Taylor Henderson on Australia's Got Talent. Picture: Channel 7
Revival church demands Taylor Henderson give up TV stardom
June 17th, 2010
GEELONG'S newest superstar has been embroiled in claims the church he grew up in tried to force him to give up stardom.
Australia's Got Talent finalist Taylor Henderson, 17, was given an ultimatum to quit the show or be banished from the Geelong Revival Centre, it was revealed yesterday.
It is believed Pastor Noel Hollins told Taylor to choose between the church and his place on the Channel 7 reality show.
"He was given some options and made decisions and he's a free person," Pastor Hollins said yesterday.
"He had the opportunity to make his own decision and that's all there is to it."
News of the ultimatum surfaced less than 24 hours after Taylor and his father Cameron surged to stardom in Tuesday night's Australia's Got Talent grand final.
Cameron, 42, was runner-up to Sydney-based dance group Justice Crew, while Taylor won enough nationwide votes to finish third.
The pair were at the family's Ceres property yesterday coming to grips with their stardom as music industry offers began pouring in.
Even the Geelong Advertiser was contacted by a company hopeful of signing Cameron to a contract.
The Hendersons declined to comment on the controversy, instead choosing to focus on their careers.
However, a former Geelong Revival Centre member who wished to remain anonymous, yesterday revealed details on the saga.
"Three weeks ago, he was marched to the pastor's office and given an ultimatum: give up the competition or don't attend the church and he chose the competition," he said.
"Australia's Got Talent is considered worldly, a way of making a living. Certain careers in Geelong Revival Centre are not considered ethical or spiritual.
"It's unlikely for a lawyer to be part of the Geelong Revival Centre ... careers for women are frowned upon. This church is divided. It divides people and families."
Word on Taylor's plight spread quickly on an internet forum developed by ex-members of the Geelong Revival Centre.
One person, known as Brett, said the decision to banish Taylor was poor.
"How utterly typical. Will Noel ever realise that he has pretty much single-handedly killed the moving of the Spirit in the GRC?"
"Taylor and Cameron have that talent or gift, why not use it and share it with those less fortunate."
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