Pastor Frank Houston. Founder of Hillsong. Shamed self-confessed lifelong secret pedophile.

Pastor Brian Houston. Current head of Hillsong and the former head of the Australian Assemblies of God


I wrote the article below on 20 November 2012. I’ve never met Graeme Houston, although there are readers of this site who know him.

Graeme writes below some very high praises of his mother Hazel Houston.

Since I wrote the article below, a highly reliable Hillsong insider has shared with me how Hazel knew for decades of her husband’s pedophilia issues. This may have dated as far back as to the day Frank Houston was sacked by the New Zealand Salvation Army. This was in the early 1950s.

If Hazel had reported her husband to the police, imagine how many boy and male teen victims would have been spared from sexual abuse by her husband.

Please read the article below in view of my current knowledge and views about Hazel.

Hazel told the Hillsong Insider, “Frank has had a problem with boys for a long time”.


Hazel and Frank Houston on their wedding day


Frank Houston as a Salvation Army Captain in Auckland New Zealand in the 1940s to early 1950s. Probably removed for sexually abusing little boys and young male teens.


Blog article 20 November 2012

When I was involved as a lay pastor at Christian Life Centre Darlinghurst in Inner City, Sydney, Australia, in the 1980s Pastor Frank Houston would sometimes talk from the pulpit or to me personally about his eldest son Graeme.

Christian Life Centre Darlinghurst, otherwise known as CLC Darlinghurst, was the second name for Hillsong.

Pastor Frank said that his son Graeme was a fireman and wasn’t into attending church. Pastor Frank said he’d tried to encourage Graeme to attend but he wasn’t into it. Pastor Frank seemed to accept this reality about Graeme.

And he used to say he loved Graeme, but it appeared maybe not as much as Graeme’s highly churched younger brother Brian. Pastor Brian Houston is Pastor Frank Houston’s successor and the current Head of the Hillsong Movement and the head of the Australian Assemblies of God for 12 years until 2009.

One of the readers of this series of articles about Pastor Frank Houston on this blog site referred me to a contribution by Graeme Houston to another web-site on 29 September 2012. If you look at their comment to me on the bottom of Part 7 of this series you can view the link to Graeme Houston’s own thoughts about his father Frank and mother Hazel and other related subjects.

In Graeme’s on-line contribution he raises various interesting points about his father and mother. I will quote Graeme’s words and then offer my comments.

Graeme: “…my mother Hazel was the most beautiful person you could ever meet”.

My comment: I knew Hazel Houston personally from working around Christian Life Centre (CLC), Darlinghurst as a carpenter and being a lay pastor and part of CLC. I travelled with Frank and Hazel to Chile and spent two weeks with them at a Conference Frank was speaking at.

Hazel Houston was one of those old-school devoted very good and godly Christian woman. Like my mother Valerie, a pastor’s wife too, they came from another era where the pastors’ wife, and woman generally, normally didn’t have a career. Their vocation was as a wife, mother and social support in the church and the community.

Hazel was always there for Frank. Hazel respected and adored him. She was Frank’s close friend and companion for over 5 decades.

Graeme: “To me she was one of the few genuine Christians on earth”.

My comment: Hazel was a very sincere and genuine down-to-earth person.

Hazel wasn’t a preacher or a lay pastor like some pastor’s wives. Hazel found her fulfilment as a self-confessed book-worm. At Christian Life Centre in Darlinghurst in the 1980s Hazel established a bookshop in the church which not only serviced the needs of the growing church there but she also had customers and serviced churches with their book needs all over NSW and beyond.

As a builder I did the fit-out for the bookshop. I got to know Hazel quite well.

In contrast to Pastor Frank who was a small wiry man, Hazel was taller and of a strong frame. I used to tell Hazel to stop lifting heavy stuff like heavy boxes of books but she didn’t listen to me.

Hazel tried her hand as an author and wrote a book about her husband entitled “Being Frank”.

Graeme: “She could be hard on you when it was warranted but she was kind, generous, loving…I could go on and on”.

My comment: Here is a man who adored his mum.

Graeme: “When the accusations about my father first surfaced she was devastated naturally enough. In fact I still think that’s what killed her”.

My comment: As a very good and godly woman, wife and mother who respected her husband immensely and believed in him and his Christian ministry and then, after over 5 decades together, to find out that he has been a secret pedophile and homosexual all that time would have been indescribably devastating for Hazel. A worst nightmare.

Like my mother Valerie, a pastor’s wife, she deserved good things and this news would have come out of left field like an emotional tornado. If it didn’t kill her, it wouldn’t have been great for her health.

Graeme: “I have read here and in many other places that my mother, me, Brian and the rest of the family must have known about my father’s behaviour…well take it from me that is just unbelievable rubbish”.

Comment: My father Rev Reuben Donald Elley was a prominent and greatly respected Presbyterian pastor who served God faithfully from his teenage years until he died in August this year. Dad’s specialty was in pastoral care and evangelism.

In the 1990s dad came across a few pedophiles when he was part-time pastoring in Auckland, New Zealand, in his retirement years. Dad told me that pedophiles are the most devious, deceptive and dishonest people he had ever tried to help. They are also secretive and cover their tracks well.

Dad shared how he showed one pedophile a photograph of the this same pedophile in the act of abusing a child and although it clearly was him, he still denied it. Dad said he’d come to the conclusion that pedophiles are pathological liars, deceivers and deniers.

In view of this, I am not surprised that Pastor Frank Houston managed to keep his pedophile and homosexual activities hidden from those closest to him for over 40 years.

I would also add that the average pedophile abuses 250 different children in their lifetime.

To date I have heard of 9 minors who Pastor Frank Houston has interfered with. Six 10 year olds in Lower Hutt in the late 60s, one 15 year old in Lower Hutt the early 70s and 2 young people in South Australia in the early 70s while pastor Frank was ministering at a Youth Camp.

In addition Peter Lawton, Pastor Frank’s worship pastor had homosexual and homo-erotic encounters with Pastor Frank while lodging with Pastor Frank and Hazel. This was when Peter  in his 20s in the early 1980s.

If you know of any more victims or are a victim of Pastor Frank Houston’s sexual abuse please let me know by posting a comment on this site.

In the early 70s Pastor Frank was accused of interfering with the six 10 year olds while pastor at Lower Hutt AOG. There was a huge furore in the Lower Hutt AOG church about it. Somehow Pastor Frank managed to survive this by shutting down the complainants.

Former trusted elders there, Stan and Sheila Carter told me about it in the late 1970s. They were mad with Pastor Frank about it and had left Lower Hutt AOG for the peace and tranquility of the Kapiti Coast. They were attending Tom Marshall’s Church, Kapiti Christian Centre.

I have wondered if Hazel knew about these accusations. She was almost blindly loyal to Frank so if Frank had denied it and said that people were falsely accusing him, she would have been upset with the accusers and she stood by her man.