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Church pastor kept Houston abuse report a secret


A senior pastor at the church told his grand-nephew that he does not support Hillsong founder Brian Houston’s father reporting sexual abuse committed against him to the police.

Brett Sengstock presented evidence that Houston’s father, Frank Houston, had molested him since the day before his eighth birthday in January 1970.

A New South Wales court this week began hearing a case against 68-year-old Brian Houston after he was charged with covering up another person’s indictable serious crime in August 2021.

he pleaded not guilty.

Philip Bolten SC, representing Houston, said in court that Frank Houston’s abuse was not contested.

Plaintiff’s mother was told not to tell anyone

Sengstock first told his mother in the late 1970s when he was a teenager on the way home from a counseling session with Frank Houston, where the pastor had sex under the table.

Barbara Taylor, pastor of Emmanuel Christian Family Church Plumpton in west Sydney since May 1977, said in court on Tuesday she learned of the abuse from Mr Sengstock’s mother, his niece.

Ms. Taylor said she would not keep such reports private.

She told the court that Sengstock’s deceased mother kept it a secret until she told an evangelist who was leading a “crusade in a tent” on Taylor’s church grounds. Live in Jesus Christ.”

The church should have handled the case, not the court

“People were sharing testimony that abuse had ruined their lives. She felt compelled to speak to an evangelist,” Taylor told Sydney’s Downing Center District Court. rice field.

Prosecutor Gareth Harrison asked Taylor what he meant when he told Sengstock that he would support reporting abuse to the church, but not to “secular courts.”

Ms Taylor said she thinks the church should have acted.

“I believe that judgment should begin at the house of God,” she told the court.

‘The church should have dealt with (Frank Houston)’

Attempts to meet ‘failed miserably’

Ms Taylor said she tried to facilitate meetings between Frank Houston and Sengstock and sought advice from people in the Pentecostal church movement.

Her attempt “failed miserably,” she told the court.

“We were told that was the wrong thing to do. And of course now we have very clear direction on what to do … but[inthelate1990s]it was very vague.” she said.

Taylor said Frank Houston had “more or less neglected” her, which she attributed to her church’s small congregation compared to a crowd of thousands.

Houston confronted his father in late 1999, who is being tried in court that he confessed before his death in 2004.

Word of the confession came back to Mr Sengstock, but he couldn’t remember who specifically told him.

“It was gossip everywhere,” Sengstock said Tuesday.

A reasonable excuse not to report abuse

Houston’s defense hinges on whether he had a reasonable excuse for not reporting his father’s abuse to the police in the five years between his son’s confession and his death.

Mr. Bolten insists he respects Mr. Sengstock’s wishes.

Borten said whether Houston remembered calling him to tell him his father had confessed, hoping that Sengstock would have privacy and not be subject to further investigation by police or the church. I asked him if he remembered being there.

“I don’t remember any conversations with him,” Sengstock said.

Houston and his wife Bobby founded Hills Christian Life Center in 1983. It then merged with the Sydney branch founded by his father to form Hillsong.

Hearings continue.

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https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/state/nsw/sydney/2022/12/06/church-pastor-kept-houston-abuse-report-secret/ Church pastor kept Houston abuse report a secret

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