Brian Houston’s Daughter, Son-in-Law Resign from Hillsong Church Leadership
Laura and Peter Toganivalu led the global youth ministry for the Australia-based megachurch
The daughter of former Hillsong Church leader Brian Houston and her husband have resigned as global pastors of Hillsong Young & Free, the Australia-based church’s youth ministry.
The resignations of Peter and Laura Toganivalu, nicknamed “The Toggsys,” were announced by Phil Dooley, the recently appointed global senior pastor of Hillsong Church, May 7 during a worship service, Church Leaders reported.
Brian Houston was Hillsong’s global senior pastor until he resigned in March 2022. Phil and Lucinda Dooley were announced as the new global senior pastors of Hillsong Church in February 2023 after serving in the roles on an interim basis during Houston’s sabbatical and after his resignation.
“We just wanted to honor a couple who are moving on from roles in our church,” Dooley said when announcing the Toganivalus’ resignation. “They’ve been just a blessing over so many years.”
Dooley said the Toganivalus had separately told church leaders their intention to leave the Hillsong staff. He said he told Peter, “We are with you guys, whatever the choice is.”
“If you feel there’s a season for you to step into that is outside of what we’re doing as Hillsong Church, we’re gonna cheer you on as well,” he said.
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Dooley also thanked Brian Houston and his wife Bobbie, who was a co-pastor at the church, saying, “Obviously your parents, Laura, have just been the reason why so many of us are here, and we are so grateful for them, and we just want to also honor them in this moment.”
In January 2022, Brian Houston announced he would be taking a year-long sabbatical from pastoral leadership at Hillsong, saying he wanted to further focus on defending himself against criminal charges related to allegedly covering up sexual misconduct by his late father, Hillsong pastor Frank Houston.
The Hillsong board said at the time that the sabbatical was also part of a disciplinary action against Brian Houston for acting inappropriately toward women and for abuse of alcohol and prescription anxiety medication.
In April, he was sentenced to three years of probation after pleading guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol.
Main photo: Laura and Peter Toganivalu / Screenshots via YouTube