Brian Houston, former leader of the global megachurch Hillsong, was charged with driving under the influence following a 2022 incident.
According to court records, Houston was charged in Orange County, California, in February 2022 after he recorded a blood alcohol reading of .08 percent.
“In February 2022, and In (sic) the lead up to my departure from the role of Senior Pastor of Hillsong Church, I was unfortunately charged with Driving Under The Influence of alcohol in the USA,” Houston wrote in an Instagram post shared on Wednesday. “I made the foolish decision to drive just 2 or 3 hundred metres (yards) to park the car, and I am grateful to God that no damage or injury occurred.”
According to The Daily Mail, church leaders revealed in a statement that the Hillsong Church global board and leadership did not become aware of the arrest until after he had resigned.
“As he was no longer on staff, this was a personal matter for Pastor Brian to deal with. As always, we continue to keep the Houston family in our prayers.”
The Christian Post reports that Houston’s DUI arrest occurred between the start of his compulsory sabbatical and his eventual resignation.
Houston resigned as Hillsong leader in March 2022 and has since faced allegations of financial misconduct. He has been accused of “treating private jets like Ubers” and spending $179,000 in church funds over a three-month period on air travel.
Houston is also facing allegations that he hid knowledge of his late father’s sexual abuse of a young boy during the 1970s and helped his father avoid criminal prosecution. Houston was formally charged with failing to report the abuse in 2021 after a two-year investigation by the New South Wales Police in Australia.
Houston has denied the claims against him, but prosecutors say Houston knew about the 1970 incident with the young boy as early as September 1999.
Houston’s father, Frank, died in 2004. He served as the Assemblies of God in New Zealand until 1971. Son Brian Houston founded Hillsong in 1983.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Rich Legg
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.