After leading Hillsong’s London campus for over 12 years, lead pastors Robby and Jenny Lewis announced their resignation from the church late last month.
“I just want to say thank you to every single one of you – for the last 12.5 years – for everything that you have poured into me, all the encouragement, the love, allowing me to be part of your life,” he told the congregation. “A number of years ago, I said, ‘I am who I am today because of all of you,’ and I absolutely mean that.”
Daniel and Jo Watson, who previously served as the campus’ youth pastors, will take the Lewises place.
“We are extremely excited,” Daniel Watson said. “We are extremely humbled to be given this honor, and following [the Lewises], we are thankful for everything [they’ve] done and the foundations that [they] have laid. We are excited to carry on.”
According to the church's website, the Watsons have been part of Hillsong church for 10 years.
“Throughout the years as Youth and Young Adults Pastors, they have been able to establish a strong partnership with the Metropolitan Police, gaining their endorsement for all our youth and schools work, and advising the Mayor of London on various youth issues and the church,” their online bio reads.
The Lewises did not reveal why they are leaving, nor did they share their plans for the future. Their resignation came on the same day Hillsong founder Brian Houston stepped down from his role as global senior pastor to focus on fighting the criminal charges brought against him last year. In August 2021, Houston was accused of concealing information about his father’s sexual crimes.
In recent years, the global megachurch has faced a number of controversies, most notably the termination of Carl Lentz, the former lead pastor of Hillsong East Coast. Lentz was fired in late 2020 for leadership issues and infidelity.
Last April, Hillsong’s Dallas location closed its doors after Pastors Reed and Jess Bogard resigned in January after an investigation into leadership failures and accusations of spending tithe money on lavish lifestyles were launched.
Darnell Barrett, the former creative director of Hillsong Church Montclair in New Jersey, also resigned from his position with the church last April after he was accused of sharing lewd photos of himself with a former church volunteer on Instagram.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Ehrlif
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.