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A history of Hillsong - June 2002
Hillsong was born in late 1986 through a series of conversations between Mark and Darlene Zschech and Geoff Bullock.

The first Hillsong was run in March 1987. The principle provision was centred around an open forum where artists and ministers could share their gifts and talents to mutually benefit the body of Christ.

In 1988 Hillsong was run in July. This was done to avoid conflict with the two other major Christian Arts Conferences at the time: ACMS at Cooma in January and Black Stump over the October long weekend. All three conferences shared the same team of artists, teachers and ministers.

It was at this time that the "Australian Worship Scene" developed.
The major influences being, in NSW:
  • Seam of Gold: run by Phil Pringle and Chris Falson,
  • Hillsong: run by Brian Houston and Geoff Bullock,
  • Youth Alive NSW: run by Pat Mesiti and Mark and Darlene Zschech, drawing musicians from Seam of Gold musicians and Hillsong musicians.
  • Harvest Christian Life Centre Victoria: a "Christian pub rock" style of worship. This was run by Tom Rawls, David and Rosanna Palmer and Tex Houston, (no relation).
  • Youth Alive Victoria Music department: run by Tom Rawls, David and Rosanna Palmer and Tex Houston with Mal Fletcher.

The Hillsong conferences at the time drew heavily on these influences giving each music team their own night to showcase their styles, mission ethics and evangelism techniques. During the day the pastors and leaders would discuss the "why's and hows" of their particular approach. The whole idea was based on presenting a biblical model to inspire others to reach their community with the Gospel.

Hillsong grew exponentially. In the early 90's the conference moved from the Hills CLC warehouse to the Hills Centre. The day programme being run in the local High School. In 1993 multiple rallies replaced the evening service.
In 1994 Youth Rallies and Children's seminar were added as well as a new leadership conference: Nation Builders which was held in the week preceding Hillsong.
In 1995 the evening programme moved to multiple services at The Homebush Sports Stadium. Throughout the 90's the influence of Hillsong grew. An advisory board was instigated representing the major Christian leadership in Australia. International speakers and music ministers gathered from all over the world. Hillsong joined forces with Integrity Music and artists of international calibre shared the stage with the Hillsong team.
In the late 90's the programme moved to the new Hillsong headquarters at Castle Hill and became a two week event and Satellite Seminars were held in New Zealand. Multiple Evening Rallies were held for the first time at the Sydney Opera House. Hills CLC was renamed "The Hillsong Church".

As Hillsong moved into the new millennium a new fellowship was born out of the synergy of the Hillsong and Nation Builders conferences -- Australian Christian Churches.

Geoff Bullock

A letter from Bobbie Houston
"Dear friends,

Welcome to what I believe will be our finest year together yet. Towards the end of December, I felt my spirit quicken from the book of Haggai, which contains a simple yet powerful promise of blessing.

The book relates to the people of God giving priority to 'priority'. After several years of freedom, they had become preoccupied with their own personal worlds, at the expense of the 'extension' of the Kingdom. Haggai assured them that if they gave priority to God's work they would prosper. Several thousand years later that promise still holds and I felt it quickened to us as a church as we enter 2002.

Of late the very word 'blessing' rings in my spirit. When I verbalise that word or pray it over you, as I so often do, my spirit wells and it feels as though my heart is going to explode.

Friends, God wants to bless you. He wants to open the windows of heaven over you and he wants cause everything you do to prosper. Don't deny Him that pleasure. Delight... and He will give you the desires of your heart. Seek... and you shall find. Honour... and blessing will follow. Absorb these words and see if 2002 won't be your personal finest yet...

Love you forever,"

Click to enlarge Brian and Bobbie Houston
Senior Pastors
Hillsong Church

The Church That I See
"The Church that I see is a Church of influence. A Church so large in size that the cities and nations cannot ignore it. A Church with a message so clear that lives are changed forever. A Church growing so quickly that buildings struggle to contain the increase.

I see a Church whose heartfelt praise and worship touches heaven and changes earth. With worship that exalts Jesus Christ through powerful songs of faith and hope. I see a Church whose altars are constantly filled with repentant sinners responding to His call to salvation.

Yes, the Church that I see is so dependent on the Holy Spirit that nothing will stop it nor stand against it. A Church whose people are unified, praying and full of Spirit-filled believers.

The Church that I see has a message so clear that lives are changed forever and potential is fulfilled through the power of His word. A message beamed to the peoples of the earth through their television screens.

I see a Church so compassionate that people are drawn from impossible situations into loving and friendly circle of hope, where answers are found and acceptance is given. I see a people so kingdom minded that they count whatever the cost and pay whatever the price to see revival sweep this land.

The Church that I see is a Church so committed to raising, training and empowering a leadership generation to reap the end-time harvest that all of its ministries are consumed with this goal. I see a Church whose head is Jesus, whose help is the Holy Spirit and whose focus is the Great Commission. Yes, the Church that I see could well be our church, Hillsong Church."

Click to enlarge Brian & Bobbie Houston
Senior Pastors, Hillsong Church

Hillsong Church
Mission Statement
"To reach and influence the world by building a large bible based church, changing mindsets and empowering people to lead and impact every sphere of life"

This mission is outworked through two major worship centres (City and Hills), a city-wide network of cellgroups, contributing ministries and outreach services.

Click to enlarge

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