Shortly after the announcement of the resignation of Hillsong Church's founder Brian Houston, Hillsong Atlanta's senior pastor Sam Collier has also announced that he is steppinng down. Hillsong Atlanta was launched in October 2020 and Collier is the first African-American to be appointed as a senior pastor in the mega-church.
Collier announced, "It is with great sadness that I inform you of my departure from Hillsong. I have appreciated the Hillsong family and want to thank the Houstons for the love they have shown Toni and me."
Collier believed that the young church in Atlanta may not withstand the scandals surrounding the church right now. "My greatest reason for stepping down as Pastor of Hillsong Atlanta is probably not a secret to any of you. With all of the documentaries, scandals, articles, accusations and the church's subsequent management of these attacks it's become too difficult to lead and grow a young Church in this environment."
Nevertheless, the announcement wasn't easily made. "I have no shame in admitting I cried like a baby moments after I informed the Hillsong global pastor of my departure. I truly love the Hillsong family and believe they will get through this storm and come out better than they were before."
Prior to pastoring Hillsong Atlanta, Collier, who wrote the 2020 book, A Greater Story, served at Atlanta-based North Point Community Church, led by Pastor Andy Stanley.