Former youth minister convicted over Hillsong arson

A court in NSW has sentenced a former youth minister to seven years in prison over Hillsong arson, crude graffiti on Brian Houston and other crimes. Stephen Luke’s 5-day crime spree also resulted in $1.3 million worth of damage to a church in Lismore.

The rampage began on September 14, 2020. Luke threatened a 20-year-old Sydney woman with a knife, stealing her Volkswagen Polo, phone, credit cards and $375. He later attempted to rob two other young women from a Sydney train station without success.

“Suck Brian’s dick like a prison female dog”

Two days later, the Hillsong arson occurred. Stephen Luke first used pink paint to paint Hillsong Church in North West Sydney.

He sprayed words to the effect that his ex-wife’s current husband “sucks Brian’s dick like a prison female dog”.

He then started a fire near the Houston parking lot. However, the fire was quickly extinguished with a hose. Damage from the Hillsong arson totaled $3,000.

Although Stephen Luke also started another fire at the Houston home, police have not charged him for that incident.

However, a fire the same man started at St Carthage’s Catholic Church in Lismore caused $1.3 million in damage.

Luke later admitted to starting the fires at the Cathedral, Hillsong Church and the Houston home in a Facebook post.

During a confrontation with police in Lismore on September 19, he pulled out a large hunting knife and told police to shoot him.

Police then doused Stephen Luke with pepper spray and a Taser to disarm him.

He later said he had no association with Hillsong Church and had stopped taking his medication for mental health issues six months prior.

With a three-and-a-half-year free parole period and time served, he will be eligible for release in March 2024.

Also: Hillsong Hallelujah! Sex, Drugs and Rock’n’Roll

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