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Hillsong Church Founder Navigates Life, Love, and Leadership

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Author of several books, her latest: Stay the Path, Faith Words 2017

Founder and global senior pastor with her husband Brian of megachurch Hillsong Church, Sydney, Australia since 1978

90,000 plus in attendance in campuses around the world

More than 50 million people sing their songs weekly

Founder, Hillsong Colour Conference and the Color Sisterhood (a worldwide movement of women united to make the world a better place)

Mother to Joel, Ben and Laura

4 grandchildren

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THE PATH    
Bobbie grew up in New Zealand where church life was not at the forefront of their family.  She was introduced to the Gospel in what was called the “Jesus Revolution” in the 70s and gave her heart to the Lord at the age of 15.  She met Brian on the beach at a church conference and were married in 1977.  They moved to Australia and pioneered a small church in a coastal area of North Sydney in 1978.  Five years later, they started Hills Christian Life Center in the Castle Hills suburb of Sydney with 70 people in their first service.  They changed their name to Hillsong Church in 1999.  Their lively music grew in popularity and today their songs are sung by more than 50 million people around the world.  Their miraculous story is documented in the movie: Hillsong: Let Hope Rise.   

Their journey has not been without bumps and bruises.  In October 1999, Brian called Bobbie to meet for lunch.  Brian revealed to her about newly surfaced accusations of child abuse committed by his father and hero, Frank, 30 years earlier.  “That lunchtime date with my husband marked the beginning of what has possibly been the greatest battlescape within our personal lives and the life of our church,” says Bobbie.  As the woman who has been alongside her man for 40 years, Bobbie decided to turn what the enemy meant for evil into something good.  Bobbie reminds us that not all drama in life can be blamed on the force of darkness, but across many aspects of life, the enemy can take advantage of a door left open or exposed.  “It’s the rise-up moments that sort the men from the boys, and often position you differently on the front lines of life, ministry and “Thy kingdom come,” says Bobbie. For many years, Brian and Bobbie have endured unreasonable attacks because of the fall-out of Frank’s sins.  “But as you keep your heart clean, pure and undaunted…as you pray for those who persecute and despise you, and as you press on in the path before you, no weapon formed against you shall ever prosper,” says Bobbie.

Bobbie says by staying the path there will be endless journeys that will take us to new horizons.  “These horizons of opportunity will either freak the daylights out of you at times, and invariably stretch you,” says Bobbie.  In 2016, Brian and Bobbie were visiting with Matt and Laurie Crouch in Los Angeles.  Matt and Laurie took over the operations of the Trinity Broadcasting Network and offered Brian an entire television channel!  For nearly three decades, Brian’s teachings had been aired in 180 nations around the world.  Now the Hillsong Channel reaches millions of homes around the world.  “God was propelling us into a stretching new road that would require new faith and new rivers of provision,” says Bobbie.  She believes the kingdom road we are all navigating will never disappoint fail or destroy us.  “If you never step out or if you suddenly hesitate for fear of what lies ahead, you negate the journey’s ability to teach you the many-layered revelations that God has assigned you to learn.”

COLOUR YOUR WORLD
In 1997, Bobbie and her team organized Hillsong’s first women’s conference, originally called Colour Your World.  Today those Colour Conferences are held not only in Sydney, but around the globe with thousands of women in attendance.  As a teaching, worship and creative team, Hillsong guarantees an atmosphere of worship and they are committed to bringing the heart of God with integrity and beauty.  “Imagine if one woman can change her world, imagine what one company of women can do,” says Bobbie. Bobbie just completed a whirlwind of Colour Conferences starting in Sydney, New York, Phoenix, LA, Cape Town, London and Kiev. “I am very aware that my husband and I (together with our Hillsong Church) are living in the promise of Isaiah 54.  We are a church and ministry witnessing latter-day harvest fields, oceans of souls turning to Jesus every week and worshipping like there is no tomorrow,” says Bobbie.

Guest Name / Person Interviewed or Featured in Article or Video: 
Bobbie Houston
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