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Hillsong Founder, Brian Houston, Sentenced to 3 Years Probation for Drunk Driving

by | Apr 20, 2023 | Apostasy, News, Religion, Social-Issues | 0 comments

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Brian Houston, the former global senior pastor of Hillsong Church, pleaded guilty to driving under the influence (DUI) on April 13, 2023. Houston was arrested in Newport Beach, California, on February 26, 2022, after he was pulled over by police for driving erratically. A breathalyzer test showed that Houston had a blood alcohol content of 0.14%, which is more than twice the legal limit in California.

In 2022, two incidents that were reported and under investigation by Hillsong involved Houston sending inappropriate text messages to a woman of a sexual nature and the other involved Houston disappearing into a woman’s hotel room for almost an hour one night while away that involved the use of alcohol. Houston has not publicly admitted to having sex with this woman, but it does beg the question: what was he doing in her room?

In the same year, Houston was also accused of misusing church funds for personal expenses. The allegations included that Houston had used church money to pay for his private jet, his home, and his personal security detail, among many other things. Houston denied the allegations, but he has resigned as global senior pastor of Hillsong Church in the wake of the scandal.

These are just some of the allegations that have been made against Brian Houston. While he has denied all of the allegations, they have raised serious questions about his character and judgment. Houston’s behavior has also damaged the reputation of Hillsong Church, which has been rocked by a series of scandals in recent years.

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Houston was charged with three counts: driving under the influence, driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or more, and failing to display two license plates on his vehicle. He pleaded guilty to two of the three charges and the license plate charge was dismissed.

As part of his plea deal, Houston was sentenced to three years of probation, a $140 fine, and 52 hours of community service. He was also ordered to attend a DUI education program and install an ignition interlock device in his car.

Houston’s DUI arrest came just days after he resigned as global senior pastor of Hillsong Church. Houston had been under increasing pressure to step down after an internal investigation found that he had acted inappropriately toward two women. The investigation also found that Houston had been dishonest with Hillsong’s board of directors about his father’s history of sexual abuse.

Houston’s DUI arrest and resignation from Hillsong Church have been a major blow to the megachurch, one of the largest and most influential churches in the world, with over 150,000 members in 30 countries. The church has been rocked by a series of scandals in recent years, and Houston’s arrest is likely to further damage its reputation.

In a statement released after his arrest, Houston said that he was “deeply sorry” for his actions. He said that he had been “under immense pressure and emotional strain” at the time of the arrest, and that he had “made a foolish decision” to drive under the influence.

This week, Houston pled guilty and was convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol in California and received a sentence of three years probation, a $140 fine, and was required to participate in a three-month first-offender alcohol program, victim impact counseling, and self-help meetings for one year, though it is unclear if all of the sentencing will actually be imposed. The DUI charge carried an enhanced penalty due to his high BAC level of over .20 percent, known as blackout drunk driving, though he has not been sentenced for this as of yet.

Houston’s DUI arrest and conviction is a reminder that even the most powerful people are not immune to the dangers of alcohol abuse. It is also a reminder that addiction can have devastating consequences for individuals, families, and communities.

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