Florida church distances itself from Hillsong

Since the resignation of senior pastor and founder of Hillsong, Brian Houston, several pastors of churches in the network are distancing themselves from the international movement based in Australia. This is the case recently of a church in Florida.

A church in Florida has ended its affiliation with Hillsong following multiple scandals, including the resignation of senior pastor and founder of the Australian megachurch, Brian Houston.

Andrew Gard, co-pastor of Grace City Church, Lakeland, told the media The Ledger that these scandals have been “devastating” for everyone involved, the final straw being “the news about Pastor Brian”.

On March 23, Hillsong megachurch founder and senior pastor Brian Houston has resigned after his inappropriate behavior towards two church women came to light.

The Australian megachurch was also recently the subject of a documentary titled “Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed” which expose abuses allegedly perpetrated by church network leaders.

Andrew Gard, said he didn’t hesitate to watch this documentary so that he could “have intelligent and informed conversations” about it.

Although Grace City Church, which the pastor leads with his wife Christina, was never a denominational church, it was part of the Hillsong family.

“We have always been our own non-denominational church,” said Andrew Gard, who describes Hillsong’s role as an “emergency contact” in case, for example, of moral failure or if new pastors had to be found. to lead the church.

However, they recently made the decision to permanently separate from the Australian megachurch and since April 1, they have removed all mention of Hillsong from their website.

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“For us, it wasn’t really about the documentary,” explained Andrew Gard. “It was about the news that came out about Pastor Brian. »

Since the resignation of Brian Houston, accused of having violated the code of conduct of pastor Hillsong, several pastors have distanced themselves from the megachurch in the United States this is particularly the case of churches in Phoenix, Atlanta and Boston.

Camille Westphal Perrier

Image credit: Creative Commons / Roland Magnusson

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