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Brian Houston's Daughter, Son-In-Law Announce Plans to Start New Church: 'He Is Calling Us'

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The daughter and son-in-law of Hillsong Church founder Brian Houston announced that they are in the beginning stages of starting a brand new church in Sydney, Australia.

Peter and Laura Toganivalu took to Instagram recently to share why they have decided to start a church plant after resigning from their positions as youth ministers at Hillsong Church.

The couple shared that God is calling them to expand their "wings" to share the Gospel with a lost world. 

"We have these roots that run deep and they run wide," Laura said in a video posted to the social media platform. "But we also have wings that are launching us into the future and I think that is the most beautiful picture of where we are at."

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The couple, who grew up going to Hillsong Church, shared they are following God's lead into new territory. 

"Ephesians 2:20 talks about being built upon the foundations of the apostles with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone. There is a way that Jesus has trailblazed and pioneered...the Great Pioneer himself..and I want to follow that and go," Peter said. "I want to stand on the shoulders of the giants that have gone before us and step into this new way of pioneering, whatever that looks like."

The couple stepped down from Hillsong in May following Houston's resignation.

As CBN News reported, Houston was charged by police with concealing his father's child sex crimes. He also confessed to using alcohol and engaging in inappropriate behavior in separate incidents involving two women, including a former staff member.

Houston was recently declared "not guilty" by an Australian court in August on the one charge of concealing his father's child sex crimes.
Laura, the only daughter of Brian and Bobbie Houston, shared on her Instagram stories that she was in court with her father on the day of the verdict. 

"Today, I sat beside my Dad in a courtroom and exhaled with an overwhelming sense of relief and gratitude. However, today is still marked by the painful reality that victims of abuse have to live with forever, and for that, my heart is heavy," she wrote. 

The couple recognized how the recent scandal has colored Hillsong's standing and addressed any criticism they may face for starting a new church. 

"All that is important is that we are obedient to God. And that we've heard from Him and we know that He is calling us," Laura said. 

"If there is one fear, it is the fear of being misunderstood," Peter shared. "I've seen that, unfortunately, in Christian spaces and spaces that don't understand Church...(but)I think following Jesus is going to come with some misunderstanding." 

Laura shared their vision for the church saying, "I know that we've heard from God and we are confident in doing so....We are excited to create a church that is a loving community to grow together in the things of Christ...and there are so many people who are yet to hear, who are yet to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior."

Houston responded to the Instagram post saying, "I'm in. See you there!!"

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About The Author


Talia Wise has served as a multi-media producer for, CBN Newswatch, The Prayer Link, and CBN News social media outlets. Prior to joining CBN News she worked for Fox Sports Florida producing and reporting. Talia earned a master’s degree in journalism from Regent University and a bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia.