Hillsong Church's First Worship Pastor Geoff Bullock Speaks Up About the Abuses in the Church
Geoff Bullock was Hillsong Church's first worship pastor. He is also the songwriter behind the megachurch's earlier songs such as "The Power of Your Love," "Have Faith in God," "This Kingdom," among many others. Bullock revealed that senior members of the church knew of the sexual "deviance" of Pastor Frank Houston for years before it became publicly known.
In a television interview broadcast on United States cable network NewsNation earlier today, Bullock said he now felt he had a responsibility to speak up about Hillsong, in light of the turmoil that has recently engulfed the church.
"I lived through it and there are a multitude of hurting people that I think I have to start the story and hopefully that'll give people courage to tell their story," he said.
According to the report, Frank Houston had conducted "counselling" sessions with a 23-year-old trainee pastor who believed he might be homosexual. However, the sessions became "nothing more than sexual abuse disguised in the form of the need of a father's love and discipline," the man said, citing Houston's "naked beatings" and "the eternal bum caresses and masturbating into bottles".
Yet Bullock said senior pastors were aware of the allegations in the early 1990s. He also said that Pastor Brian Houston had told him about the allegations before Bullock left Hillsong in 1995. Despite, allegedly, being aware of Frank Houston's behaviour - amounting to a serious moral transgression, as the church deems it - no action was taken to remove him from the ministry.
While serving in the church, Bullock alleges that he did not see alot of Christ-like behavior in the church. The church, according to bullock, has a way of exploiting people. "Basically they've got unpaid workers and many of their workers go to Bible college, so they pay to work. Eighty per cent of its income is being given to them," he told interviewer Rich McHugh.
"I don't see a lot of Jesus. I look at Hillsong now, I see that every service has to be better than the last service. Every conference has to be better ... Every sermon has to be more powerful ... there needs to be growth, growth, growth, growth, growth for the sake of growth, growth, growth. But I see a multitude of people that are caught up in serving this structure to make it grow as if it's God's kingdom, but they're being left behind."
Bullock himself left the church in 1995. He said that the minute he left, senior members of the church turned on him. "I didn't realise I was actually declaring war - that's a bad word, but Hillsong was not a place you left. It's a place you were sent from. They cancelled me as if I didn't exist.
"I lost all my friends. I lost all my contacts in the Hillsong community of churches, network of churches," he said.
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