Hillsong Church, a global church which started in Australia with 15 locations and over 100,000 in weekly attendance, announces the launch of its third U.S. congregation in the Phoenix, Arizona, area on Feb. 21, 2016.
The Phoenix site will initially offer six Sunday worship experiences on three campuses with additional sites under consideration.
The new Phoenix site, Hillsong Church Phoenix, is the former City of Grace Church co-pastored by Terry and Judith
Crist, and is comprised of three campuses located in Scottsdale, Mesa and Phoenix. The three campuses will host at total of six Sunday worship services, and the Crists will stay on as Hillsong Phoenix’s lead pastors, according to Christian News Wire.
Pastor Crist said the deal was years in the making and marked his church’s “greatest step of expansion.” In an address to his congregation, Crist further explained how the decision came about. “After eight years of general conversations, followed by the last two years of very specific and serious considerations, followed by a time of seeking God — both with our board and with a few of our key team members — I am so excited to announce to you today that City of Grace is becoming the 16th global location of Hillsong Church.”
Crist went on to say, “I feel stronger about this than anything God has ever said to me.” He also shared some of the reasons for the church’s decision to join Hillsong, including that City of Grace Church leadership felt called to serve the vision of Hillsong Senior Pastors Brian and Bobbie Houston, and the ability to reach more people with the Gospel to “accelerate the work of God” throughout the nation.
The Christian Post has reported that Hillsong Church is known to be frequented by many celebrities, including the likes of Justin Bieber, actress Vanessa Hudgens and model Hailey Baldwin, daughter of actor Stephen Baldwin. The church’s laid-back atmosphere and high-energy worship services are likely draws for younger crowds.