tintinnabular (tintinnabular) wrote in ontd_political,
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Watch Out New York: Hillsong is Coming

Hillsong is a Pentecostal megachurch based in Australia. They believe that abortions should be banned and Creationism should be taught in schools. They have strong ties to Gloria Jean's Coffee which they use to sponsor Mercy Ministries, a prolife charity which believes that prayer readings and exorcisms are great treatments for mental illness, drug addiction and eating disorders. They do not like questions or criticism.

THEY say that if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere, and the founders of Sydney's Hillsong church are about to find out.

Hillsong has announced plans to establish a church in New York, under the ministry of a husband and wife team who worship at a Virginia church in which there is a Gloria Jean's cafe.

The Reverend Brian Houston, the founder and pastor of Hillsong in Sydney's north-west, believes God is calling him to establish a church in New York, just as He previously called him to set up churches in London, Cape Town, Paris, Stockholm, Moscow and Kiev.

''This is very much an unfolding story but one that I believe with all my heart that God is calling us to,'' he wrote in an update to his congregation.

Mr Houston named Carl and Laura Lentz as a ''key part'' of the church. Mr Lentz is from the non-denominational evangelical Wave Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He attended Hillsong's flagship church in Castle Hill for three years from 2001, where he met his wife.

The Virginian church has close links with Hillsong - its leaders, Steve and Sharon Kelly, are close friends of Mr Houston and his wife Bobbie, and its premises house a Gloria Jean's, the coffee store founded in Australia by Hillsong members.

Since it inception 26 years ago, the church has grown from 45 people in a school hall in Baulkham Hills to a global congregation of 15,000.

Its lead pastor, Joel A'Bell, said Hillsong did not receive money from its overseas branches. ''We can serve New Yorkers by loving them, by helping them in their everyday lives,'' he said.


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Tags: religion
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