In a significant development in the world of Australian evangelical Christianity, Peter and Laura Toganivalu have revealed their plans to establish a new church in Sydney, a city renowned for being home to Hillsong Church, founded by Laura’s father, Brian Houston.
The Toganivalu couple, who formerly held leadership roles in Hillsong’s youth ministry, decided to step down from their positions in the wake of Brian Houston’s resignation, which occurred amidst a series of misconduct allegations against him.
Taking to Instagram to share their intentions, Peter expressed their commitment to their spiritual journey and their desire to make a meaningful impact through their new church venture. He likened their experience at Hillsong to growing up in an extraordinary household, saying, “In some ways, the way I’ve described it, it’s like we’ve grown up in this incredible household. And then it’s kind of like, we’re ready to step out. We’ve just turned 18, and we’re about to leave home, just finished high school. That’s what it felt like – it’s like we are little birds in a nest and we’re about to spread our wings.”
Laura, sharing her vision for the new church, emphasized the importance of reaching out to those who have not yet encountered Jesus as their Lord and Savior. She emphasized the core mission of the Christian Church to spread the message of Jesus, saying, “There are so many people who are yet to hear, who are yet to know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. Sometimes as the Church, you know, globally, we can get so distracted but that’s the commission you know, that’s our assignment here on Earth: to tell the world about Jesus, and I’m so looking forward to doing that.”
The announcement received positive support from Brian Houston himself, who, despite stepping down from his leadership role at Hillsong, remains connected to his family’s spiritual endeavors. Houston responded to the Toganivalus’ Instagram post, expressing his enthusiasm for their new venture with a simple, “I’m in. See you there!”
Brian Houston had faced allegations related to the alleged cover-up of sexual abuse carried out by his father, Frank. However, he was cleared of these charges last month. Houston has since distanced himself from Hillsong Church and has not yet confirmed his future plans within the ministry.
The Toganivalus’ decision to launch a new church marks a significant step in their spiritual journey and signals their commitment to continue their work in spreading the Christian faith. Their background in Hillsong’s youth ministry has provided them with valuable experience and insights that will undoubtedly shape their approach to building and leading their new congregation.
As Sydney is home to various Christian denominations and churches, the introduction of a new church, led by individuals with a strong connection to the Hillsong legacy, will undoubtedly attract attention within the Australian Christian community. The Toganivalus’ emphasis on their mission to share the message of Jesus and their willingness to step out on their own spiritual path has the potential to resonate with many seeking spiritual guidance and community in Sydney.
As they embark on this new chapter, Peter and Laura Toganivalu’s journey will be closely watched by both their supporters and those interested in the evolving landscape of Australian Christianity. Their dedication to their faith and their desire to bring the message of Jesus to a wider audience will undoubtedly shape the impact of their new church in Sydney.