How is former Hillsong student Anna Crenshaw doing since her Lawsuit against the Church?
Content warning: This article mentions allegations of sexual assault.
The reporting around this case, which first appeared in The Australian, has led many to question Hillsong’s leadership and shed a light on the permissive culture of the church.
Following the publicity that came with Anna’s accusations and her eventual lawsuit, many wanted to know more about where Anna is today.
Where is Anna Crenshaw now?
Anna, who moved from Pennsylvania to Sydney, Australia, to attend Hillsong College, seems to have returned to the U.S. more recently. Based on her Instagram posts, it looks like she spends plenty of time traveling, including a recent trip to Africa. Anna was also featured in the TLC docuseries on Hillsong, titled Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed.
Anna has also posted from New York City recently, and roughly a year ago, she posted a photo along with the caption: “My highlight of living in PA is being 4 hours from Mexico.”
Anna’s Instagram certainly makes it seem like she’s living her best life, and she also has a cross in her bio, which suggests that her time at Hillsong did not lead her to lose her faith.
Anna’s lawsuit came after years of back-and-forth with Hillsong.
The alleged assault against Anna occurred in 2016 when she was just 18 years old. Anna claims that Jason Mays, whose father had been an influential part of Hillsong’s management for more than a decade, assaulted her at a party.
“Jason grabbed me, putting his hand between my legs and his head on my stomach and began kissing my stomach. I felt his arms and hands wrapped around my legs making contact with my inner thigh, butt and crotch,” she wrote in a statement to Hillsong in 2018.
Hillsong’s response to Anna’s allegation was reportedly to defend Jason and suggest that Anna was at fault for raising the incident at all.
Anna’s father, himself a pastor, got involved, and the two eventually went to the police. In 2020, Jason pleaded guilty to “assault with an act of indecency.”
Even after he pleaded guilty, though, Hillsong continued to both defend Jason and employ him.
“We’re talking about a young man, a young married man who did something stupid, got much drunker than he should, which is an issue we’ve got to keep addressing, and got himself in a bad situation,” Brian Houston, a former head of the church, said on stage, according to The Australian.
“I can only say that I’m proud of Anna for standing up for what is right and for continuing to do what she can to hold Hillsong Church accountable for their poor handling of their victims,” Ed Crenshaw told The New York Post when Anna filed her lawsuit against Hillsong earlier this year. “The need for her to do so is obvious given Hillsong leadership’s pattern of covering up improper behavior, including that of Brian Houston.”
Anna is seeking accountability, even as she moves on with her life.