Well-known worship leader Darlene Zschech will soon be leaving the Australian megachurch where she has served for 25 years to become senior pastor of a nearby Pentecostal church.
Zschech, whose songs "Shout to the Lord," "The Potter's Hand" and numerous others over the last decade made the name of Hillsong Church in Sydney synonymous with modern worship music worldwide, will lead Church Unlimited on Australia's Central Coast with her husband, Mark (pictured with her, left), starting late January.
"We are entering into what we believe will be a wonderful and fruitful season ahead,” Mark Zschech said in a statement last week. “The two words that are on our hearts are to 'lead' and to 'build.' We're going to build a church for everybody.”
Longtime Hillsong pastor Brian Houston expressed good wishes for the Zschechs.
"Mark and Darlene have really sown into our church for a long, long time,” Houston said in a message to his congregation, which is part of the Australian Christian Churches denomination, formerly Assemblies of God. “Whilst they will be greatly missed, we feel as though this is a good and a timely step for them.
Zschech was the worship pastor of Hillsong Church for 11 years, stepping down in 2007. She continued to lead worship regularly at Hillsong and was a prominent figure with the Hillsong worship team on its international ministry tours.
Houston said in a note posted on the Hillsong website that Darlene has been welcomed "to continue to be part of the team in key Hillsong praise and worship projects and, with Mark, in Hillsong Conferences, and we pray great things for their future.”