Pastors Phil and Lucinda Dooley were appointed as the new global senior pastors of Hillsong Church after serving as interims following Hillsong founder Brian Houston's resignation last year.
"Phil and Lucinda were raised up in our church. They have served many roles, as youth pastors, worship pastors, pastoral care, and for the last 14 years dedicating their lives to establishing and building a flourishing church in South Africa," Hillsong Church Global Board chair Stephen Crouch told the congregation on Sunday before praying for the Dooleys.
"We believe, that is the global senior board believe[s], that they have got the spirit of leadership on their life. And as we have come to see them more closely, as you have come to see them more closely, you can see that they follow the Lord wholeheartedly. That they are Jesus followers," Crouch said.
"The board recognized that they are clearly called by God. And for their part, I know that they are deeply committed to their calling," he added. "I believe that they'll lead this church with grace and wisdom."
According to Hillsong's website, the Dooleys led Hillsong Church Australia's youth and young adults ministries for 12 years before moving to Cape Town, South Africa, to serve as lead pastors of Hillsong Church Africa, a multi-campus church with locations across South Africa and the African continent.
"Together, Phil and Lucinda are committed to building a healthy church that is a wellspring of life, reaching individuals from every part of society with the hope of Jesus, lifting up lives, and building people up within the context of a loving church culture and community," the church website states.
As Christian Headlines previously reported, Houston resigned as Hillsong's Global Senior Pastor in March 2022 following allegations of misconduct brought upon by two women in the past decade.
Meanwhile, Houston was also facing charges of concealing child sex abuse crimes committed by his late father, Frank Houston, The Christian Post reports.
At the time of his resignation, Houston hoped that the Hillsong board would reject the decision and defend him since he was facing immense pressure in his life.
"I guess a big part of me hoped that the board, knowing the pressure I was under, would reject my offer and continue to fight for me, but that was not to be," he said in a Facebook video. "We certainly did not want to just abandon the Hillsong congregation, as some have suggested. We adore the people of Hillsong Church, and to be honest, we miss you all terribly."
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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.