• Hillsong Connecticut is being sued by the venue it rents for Sunday services for alleged unpaid rent and theft
  • Dale Smith, whose company runs the megachurch's venue security, likens Hillsong to a corporation
  • Hillsong is facing a separate lawsuit in Australia over alleged "structurally unsound" apartments

Hillsong Church has been hit with two separate lawsuits in Connecticut and Australia for alleged "immoral" actions and damages, according to a report.

The Australia-based institution is being sued by Norwalk's Wall Street Theater Company, which Hillsong's Connecticut branch rents for its weekly services, for more than $100,000, the New York Post reported. In a complaint filed on Jan. 20., the company accused Hillsong of refusing to pay the rent it owes, stealing venue property and doing "immoral, oppressive and unscrupulous" actions.

In February 2020, before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hillsong Connecticut signed a new contract with the theater to rent the venue for Sunday services for just under $6,000 per week, the complaint said. Amid the coronavirus lockdowns, Hillsong requested on May 11 to invoke the agreement's 120-day termination clause and cancel the contract, the suit read.

The theater agreed, but Hillsong allegedly didn't pay the $100,899.25 balance the clause required. The lawsuit also claimed that Hillsong allegedly "removed electronic equipment belonging to the" theater on Dec. 18 and refused to return the property.

"Hillsong just ghosted the theater," an unnamed source "with knowledge" of the matter told New York Post. "When the theater sent them a bill, they responded saying they were a small not-for-profit and couldn’t pay it, and that they didn’t owe it anyways because of the pandemic."

The outlet noted that Connecticut did not impose a moratorium on commercial rent payment. The insider claimed that Hillsong is not interested in resolving its issues with the theater peacefully.

"It wasn’t even a little bit of, ‘Let’s try to work it out. It was just, ‘Go f–k yourself and, oh, go f–k yourself,’" the source said. "Hillsong, as a tenant, was always about the last nickel, which is fine, contracts are contracts, but when the shoe was on the other foot, suddenly they were a small church. It was quite sad, really."

Dale Smith, whose company ran Hillsong Connecticut's venue security, also shared his thoughts about the institution, describing it as more of a corporation than a religious institution.

“It just seemed like a business, real robotic,” he told New York Post of what he’d allegedly seen in his two years working the door at Sunday services. “Even the ones on the payroll seemed to be fighting, positioning in order to climb that ladder which, in my opinion, is not what a church is supposed to be.”

Meanwhile, Hillsong is also facing a separate, $20 million lawsuit in Australia. The owners of nearly 300 apartments in Sydney alleged that the megachurch and Sydney Christian Life Centre (SCLC), the developer it hired to build a housing complex in Rosebery, Australia, didn't deliver.

In their complaint, the apartment owners claimed the developer made their homes structurally unsound and now fear that they will not be able to sell them. The lawsuit alleged that SCLC, which is part of Hillsong's property arm, "breached their duties of care in causing or permitting the defective work."

A lawyer also told the Daily Telegraph that the residents were prevented from inspecting "the common property" before buying their units for amounts ranging from $440,000 to $945,000. Structural engineers then found in 2019 that their apartments' windows and balconies were not up to code.

Hillsong responded by filing a counterclaim blaming construction firm Icon Construction Australia. The SCLC lawyers claimed the construction firm was at fault.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 08: Members of the Chan family let off balloons after the funeral service for executed Bali nine member Andrew Chan at Hillsong Church, Baulkham Hills on May 8, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. Bali Nine duo Andrew Chan, 31, and Myuran Sukumaran, 34, were executed by firing squad after being found guilty of attempting to smuggle 8.3kg of heroin valued at around $4 million from Indonesia to Australia along with 7 other accomplices. Sukumaran's funeral service will be held tomorrow at the DaySpring Church in Castle Hill. Don Arnold/Getty Images