Former Hillsong Church founder Brian Houston has apologized to church members in an email sent one week after the church's global board announced his resignation for inappropriate behavior in separate incidents involving two women, including a former staff member.
In the email obtained by the Australian news outlet Eternity News, Houston, 67, apologized to church members and his wife, Bobbie, with whom he co-founded the now global megachurch in 1983.
The former global senior pastor also admitted to using alcohol to cope with the "many years of constant pressure, opposition, challenges and attacks, accompanied by my personal turmoil over my father's evil.
"Many people have asked, 'How do you continue to get up, cope and keep going?' And now we know the answer. I haven't coped very well at all. I openly admit that alcohol has been no friend, and I am determined to relegate it to my past," Houston wrote.
As CBN News reported in January, Houston stepped down from all "ministry responsibilities" at the church while dealing with legal charges that he concealed his father's child sex offenses. The New South Wales Police Force accused Houston in August 2021 of covering up information about an incident where his father allegedly abused a boy in the 1970s.
In his email to church members, Houston also said he and Bobbie "have no intention of retiring."
"As Bobbie would say, 'The final chapters of our lives are not yet written,'" he wrote.
Houston offered his apologies to the church he founded. And as it moves forward without him, he said he still believes "the best is yet to come."
"To every single wonderful person who has called Hillsong Church home, I have let you down so badly, and sorry will never be enough to express my sorrow. As hollow as it may sound, I believe I am the person and pastor you believed me to be. Imperfect and flawed, but genuinely passionate about God, people, calling and life. I am determined that my mistakes will not define me," he wrote.
"Thank you for the immense honor of pastoring Hillsong Church these past 39 years. What a journey. What wonderful memories and joy. What powerful testimonies and stories of Christ's transformation and grace. I still believe 'the best is yet to come...and our prayer for your health, well-being and God's perfect will in your life continues," Houston concluded.
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