Brian Houston claims church board is not afraid of him


Ian Dickson: “You’re the leader of a huge church that’s growing all the time .. and you have a lot of power. What keeps you honest and responsible?”

Brian Houston: “I’ve got a board that I answer to, a church board .. and they’re not afraid of me. They’re actually fantastic, and so in all seriousness, they are the ultimate decision-makers of the church.”

Ian Dickson: “Do they ever have to pull you into line?”

Brian Houston: “You know, I’ve got a pretty good relationship. I wouldn’t say they had to pull me into line but they do say ‘no’ sometimes.”



“The Hillsong Board

Brian Houston – Senior Pastor of Hillsong Church

Nabi Saleh is Executive Chairman of Gloria Jean’s Coffees worldwide and Chairman of Praise International USA which operates It’s A Grind coffee houses. His drive, passion and belief in people coupled with his strong business acumen and godly wisdom have enabled him to sit on several boards for large, non-profit organisations.

George Aghajanian is General Manager and a director of Hillsong Church Australia and its international entities. Upon leaving university he entered the private sector where he gained extensive experience in management, customer service, sales and marketing. George possesses a wealth of senior management experience working with both Australian and international organisations, and brings a strong balance of faith and practical business application to his role. George is married to Margaret and they have four children.

Joel A’Bell is the Lead Pastor of Hillsong Australia alongside Senior Pastors Brian & Bobbie Houston. Joel is an innovative thinker, leader and communicator. He is passionate about building and growing the local church. His fresh leadership ideas and style have helped shape Hillsong’s flourishing multi-campus church. Joel is a team-focused leader dedicated to seeing all involved reach their full potential. He has been married to his best friend Julia for 20 years and is a dedicated father to Harmony & Eli.

Leigh Howard-Smith is the Director owner of a national logistics and transport business. He is a long-standing board member of Hillsong Church and brings a wealth of business acumen to that role. Leigh is married to Denise.

Grant Thomson (D Min (candidate), MA (Theology), MBA, Grad Cert Man) has been in Hillsong Church for over 25 years, in church leadership roles for over 20 years and full time ministry for over 10 years. Prior to full time ministry, a breadth of corporate experience in multiple industries and roles gives Grant a broad business perspective. Grant has been married for 18 years to the love of his life and has three incredible children.

Dane Gambrill is employed as a Client Executive of the Media & Entertainment industry at IBM, responsible for the relationship and business development of Australia’s largest publishing, broadcast and post production organisations. He is also the service pastor of Hillsong Hills Campus 4:30pm service, and a participant in Hillsong’s IT Steering committee. He has a number of technical and business related qualifications, most recently in direct marketing. Dane is married to Louise and they have three beautiful children.

Phillip Bradley Denton is an Executive Director of Hillscorp, a property development company, and is the director of several other property-related companies. In his past 25 years in the industry, he has gained a wealth of experience and skills in negotiation, sales and acquisitions, feasibilities and building relationships with joint-venture parties, clients and staff.

Dwayne Mark Nielsen (Registered Architect Qld, NSW; FAIA; Grad Dip Arch. QUT) is the CEO and a Director of Merrin and Cranston Architects. Whilst a Director of Merrin and Cranston, Dwayne was treasurer and a member of the management committee for The Practicing Architects Group in Queensland, which went on to become The Association of Consulting Architects. In this role he was appointed to the National advisory committee, which helped develop and negotiate the National Architects Award. Dwayne is married to Kym and has been involved in the management of the Brisbane campus for many years.

Don Cooper-Williams is a Senior Marketing Executive within the IT Industry. With both godly wisdom and management skills, he is a gifted communicator within the church and the corporate community.

Lalita Stables (nee Ari) BBus, Sys, is Enterprise Sales Manager at Google Australia, following a successful corporate career with IBM for 11 years. She holds a Business Computing/Marketing degree. In 2002 she initiated a business advisory practice, consulting to recruitment agencies and their senior candidates, specialising in presentation skills. A steering committee member for the Inaugural Women’s Build Habitat for Humanity Project in Sydney, Lalita also co-founded Oasis Africa Australia, raised awareness and funds to start a school for orphans and now supports over 1200 students as well as presenting regularly at fundraising and philanthropic events. Lalita has worked as a professional session singer for 15 years with a strong theatre background in singing and acting and performed on a professional basis within Australia and internationally.

Ben Houston and his wife Lucille are the Lead Pastors of Hillsong Los Angeles. Ben is passionate about God and the Church and has a real heart to see people find hope, life, and answers in Jesus Christ. He was previously the Extension Service Campus Pastor at Hillsong Australia, overseeing the Extensions Services located throughout New South Wales and Queensland. Ben is an avid lover of all sports and has made a great impact in local rugby teams in Sydney. Ben and Lucille have three beautiful daughters Savannah Winter, Lexi Milan & Bailey Love.”


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