Hillsong Church founder Brian Houston has stepped down from his position on the board ahead of his upcoming court case in Australia.
The Global Senior Pastor, 67, confirmed the news in an email message to Hillsong congregants on Friday, obtained by PEOPLE.
“I also wanted to let you know that I’ve made a decision to step aside from my role on the Hillsong Church boards that oversee the governance of our operations. I did this so that these boards can function to their fullest capacity during this season. This doesn’t change my role as Global Senior Pastor. I thought it was important to let our church family know in the interests of transparency, and I wanted you to hear it from me directly,” Houston wrote.
Hillsong Church provided no further comment to PEOPLE.
Houston has been accused of covering up abuse allegations against his father, late preacher Frank Houston.
PEOPLE previously confirmed Australian authorities began investigating the Hillsong founder in 2019 after receiving “reports a 67-year-old man had knowingly concealed information relating to child sexual offenses,” according to an August police statement.
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SOURCE: PEOPLE, Maria Pasquini