Women in Music 2018

5 Things To Know About Hillsong Church

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Easter Sunday celebration at the Hillsong Church at Baulkham Hills in Sydney, Australia. 

The Pentecostal megachurch Hillsong Church -- which claims over 100,000 weekly worshippers across its many locations -- has recently been making headlines because of its connection to Justin Bieber, who was rumored to have possibly canceled his tour because of his dedication to the church, as TMZ reported earlier this week.

Regardless of whether or not the church actually played a role in Bieber's recent touring decisions, he's been spotted multiple times with Carl Lentz, the charismatic Hillsong Church pastor. Other celebrities connected to Hillsong in recent years have been Justin's ex Selena Gomez and Kendall Jenner, both of whom attended services in New York.

Here are five things you might not know about Hillsong Church: 

1. Hillsong Church comes from Australia. 

While the website claims it was founded by Brian Houston in 1983 in Australia, the church has roots that go to Brian's father, William "Frank" Houston, who was a Pentecoastal Christian pastor in Australia and New Zealand. He founded a Christian Life Centre, which would go on to become Hillsong Church under his son's leadership. 

2. Hillsong reaches across the world. Why? Beautiful musicians in the leadership.  

On their website, Hillsong states the locations of their churches in 19 countries on five continents. Norway has five locations and the UK has seven, while the US has only six. Moscow, Tel Aviv and Kiev are also on the list. Although the flagship church is in Australia, and celebrities have been seen flying into Sydney for conferences there, if you want to attend a service, you may not have to leave the comfort of your own country. The services and worships are often held in large venues used for concerts and resemble elaborate music performances more so than traditional religious services. Everyone loves a good show, and Hillsong followers are no exception, be it in Los Angeles or Kiev.  

3. Hillsong Church even has its own music label - and a music group. 

The "Hillsong Music Australia" label promotes the contemporary worship music that Hillsong Church is famous for. The Hillsong Young & Free group, formed in 2012 in Australia, is signed to that label: they perform worship services in Hillsong Church and they have recorded two live albums. The first, We are Young & Free, peaked at No. 22 on the Billboard 200; the second one, This Is Living, charted at No. 38 on the Billboard 200 while taking the top spot on the Christian Albums chart. The highly successful groups Hillsong Worship and Hillsong United also operate within the larger Hillsong musical family.

4. The followers include many celebrities. 

Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, Kendall Jenner and Haley Baldwin, Kevin Durant and Bono have all had their souls touched on a Sunday at Hillsong. There are also implications that Hillsong wants the followers to donate as much as possible, ideally 10%, according to "the Biblical principle of tithing." 

5. And then there's the hat. 

As GQ writes, "if you show up for a Sunday service at Hillsong NYC, it’ll be the first thing you notice about the audience" -- the hat, which is mysteriously hard to describe. Is it a baseball hat or a cowboy hat? If you are curious and want to buy a Hillsong hat (sadly not the one seen on everyone in New York), you can do so here. Apparently The Hat first appeared in 2010 on Pastor Joel's head during the expansion of Hillsong into America. Clearly, the pastors are doing something right, if they can convince New Yorkers to adopt their fashion choices. 

Check out a Hillsong Church worship service below: