first to apologize to those who felt disappointed or hurt, and I pray that God does a swift work in bringing peace and healing.’
The church then said it would understand if its members opted to attend local churches in Dallas rather than watch Hillsong broadcasts online.
In their recent email to Dallas church members, the Houstons indicated Hillsong was not closing the door on the Lone Star State, writing: “We still have a huge heart and vision for the great state of Texas. When the time is right and we have identified and trained suitable lead pastors, we will consider relaunching.”
The original Hillsong church was founded by the Houstons in 1983 near Sydney, Australia. Besides having church locations in 28 countries around the world, the church is known for its worship music and conferences.