Hillsong's Interim Global Senior Pastor Phil Dooley Responds to the Upcoming "Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed"

Phil Dooley

Discovery Plus will be releasing a three-part docuseries called Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed on March 24. The series will outline the rise of the megachurch and deal with the church's recent scandals, such as the extramarital affair of former Hillsong NYC pastor Carl Lenz. In a service that was streamed live on YouTube on February 19, Hillsong's interim global senior pastor Phil Dooley addressed the upcoming docuseries directly, arguing that its producers are deliberately mischaracterizing Hillsong Church in order to hurt it.  

"Sadly, there is a documentary about our church coming out soon. Surprise, surprise. And that picture it paints is far removed from, I believe, the truth of who we are as a church," Dooley said. "There are people who have been hurt by their experience in our church. And that saddens me. For those people, I say we are deeply sorry and we pray that you'll find healing. But there are also producers behind this documentary, and their purpose is not the healing of people but simply to hurt the church."

"And if those producers were truly attempting to do an exposé, I would like to expose them to a place called Gugulethu, a township in Cape Town. And a school called Tembaletu with Xhosa speaking disabled young people who live a pretty tough life," Dooley continued. "And yet our church collectively around the world provided them with accommodation, so that they could experience a better life and an opportunity for a better education. And we have continued to do that with these beautiful kids."

Dooley went on to describe Hillsong Church's efforts to provide digital education for children in a village outside Johannesburg, South Africa in order to improve their employment opportunities, as well as their work to provide shelter and care to Syrian refugees who had fled to Europe. He also highlighted Hillsong's partnerships with humanitarian organizations like Compassion International and Vision Rescue. 

Referring to these global humanitarian efforts, Dooley said, "I wish that was the exposé, because that's the church that I know. It's never claimed to be a perfect church. I've been part of this church for thirty years."



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