Hillsong Church is a pentecostal megachurch founded in New South Wales, Australia by Brian and Bobbie Houston in the early 1980s. Although the church is still primarily based in Australia, in recent years, Hillsong has gained a reputation for bringing in celebrities to its New York location, including the recently engaged couple, Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin.
Bieber and Baldwin are just two of Hillsong’s many famous attendees who come to hear charismatic preacher Carl Lentz on Sundays.
Here’s what you need to know about Hillsong Church:
1. Hillsong Church has Brought Numerous Celebrities Into Its Congregation
From Bieber to Baldwin to NBA superstar Kevin Durant, Hillsong Church, and in particular New York-based preacher Carl Lentz, has attracted some of the biggest celebrities in the world to its services.
In an interview with GQ, Lentz said he received a call from City Church pastor Judah Smith in 2010, who asked him to help a young man in need: Justin Bieber. Lentz helped Bieber find Christianity, and even baptized him in NBA star Tyson Chandler’s bathtub. The pair already knew each other at that point; Lentz met Bieber backstage at a concert in 2007, when Justin was 14.
Baldwin attends both City Church and Hillsong and explained the connection in an interview with the Cut. “Carl is Hillsong and they’re [Lentz and Smith] best friends, so everybody is kind of interconnected. That whole pastor circuit, they’re all friends. So I just kind of know all of them.”
Bieber and Baldwin aren’t alone in their admiration for Hillsong and Lentz. Kylie and Kendall Jenner have been to the church.
Lentz baptized Kevin Durant and can be seen in this Instagram post with both Durant and rapper/media mogul Jay-Z.
The list of famous people who have visited the church goes on and on: Bono, Chris Pratt, Nick Jonas, Selena Gomez, Hailee Steinfeld, Kourtney Kardashian, Kyrie Irving, Vanessa Hudgens, and more.
2. Hillsong Attracted a Large Congregation Due to Its Youth & Contemporary Focus
Founded in 1983 by couple Brian and Bobbie Houston, Hillsong Church’s first services were held in Baulkham Hills Public School in New South Wales, Australia.
The church took a few years to catch on, but by the 1990s, it had more than 20,000 members. The church’s fast growth can likely be attributed to Hillsong’s marketing towards youth by featuring contemporary worship music.
Keeping with that trend, Hillsong started its own band in 1998 dubbed Hillsong United. The band has released five studio albums, all under the church’s Hillsong Music imprint. Each of the albums has reached No. 1 on Billboard’s U.S. Christian Albums chart.
Although United tops the charts, Hillsong has released more than 40 albums, selling more than 11 million copies in all, with other bands such as Hillsong Worship, Hillsong Young & Free, and Hillsong Kids.
Adding to its youth focus, Hillsong doesn’t hold its services in traditional building. Rather than a chapel or sanctuary, Hillsong’s services are held in entertainment venues. In New York, the church mainly worships in …read more