Brian Houston, who founded what would become Hillsong with his wife Bobbie 35 years ago, has announced that the church is officially forming its own denomination.

Hillsong is now one of the largest and most influential churches in the world, and has 123 individual locations around the world. Up until now, they have been affiliated with Australian Christian Churches (ACC), a branch of Assemblies of God Fellowship. AG is the largest Pentecostal denomination in the world.

In a letter to church members, Houston said they have “no grief or dispute at all with the ACC,” but after two years of consideration, made the move because of the church’s global growth.  

He wrote:

As Hillsong Church has continued to grow, we no longer see ourselves as an Australian Church with a global footprint, but rather a Global church with an Australian base—our global office now resides in the USA … Two thirds of the people attending Hillsong Church each weekend live in countries beyond Australia. We have pastoral staff in twenty-four nations around the world, representing 123 campuses and locations, with 263 different church services on any given weekend. We consider it to be ‘One House, with many rooms.’

Houston explained: “We are now registered by the Australian Department of Births, Deaths, and Marriages, as a recognized denomination with the ability to credential pastors in our own right,”

In a statement to Eternity News, ACC President Wayne Alcorn said: “Recently Hillsong Church advised its desire for a change in its relationship with the ACC. In a way, this can be likened to a child who has grown up and now has a larger life outside the family home.” He also reiterated that there was no dispute with the leadership.

Houston added: “I believe wholeheartedly that Pastor Wayne Alcorn is doing a wonderful job in leading the movement, and I want to make it clear that we have no grief or dispute at all with the ACC. Instead, this decision comes after almost two years of prayerful discussion within both our global and Australian church boards.”