Hillsong Church started in 1983, founded by Brian Houston, with his wife, Bobbie, serving as a senior pastor. The couple has since then gone on to become two of the most recognizable faces within the organization while the church has continued its growth. However, Investigation Discovery’s ‘Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed’ is a docuseries that explores the darker side of the church, detailing several allegations leveled against the organization and its members. Bobbie has backed her husband despite everything, being a pillar of support for him through it all. So, let’s find out more about her then, shall we?
Who is Bobbie Houston?
Bobbie and Brian met on Papamoa Beach in Tauranga, New Zealand, and the couple married in 1977. At the time, Brian’s father was a pastor, and Brian intended to follow in his footsteps. The family moved to Australia soon after, with Frank starting a Pentecostal church in the country. Over the next few years, Bobbie and Brian worked with Frank, but in 1983, they moved to the north-western suburbs of Sydney, Australia.
Over there, the couple started Hills Christian Life Centre at a local public school in 1983. The church was eventually named Hillsong after one of its musical acts. As seen later, music would go on to become a massive part of Hillsong’s preaching and how they reached their congregants. Bobbie serves as the Global Senior Pastor of Hillsong and is the founder of Colour Conference and Colour Sisterhood, movements designed to better support women worldwide, including help for domestic violence survivors.
While Bobbie and Hillsong have contributed a lot to charity and tried to make a difference in the world, they have not been without their controversies. In early 2021, Bobbie was criticized for the contents of her 2003 audiobook for using a slur against people with developmental disabilities. Many felt that a few of the comments were fatphobic, and the book also talked about how God-fearing women were supposed to look young no matter what.
Bobbie later apologized, saying, “I used certain words and examples that were unwise and offensive, and especially so in a world where appropriate and sensitive language is of absolute critical importance.” The church had also come under fire for alleged homophobia, with the church reportedly having courses to “cure” homosexuality and hosting speakers that were part of the so-called “ex-gay movement.”
Where is Bobbie Houston Now?
Recently, Brian Houston resigned from his position as the Global Senior Pastor after his alleged inappropriate behavior with two women in the past. Bobbie responded to the controversy by commenting on a recent Instagram post. She remained supportive of her husband, saying, “I’m okay. It’s been a very cruel week — but I will forever stand alongside the man I have loved and walked with for 45yrs. I know his nature and character and integrity more than ANYONE.”
Bobbie lives with her family in Sydney and seems to be taking some time away dealing with the controversy. While Brian did state in January 2022 that his wife would continue to be engaged in church activities, it is unclear where things stand after recent developments.
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