After a few delays, Hillsong Chrurch's movie is finally coming to the big screens on September 16. Hillsong - Let Hope Rise chronicles the spectacular and unlikely rise to prominence of the Australia-based Christian band, Hillsong UNITED. The music of Hillsong is so popular it is estimated that on any given Sunday, more than 50 million churchgoers around the world are singing their songs.
Routinely performing to sold-out stadiums, the 11-member band, led by Joel Houston, are all volunteers or employees of Hillsong Church, founded by Joel's parents, Brian and Bobbie Houston.
Director Michael John Warren says: "i'm not a religious person, but I learned things from working with and becoming friends with the members of Hillsong UNITED. They are lovely people. They are sincerely giving. They are sincerely supportive. I don't believe the same things they believe, but I'm learning from them and I'm taking lessons from them and I believe I've become a better person having spent a year studying them. Their mission - without exaggeration - is to make music to save souls. They are trying to get people to discover Jesus. That's probably the most righteous reason to make music. Whether you're religious or not, it's hard to look at that and not feel good about it."
With more than 16 million albums sold, music and merchandise sales enable Hillsong Church-which spans 12 global locations with more than 100,000 weekly attendees, including thriving congregations in New York and Los Angeles-to support both local and worldwide charity that includes feeding and educating children in the slums of India, holistic community development in Africa, rescuing and rehabilitating victims of human trafficking and sponsoring children living in poverty around the world.