Hillsong's former leader is being investigated for doing 'the kind of shopping that would embarrass a Kardashian'.

Hillsong Church is being investigated by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC) over Brian Houston's alleged lavish spending. 

The former Global Senior Pastor stepped down from his position on March 24, 2022, following a damning investigation that revealed he had mistreated two women. 

Now, Hillsong is facing trouble again after allegations were made against the mega-church in Parliament last week. 

Watch: 60 Minutes investigates Hillsong Church. Post continues after video. 

Video via Nine.

Here's everything we know. 

What happened?

Last week, Independent MP Andrew Wilkie used his parliamentary privilege to accuse Hillsong of tax evasion, fraud and money laundering. As a result, the mega-church is now being investigated. 

Houston is at the centre of the allegations. 

Wilkie claims the preacher used church money to take expensive family holidays, make lavish purchases and to fly in private jets. 

"Hillsong followers believe the money they put in the poor box goes to the poor," Wilkie said. "These documents show how that money is actually used to do the kind of shopping that would embarrass a Kardashian."


Documents allegedly say senior church figures received expensive watches, including Phil Dooley (who is the current global pastor) and former pastors Joel and Julia A'Bell.

Wilkie claims the documents came from a whistleblower.

What has Hillsong said? 

ACNC Commissioner Sue Woodward has denied claims that a whistleblower disclosed information to authorities about Hillsong. 

"If a whistleblower of a charity wants protection, or is concerned about possible harm as a result of making a disclosure, they must raise concerns with an agency deemed to be an eligible recipient," she said.

"The ACNC is not an eligible recipient and we are not able to provide protection."

In a statement, Hillsong said the claims made by Wilkie were "out of context" and related to "untested allegations made by an employee in an ongoing legal case." 

Woodward went on to say in a statement that Hillsong is "fully cooperating with regulatory authorities."

"Although it was stated in Parliament that the ACNC has not acted, I can confirm that we are investigating concerns raised about Hillsong Church charities."

Why did Brian Houston step down from Hillsong Church?

Last year, in March 2022, Houston resigned as Global Senior Paster at the mega-church. 


Damning evidence uncovered that he had mistreated two women. 

"We would like to advise you that Pastor Brian Houston has resigned as Global Senior Pastor of Hillsong Church and the board has accepted his resignation," the global board said in a statement following his resignation.

"Irrespective of the circumstances around this, we can all agree that Brian and (his wife) Bobbie have served God faithfully over many decades and that their ministry has resulted in millions of people across the world being impacted by the power, grace, and love of Jesus Christ."

Over 10 years ago, the preacher was alleged to have sent inappropriate text messages to a staff member. Whilst he claims he was under the influence of sleeping tablets and had become dependent on them, the employee ended up resigning. 

Another incident occurred in 2019 after Houston allegedly became disoriented after a Hillsong Conference. According to reports, he had consumed too much alcohol with anti-anxiety medication. The preacher then knocked on the hotel room door and spent time with the female occupant.

An investigation launched by the global board found Houston had breached the Hillsong Pastor's Code of Conduct and on Friday said, 

"This person did not deserve to be placed in the situation she found herself in."

Feature Image: Getty/Hillsong.