“Justin Bieber’s favorite New York church just got a little more Hollywood clout.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, William Morris Endeavor (WME) signed a deal adding the Hillsong church in New York to its roster of celebrity clients. In a move that marks a major first for Hollywood, WME will represent the Pentecostal church and help it expand its massive online following (10 million followers on various social media accounts plus an estimated 9 million annual website visitors) as well as its national television-viewing audience. In short, the church is about to take Hollywood by storm.
The marriage between Tinseltown and the urban church isn’t exactly coming out of nowhere. The church, originally founded in Australia by Brian and Bobbie Houston, already has a prominent celebrity following in addition to the estimated 100,000 churchgoers who fill its pews every weekend.
The church has capitalized off a strong media buzz in recent years. The cachet of young stars flocking to the church has attracted profiles from news outlets including The New York Times, which singled out Hillsong’s unique ability to attract followers in urban locations where faith has fallen out of favor among the younger set. The New York Post recently dubbed Carl Lentz, the tattooed Hillsong pastor who is one of Bieber’s best friends, the “hipster pastor.”
In case you’re still wondering why a major Hollywood agency would want to get into business with a church, a better question might be to ask why wouldn’t they? The Hollywood Reporter reports Hillsong has sold millions of records to fans of the church’s catchy pop-praise music. Plus, it’s not the first time WME has dabbled in representing religious figures. WME also reps the Joel Osteen and LightWorkers Media, a Christian film and television production company headed by producer Mark Burnett and former Touched by an Angel star Roma Downey.”