Popular Pentecostal church Hillsong acquires two Gold Coast chapels after successful trial run

  • OCTOBER 08, 2014 12:00AM
Hillsong is setting up on the Gold Coast.

Hillsong is setting up on the Gold Coast.

MEGA church Hillsong will expand to the Gold Coast to accommodate a growing number of worshippers from the area.

The popular Pentecostal church has expanded to the city after an invitation from Vanessa and Andrew Hoyes to move their Generation Churches at Burleigh and Upper Coomera into the Hillsong stable.

Yesterday Hillsong Queensland Pastor Steve Dixon said the opportunity was too good for the church to ignore, since it intended to open up on the Gold Coast eventually.

“We expected to come to the Gold Coast at some point, given the size of the population there,” he said.

Hillsong Brisbane Campus Pastor Steve Dixon gives his sermon.

Hillsong Brisbane Campus Pastor Steve Dixon gives his sermon.

“We get a lot of Gold Coast worshippers up to our Brisbane churches.

“People come from as far away as Byron Bay.”

Hillsong attracted about 2000 people for a trial run at the Arts Centre Gold Coast on Sunday, headed by high-profile church leader Pastor Brian Houston and its popular youth band Young & Free.

From this Sunday (since Oct ), the church, under Pastor James Turner and his wife Elida, will move into Generation’s rebranded Burleigh Heads and Upper Coomera properties.

Hillsong is in the process of purchasing the Upper Coomera building and taking over the lease for Burleigh, according to Pastor Dixon.

One of Hillsong’s biggest churches is in Mt Gravatt, where they have a congregation of 6000.

They opened in Brisbane’s CBD in April and were founded in Australia in 1983.

While Hillsong is headquartered in Sydney, it has international offshoots all around the world, including New York City, where pop star Justin Bieber often attends.

Pastor Dixon said he expected the church’s Gold Coast congregation to build quickly, once word got out about Hillsong’s move into the city.

“Most of the people that join Hillsong are not part of a church currently,” he said.

“So it is not so much about how many Pentecostal churches are on the Gold Coast now, but how many people live there that might become worshippers with us.”

Mr Hoyes said Generation had an “amazing 10 years on the Gold Coast”, building the congregation to 1500 people and establishing the Soul Centre outreach service.

“We are sad to go,” Mr Hoyes said.

“We will be starting from scratch again in Montreal.”

The change according to the young couple,“came as a complete ‘suddenly’ since our hearts were now knitted to this place and her people on the Gold Coast. However, entrusting our church to Hillsong as they launch on the Gold Coast is win-win for the Kingdom and we love that”*

After Hillsong’s move into the Coast the church will have almost 60 services around Australia every Sunday.