Hillsong Atlanta Pastor Resigns over Continual Church Scandals

Milton Quintanilla | Contributor for ChristianHeadlines.com | Thursday, March 24, 2022
Hillsong Atlanta Pastor Resigns over Continual Church Scandals

Hillsong Atlanta Pastor Resigns over Continual Church Scandals


The lead pastor of Hillsong church Atlanta announced his resignation on Wednesday amid the growing list of scandals surrounding the global megachurch and, most recently, its founder, Brian Houston.

“It is with great sadness that I inform you of my departure from Hillsong,” wrote pastor Sam Collier on Instagram.

Collier, who is also an author, adviser to the King family and founder of A Greater Story Ministries, explained that he is leaving because of the “documentaries, scandals, articles, [and] accusations” about Hillsong and the church’s “subsequent management of these attacks.” 

“I have no shame in admitting I cried like a baby moments after I informed the Hillsong global pastor of my departure,” he noted. “I truly love the Hillsong family and believe they will get through this storm and come out better than they were before,” he added.

According to The Christian Post, Hillsong Atlanta was launched in October 2020 with Collier and his wife, Toni. He previously served at North Point Community Church in Atlanta, where Andy Stanley is the lead pastor.

Collier, the first African American to lead a Hillsong Church, announced that he will hold his final service at Hillsong Atlanta this Sunday but will be launching a new church called “Story Church” on Easter Sunday of this year.

On the same day of Collier’s resignation, the Hillsong Board confirmed that Hillsong founder Brian Houston had resigned from his role as global senior pastor amid allegations of misconduct.

Houston was first accused of sending inappropriate texts to a former female Hillsong staffer. He was then accused of engaging in inappropriate behavior during Hillsong’s annual conference in 2019. Houston allegedly spent 40 minutes in another woman’s hotel room while he was drunk. He had also taken prescription drugs beyond the prescribed dose. Amid these findings, the Hillsong Board concluded that Houston had breached the church’s pastoral code of conduct.

Hillsong, which was founded by Houston and his wife, Bobbi, in 1983, has recently been embroiled in a slew of scandals.

In 2020, former Hillsong NYC pastor Carl Lentz was fired for “leadership issues” and moral findings, including having an extramarital affair.

Then in April 2021, two other resignations took place across Hillsong campuses in the U.S. The first was the abrupt departure of former Hillsong Dallas Lead Pastor Reed Bogard and his wife, Jess, amid an investigation into “leadership failures.” Following the investigation, the Dallas campus shut down.

Later that month, Darnell Barrett, the former creative director of Hillsong Church Montclair in New Jersey, resigned after he admitted to having shared inappropriate pictures of himself with a former female volunteer through Instagram.

On Thursday, Discovery Plus released a three-episode Docuseries titled “Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed,” which offers viewers a deeper look into the global megachurch and its scandals.

Hillsong’s culture and scandals were also highlighted in a BBC documentary last summer.

Related:

Hillsong Founder Brian Houston Resigns as Global Senior Pastor

Hillsong Pastor: Discovery Plus Doc Doesn't Tell 'the Truth of Who We Are as a Church'

Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed Docuseries to Air on Discovery Plus March 24

Hillsong London's Lead Pastors Resign after 12 Years of Ministry

Hillsong Founder Brian Houston Did Not Conceal Father’s Sexual Abuse of Boy, Lawyer Tells Court

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Pixelheadphoto


Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.