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Supuesta 'relación inapropiada' entre dos pastores principales conduce a una reorganización en la megaiglesia global

Por Josh Pastor
corey turner stacey hilliar neuma church global inappropriate
Neuma Church Global Senior Pastor Corey Turner (left) and pastoral staff member Stacey Hilliar have resigned over an "inappropriate relationship," announced the board of Neuma Church in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. (Photos via Facebook)

An alleged “inappropriate relationship” between two top pastors has led to a major shake-up at Neuma Church—a multi-national megachurch, based in Australia.

Last Sunday, Jacomi Du Preez, a board member at Neuma Church in Melbourne, Australia, Anunciado during a livestreamed service that global senior pastors Corey and Simone Turner had abruptly resigned. Du Preez said the reason for the resignation was that “their health and wellbeing is such that they are no longer able to function in these roles.”

Sin embargo, en un declaración to church members on Friday, which was obtained by The Roys Report (TRR), the Neuma board divulged that a church member had come forward with an allegation that Pastor Corey Turner was in “an inappropriate relationship with Pastor Stacey Hilliar.” As a result of the allegation, Pastor Hilliar has resigned, as well.

According to her website, Hilliar and her husband, Jai, serve on the Executive Team at Neuma Church. Jai oversees the church’s business operations and Stacey oversees “the Prophetic Pillar,” including “worship, creativity, prayer, and the prophetic.” Hilliar also is an author and podcaster, who leads her own self-named ministry.

After receiving the allegation, the board immediately “stood down” Corey Turner and Hilliar, pending an internal investigation, the statement said. The allegation also was reportedly communicated to Turner and Hilliar, who then resigned, as well as the Australian Christian Churches (ACC), which credentialed both pastors.

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neuma church global inappropriate
Neuma Church in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. (Photo: Google Maps)

Seemingly addressing the church’s previous statement, attributing the resignations to health issues, the board added: “Understandably, both pastors were under significant stress, and the Board had concerns about their health and wellbeing, as well as those of their families.”

The board said it didn’t disclose more information last week “to protect the complainant,” who wished to remain anonymous, and “the families of all those involved.” However, the board noted, “There has been much speculation in the public domain, and we feel it is important that we respond clearly to avoid further speculation.”

In wake of the scandal, Raef Soliman, formerly listed on the church website as “Apostolic Pillar,” is serving as interim senior pastor of Neuma Church. 

TRR reached out to Neuma Church, the Turners, and Hilliar for comment, but did not receive a response. 

Since February 2019, Corey and Simone Turner had served as lead pastors of Neuma Church, then known as Bridge Church. Prior to this, Corey Turner ministered for two decades, serving in pastoral roles at several Melbourne congregations, including CityLife Church, Discovery Church, and Activate Church.

corey turner
Corey Turner preaches at Neuma Church in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. (Photo: Facebook)

Corey Turner and the church board rolled out a rebranding of Neuma Church in fall 2019, and months later announced a plan to launch more campuses.

By 2021, the Turners had adopted the title “global senior pastors” of Neuma Church, which has locations in Thailand and San Francisco. In 2022, the church’s “vision night” presentado an ambitious plan to “plant 200 Neuma churches across four global hubs . . .” 

neuma church turner
In February 2022, Corey Turner preaches at “vision night” for Neuma Church in Melbourne. (Photo: Instagram)

The two pastors allegedly involved in an inappropriate relationship together—Corey Turner and Stacey Hilliar—have posted several times in recent years about each other on social media. 

In February 2020, Corey Turner al corriente that Hilliar was a “firebrand woman of God . . . one of the best preachers you’ll ever hear.” And, in August 2022, he al corriente a picture of Hilliar leading worship. He wrote: “We are only at the starting line of what God is about to pour out on his people through your ministry.” 

Similarly, in September 2015, Stacey Hilliar posted about Turner, writing, “Corey has such a strong anointing on his life.” 

In a post on Oct. 28, 2023, Turner al corriente about returning from a ministry trip with Hilliar and other Neuma Church staff. “It’s been an amazing privilege to travel across Europe and minister with covenant family and 5 fold leaders,” he wrote. 

Investigation to be conducted by ACC 

The board of Neuma Church has canceled a previously announced internal probe of Turner and Hilliar and has passed the matter to the ACC, the church’s overseeing denomination.

“Given both pastors have resigned, the Board was advised that it should not proceed with an internal investigation,” stated the board. “However, as both parties are ACC credential holders, the matter is now in the hands of the ACC. We will cooperate with the ACC in their processes, and we are thankful for their support during this difficult time.” 

Formerly known as the Assemblies of God in Australia, the ACC was founded in 1937 and currently consists of 1,100 churches and 3,300 ministers, according to the organization. 

ACC victoria inappropriate
Promotional image for Australian Christian Churches-Victoria. (Photo: Facebook)

Disgraced Hillsong founder Brian Houston served as president of the ACC from 1997 to April 2009, when Wayne Alcorn was elected to lead the Pentecostal denomination. Alcorn predicado at Neuma Church on the Sunday the Turners’ resignation was announced. 

TRR reached out to ACC regarding the status and specifics of the investigation into the Turners and Hilliar but did not receive a response. 

On its website, the ACC’s United Constitution, adopted in April 2023, provides information about the ministerial credentials it offers and how a suspension could occur. 

The ACC’s list of eight qualifications includes signing a “code of conduct” and also to demonstrate “the qualifications set out in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:7-9 for a leader in the church.” These passages specify honoring marriage vows.  

The United Constitution of the ACC further states: “Credentials and certificates may be suspended or withdrawn on the grounds of improper conduct or false teaching by decision of a majority of the National Officers.” 

jimmy hinton icoc
Jimmy Hinton (Courtesy Photo)

However, neither the ACC’s website nor its constitution specify the organization’s process for an investigation. 

Jimmy Hinton, an author who trains church leaders in abuse prevention, said he believes that the Neuma situation “warrants an independent investigation.” He said church members become “armed with facts” through third-party investigations, which dispel false narratives and rumors.

Hinton added: “It also helps determine whether leaders knew about this before or if there have been patterns of this kind of misconduct over the years.”

For its part, the board of Neuma Church stated the search for a permanent Senior Pastor is underway, expressing hope for “a successful transition into the next season.” 

“We all have confidence in God, who is building His Church, and we ask that you continue to pray for our church as we navigate this next season.”

UPDATE: On Feb. 15, Australian Christian Churches announced in an email to ACC pastors that the ministerial credentials of Turner and Hilliar have been “suspended.” The full statement obtained by TRR is included below.

Australian Christian Churches – Statement on Feb. 15, 2024

ACC-statement-Feb-15-2024-turner-credentials-suspended

Periodista independiente Josh Shepherd escribe sobre fe, cultura y políticas públicas para varios medios outlets. He and his family live in the Washington, D.C. area.

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15 Respuestas

  1. Strange how many of these churches which are based on apostolic and prophetic leaders, seem to be afflicted by scandals. Maybe, just maybe, they should start reading the Bible properly and start heeding what it says. They need to refocus their vision.

    1. Just read a current article about a problem that seems to have been ongoing in an SBC church. It seems all kinds of churches (not just apostolic or prophetic) are impacted, including liberal churches which don’t even have a theology that would call some things a sin.

      1. You’re right about the SBC but there does seem to be a lot of this kind of behavior in charismatic churches in comparison to churches that are doctrinally sound.

        1. Just because a church is “doctrinally sound” dont mean there is not sin in the camp. Sin starts in the heart not in the doctrine.

    2. All kinds of churches are prone to scandal these days. Not just churches that you deem to be heretical. There doesn’t seem to be any theological safeguards to the rot that’s affecting the church.

      1. After a 3-month vacation in America in 1989, I felt the call of God to return to the USA to teach the truth of God’s word to ‘Christians’ who had zero shame when it came to sin. God had called me to stand against wickedness Ps. 94:16 some years prior to this. We sold up everything we owned & moved to the USA, where we applied for visas to remain. I researched ‘American Christianity’ from 1992 to 2011, & was so alarmed I wrote a book declaring the true gospel of Jesus Christ, & God’s plan to bring healing to the USA. A MAJOR spiritual awakening MUST take place to avoid the total destruction of American society. Evil is rampant all across the nation because Satan has created a new gospel cult. ‘Jesus Freaking!’ Jesus told us NOT to fawn over or focus on Him but to do God’s will, if we want eternal life in heaven. Matt. 7:21 Amazon has
        ‘A Nation Broken’ ready to ship to you today.

  2. If a new church is to be built perhaps the “board” may wish to change from a corporation into a church.

    Can any members of the “board” (insert biblical reference here) provide biblical reference for the following terms?

    Prophetic Pillar (?)
    Executive team (?)
    Business Operations (?)
    Rebranding (?)

    And a few more,

    Global Senior Pastors (perhaps Paul – the one who wrote half the New Testament was a GSP?)

    Self named ministry (like the ministry of Appollos?)

    Interim Senior Pastor (for times when Timothy fell ill with a stomach bug)

    Covenant family (??)

    If the board can explain these terms biblically to their global congregants then perhaps there is some hope.

    1. Larry, I got a great laugh out of this (but sadly). If these folks want a title that equates with actual work, go get a real corporate job. But in the church you can be a “director” with an easy day’s work.

      And I hurt myself laughing over this!
      “Global Senior Pastors (perhaps Paul – the one who wrote half the New Testament was a GSP?)”

  3. This ‘rot’ that is affecting many churches is primarily a mistaken leadership model (Transformational Leadership is an example) that leaves the Senior Pastor essentially responsible to no one.

  4. A few minutes watching the sermons of these two individuals and I feel a little sick. It rushes back; all the familiar phrases in the the cool new churches. All the branding. And the re-branding. The word, or is it a logo? It’s a word? Oh, a cool new word. The lights. The podium, or no podium. The sound system. The emotive music, the music leader, the just-right tingling music, the background music. The screens. The outfits. The hair. The eyelashes. The job titles. All the job titles. The soft words. The cultured words. The nuanced humble-brag words. The connections, the awakening, the affairs, the true partner, by revelation, no fault at all. The troubled leaders, the bullying, the conflicts, the leaving. Taken individually, nothing different that anything–I guess. It all depends on how you like your ‘faith’, your worship, your identification of spiritual life. I really cannot take it anymore. I cannot.

  5. Neuma (previously Richmond AOG) was my church of 16 years. I do know this is not the first leadership affair scandal to occur in this church, BUT it is the first that I’ve known to make it into the public eye like this.
    Usually folks are quietly moved off to another church, everything swept under the rug. Good to see the ACC actually taking a stance on this. I just saw they might be revoking their credentials and rightfully so.

  6. A wink and a smile from a young pretty lady, is all the Devil needs to destroy a pastor with 4-6 years of christian college degree and 20+ years in the ministry.

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Su donación deducible de impuestos ayuda a nuestros periodistas a informar la verdad y responsabilizar a los líderes y organizaciones cristianos. Haga una donación de $30 o más a The Roys Report este mes y recibirá una copia de “¿Y si Jesús hablara en serio acerca de la Iglesia?” por Skye Jethani.