19 August 2010

Hillsong issued this statement, presumably in response to rumours surrounding the legal battle being fought by Gloria Jeans:

19 April 2010

Hillsong Church does not own or operate Gloria Jeans and has no legal or financial ties to the company.

Gloria Jeans is a privately owned business.

The owners of Gloria Jeans have publically acknowledged that they attend Hillsong Church.

Hillsong Church is not associated or implicated with any pending legal proceedings before the NSW Supreme Court.  Any suggestion otherwise would be highly defamatory.

As far as I can determine they are right, though I do find the wording in sentence three a little curious.  This distancing themselves from Gloria Jeans is really par for the course with Hillsong.  They are only to happy to be in the picture even if its by a loose association, when the going is good, but when the shit hits the fan it’s “we have no legal or financial ties”.

We are talking on an entity the has grown and I suspect continues to work on the bonds of strong christian fellowship(not legal or financial just to be clear), friendship or connection.

So let’s explore that connection.

Lets look at this sentence:

The owners of Gloria Jeans have publically acknowledged that they attend Hillsong Church.

True, Peter Irvine has I think only ever been identified as a Hillsong attendee, perhaps a high profile one owing to his membership on the boards of Gloria Jeans and Mercy Minitries.  Both I might add who have at least had strong working relationships( by which I mean catering in the case of Gloria Jeans and donation  to and promotion of the Mercy Program) with Hillsong.

With Mr Saleh though, I think the sentence above might be stretching the definition of attendee.  Nabi Saleh is an Elder in the church.  Not just an older and respected churchgoer but a member of an advisory council of sorts.  On Hillsong’s SENIOR PASTORS & ELDERSHIP page we have the following listing

The Hillsong Eldership

Brian Houston is Founder and Senior Pastor of Hillsong Church.

George Aghajanian is the General Manager of Hillsong Church. He possesses a wealth of senior management experience in both Australian and international organisations, and brings a strong balance of faith and practical business application to his role.

Nabi Saleh is the Chairman of Gloria Jean’s Coffees Australia and New Zealand. His strong business acumen and Godly wisdom have also enabled him to sit on several boards of directors for many large, non-profit organisations.

Robert Fergusson is a Senior Associate Pastor at Hillsong Church. He is passionate about imparting practical life principles from the Bible, and his primary gifting and function within the church is that of preaching and teaching.

Dr. Gordon Lee is a highly respected General Practitioner, and operates successful medical practices in Sydney. He also pastors the Hillsong Chinese Extension Services.

Leigh Howard-Smith is the Managing Director of several companies in the logistics/transport and plastic manufacturing industries.

Don Cooper-Williams is a Senior Marketing Executive within the IT Industry. With both Godly wisdom and management skills, he is a gifted communicator within the church and the corporate community.

Joel A’Bell, with his wife Julia, have been on staff at Hillsong Church for over 10 years. Recently, he has come alongside Brian & Bobbie to outwork the Hillsong vision across the Hills, City, South West & Brisbane campuses. Joel is a devoted husband, and father to Harmony and Eli.

So to say that Mr Saleh attends Hillsong is a gross understatement don’t you think? But this Eldership is kind of nebulous is it not.  I mean it doesn’t say that Mr Saleh fulfils any role really.

Until of course you look on the corporate governance page where Mr Saleh is listed as a member of both the Audit and Remuneration Committees.

What does it all mean?

There is no financial or legal connection between Hillsong and Gloria Jeans.  The Chairperson of company that hasn’t paid its debts just happens to be on the Hillsong Elders council and is a member of two committees involving finance.  Ultimately it’s Hillsong’s concern – I think it may speak to Mr Saleh’s business acumen and character but I am sure that that could be forgiven/forgotten considering how easily sexual misconduct can be plastered over( referring here to Frank Houston).



One response »

  1. […] ties, Nabi Saleh is an elder and board member of Hillsong and appears to be heavily involved in managing their financial affairs. Gloria Jeans ‘assists’ Hillsong with fundraising by supplying mobile coffee carts and […]

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