Hillsong Churchwatch

Timeline & Source Material: Related to Frank Houston’s Pedophilia Coverup

[WARNING: This is a HUGE post.]

 

If you make the effort to read through all the evidence in this timeline, you will be convinced that Brian Houston and the AOG covered up Frank Houston’s paedophilia of victim AHA, in 1999.

The failure to report a paedophile to police is a crime in NSW, Australia.

The Royal Commission has referred Brian Houston to the NSW Police Commissioner for not reporting his father.

This document serves as a repository of reference material / links.
The information is listed in time sequence to facilitate research and lookup.
It is extensive AND a work in progress. If you notice a mistake, please let us know…

The timeline of events with links to evidence is to help people make sense of the sad saga of Frank Houston’s child sexual abuses of children, recognise those who tried to do something about it and those who tried to cover it up. It also provides some context.

Background

The world would still be under the misconception that the abuse only took place in New Zealand, if it was not for the 2014 Australian Royal Commission exposing the abuse of an Australia victim, AHA, and the disgraceful way he was dealt with.

Royal Commission examine Hillsong Brian Houston

In the UK, a commission of inquiry appointed by the Crown on the recommendation of the government.

Up until the RC in 2014, the press were still reporting a single case of child sexual abuse in New Zealand by Frank. Brian Houston. CLC/Hillsong and the AOGA were the ones who fueled this public misconception and failed to correct the story when given opportunities (Mar 2002 -SMH1 Journalist,  Jul 2002 -SMH1 JournalistJan 2003-SMH2-journalist). Brian actually lied to a journalist (Apr 2006-SMH3 journalist).

Australian victim, AHA, was abused as a 7 year old child from 1969, over several years in Sydney, NSW. This meant Brian Houston, as head of the Assemblies of God and CLC/Hillsong needed to report Frank to authorities in 1999. He knew the matter was criminal. AOGA and CLC/Hillsong leaders were also negligent in their duties, allowing Brian to control the information and much of the process, despite his conflict of interest. They could have also reported Frank to authorities.

Instead of reporting the matter and ensuring the organisations met legal obligations, Brian, the AOGA and CLC/Hillsong kept it under wraps. Note that Frank remained an employee of CLC/Hillsong. They decided not to make the matter public unless rumours made it necessary.  CLC/Hillsong did not report Frank’s discipline to the Commission for Children and Young People. It was kept so quiet that Brian published a book, “You Can Change the Future”, in July 2000, 8 months after Frank confessed. The book hailed Frank as a great leader, handing on the baton to Brian. There was no hint of Frank’s crimes against children.

The 1999 discipline of Frank for Australian child sexual abuse of AHA may have remained hidden if it wasn’t for more abuse victims coming forward from New Zealand, with one going public; and for the courage of AHA going to the Royal Commission. Some voiced their concern about a cover-up and poor treatment of victims.

Read pp 23-36 of the Royal Commission Report for a summary of events.

The Royal Commission Report  found serious problems with the way the AHA matter was handled by Brian Houston, CLC/Hillsong and the AOGA executive. The  said,

“We conclude that in 1999 members of the National Executive who attended the Special Executive Meeting did not follow their own policy, the Administration Manual, for handling allegations against pastors and ministers, and failed to recognise and respond to Pastor Brian Houston’s conflict  of interest.” [p. 36]   

The 2014 Findings of the Royal Commission provided a summary of key issues with Brian and the AOGA leadership:

“SUMMARY OF AVAILABLE FINDINGS

1. Between November 1998 and 21 December 1999 the Assemblies of God did not follow its complaint procedure as set out in its Administration Manual when handling AHA’s allegations of child sexual abuse against Frank Houston by:
a. not appointing a contact person for the complainant
b. not interviewing the complainant to determine the precise nature of the allegations
c. not having the State or National Executive interview the alleged perpetrator
d. not documenting any of the steps it took.

2. In 1999 and 2000 Pastor Brian Houston had a conflict of interest in assuming responsibility for dealing with AHA’s allegations because he was both the National President of the Assemblies of God and the son of Frank Houston.

3. In 1999 the Assemblies of God set aside its own policy for handling allegations against ministers, and ignored Pastor Brian Houston’s conflict of interest, in order to permit Pastor Brian Houston to handle the allegations of child sexual abuse against his father.

4. In 1999 the Assemblies of God offered Frank Houston rehabilitation to ministry contrary to its national policy that ministers found to have sexually abused children were not to be rehabilitated, in the knowledge that Frank Houston had admitted to child sexual abuse.

5. In 1999 and 2000 Pastor Brian Houston and the National Executive of the Assemblies of God did not refer the allegations of child sexual abuse against Frank Houston to the police.

6. In 2000 the Sydney Christian life Centre did not report the suspension and withdrawal of Frank Houston’s credential as a minister to the Commission for Children and Young People as required bys. 39{1) of the Commission for Children and Young People Act 1998 (NSW).”
[p. 123]

“94. Pastor Brian Houston gave evidence that in November 1999 Frank Houston told him that he had ‘fondled’ the genitals of a child. [166] The indecent assault of a child contrary to s. 81 of the Crimes Ac was in 1999 a ‘serious offence‘ as defined in s. 311 of the Crimes Act.Frank Houston’s admission to the criminal offence was information which might be of material assistance in ensuring a conviction against Frank Houston and that information was not passed to t he New South Wales Police by Pastor Brian Houston. As that information may relate to contravention of a law of New South Wales it is submitted it is appropriate to refer Pastor Brian Houston’s conduct to the New South Wales Police Commissioner pursuant to s. 6P(l) of the Royal Commissions Act 1902 (Cth) for further investigation. ” [p.25]

Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=e61d7a26-4426-4c6b-81eb-afe03dd000f1&type=transcriptpdf&filename=Case-Study-18:-Submissions-of-Counsel-Assisting-the-Royal-Commission&fileextension=pdf

After the RC report in 2015, faced with criticism for not reporting his father, Brian  lamented that no-one, over all those years, told him he had to. That is his excuse – he had no idea! Is he suggesting it was someone’s responsibility to have told him? The RC revealed  Brian visited legal advisers at least twice over the matter, and he knew his father would be incarcerated if reported to police.

Brian was the main spokesperson to the media about his father’s crimes and controller of information. He actively lead the media to believe there was no Australian victim and did not tell the media the whole truth. If people did know there was an Australian victim, then maybe someone might have advised Brian he had to go to police.


Royal Commission Links

The Royal Commission has exposed, in case study 18, conflict of interest, shortcomings and mismanagement by the AOG/ACC executive and its then President, Brian Houston, when handling the Frank Houston child sex abuse allegations.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse - Case Study 18: a public hearing concerned with the institutional response to child sexual abuse of the Australian Christian Churches (ACC) and its affiliated churches.

2014RCWitnessList


TIMELINE

1969 – Frank Houston starts sexually abusing 7 year old AHA when visiting Australia on his preaching trips. (See Trans86/P9130)

AHA’s family was very supportive of Frank Houston and allowed him to stay with them when he visited Sydney and also provided him free chiropractic treatment. Frank would go into AHA’s room at night while he was sleeping…  AHA testifies,

1970-AHA-family-hosted-Frank-Trans86P9129

Source:  2014 Royal Commission  Transcript86/P9130


1969-1975/6 Frank sexually abused AHA starting when he was 7, over several years, until he reached puberty (2014 Royal Commission  Transcript86/P9073).

AHA was Australian and the abuse was in Australia:

Chris Rosebrough last year reviewed a sermon given by Sunday Adelaja.

Who is Sunday Adelaja?

Sunday Adelaja claims he founded the Embassy of Gof of at the age of 33 and “built what has become the largest church in Europe”. [Source]

Frankly, Sunday Adelaja is a fraud – not a Christian. After extensively reviewing a number of his sermons, we have concluded he is a flat out fake. He is an Apostle in the global ‘New Apostolic Reformation’ (NAR) cult and peddles their notorious false ‘Gospel of the Kingdom’ and their false ‘Seven Mountian Mandate’ commission. He consider himself an Apostle and ruthlessly pushes the Prosperity gospel and Word of Faith gospel.

In this below sermon review – you will hear him peddle the CLASSIC NAR heresy and Word of Faith gospel: that believers in Christ are little gods. When you listen to this review, notice how he progresses how we must spiritually elevate ourselves so we can be in control of our ciircumstances. Mr Adelaja does a very good job demonstrating the logical progression of the NAR/WOF gospel to the conclusion as to why Christians need to consider themselves God to see anything spiritually manifest on earth.

Here is Adelaja subtly feeding the idea that God sees Christians as “little gods”:

“So God was trying to change the mentallity of Moses. You know why? Because the biggest bondage is not physical bondage. The biggest bondage is mental bondage. The reason why you are not affective where you are, the reason why that everyone is better than you, the reason why you feel that you cannot do it, is because you’re in bondage!

You don’t see what God sees. You are not seeing yourself right. So God wants you to go back to your country different. He wants you to see yourself aligned with him [Apostolic alignment heresy].”

This is why the NAR/WOF heresy is so dangerous: if you don’t see results, then we mustn’t be seeing something right. And according to Adelaja later in this sermon, the reason why Christians supposedly fail is because they do not see themselves like Jeses as one “who comes from heaven is above all”.

As Chris Rosebrough pointed out, Adelaja’s use of John 3:31 was highly blaspemous when he applied this scripture to those listening. To counter this, Chris reminded his listeners that Jesus taught the opposite to Sunday Adelaja’s twisting of John 3:31 with Jesus’ words that those who exalt themselves should be humbled…

 

 

However, he uses the text in John 3:

Hillsong’s Sleazy Silent Night

Download

00:02:21 – Hillsong’s Sleazy Silent Night & Bobbie Houston Money Manipulation
00:23:39 – Jim Bakker Witches, Witchcraft and Rebellion
00:40:47 – Mark Driscoll Starts a New “Church”
00:50:00 – Rod Parsely & Mike Murdoch Release a Territorial Anointing
01:17:08 – Sermon Review: Authority to Subdue Your Land  by Sunday Adelaja

Source: Chris Rosebrough, Hillsong’s Sleazy Silent Night, Pirate Christian Radio, http://www.piratechristian.com/fightingforthefaith/2015/12/hillsongs-sleazy-silent-night?rq=adelaja, Published 17/12/2015. (Accessed 31/03/2016.)

” data-medium-file=”” data-large-file=”” class=”alignnone wp-image-11926″ src=”https://churchwatchcentral.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/1969rc-ahas-abuse-by-frank.jpg?w=1148&h=826″ alt=”1969RC-AHAs-Abuse-by-Frank” width=”574″ height=”826″ originalw=”574″ originalh=”826″ src-orig=”https://churchwatchcentral.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/1969rc-ahas-abuse-by-frank.jpg?w=574&h=826″ scale=”2″ style=”border: 0px; max-width: 100%; height: auto;”>Source: 2014 Royal Commission  Transcript86/P9073


1970 Frank Houston signs AHA’s mum’s bible when staying there for a week.

197001-Frank-signedMumsBible

Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=ebd26365-0c39-4f6c-82b9-f9d56659c4b2&type=exhibit&filename=STAT.0367.001.0009_R&fileextension=pdf 

AHA gives evidence at the RC about when Frank signed his mother’s bible while staying with his family:

197001-Frank-signedMumsBible-AHAtranscript

Source: 2014 Royal Commission  Transcript86/P9066

Why Frank stayed with AHA’s family who looked after him:

Source: 2014 Royal Commission  Transcript86/P9129


Early 1970s Frank Houston , Neville Johnson were major players in AoG circles in both NZ and Australia   (both later found guilty of sexual immorality)

Source: Australian Christian Head Guilty of Immorality by Philip L Powell, CWM

1970s Ps Barney Coombes is told an allegation of Frank’s sexual abuse of young man

1970s – While visiting Palmerston North, NZ, Visiting Canadian preacher, Ps Barney Coombes, is told by a young man (about 15 years of age) that he had been abused by Frank Houston. Coombes drove to Lower Hutt and confronted Frank Houston about the allegation.  Frank denied it and Coombes told the young man/boy to talk to his pastor. [Coombes should have followed up and had witnesses, because obviously the young man would have spoken to his pastor if he thought it was a workable option.]

Sources:
a. From CWM – “Emails between BC & PLP”;
b. Article: Houstons Unmasked Part2: AoG Australasia in the Spotlight by P L Powell


CONTEXT – Some background of the Assemblies of God and influence of Frank Houston and the Houston empire

1977 Andrew Evans becomes head of AOGA, outing the old guard under Ralph Read who regarded the new influences suspiciously. Latter Rain, church growth influences, change to church governance were welcomed. Set the scene for the megachurch super pastors.

  • In the 1970s, the old guard of the AOGA under Superintendant Ralph Read, thought the new antics, church growth strategies and Latter Rain influences brought to Australia mainly by Frank Houston, Midgely, and others, ….. were not scriptural.
  • In 1977 Andrew Evans was voted Superintendant of the AOGA. He and his supporters opened up the AOGA to the new influences of the Latter Rain and charismatic renewal movement.
  • They welcomed Yonggi Cho, church growth, word of faith, shepherding, end-times gifts including prophets and apostles, the change in church governance (with  reduced accountability of leaders and the rise of the super pastors/apostles/prophets and megachurches), new apostolic reformation ideology and, later, official acceptance of the Toronto Blessing as a move of God in the 1990s.
  • More traditional and conservative AOGA members questioned their leadership style, theology and integrity. The AOG in the USA had rejected the new charismatic renewal/latter rain move. Examples of men who stood up to the AOGA were:

a. Philip L Powell (who ended up resigning from his position of AOGA Gen Secretary in 1992 on principle, and started an apologetic Christian Witness Ministries (CWM)to warn people about the false teaching, bad leadership and immorality pervasive in the AOG). “Assemblies of God and the Latter Rain Heresy
b. Henry G Sheppard (was badly dealt with by the AOG and Andrew Evans. This is a shocking story, and Sheppard had the guts to document everything and stand up to them). He published “1997 The Evidence Fifth Edition – about the AOG Insurance Agency Scandal”, “Trust me I’m a Doctor“,  Website Posts by Henry Sheppard After Evidence Written

Some history of the AOGA by Dr. Shane Clifton, Dean of Theology at Alphacrucis College (the AOGA college):

Chris Rosebrough last year reviewed a sermon given by Sunday Adelaja.

Who is Sunday Adelaja?

Sunday Adelaja claims he founded the Embassy of Gof of at the age of 33 and “built what has become the largest church in Europe”. [Source]

Frankly, Sunday Adelaja is a fraud – not a Christian. After extensively reviewing a number of his sermons and materials, we have concluded he is a flat out fake. A wolf. He is an Apostle in the global ‘New Apostolic Reformation’ (NAR) cult and peddles their notorious false ‘Gospel of the Kingdom’ and their false ‘Seven Mountian Mandate’ commission. He considers himself an Apostle and ruthlessly pushes the Prosperity gospel and Word of Faith gospel.

In this below sermon review – you will hear him peddle the CLASSIC NAR heresy and Word of Faith gospel: that believers in Christ are little gods. When you listen to this review, notice how he progresses; how we must spiritually elevate ourselves so we can be in control of our circumstances. Mr Adelaja does a very good job demonstrating the logical progression of the NAR/WOF gospel to the conclusion as to why Christians need to consider themselves as gods to see anything spiritually manifest on earth.

Here is Adelaja subtly feeding the idea that God sees Christians as “little gods”:

“So God was trying to change the mentallity of Moses. You know why? Because the biggest bondage is not physical bondage. The biggest bondage is mental bondage. The reason why you are not affective where you are, the reason why that everyone is better than you, the reason why you feel that you cannot do it, is because you’re in bondage!

You don’t see what God sees. You are not seeing yourself right. So God wants you to go back to your country different. He wants you to see yourself aligned with him [Apostolic alignment heresy].”

This is why the NAR/WOF heresy is so dangerous: if you don’t see results, then you mustn’t be seeing something right. And according to Adelaja later in this sermon, the reason why Christians supposedly fail is because they do not see themselves like Jesus. Apparently, we need to see ourselves as one “who comes from heaven is above all”.

As Chris Rosebrough pointed out, Adelaja’s use of John 3:31 was highly blaspemous when he applied this scripture to those listening. To counter this, Chris reminded his listeners that Jesus taught the opposite to Sunday Adelaja’s twisting of John 3:31 with Jesus’ words that those who exalt themselves should be humbled…

We’re not go

Hillsong’s Sleazy Silent Night

Download

00:02:21 – Hillsong’s Sleazy Silent Night & Bobbie Houston Money Manipulation
00:23:39 – Jim Bakker Witches, Witchcraft and Rebellion
00:40:47 – Mark Driscoll Starts a New “Church”
00:50:00 – Rod Parsely & Mike Murdoch Release a Territorial Anointing
01:17:08 – Sermon Review: Authority to Subdue Your Land  by Sunday Adelaja

Source: Chris Rosebrough, Hillsong’s Sleazy Silent Night, Pirate Christian Radio, http://www.piratechristian.com/fightingforthefaith/2015/12/hillsongs-sleazy-silent-night?rq=adelaja, Published 17/12/2015. (Accessed 31/03/2016.)

” data-medium-file=”” data-large-file=”” class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-11934″ src=”https://churchwatchcentral.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/2005cliftonondevelecclofaoga-frankhouston.jpg?w=710″ alt=”2005CliftonOnDevelEcclOfAOGA-FrankHouston” originalw=”710″ width=”630″ height=”2336″ scale=”2″ style=”border: 0px; max-width: 100%; height: auto; width: auto;”>[When did CLC joined the AOG?  Needs verifying.#######]

Source: Analysis of Developing Ecclesiology of the AOG in Australia by Dr Shane Clifton thesis from Catholic University 2005

  • Some more background – AOG Australia, and Houston’s influence.
    Excerpt From Wikipedia:

“1970-1980: Charismatic movement and aftermath[edit]

The impact of the charismatic movement was far reaching in the AOG. It was initially celebrated by classical Pentecostals as a sign that Pentecostalism was influencing traditional churches. However there were also concerns over the influence the charismatic movement was exerting within the AOG.[32] Pastors of the New Zealand Assemblies of God (AGNZ) led the way. Because of its openness to the Latter Rain Movement of the 1950s, the AGNZ was quick to accept the charismatic renewal than the more conservative Australian movement. New Zealand pastors such as Robert Midgley, Frank Houston, and Phil Pringle would significantly influence Australian Pentecostalism, and all ultimately moved their ministries to Australia.[33]

Opposition to the renewal mainly arose over traditional Pentecostal views of mainline churches, especially the Roman Catholic Church, and how those views were being called into question. These churches had historically been mistrusted by Pentecostals, but now many inside these churches were claiming the same experiences that Pentecostals enjoyed without rejecting those churches. Some AOG ministers responded with “new openness to ecumenical relationships” [Frank Houston encouraged this], but others warned against “linking hands with modernists and liberals”.[34] Tensions escalated and in January 1973 an official statement was published challenging the charismatic practices of prostration (being “slain in the Spirit“), dancing, and the belief that Christians could be demon possessed (everyone in the AOG agreed that non-Christians could indeed be demon possessed).[35]

These tensions fed into the debate over local church autonomy, with charismatic pastors fearing the ability of a conservative denominational leadership forcing its own views on a local congregation. At the 1977 national conference, it seemed that a split within the movement was inevitable. There was no split. However it was clear that the charismatic faction had gained the support of the movement. Realizing he had lost support, Ralph Read resigned as general superintendent, and Andrew Evans, a supporter of the charismatic movement, was elected to replace him.[36] Evans would lead the AOG for 20 years during a tenure that saw the denomination grow from less than 10,000 to over 115,000 members.[37]

Recent history[edit]

Another legacy of Evans’ leadership was decentralization. The autonomy of local churches was now only limited by the AOG’s doctrinal statement—which was broad enough to allow for diversity.[38] Church growth techniques also became popular during this period. Prominent pastors such as Frank Houston also began to advocate strong pastoral leadership of the local church—as opposed to the congregationalism traditionally preferred by Pentecostals.[39] During the 1980s and 1990s, mega-churches came to dominate the denomination at both state and national levels. Members of the National Executive were exclusively mega-church pastors, and both state and national departments came under the control of mega-churches. Decentralization also occurred in the area of world missions. In 2001, responsibility for particular mission fields was given to “regional churches” (mega-churches or near mega-churches). This occurred at a time when the National Executive gained power at the expense of the representative National Conference, which by 2003 had only the election of National Executive members on its agenda.[40] In April 2007, at the Assemblies of God in Australia National Conference, the public name of the movement was changed to Australian Christian Churches, still incorporated as Assemblies of God in Australia. …”


1977 Frank Houston moves to Australia to start Sydney CLC (around July).

  • First Sydney CLC was in July, 1977 with adults and 7 children.
  • Frank’s “calling” was supposedly based on a vision he had from God. He resigned from General Superintendent of AOGNZ (1965-1977) and Jim Williams (1977-1985) succeeds him.
  • From Shane Clifton’s paper, in the footnotes, page.216:

“744 It is impossible for an outside party to comment on the veracity of claims to “the call of God.” Since Houston’s move to Australia, it has been revealed that there were other family issues that may have effected his decision. One of his daughters became pregnant. and one of his son’s was rejecting his father’s pentecostal faith. Also, it was revealed in 2002 that Houston had sexually abused a teenage boy, who was a congregant during his time pastoring the Lower Hutt Assembly. Although no criminal charges were laid, the Assemblies of God in both Australia and New Zealand have accepted that the offence occurred, and under the leadership of Houston’s son, Brian, rescinded his ministerial credential. The extent to which these personal issues coincide with Houston’s ‘call of God’ to Sydney is difficult to determine. (The personal story of Frank Houston is set out by his wife in, Hazel Houston, Being Frank: The Frank Houston Story (London: Marshall Pickering, 1989). The decision to rescind Houston’s AGA credential is set out in Wayne R. Hughes, letter from Executive Presbytery, Assemblies of God New Zealand, to Ordained Ministers of the Assemblies of God New Zealand, 2002, available at http://www.Christian-witness.org/active/maillbh_fh.html, accessed 13 May 2003). Houston was later to contract Alzheimer’s, and passed away late in 2004.”
[Note Clifton is referencing Powell’s CWM research on CWM. It was Powell’s CWM that brought Frank’s immorality into the public arena and exposed the AOG cover-up.] 
Source: Analysis of Developing Ecclesiology of the AOG in Australia by Dr Shane Clifton thesis from Catholic University 2005
Dr. Shane Clifton, Dean of Theology at Alphacrucis College (the AOGA college)


1978 An “Anonymous” author promotes Frank Houston’s Ministry in Evangel Magazine:

  • A Man Sent by God – The story of how God led Frank Houston to commence a ministry in Sydney.   …”  This was all about Frank, his calling and his new church in Sydney.
  • Articles normally have an author, so WHO SENT THIS ARTICLE into the Evangel? Was it Frank or Hazel? Obviously the author  was someone who knew the personal details. Frank was the one with the contacts in Australia, and it is his testimony.
    The new movement knew how to make good use of conferences, rallies, music and promotion/media.
  • Note the title used is the same as a book by William Branham given to Frank years before:

“I was upset when Frank woke up utterly miserable with a soaring temperature, his body aching in every joint. Obviously this had to be a day in bed. Usually sickness turned him into a self-pitying invalid, bored to tears with time dragging. This turned out to be four days of revelation. One of our self-confessed Pentecostals brought him a book with the interesting title ‘A Man Sent From God’.
Gordon Lindsay had captured what to Frank were amazing insights into the prophetic ministry of William Branham at the height of his ministry. From the moment Frank opened the book, Frank forgot to grumble about being sick. ‘This man could tell people all about themselves, even to where they lived and their phone number. Isn’t that marvellous,’ he said to me.”
Source: By Hazel Houston, Published 1989 (UK: Scott Publications), Being Frank, pg. 54. (Emphasis Ours.)

Source: Vision Magazine Issue 26 May, 1978, “VM26_05 A Man Sent by God [Frank Houston]”,  http://webjournals.ac.edu.au/ojs/index.php/VMAG/article/view/577/574

Frank was also preaching at Austalian conferences  – eg. 18-20 Aug 1978 Perth


.RC1980

1981 Brian Houston headed up Liverpool Christian Life Centre 

” The [Liverpool] church was originally founded in 1952 as Liverpool Assembly of God at the Macquarie Arts Centre. After struggling for 29 years it closed down in 1981, but was re-opened in 1982, with new Pastors John and Carol McMartin and a name Liverpool Christian Life Centre. ..    [someone added the following correction:]
Brian [Houston] started Liverpool [Christian Life Centre (CLC)] in 1981 and took it from about 6 to 110 before John [McMartin] turned up and his ministry began. Brian originally came from his fathers church at Darlinghurst [CLC] to Liverpool and eventually moving on and starting Hills [CLC]“

[Note: McMartin has a long history with Frank/CLC. He was the first AOG exec to hear the AHA allegation against Frank Houston and procrastinated, not following procedure AOG procedure. ]

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Inspire_Church&oldid=514284960 as at 22/7/2016

From wikipedia on Brian Houston:
“After moving to Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, in 1978, [Brian] Houston served at the Sydney Christian Life Centre in Darlinghurst, where he became the assistant pastor to his father, Frank Houston. In 1980 he started a church on the Central Coast and worked at a church in Liverpoolin 1981. In 1983, Houston saw a need in Sydney’s north-western suburbs and hired the Baulkham Hills Public School hall to start a new church, the Hills Christian Life Centre. The first service was held on Sunday, 14 August 1983.”

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Houston_(pastor) as at 22/7/2016


1980’s – Faxes arrive at CLC Darlinghurst addressed to Frank Houston accusing him of child sexual abuse. Frank lays low 1985-87.  

  • 1983 – Donald Elley (working at CLC) reads a fax sent from from Ps. Philip Powell to Frank Houston containing a child abuse allegation    

Who is Donald Elley – Elley writes of himself:   I am an insider of Hillsong mega-church;  I attended Hillsong from 1981 to 1990 and from 1998 to 2000; I was a leading Hillsong lay-pastor from 1982 to 1989; I write from personal experience about Hillsong and have read widely on Hillsong and its activities;

Source: https://donaldelley.wordpress.com/2016/07/20/hillsong-and-its-founder-the-child-rapist-frank-houston-how-frank-houston-raped-hundreds-of-little-boys-and-young-male-teens/

  • Frank falsely accuses Philip Powell of making up lies and that he was jealous and a trouble maker. Powell was correct in calling Frank to repent.
  • The Houstons continued to malign Powell to their staff and public.
  • Elley thought during 1985-1987 Frank went into a self imposed exile, laying low.
  • Note: Elley’s comment, though on an opinion blog, is consistent with Powell’s written attempts with Frank to get him to repent of his abuse. Elley worked at CLC for years and knew Frank well, even going on a mission trip with him.  Elley is a primary witness.
  • Elley writes,

1983-DonaldElleySeesPowellFacsToFrank.jpg

Source: Donald Elley Blog,  https://donaldelley.wordpress.com/2015/11/12/pastor-frank-houston-pedophile-criminal-mind-part-four-prophet-of-the-lord-pastor-philip-powell-works-hard-to-out-the-pedophile-frank-houston/

  • In another of Elley’s posts , he refers to the faxes sent to Frank regarding abuse, and that in his opinion/observation, Frank “hid” when the pressure got to him:

“In this circumstance of exposing the  pedophile Frank Houston, faxes were more effective than anything else, apart from getting Frank Houston charged by the Police.

The known offences were in New Zealand so getting him charged was very difficult. Most of the offences were also the victim’s word against Frank Houston and extremely difficult, if not impossible to prove.

Its only in recent years that children have been believed and empowered to give victim statements, be believed and to be sensitively treated by the Courts. …

“… By 1985, he was under intense pressure.

The prophet Philip Powell was on to him [Frank] and sending heaps of faxes in the night to Christian Life Centre (CLC) Darlinghurst’s administration office.

These faxes were arriving at CLC Darlinghurst’s administration on the ground floor at the corner of Goulburn and Riley Streets. The staff would find them in the morning.

There was nothing Frank Houston could do to stop these faxes because, in those days, before the Internet, every business had a facsimile machine and that was how things were done. Phone and fax.

In 1983 the administration had moved to the new offices on level 10, 162-166 Goulburn Street just down the road. The Bible College IICM was founded there too.

The faxes kept on coming.

The prophet Pastor Philip Powell wasn’t giving up in his mission to out Frank Houston as a pedophile.

The faxes contained accusations of child abuse and gave specific cases like Peter Fowler’s abuse. I read one of them and I talked about them with Frank Houston and Gary Canham.
[Fowler did not make his case public until 2002 when he contacted Powell. – Elley is probably using the Fowler case as an example of the type of abuse that occurred in the 1960-70s.]

Frank Houston had demonised the prophet Philip Powell to Pastors Gary Canham, Sean Stanton and Paul de Jong.

Every time a fax came in from Philip Powell it was shredded and removed from the church. As the Hillsong Insider has reported to me recently, this practice at Hillsong of shredding documents has continued without abate until this day. …

“I was so concerned for my pastor that one day, when  I was working in an office building in Gordon doing a fit-out near Frank Houston’s home, I popped around there to visit him and check he was OK.

In 1984, due to the success of CLC Darlinghurst, there was quite a lot of cash in the church’s bank account. Gary Canham, Sean Stanton and Frank decided to use the funds to buy a home for Frank and Hazel in Gordon. Sound familiar?

When I came to the front porch and knocked on the door, Hazel, his wife came to the door. I said I was concerned about Frank and could I see him? Hazel said that he wouldn’t want to see me because he was very unwell. I asked her to go and ask Frank if he’d see me. She came back and answered in the negative.

Frank Houston wasn’t unwell but he was hiding.  …

“The covert criminal pedophile and covert homosexual Frank Houston spent two years at home, sitting by the swimming pool reading, playing Mario and Luigi on his Playstation, cradling his grandchildren on his lap, and generally eating, drinking and lying low.

In 1987, well-rested, bored and with the strong encouragement of Pastor Gary Canham, Sean Stanton, Paul de Jong and his son Brian, Frank Houston emerged from his self-imposed exile at his Gordon home, on Sydney’s leafy affluent North Shore, and went back to work. …”

Source: Donald Elley blog, primary witness of faxes from Powell to Frank,  https://donaldelley.wordpress.com/2015/11/17/pastor-frank-houston-pedophile-criminal-mind-part-eight-under-intense-pressure-from-philip-powell-pedophile-frank-cracks-and-hides-for-a-while-in-his-home-in-gordon-sydney/


1987 Frank returned from self imposed “exile” (from Elley post)


1989 Powell becomes General Secretary of the AOGA (1989-1992), also editor for the “Australian Evangel”, the AOGA magazine  (see 1992 Powel post)


1989 NZ pastor, Jim Williams, goes to Australia in 1989, to pastor Garden City Church, Brisbane  

  • Jim Williams (Hamilton AOGNZ) took over as General Superintendent of the NZ AOG in 1978-1985 after Frank left for Australia.  In 1989 he moved to Australia and took over as pastor at Garden City Church. He was  later disciplined for immorality by the AOGA in 1994 (for adultery back in NZ) and eventually lost his credentials (more affairs came to light later).
    Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Williams_(pastor)  

1992 Philip Powell resigns as General Secretary of AoG in Australia (1992)  


1992+ (or soon after) Frank Houston threatens Philip Powell-
Frank: “God was going to cut him off”;  then Frank threatens legal action

Powell knew what Barney Coombes had told him years before about an allegation about Frank Houston. Powell had sent faxes to Frank at CLC about child abuse allegations.

This account is from a CWM article published in Vanguard Jan 2002:

Frank tries to bully Powell using “prophecy”:

“… During our [Philip Powel and wife] sojourn in New Zealand, shortly after I had resigned as General Secretary of AoG in Australia (1992), I received a telephone call from Frank Houston who had been one of my former colleagues on the AoG National Executive. … Frank told me that God was going to cut me off. He claimed that he had some revelation from the Lord and that when he received these “words” he was never wrong and that whatever being cut off by God signified it was going to happen very soon, if not immediately. I let him talk for quite some time then I interrupted, “Frank I want you to know that my Bible tells me not to fear you and I don’t fear you or what you have to say for I have proved you to be a false prophet. You may cut me off, BUT I don’t think God will cut me off.” He was obviously taken aback by my direct response and went on to accuse me of muckraking whatever that meant. I certainly was not engaged in anything that could equate to what he accused me of but there shouldn’t be any muck to rake in any event.”

In the light of recent occurrences it is quite clear what Houston was up to when he telephoned me. He was trying to bully me into silence and non-action. I guess that’s the natural extension of the activity of opportunists who try to create a mystique about them. It’s the sort of disposition that resorts to the “don’t touch the Lord’s anointed” line, when they are challenged or come under scrutiny. Beware the bully, but don’t fear him. He really is a coward at heart. 

Interestingly, as my co-editor Dr Siam Bhayro, whose expertise relates to the ancient languages of the Middle East has pointed out,” The Biblical phrase “cut off” is used of someone who has transgressed the Mosaic Law and, as such, is to be cut off from the children of Israel. This is interpreted by most scholars as meaning death! …”  [emphasis ours]

Source: http://www.christian-witness.org/archives/van2002/houston2_15.html


1994 Jim Williams credentials were removed by AOGA for adulterous offences.

  • After 2 years restoration his credentials were returned.
  • In 2000 AOGNZ told NZ ministers that Williams was NOT to minister in NZ as Williams offences were more than originally revealed.
  • Williams was AOGNZ Superintendent 1977-1985, after Frank Houston
  • Williams left for Australia in March 1989, the leadership of the AOGNZ then passing to Pastor Wayne Hughes. In Australia Williams served in what was then known as the Garden City Church in Brisbane.[5]In 1994 the Executive of the AOGNZ received a letter from the Australian Assemblies stating that Williams had been guilty of adultery while pastor at the Hamilton Assembly.[6] Williams was replaced as Pastor of the Garden City Christian Church by his deputy Senior Pastor, Pastor Geoff Holdway. Ps Holdway differed from Williams charismatic style by focusing on a more fundamental adherence and teaching of scripture. This was based on his background in the baptist theological seminary with a much more Pentecostal emphasis on scriptural interpretation.
  • At this time Williams [1989] was pastoring in Australia. He lost his Australian credentials, but these were eventually returned after a time of counseling. However he remained barred from ministry in AOGNZ due to a failure to make any efforts to put the matter right in New Zealand.[7]In 2000 it became apparent that the extent of his sexual impropriety was much greater than admitted to the Australian body. His credentials in New Zealand were permanently revoked for adulterous offences and other indiscretions involving different women over an extended period of years.[8][9]Following this the Hamilton Assembly (Gateway Christian Centre) left the denomination.[10]

[Note: Frank was an advocate for softer discipline of ministers who failed. Also, there is a culture of cover-up, immorality. Wayne Hughes who followed Williams as AOGNZ (and who was dealing with/dragging the chain on Frank’s investigation), also failed morally. This and AOGA coverup is what Philip Powell was exposing which is why he was demonised by both AOG executives, especially when Powell gave support and publicity to one of the victims, AHG, when he was given the run-around by the AOGNZ and the Houstons were not cooperating.]

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Williams_(pastor)


Before 1998 – rumours about Frank’s moral failure had been circulating

  • From Brian’s statement he made in 2014 for the RC – he mentions he had heard unsubstantiated rumours a long time ago about Frank being a homosexual (45).
  • Yet h e also referred to Tayor’s surprise he hadn’t heard rumours circulating about Frank’s pedophilia (43):

2000RCBrianHoustonStmt---RumoursMetNZPsychVictim

Source: 2014 RC Statement from Brian Houston


START OF ROYAL COMMISSION EVIDENCE

.RC1998

SUMMARY FROM PS BARBARA TAYLOR 1998 – 1999 – her involvement with AHA – victim of sexual abuse by Frank Houston

  • AHA is an Australian child sexual abuse victim of Frank Houston, abused from 1969 onwards, starting when he was 7 yo.
  • Barbara Taylor is the support pastor of both AHA and his mother (AHI)
  • Kevin Mudford was a visiting evangelist in who AHI confided. Kevin then raised the alarm about the abuse with Taylor and McMartin (NSW AOG executive).
  • Below is a summary of events written by Ps. B Taylor given to the Royal Commission in Oct 2014. It outlines her involvement in the matter (support pastor for AHA).

Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=7e9531a9-f46d-4a94-8ab2-4d27b3f43d5f&type=exhibit&filename=ACC.0006.001.0015_R&fileextension=pdf


Mid 1998 AHI confided in Ps. B. Taylor that her son had been molested by Frank Houston [at her family home in 1970s].   (Ref to doc above.)

  • She(AHI) had rung Frank and he said he would see her son, AHA.
  • AHI asked Taylor NOT to tell anyone.

1998/11/4 – Ps B Taylor and K. Mudford inform AOG state executive that a senior AOGA minister had sexually abused a boy in the past. (Ref doc above.)

(Royal Commission hearing – Transcript87/P9145)  BTaylor 
Q. Can I ask you, please, what happened as a result of  the meeting with Pastor McMartin? You had a meeting with  him on 4 November 1998. What did he say, from the AOG’s  perspective, would be the next step?
BT- A.  He didn’t say.
Q.  Did you form an impression that he was going to do anything further?
A.  I assumed he would have.

Source: Royal Commission Trans 87/Page 9145 BTaylor

Why did AHA NOT WANT TO DISCLOSE? From his testimony at the 2014RC:

Source: Transcript86/Page 9125


1998/11/25-26 Taylor tries to organise meeting with Frank and AHA.

  •  Frank is uncooperative. AHA’s biggest fear is Frank will deny it.

.RC1999

1999/01 Frank Houston publishes his book: “The Release Of The Human Spirit”

  • The Release of the Human Spirit: by Frank Houston,
  • Forward by Ken Gott: 9780768420197: Amazon.com: Books

Review

Having grown up in the home of Frank Houston, I have firsthand knowledge of the way he lives his life. This book captures the heartbeat and spirit of the man who has had the greatest influence and impact on my life. Through him, I have learned how to change my mind-set, go beyond the boundaries of tradition, and dream big dreams. It’s what he has done all his life: taking God at His word, expecting the miraculous, and having the courage to step out when nobody else was. He has lived an exceptional life in striving to reach his maximum potential and, as a result, has seen the purpose of God come to pass. You cannot read this book and settle for any less than the best for your life. It reveals the powerful truths and principles that will challenge your thinking and launch you into your God-given destiny. Once you’ve read it, anything can happen – and it probably will!” — Brian Houston, President of Hillsongs Australia, National Superintendent of Assemblies of God in Australia

 Book Description
Your relationship and walk with the Lord will only go as deep as your spirit is free. The joy and fulfillment that you will experience will catapult you into a greater and fuller level of living!
  • Publisher: Destiny Image Publishers (January 1, 1999)
  • ISBN-10: 0768420199
  • ISBN-13: 978-0768420197

Source: https://www.amazon.com/Release-Human-Spirit-Frank-Houston/dp/0768420199


1999/02/26 Taylor writes to Frank again. No response from Frank 

  • Taylor had contacted Frank and he had agreed to meet AHA.
  • Taylor is trying to organise Frank to meet AHA in her office.

19990226RC-BTaylorToFrankInviteToMeet


1999/04/6 Taylor sent Fax to Frank, complaining he had not responded

  • It had been 5 mths since Mudford and she had raised the issue with McMartin (T87/P9146) and he had still not responded to her  requests, as agreed.

19990406RCBTaylorFacsToFrank

Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=251482d4-77d5-4263-9679-e36e6d0d8d94&type=exhibit&filename=ACC.0006.001.0003&fileextension=pdf


1999/04/6 Frank Houston phoned Taylor, ANGRY at her for pursuing the matter.

  • FH said he’d contacted AHA. FH would meet AHA & BT when he returns from trip.

(Royal Commission hearing – Transcript87/Page 9149)  B Taylor 
Q.  You say he [Frank Houston] rang and was extremely angry. What was he  angry about?
BT-A.  That I was pursuing him
Q.  About these serious allegations?
A.  Yes.
Q.  Did he suggest at that stage any involvement of the Assemblies of God state executive office?
A.  I don’t believe so.
Q.  What about the national executive office of the AOG?
A.  I don’t believe he said anything like that. He was angry.


1999/05/05 the AOGA National Conference Endorses Changes to Admin Manual

  • Changes are made the the Admin manual regarding how complaints are to be handled
  • The State and National executive of the AOG failed to follow this procedure for AHA :
    • The complainant was not provided with an independent contact. McMartin did not provide this early on. Finally, Brian the son of the accused, decided he would be the sole investigator.
    • Frank was told at the conference (indirectly) that he needed to report the complaint about him to the NSW State AOG Superintendent, which Frank disregarded.
    • Brian was NOT to interview the accused minister alone, without witnesses. The interview should have been conducted with at least 2 individuals.
    • The investigating committee/person, then should have prepared a full report – this was not done as Brian made himself the sole investigator and did not prepare any report.

Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=4c7e9d06-9229-4222-8cb2-1ec726aab967&type=exhibit&filename=STAT.0347.002.0049&fileextension=pdf

From the Admin Manual – some helpful criteria is provided to help assess the suitability of a minister to rehabilitation back into public ministry. The AOGA executive did not handle matters of discipline in a vacuum. They were aware of issues that needed to be given proper consideration, especially legal risks and obligations.

Certain character traits (above) are flagged as high risk. It’s informative to consider how Brian would rate, based on his handling of this whole affair  – Brian’s scathing remarks towards the Royal Commission counsel, his quick rage towards any critic (eg. twitter), his speed to play the victim/vulnerability card, his self praise in leading the success of Hillsong, his demand for loyalty, his refusal to accept responsibility for the negligent handling of AHA’s allegations, his sense of entitlement (eg. receiving the mantle from apostle Frank), his control of information, his grandiose sense of importance (eg. the big eagle, leader of leaders, visionary), his denigration of other churches.

Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=550f7775-a2e6-494c-a9b3-2166e22efb5b&type=exhibit&filename=STAT.0348.001.0031&fileextension=pdf

–     –     –     –     –     –     –

The AOGA Admin Manual (see below) specifies the  key concerns that should be addressed when considering if a failed minister could be a candidate for rehabilitation to public ministry. It also serves as a reasonable standard for the response of its failed  ministers overall to dealing with their failure. This standard was available to the AOGA executives and to Brian Houston when dealing with his father, and his rehabilitation to God, family and community.

Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=550f7775-a2e6-494c-a9b3-2166e22efb5b&type=exhibit&filename=STAT.0348.001.0031&fileextension=pdf


1999/05 soon after Conference, Taylor reminds Frank he must report himself.

2nd week May, 1999 AHA phoned Taylor to tell her Frank had contacted him directly.

    • Frank had “cried buckets of tears”. AHA did not find Frank sincere.
    • No mention of meeting with both AHA and Taylor as previously agreed.

BT faxed FH with page from Admin manual saying he needed to tell the AOGA executive that a complaint had been made against him (Frank didn’t).

Source: 1999/05/19 Letter from Taylor to McMartin, copy sent to Frank Houston:  http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=3d2e8792-6344-4f15-aa47-ae8733a8b5f0&type=exhibit&filename=ACC.0006.001.0004&fileextension=pdf

Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=e31ecaed-e429-4778-8521-495710394cad&type=exhibit&filename=ACC.0006.001.0005&fileextension=pdf


1999/05/10 Frank Houston hands over Sydney Christian Life Centre Snr Pastor to Brian

Frank remained on staff of SCLC as an itinerant pastor/preacher

Source: Brian Houston’s Statement to the Royal Commission

Source:  Brian Houston Statement p. 4

From [10] May 1999, for a period of 18 months, Pastor Brian Houston was the Senior Pastor of both churches.85 In 2001, the two churches were renamed Hillsong Church.86 … [b.page 24]

The August 2000 CCYP letter for working with children registration, the 2002/11/22 elders meeting and Frank’s retirement letter (Nov 2000), all refer to “Hillsong City Church”. The Hillsong name was used during the transition prior to 2001.

“Although Mr Frank Houston had resigned from his role as Senior Pastor of Sydney Christian Life Centre, he was still employed by Sydney Christian Life Centre with ‘the idea that he was going to be an itinerant’.173  [b. page 31]

Source: 2015 Report of Case Study No. 18 (Royal Commission Findings),


1999/05/19 Taylor writes to John McMartin, AOG state executive to update him.

Taylor does not trust that Frank will do the right thing.

McMartin, an AOGNSW state executive, has a complaint in writing, of pedophilia on a 7 year old boy victim, and yet does nothing.

He does not know the id of the perpetrator.

Frank tried to TRIVIALISE the incident, and was uncooperative

Barbara Taylor writes to John McMartin:

19990519TaylorLetter2McMartin

“19 May, 1999

Dear John,  [John McMartin was an executive of the NSW Assemblies of God at the time]

Last year during a Crusade here it was brought to the attention of Kevin and Deanne Mudford [visiting evangelist, 3/11/1998] on an altar call that a high profile figure in the AOG had been involved in a paedophile incident 30 years ago in a Sydney home . It was the mother of the victim who revealed it although the victim requested it be not revealed .

He (the victim) [AHA]  found it hard to listen to the perpetrator’s praises being sung by his mother who held the perpetrator in high regard.

You will remember I am sure that Kevin asked me to accompany him and ask you [4 Nov, 1998] what he should ethically and morally do in this case. As we did not feel free to reveal the perpetrator‘s name you told us to be led by the Lord in the way we handle it. You then suggested we go to Brian Houston but we said we did not feel we could do that.

Since that time I have written to the perpetrator to ask him to meet the victim with a view to minister healing to both. The perpetrator at first had convenient amnesia saying if he had done anything out of place he was sorry. All this was done by phone.

I rang to try to get a meeting, the perpetrator said he had to go overseas ……. another wait ………. rang again …… perpetrator had to go overseas again ……. another. ……. faxed … … he rang in anger and I said we were angry too .. . …… another wait for the conference.

The perpetrator rang the victim this week saying he had shed ” buckets of tears” and agonised for the incident. He at first tried to trivialise the incident but has admitted it on the phone. Not one of us that know of this think he will seek healing for him or acknowledge any responsibility for the awful pain he has caused the victim.

At the moment the victim is as he expresses it, “sick to the pit of his stomach with the whole matter and can’ t understand how God can bless a man who has damaged him like this”. He said he wants to put the matter on hold at the moment for he is too upset to continue with anything at the moment and he I detected is angry. I have told him the Holy Spirit will help him forgive the perpetrator. At the moment he is disgusted and reviled at the remembrance of the event.

I have done my best to try to bring about a happening where the Holy Spirit would be allowed to minister to both. That has not happened.

I wanted you to know we didn’t just ” sit ” on the matter but have tried unsuccessfully to bring this matter to some sort of conclusion. Progress made is that now the victim can talk about the incident to some degree and that the perpetrator has acknowledged that he did behave with a seven year old boy in such a way as would have him classified (if we consider that now the Lord has delivered him) an ex-paedophile.
[signed]
Your co-worker in Christ,
Barbara Taylor
PS. Copy sent to perpetrator ”     [<<<<< FRANK KNEW MCMARTIN HAD THIS INFO ]

Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=3d2e8792-6344-4f15-aa47-ae8733a8b5f0&type=exhibit&filename=ACC.0006.001.0004&fileextension=pdf


Probably prior 16 Sep, and prior to mid Nov, 1999 Frank organised a meeting with AHA at Redfern Station to give him a $2000 payment  (Transcript86/Page 9096, 9078, 9132)

[During the Royal Commission hearing, after piecing together evidence that could be tied down to a time, AHA agreed the Redfern meeting was most probably  before the Barbara Taylor letter to him 16/9/1999. Transcript86/Page 9113]

Frank arranged this without informing or dealing with Taylor, that is, behind her back and not respecting her pastoral support role.

Frank did not respect the AOGA and its rules, nor Taylor, nor the victim.

AHA found Frank’s calls stressful. Agreed to meet FH to get him off his back.

AHA saw Frank arrive in a green Jag at Redfern but could not go through with meeting – seeing Frank again was too traumatic. He left without FH seeing him.

Note: Frank wasn’t driving and he was in a green jaguar according to AHA. AHA saw what he thought was the same green jag at the McDonalds meeting in 2000 when  Frank was accompanied by Nabi Saleh. So it may be the same car, same driver?
WHAT DOES NABI SALEH KNOW ABOUT AHA OR FRANK’S DEALINGS,  months before Brian was told about AHA in Oct 1999?

Frank made a subsequent transfer payment to AHA of $2,000, with a promise of further $2000 per month (which did not eventuate).

Source: Royal Commission Trans 87/Page 9096, 9078, 9132

AHA talks about the Redfern meeting in his statement to the Royal Commission. He writes,

17. Although Pastor Taylor told Pastor McMartin of the AOG my story, I never received any  correspondence or communication directly from anyone at Sydney CLC / Hillsong or from anyone in the AOG hierarchy itself about this matter. The only contact I had was from Pastor Frank himself who started calling me and my mother on a regular basis. The phone calls started coming about a week or two after I received the letter of 16 September 1999from Pastor Taylor. I received several telephone calls from Pastor Frank over different periods. When he called me, he would say words to the following effect: “I want to get together to discuss some sort of money as a compensation to you … I don’t want this on my head when I stand in front of God.” The money was something that he brought up. It wasn’t something that I asked him for.

18. I eventually agreed to meet with Pastor Frank on or about early 2000. I decided to meet him because of his phone calls as I didn’t want to hear from him any longer and just wanted to get it over and done with. The meeting was at Redfern Station in Sydney. I attended that meeting but when I saw Pastor Frank pull up in his green Jaguar, I walked away. Seeing him bothered me and I did not want to be anywhere near him. Even being in the same State as him bothered me and I just didn’t want to connect with him.

19. Following the near-meeting at Redfern station, Pastor Frank continued to attempt to make contact with me and my mother. When he called me, he would say words to the following effect –

“Look, we need to meet. I want to organise some money for you, some compensation, and get this off.”

Source: From AHA’s statement about the Redfern near-meeting and the McDonald’s meeting


1999/09/16 – McMartin knows complaint and ID of victim & perpetrator

A. Taylor meets with McMartin, frustrated with the lack of progress and Frank’s lack of cooperation,
B. Taylor writes McMartin a follow-up letter (which he doesn’t remember getting)  to confirm meeting outcome –
 1. The nature of the allegation and the victim and perpetrator’s IDs are given.
 2.  Frank had not admitted the offence and had dodged meeting with Taylor even after repeated attempts by her to organise.
 3. McMartin had made it clear there was a structure in place to deal with such an allegation. [Pity McMartin, Brian, nor the AOGA executies didn’t follow their procedure. ]
 4. Taylor had been advising AHA NOT to go to the courts
 5.  Frank’s direct contact with AHA had made it much worse for the victim.
 6. AHA felt Frank was not sorry for the damage he had caused.

Though the victim and perpetrator are BOTH named in this letter (reproduced below), McMartin does not even notify another executive until about late Oct.  McMartin told the Royal Commission he could NOT start any investigation UNTIL he had a complaint in writing and it identified both the victim and perpetrator. He should have started the AOG procedure and have the state AOG or the AOGA executive organise an independent contact.

McMartin is content to insist that (his understanding of)  the rules of the Admin Manual be followed strictly when it suited him, but it is abandoned to allow Brian take over the AHA case. It is odd to wait until Oct 1999 to raise the issue when the matter is so serious, criminal and demanded attention given the nature of pedophilia and the duty of care required of an organisation to protect its young people and respond to complaints. Could this be another conflict of interest as McMartin has ties to Frank and Brian Houston?  In 1981, Liverpool CLC started (after the orig Liverpool AOG closed) with Brian at the helm. Brian handed it over to John McMartin and moved on to start Hills CLC in 1983. The first service was held on Sunday, 14 August 1983. The CLC churches were church plants from Frank’s church, CLC Sydney/Darlinghurst  source

19990916BTAYLORLetter2JMcMartinColr
Source:  http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=3d2e8792-6344-4f15-aa47-ae8733a8b5f0&type=exhibit&filename=ACC.0006.001.0004&fileextension=pdf

1999/09/16  Ps Taylor writes a follow-up letter to AHA after her McMartin meeting

Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=ab58a720-74ee-4903-993c-b4fe09df996c&type=exhibit&filename=ACC.0006.001.0006_R&fileextension=pdf

AHA’s reaction to the letter (AHA at the 2014 Royal Commission Trans86/Page 9124) said,

Q.  You didn’t want the church to do any investigation  whatsoever, did you?
AHA-A.  I was in bewilderment. I didn’t expect to be molested by such a leading minister and I didn’t expect this sort of treatment after what had come out, and then I have to start  proving myself, and then, as it says here, “written  accusations with time and place”.


Late October, 1999 – BRIAN IS TOLD ABOUT FRANK’S SEXUAL ABUSE OF AHA:

Mudford phoned Hills CLC, talked to George Aghajanian who relayed to Brian Houston (from Aghajanian’s statement to the Royal COmmission 2014/09/29)

Brian learns about allegation against his father from his general manager,
George Aghaganian (who took the call from Mudford)

Mudford suggested there was a cover-up as noone had done anything

Brian knows victim, contacts Mudford and AHA’s mother

Brian did NOT speak to victim before talking to Frank (s0 BH did  not know the full allegation)

George Aghaganian (Hills CLC Gen Manager) in his RC statement wrote,

20140929-GAghajanianStmtMudfordCallTellsBrian

Source: 2014Royal Commission- Aghajanian’s statement 2014/09/29


Later October, 1999 –  McMartin meets with Wayne Alcorn (AOGA executive) to ask advice. 

From what McMartin says, it seems Alcorn knew from this meeting there was an allegation about Frank Houston, but maybe not the nature of the allegation nor the victim.

Alcorn says to go to Brian, even though Frank is Brian’s father.

RC counsel asks WHY DID MCMARTIN NOT follow the Admin Manual and appoint an independent investigation.  McMartin’s answer:

20141010-Stmt-McMartin-WhyNotProceed

20141010McmartinTran89p9241WhenSpokeAlcorn-Houston

Source: McMartin giving evidence at RC – transcript of his evidence,  http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=e792939f-e7da-4ae4-9280-f3697df28dab&type=transcriptpdf&filename=Transcript-(Day-89)&fileextension=pdf


November, 1999 – McMartin contacts Brian Houston to tell him about allegation . 

McMartin phoned Brian to tell him about allegation

Brian seemed shocked they knew.

McMartin organises a meeting with Taylor and Brian (see meeting  28/11/1999).


Mid-later November, 1999 Brian confronts Frank, with no witness. Frank “Confesses”.

Brian put the allegation to Frank after Frank returned from an overseas preaching trip. Brian had no formal complaint nor knew the details (he had not spoken to AHA). No independent person was there, no witness to the confession and no proper report of the confession was made.

Brian had broken the rules: no independent contact was provided for the complainant and there was no independent investigation.

[Note: Frank’s health was good enough for international travel & preaching.]

FRANK LIED
Frank [apparently] confessed to a one-off incident.
Brian seemed to accept that (or maybe wanted to accept that). Frank tells Brian about a $2000 payment (at Redfern station and not reported to the AOGA exec in the later 22 Dec 1999 meeting)

Brian suspends Frank’s credentials.

Brian took had no notes/paperwork/report from this interview with Frank.

BH asks Keith Ainge (AOGA Gen Sec) to arrange special AOGA exec meeting

From Brian’s statement to the RC:

2014RCBrianHoustonStmt-HearsFrankConfession

Source: Brian Houston’s statement to the Royal Commission 2014

Source: (Trans88/Page 9344)

Brian says what Frank confessed to – a lesser incident.

Brian defends his father, saying he did NOT masturbate AHA (given in evidence at the RC by AHA earlier). Brian said Frank possibly minimised it, but didn’t hide from what it was!
Minimising is lying. Frank had hidden his dark secret for decades. Anyone who put an allegation to him, he denied, denigrated, threatened, slandered, he even left NZ! Why is Brian defending his father against what AHA said (masturbating) and what Taylor said (naked boy)? Even at the RC, Brian is DEFENSIVE. This is what AHA found when dealing with Brian. This is what Taylor found when dealing with Brian. Brian had a conflict of interest. Brian is actually caught lying to Taylor in July 2000 about the role of the “elder”  at McDonalds. Brian did not tell the AOGA exec about payments Frank made to AHA because he didn’t think it was their business, since it was between Frank and AHA. He did not tell them about Taylor or her letter about AHA thinking about legal proceedings. According to Bobbie (in the Australia Women’s Weekly magazine 24/2/2016) this “confession” time is when Frank told Brian he had been abused as a boy by Brian’s grandfather.
It is hard to know what happened in that meeting when Frank “confessed”, as there were no witnesses.

Brian denied there was any mention of a naked boy walking across a room in front of Frank. Why would Taylor make it up? Brian already on national media said he can’t remember what was actually said in that meeting with Frank. eg. listen to Ben Fordham 2GB interview

Frank said it was on the lighter side – he actually minimised the incident and said it was a one-off occasion, which is a lie.


Source: (Trans88/Page 9326)


1999/11/25 Taylor spoke to AHA: gone to Chamber Magistrate 

Note: according to the sequence Taylor wrote (see above), 26/11/1998 AHA went to a Chamber Magistrate – which matched this document. So wondering if the date on this doc should be 25/11/1998?  Taylor wrote:

Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=4204af0a-1d0e-4056-99cd-18e4055bf402&type=exhibit&filename=ACC.0006.001.0009_R&fileextension=pdf


1999/11/28 Taylor, McMartin, Brian Houston MEETING – Taylor relieved AOGA is acting

Frank is not fully truthful. Only owns up to what he can get away with.

Taylor told BH that AHA may go to court (though she wouldn’t stand with him)

Brian had spoken with a legal professional who said his father would surely be
incarcerated for the crime if it went to court.

Taylor also recalls Brain said he checked with his children that granddad had never touched them (see below)

Taylor recalled Brian making a comment about a little boy running across the room with his clothes off (see below)

BH said Taylor couldn’t believe Brian had not heard rumours that had been circulating N about Frank (see below, BH’s statement)

[Note:
1. Why did BH not know his/AOGA/CLC’s legal obligation to report Frank
to police?  It was BH’s job to know.
2. McMartin did not start the investigation of this matter prior, even though
he had a written statement outlining the complaint and the name of the
victim and perpetrator. He said he does not remember this letter from
Taylor in Sept 1999. In May 1999 he did have the complaint in writing, though not the IDs. Taylor regrets going to McMartin who provided no support (Trans87/Page 9220) and Taylor had the impression that McMartin didn’t “want to know anything about it” , that he wished you’d go away and handle it yourself. ]

Barbara Taylor’s written record of the meeting:

Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=5ee12d4c-e11a-45ab-840e-ac6d598640cb&type=exhibit&filename=ACC.0006.001.0010_R&fileextension=pdf

Taylor recalled Brian making a comment about a little boy running across the room with his clothes off, when they met 28/11/1999 (Brian denied at the RC):

Source: (Trans87/Page 9158)

Taylor expands on what she understood by Brian Houston’s comment about the little boy with no clothes on. She felt that Frank had trivialised the incident to Brian when he confessed.

Source: (Trans87/Page 9197)

Taylor also recalls Brian said he checked with his childre that granddad had never touched them:

Source: (Trans87/Page 9218)

Note Keith Ainge, AOGA exec, wasn’t sure if anyone had contacted the complainant (AHA). Brian was the only exec to deal with AHA and Ainge did not know about Taylor.


Source: (Trans87/Page 9240)

Once Frank confessed, why did Brian not refer the matter to police?  BH: Because AHA was an adult so his prerogative. Brian always thought Frank might be charged.


Source: (Trans88/Page 9327)

Did Brian take any steps to engage with the Admin Manual prior to the AOGA exec meeting in 22/12/1999?

Brian was the MAIN PERSON handling the matter until the AOGA exec meeting and the AOGA did not know about it.
[Brian talked to SMH journalist, Deborah Snow in 2015. She wrote (14/11/2015):
Houston can barely contain his anger at Beckett’s recommendations. He maintains he respected the wishes of the victim, by then an adult, who had wanted the matter kept in-house; and that elders of the Assemblies of God had full knowledge and oversight of his handling of the affair.
Wrong. Brian controlled all information on this case.  ]

He also said he was the only person AHA wanted to talk to. Which was wrong because Taylor talked to him. [Was this what he told the AOGA exec?]

Brian took no steps to assign an independent contact to engage with AHA because he did not think AHA was open to that.

It was suggested that on the basis of protecting AHA’s confidentiality, Brian controlled all communication between the AOG and AHA.


Source: (Trans88/Page 9324)

In BH’s statement he fails to mention:

  • Taylor’s letter – accusing him of coverup (written June, 2000)
  • Taylor’s letter 29/11/1999 – AHA was thinking legal proceedings

He only mentioned Taylor’s being upset about BH not knowing rumours in NZ.  WHY did he not make enquiries of AOGNZ during the AHA matter? Why did he not mention the NZ rumours to the AOGA executives in 1999?).


Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=f656e896-774c-4472-95a2-5838189b1b02&type=exhibit&filename=STAT.0361.001.0001_R&fileextension=pdf

Brian told the Royal Commission he did NOT contact the NZ AOG. Rumours were trickling through to the AOGA late 2000.  Brian gave evidence at the RC:


Source: (Trans88/Page 9359)

If Brian/AOGA had spoken to the AOGNZ after the 22/12/1999 AOGA executive discipline of Frank then they may have been able to assist with the AOGNZ allegations about Frank that had been “investigated” since the mid 1990s.

The AOGNZ did not act upon the allegations because they were “unsubstantiated and the witnesses were not clearly identified”.
From the AOGNZ email sent to all NZ AOG ministers 21/12/2001 [Date on orig document fax says 21/12/2001. Philip Powell records it as 2001 as well. The “2002” on the doc should be 2001]:

Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=f866eb0d-7c53-4000-bbce-57db1074baa3&type=exhibit&filename=HIL.0001.001.0043_R&fileextension=pdf

Full content on CWM site – refers to Jim Williams


1999/11/29 Taylor phoned AHA, then wrote to Brian that AHA was relieved that Frank confessed. AHA’s whole attitude changed!

AHA was thinking of legal proceedings and trying to contact Brian

AHA is relieved Frank confessed it – which seemed to have changed his whole demeanor.

Taylor thinks the “dodging of the issue” was causing AHA’s angst.

AHI (AHA’s mother) was still “feeling very much for” Brian and his father. Note her unfailing support for the Houstons (was then, is now).

Taylor now thinks the matter is out of her hands and will be dealt with finally, by the church. Case closed for her.

19991129-ACC.0006.001Taylor

Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=661550a9-4ca1-4734-bfa3-ba35406608f1&type=exhibit&filename=ACC.0006.001.0011_R&fileextension=pdf

Source: (Trans87/Page 9162)

Taylor thought Brian would have
a. provided counselling for AHA and
b. that Frank would be stood down and the whole church told.

Taylor talking about what she expected of Brian – Trans 87/P9196:

“Q.  That he [Frank] wasn’t going to be able to preach any further?
A.  Yes.
Q.  And that in addition to doing the right thing – you say he was “seen to be doing the right thing”. Do you mean by that that you understood he was going to raise it with at least the national executive?  
A.  I thought the whole church would be told. “


1999/12/? Brian phones AHA 

According to his statement, Brian thinks there was only one call, and was after the 22/12/1999 AOGA exec meeting (say 23/12/1999) and that he did not phone AHA before the AOGA executive meeting. Taylor’s notes says AHA was contacted before 22/12/1999.

AHA found Brian defensive when he phoned. About his phone call with AHA, at the RC, Brian said:          [a few lines are omitted for brevity – they are incidental.]


Source: (Trans88/Page 9341)

Note above that Brian said AHA’s report that Brian said Frank was not in the AOG at the time of the offence was a “derivative of what I said”.  However it is consistent with Brian always trying to keep his father’s offences at a distance to Hillsong, eg. he led the media to believe all offences were in NZ.

Brian did not talk to AHA prior to the AOGA EXEC meeting about the details of the abuse. He did not think it necessary to investigate the complaint details, and was content to rely on what his father had told him.

Brian maintains AHA was too brittle for him to talk to. However, Taylor’s letter of 29/11/1999 to Brian refutes this – saying AHA wanted to talk to Brian after he found out Frank had not denied it, and that he was thinking of legal proceedings.

Source: (Trans88/Page 9341)


1999/12/21? Taylor made notes to talk to McMartin

(she can’t recall if the conversation actually took place, but the notes serve as a reflection on how she was feeling at the time and what she wanted to say).

NOTE: What has happened in the last 3 weeks to cause such a change to AHA?

On the 29 Nov, Taylor wrote that AHA was relieved that Frank had not denied it and found his attitude had softened. He wanted to contact Brian. BRIAN HAD not spoken to AHA before then.

Between 29 Nov and 21 Dec, Brian (son of the perpetrator) phoned AHA and AHA was not happy about it. In fact, Taylor thought Brian had broken a promise to her as no counselling had been offered.

Taylor had told AHA that the church would judge and deal with the matter fairly and that he would get counselling. But now she is worrying about putting a foot wrong and it seems no one [in the church] wants to touch it.

Brian should have had an independent contact like Taylor to  work with the AOGA executive.

Brian had a conflict of interest and managed to upset both AHA and Taylor. Both were feeling that the burden of the crime was being put in them.

This is an approx date and Brian does not think he spoke to AHA before the AOGA meeting of 22/12/2016. How did Brian “investigate” the allegation and present the facts to the AOGA executive if he hadn’t even talked to the complainant?

Ps Barbara Taylor writes,

Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=ae2a8a35-7752-4a04-a69b-64174d349777&type=exhibit&filename=ACC.0006.001.0012_R&fileextension=pdf

Notes about the above document of Taylor’s:

AHA was VERY stressed as he felt Brian was defensive of his father

AHA reported that Brian was defensive of his father and said that Frank was not in the AOG at the time.
That would not be something AHA would make up. He has no reason to, and he would not have understood the significance of it anyway. Brian on the other hand, has consistently tried to distance Frank from the AOG in Australia, and from Hillsong/CLC. When Brian denied he said that, but said it was a derivative of what he said:

Q.  And that you said to [AHA] that Frank Houston was not even in the AOG at that time?
 BH-A.  Oh, that’s not what I said. That’s not what I said. It’s a derivative of what I said.
(T88/p941)

[Frank was still Brian’s employee, a staff member of CLCS. ]

AHA and Taylor were feeling the church in general was not dealing with the matter properly, both very upset. Both felt the burden of the crime was being put on them.

Taylor needed a leader who would take responsibility and “do right”. She obviously thought Brian and the AOGA were not dealing with it, especially as it had been reported that Frank was still preaching.

Taylor is worried about “putting a step wrong” and being blamed for it. She has lost confidence in the AOGA leadership. She needed support and it was not forthcoming.

Note: Wolfenden was overseeing her getting her full minister’s accreditation.

Ian Woods was the head of the state AOG (NSW) and Snr Pastor of Hawkesbury Christian Centre. He took Frank to his church and was overseeing his restoration.
a. Did his church at Hawkesury have a working with children check done?
b. Did they report Frank’s discipline?
“Ps Ric & Ps Naomi are the Senior Pastors of Hawkesbury Church. .. Coming to us from Penrith Christian Life Centre (now ImagineNations Church) … When former Senior Pastor Ian Woods looked to retire in June 2008, the Burrell’s were asked to formally step into the role of Senior Pastor…”  http://www.hawkesburychurch.com.au/our-people/

Amongst the names at the bottom of the above letter are

  •  Andrew Evans – previous head of the AOGA (and no longer on the executive).
  • Jim Williams – pastor (ex Superint AOGNZ, later disciplined for adultery).
  • Wayne Alcorn – a member of the AOGA executive. McMartin probably told Taylor he’d spoken to Alcorn at the meeting with Brian.
  • McMartin – NSW AOG executive,  first told of child sexual abuse in Nov 1998
  • Kevin Mudford -evangelist who after receiving the allegation, raised the matter with Taylor. Both reported it to McMartin in Nov 1998. In Oct 1999, Mudford contacted Brian Houston (via manager) because it wasn’t being dealt with by the AOG.

On 23/11/2015, the Hillsong board/elders published a media statement on the Hillsong website (see below) which said: “…The evidence also stated that there were many others who knew about this abuse well before Pastor Brian was told and after, as Frank confessed to different people about separate cases of abuse. In the 16 years since these revelations came to light – despite Pastor Brian widely sharing this information, even to the entire church – no one had ever advised that this historical complaint coming from a mature adult needed to be reported to the police. …”
a. Why didn’t Hillsong Board/Elders report or enquire about their organisation’s legal responsibilities? Why didn’t they report it? They didn’t even report Frank to the Commission for Children and Young People as required when registering for Working with Children. George Aghajanian has stated the church was aware of the issue with Frank being Brian’s father (ie. conflict on interest): “it was felt more appropriate that the matter was handled by our denomination due to the personal relationship of Frank to Brian”. (from Aghajanian’s statement to the Royal Commission 2014/09/29)
Given the conflict of interest, why didn’t the board/elders take responsibility? 

b. Where are the minutes of an elders/board meeting determining how SCLC/HCLC/Hillsong City Church dealt with the AHA allegation? How did the elders/board decide to discipline Frank and manage the matter within their own autonomous church, especially in light of the AOGA determination/decision? Did they have a meeting (where are the  minutes) or did Brian handle it himself with a few people eg. Nabi Saleh?  Who decided to keep it secret (as per AOGA ruling) or what/when to make public,  Frank’s  repentance/forgiveness/restoration, catering for the public nature and possible fallout or trauma to people, could there be other victims, how would they achieve “being frank” with the congregation as Brian likes to tell the media he was?
c. Why was there no documentation presented to the Royal Commission as evidence that the church leadership (plural) dealt with the AHA matter properly and there was no cover-up? The only minutes presented at the Royal Commission showed how the eldership would not accommodate one of the victim’s requests, allowed Frank to retire with his reputation intact and with a retirement package, and stopped Frank from signing an admission of guilt requested by the AOGA executive.

Are the people listed on Taylor’s note the ones that Hillsong  Board and elders think should have reported Frank instead of Brian?
a. Taylor herself was stressed, concerned she’d get blamed (by the AOG?), largely due to the lack of support given her, especially as Brian had effectively removed her from the case.
b. Those listed on this note were following procedure and reporting the matter to the AOG executive who were supposed to deal with it.
c. The problem was, the AOGA did NOT follow procedure, did not do their job, allowed Brain to be the sole conduit between them and the victim and perpetrator. Brian took over the investigation himself, despite his obvious conflict of interest.
d. Other people didn’t have access to Frank, or his confession of AHA’s sexual abuse. In fact, Taylor and AHA’s biggest concern was Frank would deny it, especially as Frank had given them the run around. Only Brian heard Frank’s confession and there was nothing put in writing.
e. Brian even claimed clergy privilege after the Royal Commission in hearing Frank’s confession, which is inconsistent with his insistence of being candid with his congregation. See Submission of ACC to 2104 RC, 20.
f. The crime of child sexual abuse was NOT even mentioned in the AOGA exec minutes 22/12/1999, nor in HCLC/Hillsong minutes. So who could possibly go to the police? With what evidence?  Brian ensured there was none. Why didn’t the AOG or elders/board of CLC interview Frank themselves, independently? So many leaders, and no responsibility/accountability, yet they can blame others for not doing their (the leader’s) job.

Why did Brian need someone to tell him his legal responsibility? It was his job as head of both AOGA and CLC/Hillsong to know. Due to Brian’s conflict of interest, CLC leadership and the AOGA executives should have also taken the lead to ensure they found out their legal responsibility but not having access to the “confession”  would make it harder to pursue. Brian visited legal counsel at least twice about Frank and knew Frank would be incarcerated if he was reported to police. Wouldn’t you think he’d ask: what are our legal requirements?

Why didn’t CLC/Hillsong management report Frank to the police if they knew the details and that Frank had confessed? Probably for the same reason they didn’t report Frank’s discipline to the Commission for Children and Young People, which was mandatory? The commission even reminded them so it can’t be argued “no-one told me”.


1999/12/22 AOGA Exec Meeting Minutes – for AHA Australian Abuse case

Brian asked Keith Ainge (General Secretary) to call this meeting and noone knew what the meeting was about except Brian, except maybe John Lewis who had met with Brian and McMartin prior to the meeting, so had some notion.

Per testimony of Ainge: no executives knew the details or identities of the victim or perpetrator before this meeting.

Note: many of these executives would have strong connections to both Houstons, having served with them on the executive, or in ministry together.

At this meeting, Brian was the ONLY conduit of information, the ONLY “investigator” of both victim and perpetrator. Somehow the executives were convinced that Brian was the ONLY one who knew the identity of the victim. What did Brian tell them?
The AOGA executive did NOT know about Taylor or her role as the victim’s support pastor
The executive did NOT know that the victim was thinking about legal proceedings when he found out Frank had not denied it. It was in writing from Talyor to Brian (letter 29/11/1999)

Brian did not provide the AOGA executive with a written or formal complaint nor a written or formal admission/response. The AOGA executive allowed Brain to be the sole investigator and contact for both victim and perpetrator, despite his obvious conflict of interest. No complaint or investigation report exists, nor formal notice to Frank informing him of the AOGA’s determination.

The AOGA executive and Brian chose to disregard their own policy and Procedure and did not provide an independent contact and investigation for both victim and perpetrator. The reason given for this was Brian told them the victim did not want anyone to know his identity and did not want an investigation.

Someone at the meeting provided the “legal advice” that there was no requirement  to report Frank’s crime to the police. They can’t “remember” who provided that information.

The executive was unaware of the identity of the victim, but Brian told them he was Australian (see K Ainge statement). They knew the victim was Australian which meant they had a legal responsibility to report Frank to the NSW police.  Interestingly, all correspondence for years from Brian, Hillsong and the AOGA implied the abuse took place in New Zealand. Even in 2014 immediately before the Royal Commission, the media reported a single case of child sexual abuse in New Zealand.

NOTE: Brian’s behavior in this meeting and his effect on its outcome illustrates his conflict of interest. He controlled the information.

The result of the 1999 AOGA exec meeting was:

Frank’s credentials were NOT permanently removed,
the matter was not to be made public,
and Frank was allowed to apply to the restoration program in the future.

Actually this was a pretty normal outcome for an AOGA discipline of a lesser offence: keep it quiet, sideline the minister for a period, allow them to come back if it suits. Noone knows, especially the new (supervisory) church. However, Frank’s failure was pedophilia which demanded permanent removal of credentials. The AOGA executives did not follow their Admin Manual (rule book).

19991222-NatAOGExecMeetingAHAMinutesSource: http://childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=5d4f1450-687d-41bf-81de-a043961e8288&type=exhibit&filename=ACC.0001.001.0001&fileextension=pdf

1999/12/22 AOGA exec meeting – Keith Ainge, General Secretary of the AOGA, gives evidence at the RC (on 2014/10/08) about that exec meeting.

(Trans87/Page 9250)

A. Brian was the only investigator, the only one who knew about the matter prior to the Dec 1999 AOGA exec meeting that determined the AHA case.

20141008RCTrns87P9250-KAinge-on-BH-role-with-AHA

 (Trans87/Page 9275)

B. Brian Houston had a conflict of interest,
C. the executive relied on information from Brian,
D. did not have the matter assessed by an independent person and
E. based on Brian’s information, decided there was no need to refer the complaint to the police.

Source:   Keith Ainge’s statement to the RC (Trans88/Page 9274) This refers to what happened at the 1999 AOGA meeting. Note the AOGA conducted themselves very differently in 2000 when dealing with Frank’s next batch of allegations raised by the NZ AOG. In 2000 they followed procedure.

Keith Ainge, AOGA executive, agreed Brian had a conflict of interest, and rather than have an independent investigation, they relied on the information Brian gave them to decide they would not go to the police.

Brian was the only one dealing with the AHA matter prior to the 22 Dec AOGA exec meeting:


 Source: (Trans87/Page 9250)

Brian tells the Royal Commission that he suspended Frank when he confessed. He noted Frank was an itinerant pastor attached to the Sydney Christina Life Centre (Brian was his overseeing pastor).

Source: (Trans88/Page 9329)

Brian did not engage with the independent process as outlined in the Admin Manual. Instead, Brian was the main person handling the matter for the AOGA.

He was the son of the perpetrator and when asked how he thought AHA would receive that, Brian said he was the only one AHA wanted to talk to. The AOGA executives were kept unaware of Ps Taylor or the letter she gave Brian about AHA thinking of legal proceedings.

Brian did not appoint an independent person to liaise directly with AHA because he didn’t believe he was open to that at all.

Counsel suggested to Brian:
“It appears to me, at  least, on the evidence, that you, on the basis of  protecting his confidentiality, controlled all communication between the Assemblies of God and him? [AHA]” 


Source: (Trans88/Page 9324)

Brian insisted that AHA did not want any legal proceedings or go to the courts. However, he was informed twice by Taylor that AHA was thinking of that action, especially after Frank had admitted the offence. Brian chose to ignore that advise and not tell the AOGA executive that Taylor existed and that AHA was interested in legal proceedings.At the RC, Brian acknowledged AHA was considering taking the matter to court:
Source: (Trans88/Page 9330)

Brian is defensive of his father.

Source: (Trans88/Page 9328)

AHA’s expectation of the church.

Source: AHA at the RC –  Transcript86/Page 9126

AHA Gets NO ASSISTANCE FROM THE AOGA. There is no correspondence. In Nov 2000, the matter was revisited by the AOGA exec but effectively conflated with the 2000 NZ abuses with the NZ AOG abuse case after the 2000 discipline was done. The AHA case was therefore closed until 2014 Royal Commission. Noone knew there was an Australian victim until 2014 RC.

Here is AHA’s summary of what the AOG did for him:

Source: AHA at the RC –  Transcript86/Page 9127

Pastor Taylor provides some relief for AHA:

Source: AHA at the RC –  Transcript86/Page 9128

And How Sick Was Frank?

Brian was surprised Frank handed over Sydney CLC to Brian in May, 1999. Obviously Brian thought Frank’s health was fine then. Brian had to wait for Frank to return in mid Nov 1999 from an overseas preaching trip to confront him with AHA’s allegation. Frank’s health was obviously up to the task of a jet-setting preacher.

But when AHA’s allegation became known (Oct 1999), Frank was instantly “in the early stages of dementia”. Frank’s poor health was the reason why Frank was not available to assist with NZ AOG  investigations and assist victims resolve the matter.

Frank’s family doctor was a Hillsong elder (see Meeting With Frank Houston). Did he know about AHA (Brian said he told them) and not report it? Who provided medical certificates about the poor state of Frank’s health to the NZAOG?

From Brian’s statement to the RC:


RC.2000

 

2000/03 Witness at Hillsong Conference, Homebush

Brian Houston records the CLC/Hillsong Conference that his father attended back in March 2000:

“One Sunday evening in March 2000, our church united to praise God in one accord. They came from all over Sydney, bringing together the congregations of the City and Hills worship centres, as well as those of our many outreach services.

What a sight to see – thousands of people, young and old, filling the Homebush State Sports Centre to capacity. Nearly six months later, this same venue would draw crowds to watch world-class athletes compete in the 2000 Olympic Games, but that night the acclamation, adoration and applause was for one person – Jesus Christ. Truly the presence of God was awesome in that place, and there was only one reason for such love, joy, unity and commitment: The Cause of Christ!

The result of that Sunday night church service was the live recording of For This Cause, our first praise and worship album for the new millennium.”

Source: Brian Houston, For This Cause, Publisher: Maximised Leadership Inc., Australia, Published July 2001. pg.xi. (Emphasis added)

Donald Elley witnessed this event and observed Frank Houston was on stage being called an Apostle:

“In 2000 I attended a large combined Christian Life Centre (first name for Hillsong) combined rally at Homebush, Sydney, where the 2000 Olympics was held. All the Christian Life Centre Churches met together there. Christian Life Centre (CLC) Sydney based in Danks Street, Waterloo. Hillsong based in Baulkham Hills. Gosford CLC and others CLCs and CLC affiliates.

Part way through Frank Houston was pushed out across the stage in a wheel-chair. Jonathan Wilson, who had taken over from Frank Houston as the leading pastor at CLC Sydney, did a gushy rave about how great Frank Houston is and what a legend he is. Then he was wheeled out from the right side of the stage to the middle. The whole assembled CLC/ Hillsong were told, “Here’s a great man and a great apostle of faith. Let’s all stand and honour him”. The whole assembled stood to their feet and applauded Frank Houston madly.

I’d heard Frank Houston was a pedophile and even though he’d been stood down for pedophilia, we were told he’d retired.

I walked out of that meeting in disgust.”

Source: Donald Elley, Pastor Ian Woods. Pedophile Protector. Now Deceased […], DonaldElley, https://donaldelley.wordpress.com/2016/02/21/pastor-ian-wood-shoreline-church-mornington-victoria-pedophile-protector-former-pastor-hawkesbury-christian-centre-should-be-charged-with-not-reporting-a-pedophile-to-the-police-and-for-shelteri/, Published 21/02/2016. (Accessed 16/12/2016.) (Emphasis ours.) [Source]


Before July 2000 Frank organises a $10,000 payment meeting at McDonalds, inappropriately deals with AHA directly and Brian knew

Frank wanted to pay AHA money for him to sign that he forgives Frank as
he did  not want to face God with this on his head.

Hills CLC/Hillsong and family friend (Nabi Saleh) accompanied Frank at this meeting. Nabi also assisted with legal advice, drawing up the note for AHA to sign.

Brian accompanied both Nabi and Frank to the solicitor so Brian could check the payment note to ensure it could be not seen as “hush” money. Brian did not inform the AOGA about this payment or meeting and thought it was NOT the business of the Royal Commission because he saw it as family business, not AOGA/Hillsong business.

Brian also lied to Barbara Taylor later about this meeting, or lied to the RC as he gave conflicting accounts to Taylor and the Royal Commission. To the RC Brian said Nabi was at the McDonalds meeting as a friend only to Frank. To Taylor he said Frank and AHA had a meeting with an “elder” present, implying the McDonalds meeting was a proper meeting.

See Taylor’s letter and her notes about Brian’s phone all below.

Report of Case Study No. 18 – The response of the Australian Christian Churches and affiliated Pentecostal churches to allegations of child sexual abuse (PDF 822 KB) p31. This is a summary of the McDonalds meeting:

rcreportmcdonaldsmeet

AHA recalls the McDonalds Meeting

AHA was in a state of panic, Frank was distressed and fumbling and wanted forgiveness for the $10,000 and to put an end to it, the “unnamed man” said to sign the spoiled napkin.

Note: when AHA arrived at McDonalds he notice what he thought was Frank’s car, a green Jaguar. It was also a green Jaguar car that Frank arrived in at Redfern Station in 1999 when he was trying to meet AHA. (AHA saw Frank and the car, was horrified and left the scene without Frank realising.)

From AHA’s evidence at the Royal Commission (Transcript86/Page 9079):

Q. But that doesn’t seem to have been the end of the money; is that right?
AHA-A.  No, sir. In a phone call to my mother, he said he would pay $2,000 a month till the day he died. I think  that was his attempt to cover his trail, in my personal belief. Then the phone calls kept coming after that, and that’s when he made the remark that, “We need to get  and sort this out”, and that’s where the  McDonald’s restaurant situation came to light.
Q.  That’s the occasion where there was an apparent agreement to pay you $10,000; is that right?

A.  Yes.
Q.  What did Pastor Frank want from you during that  meeting?
A.  He wanted me to forgive him.
Q.  What else did he say about the $10,000 and what it was compensation for?
A.  Him and the unnamed man basically were pushing me just to sign this piece of paper and to say that, provided I forgive him, “The money is yours.” That was the only connection to it. That was what he wanted.
Q.  You say that you were asked by the unnamed man to sign a food-stained napkin; is that right?
A.  Yes.
Q.  Was there a document, like a typed document, that was put in front of you?
A.  No.
Q.  Did you subsequently sign some form of written agreement?
A.  There was nothing, as far as I could tell, on the napkin, and at that stage, sir, I just want to tell you that I was in a state of panic, but as I could not see anything on it, I just scribbled my name on it and Frank  kept badgering me about the forgiveness.

Source: AHA at the RC –  Transcript86/Page 9079
See for more detail: https://hillsongchurchwatch.com/2016/03/10/did-brian-houston-lie-to-ps-barbara-taylor/

AHA’s account of the McDonalds meeting in his statement to the RC:

“… 20. On or about late 2000, whilst Pastor Frank was still active in the church, I agreed to meet with him. The meeting was held at a McDonalds restaurant at Thornleigh, just up Pennant Hills Road. When I arrived at McDonalds, I saw Pastor Frank’s green Jaguar in the car park. Inside the restaurant I saw Pastor Frank sitting down next to a man whom I did not recognise [“the unnamed man”]. The unnamed man was eating a burger. Pastor Frank said words to the following effect:

“I want your forgiveness for this. I don’t want to die and have to face God with this on my head.”

The unnamed man then put a food-stained napkin down in front of me and words were said to the following effect
    Unnamed man: “You put your signature there and I’ll give you the $10,000.”
    Pastor Frank:     “Just do it and say you forgive me, and that’ll be it.”

At this stage, I was nearly going into a panic. I just wanted to get away from the whole situation. I signed the napkin. The unnamed man said words to the following effect – “All right, I’ll be in touch. I’ll send you a cheque.”

Pastor Frank then said words to the following effect: “If there’s any problems contact me or Brian but you’ll get your money.”

I left the restaurant after that.

21. About two months after my meeting with Pastor Frank at McDonalds, I telephoned Brian Houston as I had not yet received any money from Pastor Frank. We had a conversation to the following effect:

Me: “What’s happening with the payment I was promised? I agreed to forgive your  father.”
Brian: “Yes, ok, I’ll get the money to you. There’s no problem … You know, it’s your  fault all of this happened. You tempted my father.[Brian denied this.]
Me: “Why, did he molest you also?

Brian got very angry after that. He slammed the phone down after saying words to the effect of:  “You’ll be getting money.”

22. I’m certain that Brian Houston knew about the meeting that I had with Pastor Frank at McDonalds. I did not tell him about the meeting during our phone conversation however, he appeared to be aware of it and I therefore assumed that Pastor Frank had discussed it with him. Pastor Frank had also told me I could call Brian Houston if there was a problem so that made me believe that Pastor Frank would speak to Brian about the agreement made at McDonalds.

23. About half a month later a cheque in the sum of $10,000 arrived in the post. There was no correspondence of any sort with the cheque. I can not recall who the drawer of the cheque was.  …” 

[Welcome to the support and compassion offered by the Houstons. Bet these details don’t get in Brian’s book, ‘Live Love Lead‘ in 2015. Even in his book that he published in July 2000, “You Can Change Your Future” – none of Frank’s failure is mentioned. Instead Frank is heralded as a model leader. ]

Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=405edd6c-a5d3-4d14-b950-41088bfc30f0&type=exhibit&filename=STAT.0367.001.0001_R&fileextension=pdf

AHA was upset when Brian said that he [AHA] had tempted his father during the July phone call to Brian. Brian told the RC his father never mentioned it :


Source: (Trans88/Page 9328)


2000/06/26 Taylor writes to Brian upset that the AOGA still has not actioned the AHA matter.

Taylor was not informed about the AOGA executive meeting. Brian did not see fit to update her about any of the AHA matter. She had heard nothing and was upset because she thought they were covering it up.

20000626-Taylor-to-BrianHouColr

Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=87d70d3b-ac10-4051-9563-449b36d3ecd3&type=exhibit&filename=ACC.0006.001.0013_R&fileextension=pdf

For more detail: https://hillsongchurchwatch.com/2016/03/10/did-brian-houston-lie-to-ps-barbara-taylor/


2000/07 BRIAN’s book is published “You Can Change the Future”, Frank =hero

YouCanChangeTheFuture - Published july 2005

Published July, 2000.

Eight months later after Frank’s confession to paedophilia in late October 1999, Brian Houston published a book titled ‘You Can Change the Future: Living Beyond Today and Impacting the Generations Ahead‘, praising the life, ministry and person of his father… in which he forgot to mention his father was a pedophile (and was currently under discipline).

Clearly Brian would not be selling this book if he had been open and straight with his congregation and told the Hillsong Conference (July 2000) – the book was probably sold at the conference.

Source: https://churchwatchcentral.files.wordpress.com/2016/04/houston-generations.jpg?w=268&h=490

See commentary on this.


2000/07/17 Barbara Taylor’s notes of the phone conversation she had with Brian            

A. Brian is trying to convince Taylor he’s not covering it up, so gives her a kind of “progress report”.

B. Brian lied to Taylor about the meeting of Frank, AHA and elder.
It was the McDonalds meeting which was not a church meeting for AHA. Brian told the RC that Nabi was only there as a friend, not as an elder of the church. Or, did Brian lie to the RC?

C. NO MENTION OF any CHURCH ANNOUNCEMENT about Frank’s discipline.

D. Taylor thought Brian was ANGRY WITH HER

Brian’s progress account via phone to Barbara Taylor (her notes of the phone call):

20000719-Taylor-Notes-of-BrianConvo

Taylor comments at the 2014 RC about her letter to Brian:

Taylor was feeling desperate about having the situation resolved.

Brian did not inform Taylor or contact her since her only meeting with him on 20/11/1999. She called him out on his integrity and responsibility, and thought he was covering it up.

She had repeatedly requested counselling for AHA

Taylor felt REBUKED by Brian in the phone call.

Taylor didn’t agree with Brian that Frank had told the truth. Taylor thought Frank lied.

Brian told her that any future correspondence was to be by phone as he didn’t want staff to know about private matters as they open his mail.

Brian is angry, defensive. His father had been abused as a child.

See Brian lied to Barbara Taylor later about this meeting, or lied to the RC

Barbara Taylor Brian Houston Hillsong Royal Commission AHA Scandal

Brian Houston argued that what he did as a son of Frank Houston was not relevant to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to child sexual abuse (ie. not their business). Similarly, what Frank did with AHA was Frank’s business and nothing to do with Brian, the AOG executive or Hillsong. Brian gets to decide what is family business so who gets told what.

Brian states his attitude to the NZ victims (seems consistent with his treatment of AHA in that he wants them as distant as possible from his church and family). Brian felt no sense of responsibility, duty or response out of compassion:

The 2014 Royal Commission Findings said,

“151. It is submitted that Pastor Brian Houston did not feel it was appropriate, notwithstanding their request, to assist the New Zealand victims of his father whether as the National President of the Assemblies of God, as the Senior Pastor at Hillsong Church where his father had preached, or as his father’s son.”


2000/08/07 “Hillsong City Church” [name is not SCLC] has registered with the NSW Commission for Children and Young People 

“Hillsong City Church” were told they must report any completed relevant disciplinary proceedings for the prior 5 years which meant they should have reported Frank’s 1999 discipline by Oct 2000. They did not. Frank was an employee and submitted his retirement notice in Nov 2000.  It was announced to the congregation as a retirement in Jan 2001.

20000807-HIL.0001.003.0222-WWCToMays

The NSW Children’s Guardian Office says there is NO record of Frank’s discipline  reported (see letter 2014/10/01 ).  The RC made the enquiry and the response is below:

20141001NSWChildGuardianAboutNoFrankRecords

RC asked George Aghajanian about why he didn’t report Frank’s discipline to the Commission for Children and Young People as instructed, and why. (Letter 2014/10/09)

The questions from counsel asked Aghajanian:

“… Letter from NSW Commission for Children and Young People dated 7 August 2000
    1. Whether Hillsong Church or any of its predecessors reported any disciplinary          
         proceedings against Frank Houston to the NSW Commission for Children and
         Young People, including the suspension or removal of his credentials as a
         minister.
    2. If not, the reasons the Commission was not informed.     …”

2014/10/10 – George Aghajanian/Hillsong’s response to those questions: 

“Question 1 – No 

Question 2 – The matter was overlooked due to a lack of understanding at the time in the context of complying with the comprehensive legislative child protection regime that came into force in and around the year 2000.  …”

[Note: The instructions in the letter above from the CCYP were clear and there was a number to phone if George or John Mayes (business mgr) wanted clarification.
The 1999 discipline of Frank Houston regarding AHA had fully been determined, but Hillsong City Church did not report it. Frank was still an employee of “Hillsong City Church” until he submitted his resignation in late November 2000 after the Nov 2000 AOGA and AOGNZ investigation of additional allegations from NZ where Frank was disciplined again. This time his credentials were removed permanently as they had not been permanently removed in 1999, as required by the AOG Admin Manual.]

Here are some other explanations from George Aghajanian as to why they did not report Frank to police or DOCS:

From George Aghajanian’s statement to the RC (2014/09/29):

“… 16. The AHA allegation was dealt with the way it was for several reasons:
      a. this matter related to a situation that occurred over 30 years ago while Frank was                          still a pastor in New Zealand and did not involve SCLC, HCLC or Hillsong;
      b. the matter was immediately referred to the AOG for investigation;
      c. it was felt more appropriate that the matter was handled by our denomination                               due to the personal relationship of Frank to Brian; …  “

[Note:
a. George is acknowledging that the conflict of interest was recognised at the time.
b. Frank was their employee who had been disciplined in 1999 so it was mandatory to report him. ]

From a further statement from  George Aghajanian’s to the RC
(2014 – “summary details form”):

“.. As the alleged victims were adults at the time of the allegations and there were no new or  current reports of any further incidents with minors, Hillsong Church did not report FH to  DOCS or the police.  … “

[Note: the CCYP requested they report prior discipline by Oct 2000. Frank had been disciplined in 1999.
Note also the use of “victims”plural. He knew there was more than 1 victim.


2000/09-10? AOGNZ phones Brian about another child abuse victim NZ Psychologist

Brian meets with another victim of child abuse by Frank – when 14 yo.

Was originally from NZ but then living in Sydney. Brian met him for coffee.

The NZ victim had become a psychologist, wanted to speak to Brian’s church about child sexual abuse, receive an apology and asked for the church to pay for a course he wanted to do in the USA. He received none. (In Nov 22 2000 CLC/Hillsong special elders meeting decided to decline and referred him to the NZ AOG. – see those minutes below.) Note 44.

2000RCBrianHoustonStmt---RumoursMetNZPsychVictim

Source: 2014 RC Statement from Brian Houston


2000/11/22 AOGA Exec Meeting Minutes – Handle NZ abuse allegations

Note: Frank’s credentials had NOT been permanently removed.

They still plan to keep the matter quiet

This is the time that permanent removal is considered – IF the NZ allegations prove substantial

20001122-AOGa-Exec-Minutes-colour

Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=add26c5a-d6ea-4481-9fa9-94ee7472da1c&type=exhibit&filename=ACC.0001.001.0002_R&fileextension=pdf


2000/11/24 Frank submits his retirement letter to “Hillsong City Church”.

20001124-FrankResignsLetter

To be in Him is not a religion, a strict moral code or ceremonial creed. It is to know the very source of life, to dwell in Him and Him in us. For it to show in everything we do. For people around us to know that there is something different, a secret that they are anxious to find out.

This year our desire is that every adult, youth and child would experience Jesus.

We should never underestimate what a moment in His Presence will do. And what that moment will cause us to do. Our cause is to be the salt and light. We experience Jesus because His mission should be the concern of every believer; we are called to permeate every part of society.

Our prayer is that this conference would continue to revive the creators, the builders, the innovators, the leaders and those praying and acting powerfully in situations that are not always seen. That every single person would receive new vision and understand the impact that just one person who has had an encounter can have on their world.

We cannot wait to seek Him together and are counting down the days till we have the great privilege of hosting you, your family and friends at Presence Conference 2016!

In Him,

Phil & Chris Pringle 

YOU ARE
INVITED

<p style=”padding-left:30px;”><strong>Source: Phil Pringle, Presence Conference, http://www.presenceconference.com/, Accessed 15/04/2016.</strong></p>
<p><a href=”https://churchwatchcentral.files.wordpress.com/2016/04/proof_presenceconference_paganadvert_19-04-2016.jpg”><img class=” size-thumbnail wp-image-13098 aligncenter” src=”https://churchwatchcentral.files.wordpress.com/2016/04/proof_presenceconference_paganadvert_19-04-2016.jpg?w=150&#8243; alt=”proof_PresenceConference_PaganAdvert_19-04-2016″ width=”150″ height=”81″ /></a></p>
<p><em>* We are aware that Francis of Assissi never made this statement. We are acknowledging that this is something that many false teachers allude too in their false religious presentations. </em></p>
” data-medium-file=”” data-large-file=”” />

Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=ad931152-9307-4710-9b3b-86a0669d0332&type=exhibit&filename=HIL.0001.001.0008_R&fileextension=pdf


2000/11/29 AOGA Report of AOGA and AOGNZ investigation

There were 6 victims investigated by the AOGNZ. The AOGNZ had already apologised to them

John Lewis, Keith Ainge (AOGA ), Robert Fergusson (SCLC), met with Hazel and Frank Houston and Frank’s doctor – also an elder of SCLC.
[Was he the doctor that advised the AOGNZ saying Frank’s health was too poor for him to assist with their enquiries? What doctor gave that opinion?]

Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=9130468c-3bde-4a2c-8b1c-a8c26019b693&type=exhibit&filename=ACC.0001.001.0004_R&fileextension=pdf


2000/11/29 Hillsong Church Board Meeting – Discuss Frank’s retirement package ,

Confession is not signed

Refused to accommodate the NZ abuse victim (pay USA study payment)

No mention of child sexual abuse, just “apparent moral failure”

20001129HillsongEldersMeetingReFrankHouston

Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=2366f73a-df4e-4c8b-9b27-d244634cedc2&type=exhibit&filename=HIL.0001.001.0007_R&fileextension=pdf


2000/12/8 AOGA and AOGNZ prepare statement in case anyone enquires about Frank

There is NO suggestion about a 1999 investigation of an Australian victim. The reader will assume that all happened in NZ, and it was “serious moral failure”.

The intention is to cover up Frank’s failing as this response is ONLY to be used to answer privately those who raise the matter with the executive. It is only to be made public if rumors become extensive or Frank does not comply

20001208-AOGA-NZ-Agreed-prepared-stmt-re-Frank-Houston-moral-failure

Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=b1764d46-97df-4acf-9918-fd273e16987a&type=exhibit&filename=ACC.0001.001.0007&fileextension=pdf


.RC2001

2001/05/09 AOGNZ (Hetrick) asks Brian (Pres AOGA) about possible future announcement about Frank to his church or Australian fellowship.

Brian says “no plans” to make public announcement TO HIS CHURCH or TO THE AOGA fellowship.

So, Brian had NOT announced Frank’s failure before this time, nor had plans to in the future. In fact, the AOGA had agreed with the AOGNZ they would not make it public without letting the AOGNZ know first – so they can coordinate their response.

For Brian to have made an announcement about Frank’s discipline to the congregation, he would have been breaking an agreement, and as Ainge said, telling people Frank committed a crime (without them having gone though the court system) would leave them open to law

Brian had been in NZ talking to AOGNZ in April.

20010509BrianNoAnnctToAOGNZ

In Brian’s handwriting:

“Thanks for letter. Apologise for later reply. I had a good talk with Denis Humphreys and Ken Harrison when I was in Auckland in April.  At this point we are not planning to make any announcement over here.

Thankyou to the NZ executive for your wisdom in handling such a difficult and sensitive matter. BH “

Source: https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=ff308c47-430a-4e60-adb0-da3cbf96d3ce&type=exhibit&filename=HIL.0001.001.0016&fileextension=pdf


It is suggested by Philip Powell of CWM that the AOG was forced to go public due to rumours, largely because of the expose that they were running on Hillsong/CLC/Houston, in particular, the disclosure of information from Barney Coombes and Frank denying, due in Dec 2001 and Pat Mesiti’s fall from grace. Powell’s policy is to notify those named before going public so they can respond and the draft edited if needed.


2001/12/24 Email sent to ministers – serious moral failure, do not announce to congregations.

Finally AOGA advised ministers only and even then did not disclose the nature of the crime, that it involved a number of victims or that it occurred in Australia. They also conflated the 1999 AHA matter with the 2000 NZ investigation, hence hiding the 1999 mishandling and cover-up.

They instruct ministers to cover this up by not telling their congregations.

Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=f9d914a2-7d3b-49eb-bc44-d6989f849dc6&type=exhibit&filename=HIL.0001.001.0011_R&fileextension=pdf

See article for analysis: https://churchwatchcentral.com/2015/07/18/royal-commission-03-review-of-letter-from-aog-to-all-ministers-damage-control/

Note that referring to Frank’s failure as criminal activity was a reason not to go public with the nature of Frank’s discipline. How could the AOGA be open about Frank’s child sexual abuse, a crime, if it had not been determined by the courts as a crime.

20011208-AingeSaysWhyNotMentionedPedophilia

Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=e29f12fa-1366-4291-a902-09187a0aa1c4&type=transcriptpdf&filename=Transcript-(Day-88)&fileextension=pdf


2001/12/21 NZAog writes to ministers to inform them about Frank Houston’s serious sexual offences.

Date on orig document fax says 21/12/2001. Philip Powell records it as 2001 as well. The “2002” on the doc is wrong.

No need to tell congregations.

Full content on CWM site – refers to Jim Williams

20021221-NZAOG-to-ministers-re-Frank-Houston


2001/12 CFTF Magazine Stop Press – Frank Houston’ Moral Failure – Philip Powell

CWatch contends that PP did not know about AHA, just the NZ offences from years ago. Also PP was the one to break the Mesiti story to the public – hence the Mesiti and Frank media coverage in March 2002.

Powell may have been the catalyst for the AOG to make the discipline of Frank (and Williams and Mesiti) public.Powell normally contacts the named persons in his article prior to publishing allowing for a discussion/response and correction.

Brian announced Mesiti’s discipline 8 mths after. It seems Brian and Hillsong drip feed truth when forced to.

Powell wrote,

” … As soon as word was out about Frank’s discipline (AOGA email to ministers 24 Dec, 2001), Philip Powell of Contending Earnestly for The Faith magazine announced it via a STOP PRESS.The point – any announcement news made to ministers or congregation members  travels fast. Why has it taken 2 years to announce Frank’s discipline? Doesn’t sound like Brian was letting his congregation know about Frank’s discipline within the first 12 months after it was dealt with in 1999. The media picked it up in the next few months.

His magazine with this stop press plus an article on Hillsong and the Houstons can be found here. Philip Powell was very helpful to Frank’s victim, Peter Fowler (AHG). …”

http://www.cwm.org.au/downloads/viewdownload/33-2001-issues/68-pdf-version

20011225-CEFT-Stop-Press-Frank-Moral-Failure.jpg

200112CEFT-STOP-Press-GuiltyImmoralityCol

Source: http://www.cwm.org.au/downloads/viewdownload/33-2001-issues/68-pdf-version


2002/01 CWM – Philip Powell Publishes Houstons Unmasked part 2 in The Vanguard

In this article, Powell exposes the systemic problems in the AOG and Frank Houston’s bullying, opportunism and mysticism. Scandals are noted and Powell ends with an open letter to Frank Houston, Brian Houston and the AOGA.

Powell does not know about the victim AHA being Australian and can only go on the information from the email sent to all the AOGA minsters in December, 2001. That is, he couldn’t tell the moral failure was child sexual abuse from the email.

Powell writes,

“Part 2: AoG – Australasia in the Spot Light — PHILIP L. POWELL”

“… Was Mr Houston implying that I had broken one of God’s laws and would suffer the consequences? Or was he, in the light of recent disclosures, engaging in some bizarre self-judgement regarding his own hidden past?
   I waited for quite some time after this bullying effort by FH then wrote him a letter in which I presented him with a scenario of hidden immoral conduct by a church leader whom I did not name. I stated that he, Frank Houston, would know who the unnamed person was. I suggested that he had the capacity and authority to deal with the situation and that he would be wise to do so. There was no response so I waited and observed that there was no change over a reasonable period of time. I then called Frank’s church and asked the receptionist for a private fax number where only Frank would see a private and confidential facsimile letter. I was provided with a number with the assurance that no one would receive the communication other than Frank.
   In my confidential letter I referred to my earlier letter regarding the unnamed person and then said, “Frank you are the man.” I received an early response signed by Houston, denying what he called “all accusations” and threatening me with legal action. He intimated that any further correspondence from me would not be answered. I wrote back immediately inviting FH to go ahead with his threat. I suggested that his lawyer would probably explain to him the difference between an accusation and an allegation. That was during the mid and later 1990s. If required or considered helpful CWM will publish letters that passed between FH and Philip Powell over the years on our web site. We have nothing to hide.
   In 1999 someone must have made a serious accusation against FH, which, according to the official AoG letters written in December 2001, became the basis for a two-stage private discipline. These letters beg the two questions: Why was the discipline private in 1999 and 2000? Why was there a more public disclosure in December 2001?
1999, the year when Brian disciplined his father was a significant year for the Houstons. Frank’s “The Release of the Human Spirit” and son Brian’s “You Need More Money” and the business edition of “Get a Life” were all published that year. Bobbie Houston’s (Brian’s wife) “I’ll Have What She’s Having” was published in 1998.
   The names of those who endorsed Frank Houston’s book reads like a “who’s who” from the false prophets and false teachers camp -Tommy Tenney (God Chasers), Pat Mesiti (Hills Christian Life Centre (now disgraced), Dr Michael L. Brown (ex Brownsville AoG Pensa-cola), Bayless Conley (CCC _ USA), Ray McCauley (South Africa), John Arnott (Toronto), Brian Houston (President AoG, Australia). …”

Source: http://www.christian-witness.org/archives/van2002/houston2_15.html


2002/03/25 Fax from Brian Houston to Kelly Burke at the Sydney Morning Herald

Does Kelly Burke know Frank was molesting young boys? NO. In fact Brian knows of 8 abused boys at this stage, one in Australia. From Brian all Burke learns is that Frank had some moral failure in New Zealand over 30 years previous and it hadn’t even been proven that people were damaged.

Brian conflated he 1999 and 2000 investigations into the one AGOA/NZ investigation.

If there hadn’t been many people asking questions the AOGA intended to keep it under wraps. If anyone did ask, they would be told: “serious moral failure”, not child sexual abuse. Brian has actively misled Kelly Burke.

And what does he mean, “if it is proven that the actions of Frank Houston have damaged these complainants, it would be their prerogative to pursue it further if they deem it necessary”?
Is he suggestion, for example, AHA has not had his life damaged? That it has not been proven to Brian – who was the sole investigator of the AHA case, who spoke to AHA’s mother? Brian spoke personally to another victim, now a psychologist. Is Brian suggesting that there really isn’t a case of these men being damaged because nothing has really been proven?

Brian’s response to Kelly Burke;s questions:

20020325-Brian-Houston-to-Kelly-Burke-SMH

Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=665b2cc9-e735-410b-9273-7f18d5ec27ef&type=exhibit&filename=HIL.0001.001.0059_R&fileextension=pdf

2002/03/27 Kelly Burke (SMH) publishes article:

Pat Mesiti seems to have been covered up in a similar way and Frank is only noted as committing moral failure. Evidence that Brian covered it up.

Someone has contacted SMH – considering legal action (maybe Peter Fowler had)
Kelly Burke writes,

Disgraced evangelist in hiding after being stripped of licence

Kelly Burke, Religious Affairs Writer
SMH, Wednesday, 27 March 2002, Page 8
NEWS AND FEATURES, © Southern Cross College, 2004

He was one of Australia’s most prominent and internationally lauded evangelists a champion of Christian youth and a motivational speaker who convinced thousands that the pursuit of money and fame was a godly business. Now Pat Mesiti is in disgrace and in hiding, sacked as national director of Australian Christian Churches and stripped of his licence to minister.

Gone is the Pat Mesiti Ministries signage that distinguished the entrance of his Castle Hill mansion. But the 4000-strong congregation of the Assemblies of God church Hillsong, where Mr Mesiti is based, remains in the dark. According to Assemblies of God (AoG) documents obtained by the Herald Mr Mesiti was sacked after allegations of sexual misconduct. It is understood the allegations were not of a criminal nature.

We are aware that the above information may be a surprise and shock to some of you and therefore we have deliberately chosen to restrict this letter to our ordained and probationary ministers, the confidential document said. We cannot see any reason for this to be announced to your church or further afield.

The national president of AoG, Brian Houston, who is also Hillsongs senior pastor, denied there was a cover-up. This whole area of sex abuse and predatory behaviour is devastating … but I believe we have tried to deal with this issue with integrity and honesty, said Mr Houston, speaking from Los Angeles. But the scandal may prove devastating on more than one front for the church, which has spent two years rebranding itself as Australian Christian Churches and persuading other less powerful pentecostal denominations to climb on board.

In 2000 [retirement was announced Jan, 2001] Mr Houston was forced to sack his father[Frank retired, was not sacked], Frank, after he confessed [in Oct 1999]  to what the churchs national executive has described as serious moral failure [paedophilia]while he was an AoG minister in New Zealand [but abuse was done while ministering in Australia]. Mr Houston senior was NSWs most senior AoG figure and the man credited with converting the champion jockey Darren Beadman, who later trained as an AoG pastor. 

The AoGs national executive vice-president, John Lewis, conducted the Frank Houston investigation at the invitation of his son [Brian was not present at the 2000 AOGA exec meeting when they decided how to investigate the NZ abuses (appointing John Lewis and Keith Ainge). However, he was present at the 1999 AOGA exec meeting for the initial Australian allegation from AHA. Brian was the sole AOGA investigator to deal with both victim and perpetrator despite his conflict of interest, was the sole source of information to the AOGA for their determination. They ignored AOGA procedure and did not report Frank to the police.]

Mr Lewis said the offences were so serious that Mr Houston senior, now in his early 80s, was not even given the option of quietly retiring. The Herald has been contacted by one of Mr Houstons alleged victims, who is now considering legal action against the church.
[Is the SMH aware the offence is paedophilia? Even the AOGA is complicit in hiding the nature of Frank’s crime. Frank remained employed after the AHA discipline. He retired after the 2000 discipline when the AOGA permanently removed his credentials.]

Brian Houston said that of the AoGs 2000 Australian ministers, no more than five in any year were exposed and disciplined for sexual misconduct. He went on to defend the former AoG New Zealand general superintendent Jim Williams [links the type of Frank’s offence to sexual misconduct – female affairs], who serves as a pastor in Brisbane but whose licence in New Zealand was permanently revoked for sexual misconduct. Mr Mesiti is undergoing what the church terms a three-year restoration process [female affairs] .

CAPTION: ILLUS: Glory days … Pat Mesiti of Australian Christian Churches. Glory days … Pat Mesiti, former national director of Australian Christian Churches. (Appeared in the Early edition only).

Source: http://webjournals.ac.edu.au/ojs/index.php/ADPCM/article/view/175/172


2002/03 Peter Fowler contacts Philip Powell (info from mailout published Dec 2002)

Philip Powell / CWM assists Peter Fowler but does not make the matter public until Fowler decides it is necessary due to an uncooperative AGONZ and Houstons – goes public in Dec. 2002. The 2002 letter has info on lead-up to that point.

“In March 2002, Peter Fowler (formerly of Lower Hutt, New Zealand), contacted Philip Powell alleging that he had been sexually abused while in the AoG-NZ membership.

Peter Fowler had tried contacting the AoG-NZ Executive quietly, to obtain satisfaction and resolution to this matter. However, apart from a doubting reply, nothing has been resolved, so Peter Fowler has now decided to go public  [assume Dec 2002, date of publication] in an attempt to urge the AoG-NZ to treat the matter adequately and with despatch. …”

Source: http://www.christian-witness.org/past_mailers/retired/dec02mm.html 


2002/4/2 AOGA Executive meeting – review Hazel’s claim Frank’s discipline is too harsh

What is too severe, the monetary package (of which Hillsong is in charge) or not being allowed to minister which the AOGA decides?

20020402-AOGA-Exec-Meeting---Hazel-Houston-Complains-Severity-of-FH-Discipline

Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=eac72e4e-7e8e-4673-81a9-55e06a5201c8&type=exhibit&filename=ACC.0001.001.0022&fileextension=pdf


2002/04 Peter Fowler engaged a lawyer in Auckland to contact the NZ AoG regarding  allegations,   [source: email from Fowler to Powell]

Fowler is seeking a meeting with the AOGNZ with a view to discuss possible compensation.

“The AoGNZ lawyers advised my lawyer that Houston was suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s but that the church would investigate my allegations.”
In advanced Alzheimer’s disease, most of the cortex is seriously damaged. The brain shrinks dramatically due to widespread cell death. Individuals lose their ability to communicate, to recognize family and loved ones and to care for themselves.

Has Frank’s poor health been exaggerated?
In Jan 2004, Frank’s pastor was asking if Frank was allowed to engage in ministry to some extent eg. praying, deliver a prophetic message, like others in congregation. He had been attending prayer and Seniors meetings and Sunday Services faithfully. It does not seem Frank has the symptoms of Adv Alzheimer’s.]20040130-Ian-Zema-to-Keith-Ainge-re-Franks-Disc-standing

The AOGNZ advised that they were sending a senior member of their executive to Sydney to meet with Houston’s representatives and that they would respond after they had considered the outcome of their enquiries. That meeting did not happen until a year later – 4/2003.  Fowler wrote,

“Dear Philip

I am writing to thank you for the assistance and support you have provided, since I first contacted you in March*1 about my allegations that I was sexually abused by Frank Houston in 1972.
 
I had successfully blocked the memory of the sexual abuse which I suffered thirty years ago as a teenager, when I was a member of the Lower Hutt Assembly of God in New Zealand. This memory of those events only emerged again during therapy in 1997. However, at that time I did not feel ready to share this further or seek any form of reconciliation. However, earlier this year [2002] I felt an overwhelming need to achieve some form of healing and closure to this terrible situation. After an Internet search revealed your published investigation of Houston and his past actions, I became aware that he had been removed from the ministry for “serious moral failure” in both Australia and New Zealand. I sensed that I was clearly not the only victim of this man’s abuse and that I needed to come forward and reveal what had happened to me. From the moment I first contacted you I felt that you treated my allegations with a sense of respect and sympathy, which I greatly appreciate.
 
Had it not been for the detailed investigations which you have published, I may not have been able to make contact with you, nor benefit from the many people within the Christian community who have offered their support and understanding, especially Rev. Barney Coombs in Canada and Pastor Don Barry in Hamilton, NZ.  I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your help and to up-date you on the progress of my attempts to achieve some sense of resolution.
 
In April [2002] I engaged a lawyer in Auckland to contact the NZ AoG regarding my allegations, seeking a meeting with them with a view to discuss possible compensation. The AoG lawyers advised my lawyer  that Houston was suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s but that the church would investigate my allegations. They advised that they were sending a senior member of their executive to Sydney to meet with Houston’s representatives and that they would respond after they had considered the outcome of their enquiries.

…See rest of this email later: 9 Dec 2002

Source: http://www.christian-witness.org/aog/pf_plp.html

Transcript of letter FROM Neil Hetrick to Fowler:

“General Secretary, Assemblies of God in New Zealand, TO Peter Fowler

Dear Mr Fowler
I am in receipt of your Email*1 of the 27th November 2002.
    I cannot recall the issue of your resignation from the Lower Hutt A/G you refer to in your letter. In my recollection of such matters, these were handled by the church staff and not the college staff. I belonged to the latter group. No church related issues came to my notice.
    Although I am General Secretary of Assemblies of God in New Zealand, this position does not include Executive member rights and privileges and therefore I am not in a position to discuss the issues you raise in your letter.
    Your original contact with the A/G NZ was through your solicitor, and the Executive has responded to you through this avenue. Further communications will be forthcoming.

Yours faithfully, Neil Hetrick
Received by PF on 6th December 2002
*1 ‘Email’ refers to the letter dated 27th November 2002 addressed to NH “

Source: http://www.christian-witness.org/aog/nh_pf.html



2002/06 CWM (Powell) publishes “A History of Hillsong” – June 2002 

Statements from the AoG group

A History of Hillsong

Hillsong [conference] was born in late 1986 through a series of conversations between Mark and Darlene Zschech and Geoff Bullock.
    The first Hillsong was run in March 1987. The principle provision was centred around an open forum where artists and ministers could share their gifts and talents to mutually benefit the body of Christ.
    In 1988 Hillsong was run in July. This was done to avoid conflict with the two other major Christian Arts Conferences at the time: ACMS at Cooma in January and Black Stump over the October long weekend. All three conferences shared the same team of artists, teachers and ministers.  …  lists albums”
    The Hillsong conferences at the time drew heavily on these influences giving each music team their own night to showcase their styles, mission ethics and evangelism techniques. During the day the pastors and leaders would discuss the “why’s and hows” of their particular approach. The whole idea was based on presenting a biblical model to inspire others to reach their community with the Gospel.
    Hillsong grew exponentially. In the early 90’s the conference moved from the Hills CLC warehouse to the Hills Centre. The day programme being run in the local High School. In 1993 multiple rallies replaced the evening service.
   In 1994 Youth Rallies and Children’s seminar were added as well as a new leadership conference: Nation Builders which was held in the week preceding Hillsong.
    In 1995 the evening programme moved to multiple services at The Homebush Sports Stadium. Throughout the 90’s the influence of Hillsong grew. An advisory board was instigated representing the major Christian leadership in Australia. International speakers and music ministers gathered from all over the world. Hillsong joined forces with Integrity Music and artists of international calibre shared the stage with the Hillsong team.
   In the late 90’s the programme moved to the new Hillsong headquarters at Castle Hill and became a two week event and Satellite Seminars were held in New Zealand. Multiple Evening Rallies were held for the first time at the Sydney Opera House. Hills CLC was renamed “The Hillsong Church”.
    As Hillsong moved into the new millennium a new fellowship was born out of the synergy of the Hillsong and Nation Builders conferences — Australian Christian Churches.

Geoff Bullock

A letter from Bobbie Houston

Dear friends,

Welcome to what I believe will be our finest year together yet. Towards the end of December, I felt my spirit quicken from the book of Haggai, which contains a simple yet powerful promise of blessing.
    The book relates to the people of God giving priority to ‘priority’. After several years of freedom, they had become preoccupied with their own personal worlds, at the expense of the ‘extension’ of the Kingdom. Haggai assured them that if they gave priority to God’s work they would prosper. Several thousand years later that promise still holds and I felt it quickened to us as a church as we enter 2002.
    Of late the very word ‘blessing’ rings in my spirit. When I verbalise that word or pray it over you, as I so often do, my spirit wells and it feels as though my heart is going to explode.
    Friends, God wants to bless you. He wants to open the windows of heaven over you and he wants cause everything you do to prosper. Don’t deny Him that pleasure. Delight… and He will give you the desires of your heart. Seek… and you shall find. Honour… and blessing will follow. Absorb these words and see if 2002 won’t be your personal finest yet…
Love you forever,”
Brian and Bobbie Houston, Senior Pastors, Hillsong Church
http://www.hillsong.com/church/welcome.shtml

Click to enlarge

The Church That I See

“The Church that I see is a Church of influence. A Church so large in size that the cities and nations cannot ignore it. A Church with a message so clear that lives are changed forever. A Church growing so quickly that buildings struggle to contain the increase.
    I see a Church whose heartfelt praise and worship touches heaven and changes earth. With worship that exalts Jesus Christ through powerful songs of faith and hope. I see a Church whose altars are constantly filled with repentant sinners responding to His call to salvation.
    Yes, the Church that I see is so dependent on the Holy Spirit that nothing will stop it nor stand against it. A Church whose people are unified, praying and full of Spirit-filled believers.
    The Church that I see has a message so clear that lives are changed forever and potential is fulfilled through the power of His word. A message beamed to the peoples of the earth through their television screens.
    I see a Church so compassionate that people are drawn from impossible situations into loving and friendly circle of hope, where answers are found and acceptance is given. I see a people so kingdom minded that they count whatever the cost and pay whatever the price to see revival sweep this land.
    The Church that I see is a Church so committed to raising, training and empowering a leadership generation to reap the end-time harvest that all of its ministries are consumed with this goal. I see a Church whose head is Jesus, whose help is the Holy Spirit and whose focus is the Great Commission. Yes, the Church that I see could well be our church, Hillsong Church.”

Brian & Bobbie Houston
Senior Pastors, Hillsong Church
http://www.hillsong.com/church/vision.shtmlHillsong Church


Mission Statement

“To reach and influence the world by building a large bible based church, changing mindsets and empowering people to lead and impact every sphere of life”

This mission is outworked through two major worship centres (City and Hills), a city-wide network of cellgroups, contributing ministries and outreach services.

http://www.hillsong.com/church/mission.shtml  “

Source: http://www.christian-witness.org/aog/hillsong1.html 

In a sermon on 29 Nov, 2009 “One of His Greatest Challenges”, Brian speaks about the 1995 exodus of Geoff Bullock and friends:

https://youtu.be/nKLoYnqsAiI?t=37s

“… In 1995, it’s almost 15 years ago. And, even then, we really had in our heart to really be a church whose praise and worship was sung by THE church. You know, believe for the praise to go out under our anoi. [?] It was beginning at the time to happen. You know in 1995 we recorded an album, whatever that album was called that year. One year later, we recorded what I think may have been “God is in the House”.  And almost all of the key people who one year before had been part of our church and part of our worship ministry, were gone. As a matter of fact, in a few months, they were recording another live worship album somewhere else in another church nearby here. ANd as I look about it and think about it, the drummer,  he was gone, the bass player, he was gone, the lead guitarist was gone, the keyboard player was gone, the worship leader was gone. Quite a number of the front line singers were gone. The guy who played the brass was gone.  The sound man was gone. I mean it really was a tough time.

And I can remember, you know for me personally, just a sense of confusion, didn’t really understand exactly what was happening. In terms of the size of the church it was only a small group of people but they were significant people and it was a big deal. And I remember feeling a literal grief, a literal grief, over friendships, and over the situation. And also just a sense, something had come to an end in a devastating way. And the church moved on.

But here’s the amazing thing. Pretty that week, a 16 year old girl wrote a song called “Jesus, what a beautiful name”. One of the great sings that came out of the life of this church. Pretty well, exactly at that time, a young Baptist guy came up from Melbourne, called Reuben Morgan, and wrote songs on the next album like “This is my desire, let the weak say I am strong”. Darlene Czech stepped up to the plate and the rest is history. And do you know what something, it can be so easy to look and say that was all obvious, but it wasn’t. It actually wasn’t. No. I was so  in my own strength of wanting to hold on to an old wine skin. And believing all that old wanted to do was in an old wine skin, but the reality is, and this is in no way any disrespect to any individual or any person,   this is about the principle. The truth is that the old wine skin was not going to handle the new wine that God had for us. And that’s the way it is life. That’s the way it’s often in our own lives. And we are wanting to hold on to the familiar and old wine skins, not understanding that the way God works, the way creation works. …”


2002/07/12 (SMH) “The Lord Will Provide” article by Kelly Burke

Article notes Hillsong’s annual conference. Both Mesiti and Frank Houston still, are only known for “moral failure

Media is still unaware of the nature of Frank’s failure hence it is not in the public arena yet. If Brian had made an announcement to his congregation, then media would be aware, and Brian would be more forthcoming. Not even Powell knew the nature of the Frank’s discipline at this stage.

“… On his Christian Witness Ministries Web site, Philip Powell, a former general secretary of the Assemblies of God denomination which Houston now serves as national president, maintains a constant scrutiny of Hillsong, detailing events over the past year which have included the sackings of Hillsong evangelist Pat Mesiti and Houston’s father, Frank – both for transgressions described by the church simply as “moral failure”.  …”

Source: SMH, “The Lord Will Provide” by Kelly Bourke, http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/07/12/1026185109962.html


2002/7/>13 Contending Earnestly for The Faith Mailout Update
regarding Houston/Hillsong/Mesiti scandal

Philip Powell, editor of CWM, reports,

“2. HOUSTONS & HILLSONG

Since CWM went public on the news about Pat Mesiti and Frank Houston a big debate has been raging among Christians in Sydney, with the secular media again getting involved. You can research some of this on our web site at ..
a…/aog.html
b… /archives/van2003 .html

It has been one of the major topics on the CWM Forum Ray Hadley  of radio 2GB ran a forum on Hillsong during the week of their big international Conference concentrating on the Pat Mesiti scandal. He suggested all is not as well with Hillsong as the PR machine is indicating and asked for comments. One of CWM’s readers was the first on the line. During the programme someone quoted the CWM website for more information. Later Brian Houston admitted on the show that his father had been stood down, as he was guilty of sexual abuse.

On Saturday July 13, 2002 the prestigious “Sydney Morning Herald” ran a story by their religious affairs editor Kelly Burke about the Hillsong Conference, which she attended on the opening night. Most of the article relates to the time spent by Brian Houston on taking up the offering from the 15,400 delegates. You can read the story at …/php_cwm/articles/art_art.php3?article=33 “

Source: http://www.christian-witness.org/past_mailers/retired/jul02mm.html#Anchor-TABLE%20O-46004


2002/09/10 Brian Houston refuses to play a role and assist AOGNZ with enquiries regarding Frank

The 2014 Royal Commission Findings said,

“151. It is submitted that Pastor Brian Houston did not feel it was appropriate, notwithstanding their request, to assist the New Zealand victims of his father whether as the National President of the Assemblies of God, as the Senior Pastor at Hillsong Church where his father had preached, or as his father’s son.”

Brian wrote to the AOGNZ,

20020910-Brian-Houston-to-AOGNZ-No-Involvement

Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=3da76811-e37a-46a6-90b1-c32bf3212cf8&type=exhibit&filename=HIL.0001.001.0028_R&fileextension=pdf


2002/09/27 Peter Fowler gets letter from the lawyers representing the AoGNZ

“questioning the validity of my allegations and using this to delay any serious response.”

“They have also consistently declined to meet me or accept my offer to assist them with their investigation.”

The letter below (written 9 Dec 2002) is from Peter Fowler to Philip Powell. It refers to the letter from AOGNZ lawyers, giving progress report:

“… In April*2 [2002] I engaged a lawyer in Auckland to contact the NZ AoG regarding my allegations, seeking a meeting with them with a view to discuss possible compensation. The AoG lawyers advised my lawyer  that Houston was suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s but that the church would investigate my allegations. They advised that they were sending a senior member of their executive to Sydney to meet with Houston’s representatives and that they would respond after they had considered the outcome of their enquiries.

However, after several months all we received was a letter from the lawyers representing the AoG dated 27 September 2002, which questioned my memory of the precise dates and peripheral circumstances surrounding my allegations.  Essentially, they were questioning the validity of my allegations and using this to delay any serious response. They have also consistently declined to meet me or accept my offer to assist them with their investigation.

On  the 27th of November 2002,  I wrote directly to Neil Hetrick, who is currently the General Secretary of the NZ AoG and was also a Pastor who I knew thirty years ago at the Lower Hutt AoG.  I asked him to assist me in my quest for justice and to at least listen to my allegations. I have attached a copy of his response, which is devoid of sympathy, charity or any sense of pastoral understanding and care.
However this response is consistent with how the AoG has handled this matter from the very start.

I have responded with a letter to Wayne Hughes, who is the General Superintendent, a copy of which is also attached.  …”  [see rest of email at 9 Dec 2002]

SOURCE: http://www.christian-witness.org/aog/pf_plp.html


2002/11 Tanya Levin records Brian telling his church about Frank’s “moral failure”.

People in Glass Houses: An insider’s story of a life in & out of Hillsong, by Tanya Levin, 2007, Black Inc.

[Note: Tanya would have been reading CWM website, editor Phillip Powell for Houston story.]

Ch11 – noting when Brian announces Pat Mesitit’s failure, then months later, Frank’s – after she had queried why her Hillsong friend new nothing when Tanya had seen something on the internet.

‘I know I’ve been away for a while,’ I said, ‘but I didn’t know Frank got in trouble too. How come you never mentioned Frank?’ She said that she’d never heard.

Odd. There on the internet in black and white was a lengthy article on the history of the Houston family. The writer suggested that Frank had not moved to Australia on the basis of a vision but to escape disciplinary action after some bad behaviour. It was written there as if it were old news.

Not so. Jewels called her friend Megan to check it out. Megan was Brian’s personal assistant. When Jewels called back, she said Megan had told Pastor Brian, who had responded immediately. ‘I’m going to resolve this thing this weekend,’ he had said. This sounded like good news. It had been three months since the last scandal. I was ready to sit through another morning service. Time for another trip to Pleasantville.

The message didn’t set the stage for what was about to happen. By this time, it seemed, Brian didn’t know what sort of foundation to lay. The rumours were that Frank Houston had been involved in paedophilia.  …

Brian Houston stood on stage that day in November 2002 to describe what he later told the press was the hardest time of his life. He also told the media that be had been completely open and honest with his church and had used words like ‘predator’ and ‘sex offender’. That simply didn’t happen, at least not on that day. I was sitting still this time, objectively, as it were. I hadn’t really known Frank. It was different from the way it had been with Pat. This time I was watching_ without the same emotion.

Brian began swiftly. ‘About two years ago, George Aghajanian received a phone call from someone making some allegations about my father. I did the toughest thing of my Iife and went around to my father and confronted him. He broke down and confessed that the allegations were true.

‘I immediately stepped aside and let the investigators from the National Executive do their job. My father was found guilty of “serious moral failure” and his credentials were taken away from him.’ (At this point I was waiting for the punchline, and had a near-irresistible urge to yell out like the boys used to do in the old days, ‘What did he DO, Brian?’)

‘This has devastated my family. We haven’t told our daughter yet, but the boys know and they’re doing okay. My son came into my room the other night, and he said, “Dad, I still love Jesus.”

‘You know, my dad loved God. And while he was deeply repentant for the mistakes he had made, it didn’t change his love for God.’ 


2002/11 Emma Whale records Brian telling his church about Frank’s “moral failure”.

This article was published on the 7th of October, 2014. This mean Emma and her friend heard an AOG Pastor and Brian Houston announce the issues with Frank in 2002. They also confirm that it was procedure for all AOG Pastors to inform people of Frank’s “moral failure.” Emma’s friend, “walked away believing it was about financial mismanagement, and was later shocked to learn it was actually about child sex abuse.”

I am no stranger to this scandal. For many years – perhaps 12 all up – I went to a Hillsong “sister” church and I remember sitting in the congregation when it was announced that Frank had had a “moral failing” and would no longer be an AOG pastor. “Moral failing.” It kind of says everything and nothing all at once. A very dear friend was actually in the Hillsong congregation when the “moral failing” was announced by Brian Houston (Frank’s son) himself. It was a judiciously worded announcement, constructed with care. In fact, my friend walked away believing it was about financial mismanagement, and was later shocked to learn it was actually about child sex abuse.

Source: Emma Whale, ON THE AOG ABUSE ALLEGATIONS…, Emma J Blythe, https://souljourney.me/2014/10/07/on-the-aog-abuse-allegations/, Published 07/10/2015. (Accessed 07/03/2016.) [Source]


2002/11/27 Peter Fowler  wrote directly to Neil Hetrick,  the Gen Sec of the NZ AoG

“Hetrick was also a Pastor who I [Fowler] knew thirty years ago at the Lower Hutt AoG.

I asked him to assist me in my quest for justice and to at least listen to my allegations. I have attached a copy of his response, which is devoid of sympathy, charity or any sense of pastoral understanding and care.”

Peter Fowler’s [victim of Frank Houston] letter to Hetrick:

“… Pastor Neil Hetrick
General Secretary
Assemblies of God in New Zealand
Auckland

Dear Mr Hetrick

In April of this year*1 my solicitor contacted your organisation to advise you of my allegation that Frank Houston sexually abused me in 1972, when I was a teenager and a member of the AoG church in Lower Hutt and Houston was your General Superintendent. Your response was to conduct an internal investigation, which appears to have been motivated by the desire to discredit my allegations, rather than to seek the truth. Despite several offers to assist you with your enquiries, you have refused to communicate with me directly and declined to discuss my version of what occurred.

I also conducted an investigation into the illicit actions of Houston while he was both a Pastor and General Superintendent of the NZ AoG and I’m sure that you will be well aware of what I uncovered. The action of both the Australian and NZ AoG to ban Houston from the ministry for “Serious moral failure” is evidence enough that other allegations have been made and that you had sufficiently established their authenticity to justify taking such action against him.  

Several Pastors and prominent church members past and present, in Australia, New Zealand and Canada and the UK assisted me with my enquiries. This investigation confirmed both Houston’s history of sexual abuse and the consistent attempts to cover-up his behaviour. I understand that this sorry history has already contributed to at least one church in NZ ceasing their affiliation with the AoG and that others are contemplating taking similar action.

I am writing directly to you now to question your own role in what happened to me. At the time Houston abused me, you were also a Pastor of the Lower Hutt AoG and you had certainly met me on several occasions. At that time, did you not think it unusual that a teenage member of the church, who had been baptised in the church (by Pastor Uren), suddenly stopped attending and then wrote a formal letter of resignation? Did you not feel compelled in your pastoral duty to investigate why this occurred, or at least ensure that one of the other Pastors made such an enquiry? Perhaps there was no more desire back then to uncover the truth about Houston than there appears to be now, thirty years later.

You have already been advised of the specific nature of Houston’s sexual abuse and I will not go into the details again here. I admit that after thirty years, my initial recollection of the events may have been inaccurate in relation to the precise dates and peripheral circumstances. However, I can assure you that the abuse did occur as I have documented, when I was with Houston in Wanganui in 1972. Since my solicitor contacted your organization in April, you appear to have focused your responses on challenging the precise details of my allegations, presumably to dissuade me from pursuing effective legal action. However, in following such a course you may have overlooked the very significant and long-term impact that this experience has had on my life. The negative forces that were unleashed by the experience were extremely powerful and I can assure you that they endure to this day.  

While the NZ Police have been sympathetic to me and my allegations, they have advised that due to Houston’s age, health and time away from New Zealand, it is unlikely that he could be extradited to face criminal charges. Based on your response to date, I sense that any compensation or even reconciliation and apology from your organization, appears highly unlikely. Ironically, had this abuse occurred in the Catholic Church, at least they would have put in place internal procedures to investigate the allegations and enable both parties to give their evidence before an independent arbitrator. However, it appears the Assemblies of God remain a closed and insular organisation seeking only to protect your image and finances. Genuine Christian compassion and a duty of care to your members appear to be absent from your mission.

Based on the information that I have received, I am convinced that Houston has left a trail of victims behind him over his long career of abuse. I suspect that many of these victims are in NZ and like myself, were probably associated with your Church at one time. I believe that it is important that other victims come forward and I am hoping that my actions will create a climate where it is easier for them to do so. If there are others who are willing to speak out, it may make a difference to the eventual outcome of this terrible breach of trust and respect in a Minister of God.

I would be grateful if you would at least talk with me about these events and work with me to uncover the truth. If not, I intend to continue my pursuit for justice in every way possible. Maybe there is someone else who will succeed with a prosecution either in NZ or Australia. Based on the history of your organisation’s response to my allegations and in the interests of ensuring full public disclosure, I have copied this letter to several interested parties and to those who have helped me in this matter.

Once again, I want to extend an offer to assist your organisation with your enquiries to uncover the truth about this evil man. While the AoG may have been involved in attempts to cover-up Houston’s behaviour in the past and this course of action may have allowed further abuse to occur, I accept that we can all be guilty of such errors of judgment. However, it is never too late for the truth. You are in a position to help me and perhaps many other victims seeking a sense of closure, justice and healing from these sad events.

Yours sincerely
Peter Fowler
27th November 2002
P.O. Box 1448, Potts Point, NSW 1335, AUSTRALIA, Tel: +61 419 774 800 …”

Source: http://www.christian-witness.org/aog/pf_nh.html


2002/12/06 Neil Hetrick responds to Peter Fowler – no assistance from Neil Hetrick

Transcript of Hetrick’s response to Peter Fowler:

“Dear Mr Fowler

I am in receipt of your Email of the 27th November 2002.

I cannot recall the issue of your resignation from the Lower Hutt A/G you refer to in your letter. In my recollection of such matters, these were handled by the church staff and not the college staff. I belonged to the latter group. No church related issues came to my notice.

Although I am General Secretary of Assemblies of God in New Zealand, this position does not include Executive member rights and privileges and therefore I am not in a position to discuss the issues you raise in your letter.

Your original contact with the A/G NZ was through your solicitor, and the Executive has responded to you through this avenue. Further communications will be forthcoming.

Yours faithfully
Neil Hetrick
Received by PF on 6th December 2002 ”
*1 ‘Email’ refers to the letter dated 27th November 2002 addressed to NH

Source: http://www.christian-witness.org/aog/nh_pf.html


2002/12/9 AHG tells AOGNZ he will now go public due to their lack of response, AOGA notified by AOGNZ

Fowler (AHG) laments many months of unsatisfactory resolution, refusing to met with him, …

It is now my hope that public exposure will help to create a supportive environment in which other victims may feel able to join me in the search for justice. Perhaps only then, all of us, including Houston, can begin the long process of healing lives damaged by sexual abuse and the terrible breach of trust placed in a church leader and minister of God.

The Australian AOGA is notified that Fowler is going to go public.

20021209-AHG-to-Wayne-Hughes-AOGNZ-colour

Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=2cdc3be5-9c2a-4be6-a729-34c436abf3ef&type=exhibit&filename=STAT.0348.001.0024_R&fileextension=pdf


2002/12/09 Peter Fowler writes to Philip Powell. Fowler is going to go public as the AOGNZ and Houstons have not been cooperative

Fowler hopes that by going public, he and other victims may get a more responsive AOGNZ executive to deal with their abuse by Frank. He asks Powell to publish on CWM website.

This letter outlines Fowler’s journey to get justice via the AOGNZ todate

[Note: the AOGNZ were going to send a snr rep to meet with Houston’s representatives, but this did not happen until after this letter, when Ken Price took over <<<<<<< check]

Fowler (AHG) writes,

“Dear Philip

I am writing to thank you for the assistance and support you have provided, since I first contacted you in March*1 about my allegations that I was sexually abused by Frank Houston in 1972.
 
I had successfully blocked the memory of the sexual abuse which I suffered thirty years ago as a teenager, when I was a member of the Lower Hutt Assembly of God in New Zealand. This memory of those events only emerged again during therapy in 1997. However, at that time I did not feel ready to share this further or seek any form of reconciliation. However, earlier this year *3 I felt an overwhelming need to achieve some form of healing and closure to this terrible situation. After an Internet search revealed your published investigation of Houston and his past actions, I became aware that he had been removed from the ministry for “serious moral failure” in both Australia and New Zealand. I sensed that I was clearly not the only victim of this man’s abuse and that I needed to come forward and reveal what had happened to me. From the moment I first contacted you I felt that you treated my allegations with a sense of respect and sympathy, which I greatly appreciate.
 
Had it not been for the detailed investigations which you have published, I may not have been able to make contact with you, nor benefit from the many people within the Christian community who have offered their support and understanding, especially Rev. Barney Coombs in Canada and Pastor Don Barry in Hamilton, NZ.  I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your help and to up-date you on the progress of my attempts to achieve some sense of resolution.
 
In April*2 I engaged a lawyer in Auckland to contact the NZ AoG regarding my allegations, seeking a meeting with them with a view to discuss possible compensation. The AoG [NZ] lawyers advised my lawyer  that Houston was suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s but that the church would investigate my allegations. They advised that they were sending a senior member of their executive to Sydney to meet with Houston’s representatives and that they would respond after they had considered the outcome of their enquiries. 

However, after several months all we received was a letter from the lawyers representing the AoG dated 27 September 2002, which questioned my memory of the precise dates and peripheral circumstances surrounding my allegations.  Essentially, they were questioning the validity of my allegations and using this to delay any serious response. They have also consistently declined to meet me or accept my offer to assist them with their investigation.

On  the 27th of November 2002,  I wrote directly to Neil Hetrick, who is currently the General Secretary of the NZ AoG and was also a Pastor who I knew thirty years ago at the Lower Hutt AoG.  I asked him to assist me in my quest for justice and to at least listen to my allegations. I have attached a copy of his response, which is devoid of sympathy, charity or any sense of pastoral understanding and care.
However this response is consistent with how the AoG has handled this matter from the very start.

I have responded with a letter to Wayne Hughes, who is the General Superintendent, a copy of which is also attached. 
 
For the past nine months I have attempted *4 to deal with this confidentially.  However the Assemblies of God in New Zealand refuse to meet with me or to provide an adequate response to my allegations. I am therefore left with no option but to seek public support. In this regard, I would be grateful if you would publish my correspondence with both Neil Hetrick and Wayne Hughes. The Sydney Morning Herald and Television New Zealand, who are investigating Hillsong and Houston respectively, have also contacted me.

It is now my hope that public exposure will help to create a supportive environment in which other victims may feel able to join me in the search for justice. Perhaps only then, all of us, including Houston, can begin the long process of healing lives damaged by sexual abuse and the terrible breach of trust we placed in a minister of God.
 
Yours sincerely
Peter Fowler
9th December 2002″
*1 2002   *2 2002    *3 2002   *4 Corresp.”to and fro” linked in this letter

Source: http://www.christian-witness.org/aog/pf_plp.html


2002/12/09 Philip Powel writes to Neil Hetrick and the AOGNZ executive about Peter Fowler (AHG).  AOGA is copied

Powell suggests AOGNZ and AOGA could be found guilty of cover-up and there are possibly 7 cases of abuse known.

There has been warnings and information exchanged about Frank’s dark past before – Powell clearly is challenging the AOGA to deal with allegations about Frank properly.

The Australian AOGA is copied, in particular Keith Ainge.

20021206-PhilipPowell-to-AOGNZ-colour

Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=2cdc3be5-9c2a-4be6-a729-34c436abf3ef&type=exhibit&filename=STAT.0348.001.0024_R&fileextension=pdf


2002/12/?  Philip Powell makes Fowler’s matter public on his CWM website 

Powell makes the matter public in a mailout, plus adds a trail of emails for public to review

As a result the AOGNZ takes the matter seriously and Kem Price takes over. In January 2003 the Sydney Morning Herald references it. Hillsong writes a damage control letter to their membership in Jan, 2003.

“11. IS AoG-NZ HOPING THIS WILL GO AWAY?      [Published Nov-Dec 2002]

In March 2002, Peter Fowler (formerly of Lower Hutt, New Zealand), contacted Philip Powell alleging that he had been sexually abused while in the AoG-NZ membership.

Peter Fowler had tried contacting the AoG-NZ Executive quietly, to obtain satisfaction and resolution to this matter. However, apart from a doubting reply, nothing has been resolved, so Peter Fowler has now decided to go public   in an attempt to urge the AoG-NZ to treat the matter adequately and with despatch.

The correspondence, can be read at christian-witness.org/aog/1972_action.html

This -by the way- is not the same case as can be read at christian-witness.org/aog/db_art.html

Any further developments will also be posted here.”
[date of mailout publication seems to be assume 16 Dec 2002 (?), but this may have been posted earlier]
Source: http://www.christian-witness.org/past_mailers/retired/dec02mm.html


 2002/12 Philip Powell acknowledges Kem Price of AOGNZ acting on AHG / Peter Fowler & other abuses – on CWM website

Note the point about 2 former Gen Sup of AOGNZ who had moral failures (Frank Houston 1960-1977, and Jim Williams 1978-1985).

Wayne Hughes was Gen Sup AOGNZ 1985-2003 (wiki) – and was another AOGNZ leader with allegations of sexual abuse.  In March 2005, Hughes entered the media spotlight with accusations that he had sexually abused a teenager in the 1980s.[1] …”
From NZ Herald 2005/4/7 “…The abuse of a teenager occurred 20 years ago but the victim has not laid a complaint with the police. Both Mr Hughes and the victim have acknowledged some form of abuse occurred….”

All the NZ Gen Superintendants who were in power from 1960 till 2003 had proven “moral failures”. What is the integrity of the AOGANZ leadership.

Wayne Hughes is now replaced by Acting Gen Sup AOGNZ, Kem Price, who does deal with the Fowler matter straight away.

On his CWM Website, Powell (editor) writes,

“EDITOR –
I agree with you that the Neville Johnson [another AOGNZ minister who failed morally] situation was never properly dealt with. The consequence is the present situation where the cases of Frank Houston and Jim Williams have also been dealt with inadequately. Thankfully since Kem Price took on the position of acting General Superintendent of AoG–NZ (Dec 2002) there are indications that matters are being addressed in the case of Frank Houston at least from the NZ end.

We understand that the Houstons have taken an entrenched position refusing to meet Peter Fowler who has alleged abuse. We trust that the action of AoG–NZ and our efforts will lead to a situation where the two Australasian Assemblies of God national fellowships will become transparent in their exposure of what occurred in the past as well as their approach to the present and future.When high officials in a spiritual movement fall seriously as did Neville Johnson and the two former General Superintendents of AOGNZ a gaping hole is created at the top, which can only be closed by open acknowledgement and repentance (PP).  “

Source: http://www.christian-witness.org/active/mail/y_letters2.html


2002/12/13 Kem Price NZ AoG writes to Hazel Houston re: Peter Fowler going public

Note the timing: just after Fowler has gone public. 

Frank’s health is noted as the main hindrance to having him face the allegations. They never get an admission or apology from Frank. This is  the end of 2002

Kem, on behalf of Fowler, requests an apology from Frank [never happened]

20021213-KemPrice-NZAOG-To-Hazel-Houston-Requests-FHs-apology

Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=4823e6b8-a6e8-46c9-ba73-2ede19d69977&type=exhibit&filename=HIL.0001.001.0037_R&fileextension=pdf


.RC2003

2003/01/25 (SMH) ‘The Lord’s Profits‘ by Greg Bearup – “pedophilia” mentioned.

This is the first time the media understands Frank’s moral failure as pedophilia.

Even after this interview with Brian, specifically talking about Frank’s child abuse, the journalist STILL thinks the abuse only took place in New Zealand, specifically, the first allegation. Brian did not make it clear.

Brian was able to convince the reporter that he was candid with his congregation, that  he’d “told our church what had happened [several months after he found out]”.   There is no evidence to support Brian’ claim, yet there is evidence to support Taya Levin’s claim that he told his congregation about “serious moral failure” in Nov 2002, 2 years after his father confessed. This is also consistent with the directive from the AOGA executive and the agreement with the AOGNZ not to publish.

This article came out after another victim had gone public (probably Peter Fowler). The information was on the CWM website too.

“… There have been some dramas in the House of Camelot in the past few years. Houston had to sack one of his senior preachers and good friends, Pat Mesiti, after it was revealed he’d been visiting prostitutes. And then Brian’s father, former minister Frank Houston, confessed to being a pedophile.

Finding out his father had abused a child back in New Zealand was, Houston tells me, “like the jets flying into the twin towers of my soul”. It was, understandably, one of the hardest issues he has ever had to deal with. “Basically I received a complaint, so I confronted my father and he admitted it.” Houston removed his father from all roles in the church, but did not contact police in New Zealand because the victim was old enough to do that himself. He said that he was candid with his congregation, although he has been criticised for not acting quickly enough.

I told our church what had happened [several months after he found out], but as soon as I found out I told the elders of this church and the Assemblies of God,” Houston says. “To my congregation, when I told them, I used words like predator and sexual abuse and so on – I did not try to hide it.”

It is a matter that appears unlikely to go away, and Houston tells me that, since the initial allegation was made public, other alleged victims have come forward. Good Weekend understands that another alleged male victim of his father is “extremely unhappy” with his treatment by the church and is currently considering civil action.

Bobbie says that the sexual abuse claims were the hardest thing her husband has ever had to confront. “But the leader in him rose and I think that is what endeared the congregation to us. This issue is rampant through society and you don’t have to be Blind Willy to see that – sorry, blind Freddy, I always get my sayings wrong – but as a church we are dealing with those issues.”

Phillip Powell, the watchdog, says he doesn’t believe Brian Houston has dealt adequately with a whole range of issues within his church regarding accountability, and says he will continue to monitor the work of Hillsong. “There are alarm bells and people need to ring them,” he says. …

” … Tim Costello wants to know how much of the Hillsong wealth is going to Brian and Bobbie. “The churches have an enormously privileged position in society – not only do they not pay tax, but they are exempt from many of the fringe benefit rules as well. As a result, they need to be open and fully accountable. Anyone can walk into my church and find out exactly how much I earn, what car I drive, whatever, including any other associated monies I might earn from being a minister. I would like to ask the same of Hillsong.”

So I do. Brian Houston’s open, good-guy demeanour disappears. No, he will not tell me what he or Bobbie earns. “All you guys [the media] want to know about is the money,” he says. “You don’t want to know about the church.” Well, it’s a bit like walking into Rose Hancock’s house and not noticing the chandeliers – the money at Hillsong just leaps out at you.

Houston says that while he draws a wage, he donates it back to the church. “I want to make it clear that I cost this church nothing, I want that on the record.” He earns some of his money, he says, as a property developer, “being a silent partner with a couple of guys from the church in building developments”, but he gets “the vast majority” of his money from overseas speaking engagements at other charismatic churches. He and Bobbie also get the royalties from those “Christian resources” out the front of the church.

Phillip Powell, a Pentecostal preacher and a former general secretary of the Assemblies of God (the umbrella group of which Houston is now president), says Houston’s overseas speaking engagements are at churches whose own senior pastors are “on the circuit”. Powell, who has set up a “watchdog ministry”, Christian Witness Ministries, in part to monitor Hillsong, says, “They get paid huge amounts of money to speak at each other’s churches. The money goes to Brian, but his profile comes from Hillsong.” It is a bit like the Pope charging for speaking engagements, and then keeping the cash. (Houston says Powell’s sentiments are “pitiful comments from a pitiful man who knows nothing of Hillsong or of me”.)

The Hillsong church structure is tightly controlled. The general manager, Brian Aghajanian (also an elder), says the elders are nominated “by Brian or the other elders”. No elections? “No, we feel that people might stand who don’t have a great understanding of the way the church works or have the same vision we have for the church,” Aghajanian says.  …”

Source: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/01/28/1043804401241.html


2003/01/28 Hillsong – Brian send letter to members/friends?

Brian is in damage control as he knows the media is about to publish an article.

“Let me remind you the issues relating to my father, Frank Houston, happened over 30 years ago while he was a pastor in New Zealand. They are in no way related to Hillsong Church.”

Note Brian is deliberately giving the impression  the “issues” occurred in New Zealand, even though AHA occurred in Australia.

The issues are related to Hillsong Church, to Brian and the the elders/board who had the deal with it, discipline and retire Frank with a package, and the congregation who would have been affected by Frank and the news. Hillsong is giving evidence at the Royal Commission because the commissioners think Brian and Hillsong have some questions to answer because they were “related” to Frank. Frank was an employee and the founder/pioneer of the CLC/Hillsong group of churches. Both CLCs that Brian headed were merged and incorporated into Hillsong Church in 2001. If Brian had not changed the name, he would not be able to make the claim that this did not involve Hillsong. Iif Brian wants to be technical, he said that “Hillsong” only referred to the conference and music prior to it being incorporated in 2001, it was that distinct. Brian wrote,

20030128-Brian-Letter-to-Congregation-re-MediaColr

Source: https://churchwatchcentral.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/letter-leak-hillsong-2003-frank-houston.jpg

Also See 2002/03/25 Fax from Brian Houston to Kelly Burke at the Sydney Morning Herald as an example of how Brian misrepesents to the press


2003/01/30? Peter Fowler reassured by Brian’s public announcement in Good Weekend report  

Powell reports on Fowler’s (AHG) progess on CWM website.

Fowler is reassured by Brian’s acknowledgement of his father’s confession that implies Fowler had concern over any type of admission/acknowledgement from the Houston camp.

Powell, editor of CWM, writes,

“… 10..Peter Fowler Houstons, AoG, Hillsong

Christian Witness Ministries contacted Peter Fowler for an update to be included in this Mailer. What follows is his reply AFTER reading the GOOD-WEEKEND report on Hillsong (25/01/03). (Refer #9 above)

Peter Fowler writes, “I am reassured by Brian’s public acknowledgement of his father’s confession and I have made contact with other victims in NZ and will meet them soon. I am also pleased that NZ AoG now appears to be treating my allegations seriously and that a genuine investigation appears to be in progress and I am hopeful of a positive resolution in the next few weeks. In the meantime, I am refraining from making any public comment. Best regards PF

To refresh yourselves about this subject;
Refer http://www.c-w-m.org/aog/aog.html#pf_plp …”

Source: http://www.christian-witness.org/past_mailers/retired/feb03.html


2003/04/03 Letter to Graeme Houston from AOGNZ Lawyers Fortune Manning

Graeme Houston is Brian’s older brother, who had been designated by the family to handle the matter. (See Brian’s letter to the AOGNZ in 2002.)

The 2014 Royal Commission Findings said,

“149. On 3 April 2003, the solicitor for the Assemblies of God New Zealand sent a letter to Frank Houston’s other son, Graeme Houston, concerning the legal action by AHG. The solicitor said that AHG wished to meet with Frank Houston and/or his legal representative to receive an acknowledgement that the offence took place, obtain an apology and negotiate financial compensation. 298 The letter sought co-operation from Frank Houston and his lawyer in order to avoid expensive legal costs and damages. Pastor Brian Houston said that the matter was being handled by his brother and not by Hillsong Church because of the ‘obvious conflict‘ and because he was wearing ‘two hats.’ 299″

It seems this is the first time the AOGNZ has actually sat down with Fowler and investigated his allegation properly (after Fowler went public). Why hadn’t this happened prior as the AOGNZ had told Fowler in 2002?.

In a letter from Peter Fowler to Philip Powell in 11/2002:

“… In April*2 [2002] I engaged a lawyer in Auckland to contact the NZ AoG regarding my allegations, seeking a meeting with them with a view to discuss possible compensation. The AoG lawyers advised my lawyer  that Houston was suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s but that the church would investigate my allegations. They advised that they were sending a senior member of their executive to Sydney to meet with Houston’s representatives and that they would respond after they had considered the outcome of their enquiries.

See the 2004/01/20 Letter from Ian Zerna, Senior Minister, Coastlife Church Erina NSW to Keith Ainge, National Secretary, AOG National Office. This letter has some indication of Frank’s health in 2004 as Zerna was asking if Frank could engage in more public ministry within his church like any one else.

The Houstons had been uncooperative. Brian was copied on this correspondence.

Peter Fowler (AHG) was credible. He wants a. acknowledgement, b. apology and c. payment [none were forthcoming from the Houstons.

Philip Powell commented:
“Thankfully since Kem Price took on the position of acting General Superintendent of AoG–NZ (Dec 2002) there are indications that matters are being addressed in the case of Frank Houston at least from the NZ end.”… [Price took over from Wayne Hughes after Fowler went public, and finally some action. See Powell editorial in Dec 2002 CWM]

The AOGNZ’s (ie. Kem Price and his assoc) legal representatives wrote to Graeme Houston (who was representing Frank Houston),

20030403-KEM-Rep-AOGNZ-to-Grame-Houston-re-AHG-req

Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=b159d29e-4e15-478b-bac1-09c26a4f551e&type=exhibit&filename=HIL.0001.001.0054_R&fileextension=pdf


2003/07/13 Peter Fowler settlement with AOGNZ

Peter Fowler wrote to Powell informing him of the settlement that had been reached. Powell published the information on the CWM website in August 2003.

Link on same web page includes transcript of “Profits for Prophets” article from Jan 2003.

Note: Powell, at the end of his commentary questions why neither the AOGNZ nor the AOGA had reported the matter to authorities, especially as they understood a crime had been committed.

Philip Powell on the mailout on the CWM website reports as part of their August Monthly Mailer:

“2) PAEDOPHILIA ALLEGATIONS – AOG   

On July 13, 2003 Philip Powell received an email as the result of an inquiry, which included the following statement:

“Peter Fowler and the Assemblies of God in NZ and the Assembly of God Lower Hutt Church have confidentially in a Christian spirit resolved all differences between them relating to the alleged abuse of Peter Fowler by Frank Houston.”

We [CWM] understand that the Houstons have refused to meet the complainant Peter Fowler or to be party to the settlement by AOG-NZ.”

Further Details at:
http://ww.christian-witness.org/not-in-pubs/aug_mmDetail.html

The full letter and CWM comments are provided in the “Further Details” web page on  Christian Witness Ministries website (Details), expanding on the above email-out to the CWM readership, read here:

” Details for the April [August] 03 Mailer   –  Fuller Notes

aug_mmDetail.html is the name of the web page so “April” is a typo ]

1..Church buys University land for a song
2..Latest On Frank Houston
3..insight — profit for prophets   …

LATEST ON FRANK HOUSTON & ALLEGATION OF PAEDOPHILIA

[From Peter Fowler to Powell:]

I am very pleased to be able to report that I have reached a settlement with AOGNZ and the Lower Hutt AOG. The terms of the settlement are confidential to the parties and the only public comment I can make is the following statement:  
“Peter Fowler and the Assemblies of God in NZ and the Assembly of God Lower Hutt Church have confidentially in a Christian spirit resolved all differences between them relating to the alleged abuse of Peter Fowler by Frank Houston”

 You will note that no settlement has been reached with Frank Houston or his representatives and I am still free to pursue proceedings against Houston. So far, Houston and his representatives have continued to refuse to meet or engage in any dialogue with me.  

Thank you so much for your assistance in helping me to reach this point. Had it not been for your initial support and understanding I may not have been able to achieve any form of settlement, closure or healing. I remain deeply grateful and I wish you well in all your future endeavours. Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance to you and any other victims who may contact you.  

With best wishes
Peter Fowler.

————————————————————-

[Powell’s comments:]

It is very sad that men have to be dragged screaming all the way before they will even grant a hearing to an aggrieved party. That speaks volumes. The Roman Catholic and the Anglican Churches will at least immediately grant a sympathetic hearing to those who allege abuse. Assemblies of God it seems won’t even do that without a great deal of resistance. In the case of AoG-NZ it would appear that it was only after Kem Price replaced Wayne Hughes [later disciplined for sexual abuse of a teenager]  as General Superintendent that things changed. We understand that once Kem Price took over responsibility for handling the case in December 2002, he promptly commenced a thorough investigation of all allegations made by Peter Fowler and maintained communication with him throughout the process. The investigation included meetings in Australia between members of the AOGNZ Executive  and Houston and his representatives. Following those meetings, Price arranged the first meeting with Fowler in March of 2003. This meeting resulted in a further unsuccessful attempt by AOGNZ to involve Houston and his representatives in the process and the eventual settlement between the parties mentioned in the above email. We understand that AOGNZ have agreed that Peter’s story was accurate and we understand that they have done their best to try to persuade the Houstons to meet with Fowler. 

Paedophilia is a serious crime in both New Zealand and Australia. The fact that AOG Australia disciplined Frank Houston in 1999/ 2000 for unrelated “serious sexual offences” and that AOG-NZ participated in the discipline implicates both denominations. If a prima facie case of guilt were established one would think that both AOG-NZ and AOG-OZ would have a responsibility in law to refer the matter for criminal investigation.   …”

Source: http://ww.christian-witness.org/not-in-pubs/aug_mmDetail.html

NOTE ABOUT HOUSTONS’ ATTITUDE TO PHILIP POWELL

Powell  accused the Houstons of teaching false doctrine and Powell made Frank’s discipline public. See magazine article.

Powell wrote open letters to Brian, copied on correspondence between Coombes and Powell. Powell also published a series on Houston issues.

Powell had faxed Frank and had been trying to get Frank Houston to deal with his past. Frank responded by denigrating Powell to CLC/Hillsong leadership and threatened Powell via a “word from God” and then legal action.

Powell was esteemed by victim, Peter Fowler (helped 2002-2003). Powell gave support and helped him with his case to the AOGNZ (put Fowler in contact with helpful pastors) and wrote to the AOGNZ on Fowler’s behalf, as their response had been so tardy.

Powell also assisted Fowler by making the matter public on his website. See Fowler’s thankyou letter. This helped bring the matter to the attention of the media and eventually initiate enough “rumors” that Brian had the tell his congregation in 2002 about Frank’s “serious moral failure”.

Fowler found the Houston family and the AOGNZ uncooperative, showing little compassion or charity.

Brian accused Powell at the RC when asking about the Fowler matter:
[Powell was] “an abrasive, difficult person, who had  agendas far bigger than [AHG]’s sexual abuse, and that did complicate things as well, because that person wasn’t  there, in my humble opinion, for [AHG]; he was there to cause mischief.” (Transcript88/Page 9373)  

In contrast  to Powell, see the attitude of Brian and the Houstons. The trail of correspondence above speaks volumes. Brian at the RC said,

2015RC-T88-BHouston-re-Fowler-nonhelpSlagsPowell

It appears the Houstons NEVER wanted Frank to meet with any victims, nor EVER concede acknowledgement or an apology. He never did sign an admission of confession. CLC/Hillsong elders meeting stopped him from signing until legal advice was sought. Pity they did not ask about theirs or Brian’s legal obligations to report Frank to the police and to the CCYP.

Source: RC Transcript 88, Brian Houston, p 9368


.RC2004

2004/01/20 Letter from Ian Zerna, Senior Minister, Coastlife Church Erina NSW to Keith Ainge, National Secretary, AOG National Office

Frank’s pastor is  not seeing Frank as hugely incapacitated as expected from one suffering “severe Alzheimers” and such that he would not be able to meet with his victims in 2002, in particular, Peter Fowler (AHG). This letter is 1.5 years after the Fowler settlement.

20040130-Ian-Zema-to-Keith-Ainge-re-Franks-Disc-standing

Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=d5233b4f-8381-4243-8460-d08a407f7e74&type=exhibit&filename=ACC.0001.001.0025&fileextension=pdf


2004/07/11 (SMH) – Hillsongs True Believers (Sun Herald)

Sydney Morning Herald, Sun Herald reported nationally.

The myth continues, with no correction from Hillsong’s media machine over the years: Frank’s Australian AHA abuse is still not mentioned, still only 1 abuse and in New Zealand. Contrary to what Brian told the RC, evidence suggests Brian did not tell his congregation until the end of 2002, forced by rumours.

“Hillsong’s true believers

November 7, 2004.      The Sun-Herald

… Houston tackles criticism with the same gusto he applied to allegations that his father Frank had abused a child in New Zealand 30 years ago. He confronted his father, removed him from active ministry at Hillsong and then told his congregation.   “

Source: http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/Hillsongs-true-believers/2004/11/06/1099547435083.html

2004/04/28 Letter to Ian Zerna from Keith Ainge clarifying Frank’s status

Reply to the above letter outlining restriction on Frank Houston and reason why.
Keith Ainge writes,

20040428-AOG-to-Zerna-AOG-colour

Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=479aa625-ec3b-4ff6-8827-ddff50949e65&type=exhibit&filename=STAT.0348.001.0030&fileextension=pdf


2004/11/13 SMH Hillsong Farewells a Lost Sheep Pioneer by Stephen Gibbs FRANK DIES

Still reporting myth that Frank abuse a boy abused in NZ 30 years ago.

Brian said Frank made some big mistakes a long time ago”, minimizing Frank’s crimes.

Deputy Police Commissioner, Andrew Scipione, attended. Note he later became Police Commissioner, and was seen backstage, very familiar and friendly with crew. There is concern about his relationship with Hillsong in his role and the RC suggesting Brian Houston should be looked at by police for not reporting his father’s crime.
DID SCIPIONE WONDER WHY BRIAN HAD NOT REPORTED HIS FATHER?
Probably because Scipione, along with the rest of Australia was unaware that AHA was Australian.

Note – The 2014 Findings of the Royal Commission :
“94. Pastor Brian Houston gave evidence that in November 1999 Frank Houston told him that he had ‘fondled’ the genitals of a child. [166] The indecent assault of a child contrary to s. 81 of the Crimes Ac was in 1999 a ‘serious offence‘ as defined in s. 311 of the Crimes Act. Frank Houston’s admission to the criminal offence was information which might be of material assistance in ensuring a conviction against Frank Houston and that information was not passed to t he New South Wales Police by Pastor Brian Houston. As that information may relate to contravention of a law of New South Wales it is submitted it is appropriate to refer Pastor Brian Houston’s conduct to the New South Wales Police Commissioner pursuant to s. 6P(l) of the Royal Commissions Act 1902 (Cth) for further investigation. ” [p.25]
SCIPIONE is the current the NSW Police Commissioner (as at 2016). He is close with Hillsong – even attended the HS Conference in 2015. Does Scipione have a conflict of interest?

Stephen Gibbs wrote:

“Hillsong farewells a lost sheep pioneer

By Stephen Gibbs,    November 13, 2004

Frank Houston, considered the father of Sydney’s Pentecostal churches, began preaching to nine adults and five children and built a congregation of thousands that is still growing.

Mr Houston, who died on Monday [8 Nov, 2004] aged 82, founded the Sydney Christian Life Centre in 1977 at Waterloo and spent 22 years building a movement that became the Hillsong church.

He was the most senior Assemblies of God figure in NSW before was sacked by his own son after he admitted having sexually abused a boy in New Zealand more than 30 years ago.

Yesterday, Hillsong and Mr Houston’s son, Brian, the national president of Assemblies of God, welcomed him back to the fold to send him out properly.

He was a man who perhaps made some big mistakes a long time ago,” Brian Houston told more than 1000 mourners in Waterloo’s Hillsong assembly hall. “But everyone here knows that he was a man who stood for what he believed in.”

Mr Houston was credited with helping to convert the jockey Darren Beadman. 

Mourners yesterday included were the federal MP for Greenway, Louise Markus – a member of Brian Houston’s Baulkham Hills Hillsong church – and the federal MP for Mitchell, Alan Cadman.

The Deputy Police Commissioner, Andrew Scipione, also attended.

A friend, Jonathon Wilson, said one of Mr Houston’s favourite sayings was “To hell with the devil”. “I don’t believe the church would be where it is today if it wasn’t for his life and for his ministry,” Mr Wilson said.

William Francis Houston was born in Wanganui, New Zealand, and began training to become a Salvation Army officer shortly after turning 18.

He founded his first Assemblies of God ministry at Lower Hutt in 1960, later became the superintendent of the New Zealand Assemblies of God, and set out for Sydney in 1977.

The church he built at Waterloo merged with his son’s church at Baulkham Hills to become Hillsong after he exposed himself as a pedophile.

Brian Houston told mourners his father was the greatest evangelical preacher he had ever seen. “In my biased opinion, he was in a class of his own.”

Frank Houston, whose wife, Hazel, died six months ago, suffered a massive stroke last Sunday night and died about 8am on Monday.

Source: http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/Hillsong-farewells-a-lost-sheep-pioneer/2004/11/12/1100227581958.html


.RC2005

2005/03/31 A NZ Herald News article exposes ex AOGNZ General Superintendent (1985-2003), Wayne Hughes’ moral failure raises questions of cover-up  

Wayne Hughes followed Frank Houston as Gen Sup. AOGNZ and it wasn’t until he was replace by Kem PRice in Dec 2002 that Fowler (AHG) had his matter adressed by the AOGNZ.

“Congregation misled on sex abuse claim

By Chris Barton  

The Takapuna Assembly of God has misled its congregation about allegations that its head pastor, Wayne Hughes, sexually abused a teenager.

A statement read out during a service on Good Friday claimed that police had looked into the sexual abuse allegation against Mr Hughes and “they found no basis to substantiate those claims whatsoever”.

But the victim, who was abused about 20 years ago, has never laid a complaint with police.

Asked whether the statement he read was inaccurate, Pastor Duane Newport said: “It’s just too premature for us to make any comment. We are looking into all the issues.”

After the Herald published the allegations last week, the church board and pastors agreed, based on medical and spiritual advice, that Mr Hughes should “take a timely break”.

The AOG general superintendent, Ken Harrison, also issued a statement saying the church sought legal advice on the allegations last November and began an investigation.

Mr Harrison, general secretary Neil Hetrick and assistant general superintendent Iliafi Esera would not answer questions about the accuracy of the Takapuna church’s statement that police had investigated the matter.

A former national general secretary of the Assembly of God in Australia, Philip Powell, said Mr Harrison’s claim to have consulted the AOG lawyer was “a lame excuse” and typical of how AOG officials acted when challenged.

“They institute a smoke screen,” said Mr Powell, who left the church in 1992 to found Christian Witness Ministries. ” There is a culture of cover-up of sexual immorality within AOG in both Australia and New Zealand.”

Christian Witness Ministries publishes a quarterly magazine called Contending Earnestly for the Faith.

“We have long since published articles about the moral failure of two former general superintendents of AOG New Zealand [Frank Houston and Jim Williams],” said Mr Powell, in reference to material on his website.

The Herald received no response from the AOG hierarchy to further written questions asking why the investigation had taken more than five months and whether all members of the AOG executive – the overall governing body – had been fully informed and shown the evidence. [Sounds similar to the AOGA executive!]

The Herald also asked why the church had not suspended Mr Hughes while it completed its investigation, when the general superintendent had information showing that both Mr Hughes and his victim had admitted that some form of abuse took place.

Source: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10118102

Wayne Hughes wiki


2005/05/24 Philip Powell in email correspondence

Makes note that CWM website triggered Hillsong to tell congregation about Brian’s father.

RESPONSE: 24 May 2005 email 9:25pm: [written by Philip Powell]

“…You may be interested to learn that recently a person who attends Hillsong told me that it was what was on our website which actually forced the hand of Brian Houston to act in respect of the disclosure of an aspect of the immorality of his late father….”

Source: http://www.christian-witness.org/active/mail/y_letter34.html


2005/04/26 Powell (CWM) published Open Letter to Maria Ieroianni, Communications Mgr, Brian and Hillsong, John Lewis

Powell had peviously written to Maria 2005/04/16 but had no response. Hence he published the correspondence as an open letter. Brian, Frank and AOGS leadership’s usual response is to ignore Powell’s correspondence.

Powell in this open letter is announcing a series CWM is doing on Hillsong, as usual they are invited to respond before publishing.

NOTE: POWELL ASKS WHY BRIAN AND AOGA HAVE NOT REPORTED FRANK TO POLICE because they have evidence and it is a crime.

20050426-CWMOpenLetterToBrianMariaAOGAp1col

20050426-CWMOpenLetterToBrianMariaAOGAp2col

Source: OpenLetAOG5.doc    


2005/06/26 “Prophets” article  by Adele Ferguson BRW – Business Review Weekly

Aggressive business tactics, aggressive partnership with capitalism, contemporary music where “worship” is the show, marketing that would put most commercial enterprises to shame, …sees success of the Pentecostal mega churches. Success is interpreted as God’s favor/approval/blessing

Highlights the Board/elder and Snr Pastor relationship. Brian can act like chairman and hand pick his leadership. This brings into question the organisation’s corporate governance or lack of it and lack of scrutiny.

Adele Fergusonin BRW writes,

[That is:]

“… The pastors of these mega-churches act like chief executives and use aggressive business tactics to build their congregations. Hillsong’s constitution reads like the sort of corporate constitution most chief executives can only ever dream of. It allows the pastor, Brian Houston, to act as the chairman and choose the board. It lists a set of objectives, few of which mention God, and if the church is wound up, the assets are sold off to pay creditors and the rest are transferred to a similar institution chosen by the board. It does not stipulate that the remaining assets have to stay in Australia.

Theoretically, this means Houston and his hand-picked board could wind Hillsong up and transfer any remaining assets to a country of his choice. Given that some Pentecostal pastors say they make decisions about the church based on visions that come to them from God, this type of constitution brings into question the organisation’s corporate governance — or the lack of it.

The churches also lack scrutiny. For example, the AOG has a business arm, Australian Christian Services, which provides advice, assistance and products in four main areas: investment, finance, insurance and fleet management. It offers a cash management fund, called AOG SmartSaver. The advertisements for SmartSaver call for people to invest their “nest eggs”.

Because SmartSaver is categorised as a not-for-profit fund, it is unregulated by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission. To qualify to operate a cash fund as “unregulated”, the fund must have a sponsor body. In this case, it is the AOG, which is responsible for managing and underwriting the investments SmartSaver holds.   …”

Source: 2005/06/26 Business Review Weekly, “Prophets” by Adele Ferguson

20050626-BRW--HS-Prophets-ShowAndSellPageColr

20060626-BWR-Prophets-AdeleFerguson-ShowAndSellPt

20050626-BRW-AdeleFerguson-Prophets-HeavensHalfDozenPt.jpg

Source: 2005/06/26 Business Review Weekly, “Prophets” by Adele Ferguson

Note the POWER OF THE MEGACHURCH PASTOR on the AOG leadership:

Article – “03 The Apostolic Revolution and the Ecclesiology of the AoGA”
(from his paper “
Pragmatic ecclesiology: The Apostolic Revolution and the Ecclesiology of the Assemblies of God in Australia” by Shane Clifton
– Dr. Shane Clifton, Dean of Theology at Alphacrucis College (the AOGA college)
– comments on the power of the megachurch pastor and their influence on the AOG movement as a whole:

“…Changed Social Structures

Whether or not we apply the label “apostolic,” the changes that have occurred in the AGA represent an almost complete transition away from democratic and congregational structures. New and increased powers were given to senior pastors at the same time as local church autonomy was increased. This increased hierarchy at the local level was mirrored at the level of the AGA fellowship, where what remained of centralised authority was given over to mega-church pastors.  …

56 Admittedly, the AGA has retained an emphasis on the local church, but the local church becomes “the pastors church,” and this can only be understood as a move away from a grassroots orientation, since the mission of the church is not the pastors alone, but the responsibility of all Spirit-filled Christians.

It can thus be argued that the dominance of the senior pastor in churches, and the mega-church pastor in the fellowship as a whole, is antithetical to the grassroots and incarnational orientation of AGA ecclesiology. There is, self-evidently, a danger in terms of pastoral accountability (not merely moral or financial accountability, but accountability for the culture and mission of the church). We noted earlier Clark’s critique that the apostolic revolution is a form of episcopalianism, but this overlooks the fact that churches within these mainline traditions have developed various structures of democracy and accountability. Rather than “bottom-up” accountability to the congregation, episcopalian priests are responsible to regional and global councils of bishops, to the magisterium, and to the tradition of the church. The problem for the AGA is that its new structures contain neither “bottom-up” nor “top-down” accountability. The apostolic model leaves the senior pastor, especially the mega-church pastor, accountable to almost no-one, except “God.”57   [emphasis ours]

Source: http://aps-journal.com/aps/index.php/APS/article/view/85/82

Note the AOGA executive in 1999/2000 included David Cartledge. In his book, The Apostolic Revolution: The Restoration of Apostles and Prophets in the Assemblies of God in Australia, Cartledge wrote:

“The Assemblies of God in Australia is a classic example of what can happen to any Christian movement that has the courage to change. This movement made the transition from an ineffective democratic religious system to leadership by God appointed apostolic ministries and the dramatic results are now a matter of record. David Cartledge1″

1 David Cartledge, The Apostolic Revolution: The Restoration of Apostles and Prophets in the Assemblies of God in Australia (Sydney: Paraclete Institute, 2000), back cover.

Shane Clifton observes in his book “Pentecostal Churches in Transition: Analysing the Developing Ecclesiology of the Assemblies of God in Australia” by Shane Clifton (Boston, MA: Brill, 2009)the following (as summarised in Haltom’s book review):

2009AOGARunByMegaChurchPastorsRvWCliftonByHaltomCol

Source: https://www.agts.edu/encounter/book_reviews/2011summer/review_haltom.pdf
Dr. Shane Clifton, Dean of Theology at Alphacrucis College (the AOGA national college)


2005/08/01 Australian Story – ABC, The Life of Brian interview (excerpt)

“I grew up in New Zealand. My parents were Salvation Army officers. When I was still quite small, really – I was only, I think, three – my parents left the Salvation Army. They left with nothing, really, at that time. We grew up in what would be a Housing Commission house and my father was very, very important to my beliefs in life. He got filled with the Holy Spirit, so it was from there that he became an Assemblies of God minister in New Zealand. I guess I looked at my father in those days and I used to watch him go off flying somewhere to preach and I thought, one day I want to do that. …”

“One day, about late 1999 or early 2000, one of my team came in and we had the weekly appointment we normally have, and he went through his normal agenda of work and as it was coming to an end he says, there’s one more thing, and I could tell by the look on his face that it was serious. He said, it’s not about you, it’s about your father. And I just looked at him and he began to tell me about a complaint that related to more than 30 years before, about my father, that involved sexual abuse. I was just absolutely stunned. As a matter of fact it, it kind of hit me in layers. I couldn’t even compute what he was saying at first.

I knew instantly that I had to confront it and I had to deal with it. I knew instantly that I had no choice but to confront my father and then follow that through, whatever that meant. He was away at the time, and so it gave me the chance to make some phone calls and find out a little more information. When my father came back he came into my office and it was just horrific, I’ll never forget it, because I had to confront him with this complaint that I heard. It was the.. it was the most difficult thing I ever had to do. He made certain admissions that meant that I had to go to our own church’s leadership, and I talked to them and I called together the leadership of the Assemblies of God in the movement. These things had happened when he was a pastor of the New Zealand Assemblies of God, back a long time ago. But I had to speak to our movement. So the end result of that was he never preached again.

I think I’m quite a tolerant person, but one thing I’ve really never had any tolerance for is sexual abuse, and especially child abuse. So, I don’t think you could have kicked me in the guts with a bigger blow, in some ways.

Last year my mother and my father both died. I kind of feel like the stress of their last few years may have er, contributed to that.

My father and I were always friends right to his dying day. The last time I saw him was at my son’s wedding. And I think that he probably understood my position, but I’ll always have sadness about those last few years.   … “

From the aired program from Australian Story:

Chris Rosebrough last year reviewed a sermon given by Sunday Adelaja.

Who is Sunday Adelaja?

Sunday Adelaja claims he founded the Embassy of Gof of at the age of 33 and “built what has become the largest church in Europe”. [Source]

Frankly, Sunday Adelaja is a fraud – not a Christian. After extensively reviewing a number of his sermons and materials, we have concluded he is a flat out fake. He is an Apostle in the global ‘New Apostolic Reformation’ (NAR) cult and peddles their notorious false ‘Gospel of the Kingdom’ and their false ‘Seven Mountian Mandate’ commission. He consider himself an Apostle and ruthlessly pushes the Prosperity gospel and Word of Faith gospel.

In this below sermon review – you will hear him peddle the CLASSIC NAR heresy and Word of Faith gospel: that believers in Christ are little gods. When you listen to this review, notice how he progresses how we must spiritually elevate ourselves so we can be in control of our ciircumstances. Mr Adelaja does a very good job demonstrating the logical progression of the NAR/WOF gospel to the conclusion as to why Christians need to consider themselves God to see anything spiritually manifest on earth.

Here is Adelaja subtly feeding the idea that God sees Christians as “little gods”:

“So God was trying to change the mentallity of Moses. You know why? Because the biggest bondage is not physical bondage. The biggest bondage is mental bondage. The reason why you are not affective where you are, the reason why that everyone is better than you, the reason why you feel that you cannot do it, is because you’re in bondage!

You don’t see what God sees. You are not seeing yourself right. So God wants you to go back to your country different. He wants you to see yourself aligned with him [Apostolic alignment heresy].”

This is why the NAR/WOF heresy is so dangerous: if you don’t see results, then we mustn’t be seeing something right. And according to Adelaja later in this sermon, the reason why Christians supposedly fail is because they do not see themselves like Jeses as one “who comes from heaven is above all”.

As Chris Rosebrough pointed out, Adelaja’s use of John 3:31 was highly blaspemous when he applied this scripture to those listening. To counter this, Chris reminded his listeners that Jesus taught the opposite to Sunday Adelaja’s twisting of John 3:31 with Jesus’ words that those who exalt themselves should be humbled…

 

 

However, he uses the text in John 3:

Hillsong’s Sleazy Silent Night

Download

00:02:21 – Hillsong’s Sleazy Silent Night & Bobbie Houston Money Manipulation
00:23:39 – Jim Bakker Witches, Witchcraft and Rebellion
00:40:47 – Mark Driscoll Starts a New “Church”
00:50:00 – Rod Parsely & Mike Murdoch Release a Territorial Anointing
01:17:08 – Sermon Review: Authority to Subdue Your Land  by Sunday Adelaja

Source: Chris Rosebrough, Hillsong’s Sleazy Silent Night, Pirate Christian Radio, http://www.piratechristian.com/fightingforthefaith/2015/12/hillsongs-sleazy-silent-night?rq=adelaja, Published 17/12/2015. (Accessed 31/03/2016.)

” data-medium-file=”” data-large-file=”” class=”alignnone wp-image-11927″ src=”https://churchwatchcentral.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/200508abclifeofbrian.jpg?w=1252&h=624&#8243; alt=”200508ABCLifeOfBrian” width=”626″ height=”624″ originalw=”626″ originalh=”624″ src-orig=”https://churchwatchcentral.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/200508abclifeofbrian.jpg?w=626&h=624&#8243; scale=”2″ style=”max-width: 100%; height: auto;”>

Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=bba6d347-4239-4a16-a813-64fde7254316&type=exhibit&filename=EXH.018.003.0001&fileextension=pdf


.RC2006

2006/04/13 Lincoln Wright asking Brian about AHG (Sun Herald)

Did Hillsong help pay out AHG?

Why did Brian not meet AHG?

Philip Powell  had contacted Herald SMH journalist, Lincoln Wright who asks,

20060413-Sun-Herald-asking-Brian-about-AHG

2006/04 Brian answers questions for Lincoln Wright, journalist for Herald

200604-Brian-Letter-to-Lincoln-Wright-Herald

Source: http://childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=1241e177-86ad-4e35-9c70-e78259481ec8&type=exhibit&filename=HIL.0001.001.0051_R&fileextension=pdf


.RC2007

2007/08/04 Sydney Morning Herald – Hillsong – the church with no answers

Journalist, David Marr, was announcing the book by Tanya Levin, “People in Glass Houses”, a critique of Hillsong.

Source: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2007/08/03/1185648145760.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap2 

Tanya writes,

“… But the ties were deep. University and then a child took her away from the Hills for a decade. She returned as a single mother with a job as a social worker in a Salvation Army women’s refuge and something more than curiosity about the fate of her old church and the friends she still had there. “I’d go sporadically just to have a look.”

Rumours of scandal sharpened her interest. After one hugely popular pastor was expelled in 2001, Levin began asking questions about Brian Houston’s father Frank – a preacher so powerful he was thought to be able to raise the dead – who was being accused on the net of pedophilia. But Hillsongwas in the dark.

Brian and Bobbie won a standing ovation from the congregation when they finally broke the news that old Frank had an unwavering love of God and deeply repented his moral failings. His crimes were not named that day. Levin was furious: “I had a near-irresistible urge to yell out like the boys used to do in the old days, ‘What did he DO, Brian?’ “       …”

Source: http://newsstore.fairfax.com.au/apps/viewDocument.ac?page=1&sy=smh&kw=hillsong&pb=all_ffx&dt=selectRange&dr=entire&so=relevance&sf=text&sf=headline&rc=200&rm=200&sp=nrm&clsPage=1&docID=AGE0708061LJ64JR24I9


.RC2008

.RC2009

2009/02/22 Email from AHH’s wife to Brian Houston, another NZ victim (AHH) revealed

AHH (a NZ victim of Frank Houston) had been a friend of Brian over 30 years previous, and AHH’s wife contacted Brian. Brian only found out now about AHH.

AHH’s wife wondered if there was another victim, due to his behavior (and probably in similar circumstances to AHH)

Brian was prepared to meet with AHH when he visited Auckland.
Why not meet victim AHG (Fowler)? Maybe due to his support from Philip Powell.

Brian wrote to AHH’s wife:20090227BrianToAHHsWifeToMeetUp2

Source: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=674dcf19-7224-416d-8ae2-948c99cf2909&type=exhibit&filename=HIL.0001.001.0143_R&fileextension=pdf

It is assumed this is the same victim as WNZ1. This victim’s story is published on Donald Elley’s website where WNZ1 mentions his wife wrote to Brian in 2009 (the above email).

WNZ1’s STORY OF ABUSE BY FRANK HOUSTON:

WNZ1 and I went to the same Sunday School in a suburb in Wellington, New Zealand when I was aged 3 to 10. We also have common university friends from Victoria University, Wellington.

I can remember his name, but I can’t remember meeting him. It’s a strange old world sometimes. I’m sure I would have played with him at Sunday School, O so long ago.

We are all on the same journey.

We are all separated by a few degrees.

You can read about WNZ1’s abuse by Pastor Frank Houston as a little boy aged 8 in the article on this site, written on 1 November 2014:

“Hillsong. Pastor Brian Houston. Part 34. Honouring boy victim WNZ1, the first Wellington, New Zealand victim of Pastor Frank Houston’s sexual abuse”. 

Here is WNZ1’s story reprinted. It’s in his own words. I’ll print WNZ1’s comments below his story..

Hi Donald

A bit about me…I went to Teachers College from 72-74 (attending Varsity part time) before Teaching for a year and a half then living a hippie lifestyle.

AB and I hung around Wellington together in the 70’s, walking the fine line between sin, repentance and sainthood. I’m afraid sex and drugs got the better of me for a time. I also hung around up at Kapiti during the late ‘70s with AB. He was (edit) a very close friend.

Here is my story.

I discovered your blog earlier this year when working through childhood trauma with my counsellor. It was very helpful in providing background to my journey, enabling me to finally admit to myself that Frank was my abuser.

I’m 60 years old and the impact of the abuse involving Frank in my life has been significant. Despite appearing to be a successful corporate manager, I couldn’t sustain the facade. Inside I lived with fear, mistrust, anger and shame. I was depressed, lonely and isolated.

I sought comfort from my pain in unhelpful ways, compulsively pursuing and becoming involved in one relationship after another, sometimes having more than one sexual or emotional liaison at a time. I lived my life in compartments and feeling completely shut off from myself, God, my family and friends.

My broken life is testimony to the selfish acts of the sicko creep Frank Houston on an innocent boy.
From the age of five into my teens I attended Lower Hutt AOG with my family.
My encounter with Frank was when I was 8 years old.

My family lived in a Wellington suburb and my parents held a Saturday night prayer meeting which folk from Lower Hutt AOG attended.
Frank attended a few times and it was during these visits that the abuse occurred.

When I read of AHA’s experience in the Commission’s transcript, the details in the description brought everything back. I finally knew deep within me the true horror of what had happened all those years ago.

I recall feeling the weight of Frank on me, the breath in my face and my genitals being fondled.
I was completely paralysed with fear.
I could not speak. I was totally bewildered as to what was going on.
I remember this happening 2 or 3 times.

I tried to explain to my parents what had happened to me. I did not have the words to explain it.
They thought it was a nightmare. I knew differently.
I named this thing ‘the black shadow’.
I took a piece of wood to bed with me every night so I could defend myself or knock on the wall to alert my parents.
The problem was that when ‘the black shadow’ entered my room I was so fearful I could do nothing.
The incidents were not prolonged (although at the time the groping seemed to go on forever!).
I have come to realise that Frank would have excused himself to ‘use the bathroom’ and took a detour via my bedroom on the way.
I believe these incidents would have occurred more if my family hadn’t moved to Lower Hutt in 1962.
The prayer meetings were then held at the church and I don’t recall Frank visiting my home again.

I recently asked my father about the ‘incident’ with Peter Fowler in Lower Hutt where Frank had been accused of abuse. He said it was beyond his comprehension that Frank could have been guilty. He thought at that time, in his naivety that it was an ‘attack of the devil’. He was partly right – the devil was Frank!

A ‘minor’ incident occurred at lunch at the Houston’s when I was a pubescent boy. Frank pressed his leg into mine and had his hand on my thigh. I recall feeling extremely uncomfortable.Frank abused the trust of his children by abusing their friends. How depraved is that?

Another significant event in my life involving Frank occurred in 1969 when I was 15. I was sitting down the back of the church with Brian and Graeme Houston and some of the other youth at a Sunday night service.

We were chatting away during the sermon and Frank came all the way down the centre aisle from the pulpit and yelled at me to stand up. He then yelled at me “You fool!” and then turned to the congregation and continued saying “Fools like you are tools of Satan! I curse you!” He was in an absolute rage.

I still feel the pain and shame of that moment now – 45 years later. Not only was Frank a pervert he was a bully! All my life, from this moment forward I was filled with anxiety and unable to be direct with anyone in authority for fear of being shamed and/or humiliated.

Then the Jesus Hippie thing came along with lots of hugging. Frank would seek out young men to embrace. It was creepy. I still remember him pushing his crotch into me as we embraced in ‘brotherly love’!

Frank the Paedophile was a liar, full of cunning and deceit.
He was a very scary controlling man.

I am sure there are many more victims out there – both children and young adult. I suspect a number of people I knew in my teens and early twenties were victims of Frank.

My wife emailed Brian Houston in 2009 when I uncovered and told her of my abuse. He responded in a supportive way stating he had no knowledge of the abuse but that I was welcome to contact him to discuss it. I have not taken him up on his offer.

I have been granted long-term counselling stemming in part from my childhood abuse experience. I also attend a 12 Step programme which is helping repair my brokeness.
I am lucky I have a supportive wife and family which I nearly lost.

I turned away from God for a long time. I am slowly learning to trust God with my life.
I remain angry about what Frank did. I still struggle to find a place of forgiveness in my heart for him.

Maybe Frank didn’t have this verse in his Bible…
But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea. Matthew 18:6.
Thanks Donald, for bringing the abuses of Frank to light.

Keep up the campaign.
Truth always wins in the end.

 The wife of boy victim WNZ1 writes to Beverly Houston:

“Bev my husband was abused by your father. The impact on his life and therefore mine has been enormous. The recent Australian Commission case has obviously brought it all back with a force. Having Donald’s site has really helped us. I realise it maybe hard for you to understand how we feel.
My husband often sat with your family around the dinner table. Your father would be stroking his knee, (the main abuse happened in darkness).
We both love God.
I find it so sad you don’t even believe in him. To me that is the biggest abuse a father can do, bring up a daughter to not believe in God. He has left you with no way of handling all your pain”.

Source: https://donaldelley.wordpress.com/2014/12/18/the-wife-of-victim-wnz1-replies-to-beverly-houstons-comments-made-two-days-ago/


.RC2010

2010/09/14 (Webjournals) Houston, William Francis (Frank) (1922-2004)

by Andrew MacFarlane writes a scholarly biography of Frank Houston

His update about Frank’s child abuse is wrong yet  MacFarlane had access to David Cartledge’s book which had the truth. Cartledge was an AOGA exec at the time of Frank’s discipline and was another executive who had worked with Frank for many years.

How come McFarlane was not able to get it right?

McFarlane writes,    (Full article)    [emphasis ours]

Houston, William Francis (Frank) (1922-2004)

Andrew MacFarlane,

Houston, William Francis (Frank) (22 April, 1922, Wanganui, New Zealand – 9 November, 2004, Sydney, Australia), Pentecostal pastor, latter rain healing evangelist, church planter, founder of the ‘Christian Life Centre’ movement.  …

Organisationally, Houston replaced the congregational style of church government with a “pastor led” style where the senior minister had decisive influence upon who would be on the eldership and upon the interpretation of the nature and mission of the church. …

During Houston’s time in Lower Hutt, his ministry extended around the world, including in Australia. His Australian ministry was powerful but controversial, especially as far as the Australian AOG were concerned. This was due in part to his being considered part of the Charismatic Movement, a movement which elements of the older Australian AOG leadership strongly opposed [Cartledge, 139].

In the Queensland Conference of 1972, for example, a whole day was spent

… debating the ministries of three men – Trevor Chandler, Robert Midgley and Frank Houston … [Houston] was considered to be the focal point of the controversial ‘New Move’. [Cartledge, 139].

…  However, Houston’s late start in Australia, his increasing age and failing health, began to tell on his ministry. During the latter half of the 1990s, Houston experienced problems with his short term memory and resigned from his executive positions, culminating in his handing over leadership of CLC Sydney to his son Brian in May 2000. [was actually, it was May 1999.] In December 2001 a letter regarding sexual misconduct of Frank Houston (and another minister) was circulated to all ministers of the AOG in Australia [by the AOGA execs]. Although the exact nature of the misconduct was not specified, it was described as “serious” and “repeated” and happening over thirty years previously in New Zealand. According to Cartledge, Houston’s confession to the AOG executive [only Brian heard Frank’s confession] was that he had repented of it and had never fallen back into that sin [Frank lied, more NZ victims cam forward in 2000 and after]. Nevertheless, his credentials with the AOG were withdrawn indefinitely.
[Note: McFarlane does NOT know
a. it happened in Australia.
The AOGA exec knew AHA was an Australian and they are complicit with Brian in peddling the idea that it all happened in NZ many years ago.
b. that is was PEDOPHILIA. ]

…[Houston thought] the church tended to “shoot itself in the foot” by focusing church discipline on punishment rather than restoration of offending ministers. One also wonders what the outcome would have been if Houston had confessed to his sin while still in NZ, and undergone a disciplinary process under the NZ AOG. He may never have been able to minister again. His ministry may never have recovered.
[Note this sentiment. It may be helpful to outsiders to understand why the AOG leadership and CLC/Hillsong leadership dragged its feet on the discipline of Frank and why it failed to deal with it properly and covered up AHA’s case for so many years. Why AHA, his mother, the NZ victims were hesitant and fearful to come forward. Why AOG pastor Taylor felt the AOG leadership was unsupportive and covering it up. Why Powell and Fowler thought the AOG leadership was covering it up, so went public.  Frank was a LEGEND in the AOG. ]

… From a different perspective, this very public fall raised questions for many people about the “pastor led” style of church government championed by Houston. In view of the cultural power wielded by senior ministers in such churches, some asked whether there were sufficient safeguards in place to protect ministers from the temptations they will inevitably face. …

Despite his failings, Frank Houston was a significant figure in the rise of the Australian charismatic megachurch. His faith, boldness, evangelistic passion, and reliance on the supernatural in ministry made a difference in thousands of lives; his energetic and pragmatic leadership resulted in innovations aimed at making church a place of effective evangelism and, increasingly, discipleship; his open and inclusive attitude to others outside his denomination…

In his latter years, Houston declined due to dementia, a situation aggravated by the predecease of his wife, Hazel. On Sunday, 7 November 2004, he suffered a massive stroke, and died the next day.

Andrew McFarlane  [updated, 14/9/2010]


Bibliography

Bridgewater M, Taped conversation, 27 March 2002.
Cartledge, D, Interviews, 8 May and 22nd May 2002, Pentecostal Heritage Centre, Alphacrucis College, Sydney.
Cartledge, D, The Apostolic Revolution, The Restoration of Apostles and Prophets in the Assemblies of God in Australia, (Chester Hill, Sydney: Paraclete Institute, 2000).
Gibbs, Stephen, “Hillsong farewells a lost sheep pioneer”, Sydney Morning Herald, November 13, 2004
Houston, H, Being Frank, The Frank Houston Story, (London: Marshall Pickering, 1989)
Knowles, B, The History of a New Zealand Pentecostal Movement, The New Life Churches of New Zealand From 1946 to 1979, Studies in Religion and Society, Vol 45, Queenston: Edwin Meller Press, 2000.
Vision Magazine, no. 26, March-April 1978.

Source: http://webjournals.ac.edu.au/ojs/index.php/ADPCM/article/view/213/210


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.RC2012

2012 Donald Elley notices Hillsong website said 1 boy abused in NZ;  Brian LIED

Neither Brian nor the AOGA provided information to the media that there was more than one victim and that there was one in Australia.

From the RC evidence, Brian knew of at least 5 victims at the end of 2000 and at least another 2 came forward after that (well before 2012).

Elley, who knew Frank Houston and used to be a lay-leader at CLC, wrote,

“Pastor Brian Houston’s habitual lying about the number of victims of his father 

In late 2012 as I wrote more blog articles about Frank Houston and my experiences with him at Christian Life Centre Sydney, I became curious as to how many boy and teen victims of Frank Houston the founder of Hillsong mega-church, that Brian Houston and Hillsong were saying there were.

In late 2012 I had a look on the Hillsong website and was greatly surprised Hillsong Media had written on the site that Frank Houston abused “only one boy over thirty years ago in New Zealand.”

I checked every newspaper interview on the Net about Pastor Brian Houston and Hillsong and Frank Houston’s victims and I found that Brian Houston was saying the same thing every time: That is, “there was only one boy abused by my father Frank over thirty years ago in New Zealand.”

Eight victims known by me in late 2012

In late 2012 I knew about six boy victims at Lower Hutt Assemblies of God church because a relative told me about them. He is close friends of one of the these boy victims who were sexually abused by Frank Houston when he was head pastor of Lower Hutt Assemblies of God in the 1960s. I found out about them in 1990 and I was told they’d been some kind of settlement. I was quite curious to see if I could catch Frank Houston out as a crooked pervert after that.

I knew about teen victim Peter Fowler because I read about him on-line in late 2012.
I knew about SA1 because he wrote a message on my site in late 2012.
This gave me a total of eight victims.

I was perplexed as to how Brian could say there was only one victim.

How many victims did Brian Houston know about and when?

Although Brian Houston was lying and saying from 1999 when his father Frank confessed to pedophilia until October 2014 at the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that “There was only one boy abused by my father Frank over thirty years ago in New Zealand”, Brian knew about seven boy and teen victims of his father Frank in 1999 and nine by 2005.

Evidence from the Royal Commission and my own sources has established that prior to 2014 Brian knew about the following victims.

Six boy victims at Lower Hutt Assemblies of God (AOG) church in New Zealand who were sexually abused by Frank Houston in the 1960s. Brian knew about these victims in 1999 and probably much earlier.

Teen victim Peter Fowler who was abused in Lower Hutt AOG in the early 1970s. Brian knew about Peter Fowler in 2005 or earlier.

Boy victim WNZ1 who was abused in Wellington, New Zealand in the 1960s.  Brian knew about WNZ1 because WNZ1 contacted him by email in the mid-2000s and Brian replied to WNZ1

Boy victim AHA who was abused in Coogee Beach, Sydney, Australia in the late 1960s to early 1970s by Frank Houston. AHA was aged 7 to 12 during the abuse. Brian knew about AHA in 1999 or earlier.

The total number of victims Brian knew about in 1999 was seven.
The total number of victims Brian knew about by 2005 was nine.
The total number of victims Brian Houston knew about by 2014 is unknown but he is now saying he knows about six victims.

This is what Brian told Leila McKinnon in his recent interview with her on Sydney TV Channel Nine’s ‘Inside Story’ program.
Leila McKinnon asked Brian how many victims of his father he believes there were now.
Brian replied “Six victims”.

Conclusion

In 1999 Brian knew about seven victims in Australia and New Zealand so for Brian to say from 1999 to 2014 “there was only one boy abused by my father Frank over thirty years ago in New Zealand” was a big fat lie.

Brian has always tried to place all the boy victims far away in New Zealand. As if by being placed in New Zealand, where Brian, Frank and I come from, would make them disappear and go away.

In 2005 Brian knew about nine victims in Australia and New Zealand so for Brian to say from 1999 to 2014 “there was only one boy abused by my father Frank over thirty years ago in New Zealand” was a fatter big lie.

In 2016, if Brian reads my blog-site, Brian now knows about fourteen established boy and teen victims of his father Frank comprising  five in Australia and nine in New Zealand. So for Brian to say from 1999 to 2014 “there was only one boy abused by my father Frank over thirty years ago in New Zealand” was a very big fat lie.

For Brian to now say in 2016 to Leila McKinnon “there are six victims” is an even bigger than big fat lie.

In 2016, if Brian reads my blog-site which I’d guess he sometimes does, Brian knows there may be hundreds of boy and teen victims of his father, maybe over four hundred.

Brian told the media at the time of the Royal Commission “we may never know the number of victims”. Brian knows there are a lot more than six victims.  …”

2012Elley-SaysHS-Media-1boyinNZ

Source: https://donaldelley.wordpress.com/2016/06/06/pastor-brian-houston-of-hillsong-mega-church-is-a-pathological-liar/


2012/03/25 (SunHerald) The Fitz Files 

“…Faith and charity

Last week was also the week that, after a long, expensive legal campaign, Hillsong won the right to turn a warehouse into, nominally, a place of worship, but also a place that will soon generate huge amounts of money courtesy of thousands of weekend worshippers. And here is what I don’t get. While Alexandria is chocka with all kinds of businesses that pay taxes and rates, Hillsong – a far more successful money-generator than the most of them – will be entirely exempt as it is a church. You see, as a “charity”, they don’t have profits, they have “surpluses”. And they don’t even pay taxes on their business operations! Yes, if every cent of these surpluses was going to the poor and needy, there would be a case for it, but it is not. Google how well the Hillsong leaders Brian and Bobbie Houston live, running a miraculous business for which the level of accountability to anyone, let alone the tax office, is close to zero. Genuine churches, doing genuine good works, are not happy about it. The Pentecostal preacher and former Assemblies of God national secretary, Philip Powell, recently said to journalist Adam Shand on the subject: “It should be recognised for what it is: a corporation, not a church. Hillsong is really just a sales and marketing operation.” Exactly. Taking money from the gullible and giving nothing back in kind.  …”

Source: http://newsstore.fairfax.com.au/apps/viewDocument.ac?page=1&sy=smh&kw=hillsong&pb=all_ffx&dt=selectRange&dr=entire&so=relevance&sf=text&sf=headline&rc=200&rm=200&sp=nrm&clsPage=1&docID=SHD120325U8BBJ3N2FQN


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2013/11/05 Huffington Post –  still promoting Hillsong’s myth about Frank Houston

The myth propagated by both Brian/Hillsong and the AOGA is that Frank’s abuse all happened New Zealand. Hence, the 1999 Australian allegation is hidden in the 2000 NZ investigation, as if it never happened. This covers up the bungled 1999 Australian AHA investigation by Brian  and the subsequent AOGA determination. The 1999 AOGA discipline did not make it public nor permanently remove Frank’s credentials; allowed Brian to be the only executive to deal with both the victim and perpetrator, despite his conflict of interest; and Brian and the AOGA did NOT follow their own Admin Manual procedure and failed to provide an independent investigation and protect/support the complainant. Note, the AOGA DID follow procedure in 2000, which highlights the inappropriate way AHA was dealt with. It was so poorly handled that the AOGA deliberately conflated both investigations to hide the 1999 AHA Australian abuse matter.

This excerpt is from the Huffington Post article by Sarah Pulliam Bailey:

Australia’s Hillsong Church Has Astonishingly Powerful Global Influence

“…The church, whose founders hail from New Zealanders, has faced bumps along the way. The couple started the church in a school with about 70 people. 

In 2000, Brian Houston’s father Frank Houston, also a minister, confessed to sexually abusing an underage male member of his New Zealand congregation 30 years before. In response, Brian Houston, who was the president of the denomination Assemblies of God in Australia at the time, fired his father, took control of the church and merged it with Hillsong.
[This is wrong, but sounds good for Brian. Frank confessed in 1999 to an Australian incident of child sexual abuse; in 2000 he was investigated again for abused committed in New Zealand; Frank, still an employee of Brian’s church, was not fired but rather allowed to retire with his reputation in tact a year after the AOGA dealt with it; Frank handed the church to Brian. Was this story corrected?]

Brian Houston still talks about his father, mentioning the scandal briefly in his Sunday sermon, thanking the congregation for their support during that time.

‘I think I’m quite a tolerant person, but one thing I’ve really never had any tolerance for is sexual abuse, and especially child abuse,’ he said in an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. ‘So, I don’t think you could have kicked me in the guts with a bigger blow, in some ways.’


.RC2014

2014/09/18 (SMH) Hillsong Church to come under scrutiny at Royal Commission into child abuse

In 2014, the media (and congregations) still thought it was a single child (a boy) in New Zealand that was sexually abused, and Frank was dismissed in 2000.

This is because Brian, Hillsong and the AOGA always implied it was in New Zealand by the way they worded their communications, even to their own ministers. They also hid the 1999 discipline in the 2000 investigation. They had many opportunities to correct this wrong perception, and chose not to.

Prior to the Royal Commission,  Rachel Browne of the SMH writes,

2014/09/18 SMH - announces Hillsong ACC at RC - Frank's one-off- n NZ

Source: http://www.smh.com.au/national/hillsong-church-to-come-under-scrutiny-at-royal-commission-into-child-sex-abuse-20140918-10il3c.html


2014/10/07 Hillsong Media Statement about upcoming Royal Commission

“Statement from Brian Houston, Senior Pastor, Hillsong Church Re: Royal Commission – Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

7 October 2014

Hillsong Church welcomes this Royal Commission and fully supports its objectives. We believe that exposing child sexual abuse and the response of institutions to that abuse, and allowing survivors to share their traumatic experiences, is a powerful step in the healing process.

While our involvement in this commission does not involve abuse that happened at our church, and there are no allegations against me or Hillsong, I have been touched by the horrific act of child sexual abuse in a very personal way. Having to face the fact that my father engaged in such repulsive acts was – and still is – agonising.

However as painful as this is for me, I can only imagine how much more pain these events caused to the victims, and my prayer is that they find peace and wholeness.

Hillsong Church has zero tolerance for sexual abuse and has comprehensive child protection policies that are continually reviewed. We also welcome any recommendation of the commission that would assist us to improve on these policies even further.

This Royal Commission reminds us of the vulnerability of our children and should compel every organisation responsible for the oversight of children – churches, schools or other institutions – to ensure that the abhorrent acts of the past will never happen again.”

Source: http://hillsong.com/media-releases/statement-from-brian-houston-re-royal-commission-institutional-responses-to-child-sexual-abuse/


2014/10/07 SMH media: reports child sexual abuse victim was AUSTRALIAN <<<<<<

This was the first time the media and Australia (and church congregations) found out there was an Australian victimexposed by the Royal Commission.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported from the first day of the RC,

‘Agonising’: Hillsong founder Brian Houston on facing the fact his father Frank was a child abuser     by Rachel Brown

“… He told the commission that one of Frank Houston’s alleged victims, given the pseudonym AHA, was sexually molested numerous times over a period of years at his Sydney home as a young boy in the 1960s and 70s.   …”

Source: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/agonising-hillsong-founder-brian-houston-on-facing-the-fact-his-father-frank-was-a-child-abuser-20141006-10r5ls.html



RoyalCommission-Legislation-Penalty-for-False-Testimony-Contempt


2014 October – Royal Commission hearings 7-10 October 

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse - Case Study 18: a public hearing concerned with the institutional response to child sexual abuse of the Australian Christian Churches (ACC) and its affiliated churches.