In a heartfelt message shared on her social media platforms today, Taya Gaukrodger (née Smith), known for her integral role in the platinum-selling Christian music group Hillsong UNITED, announced her resignation from Hillsong Church. Taya’s departure marks the end of a remarkable 10-year journey on staff at Hillsong Church, leaving fans and followers with mixed emotions.
Taya’s announcement, which she described as “bittersweet,” comes at a significant juncture as the anniversary edition of UNITED’s iconic album, “Zion,” was released on the same day. This special edition features new renditions of the Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) classic “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail),” a song she notably led. “Oceans” was originally released in 2013 and achieved monumental success, securing the No.1 spot on Billboard’s Hot Christian Songs chart for an astounding 61 consecutive weeks.
It’s not lost on me that last week, the same day the Ocean tracks from the Zion (X) 10 Year Anniversary Album came out was the day, after 10 years on staff and 13 years of calling this house home, I handed in my resignation at Hillsong Church. I truly had no idea both would coincide on the same day, let alone at all.
February 2013 I came on staff, a week before the original Zion record came out and a lot has happened since. It was a 0 to 100 type of quick incline that no one saw coming, except the Lord in His omniscience and His doing alone.
I know we won’t know the full story till we get to heaven but to have heard any testimonies down here about how certain songs off this record have impacted people; their walk with Jesus or perhaps a doorway to it, with new ones still coming in – will always stop me, dampen my face and break my heart open again at the way the Lord uses the very meek, ordinary, flawed vessels to reach the people He came for.
Whilst the last few years have held an incredible amount of grief, with a crazy coinciding of joy, it has been a learning of sorts to carry both in one hand. The Lords timing is never our own but it is always perfect, redemptive and kind – even if we can’t see it at the time.
I want to honour my husband Ben, as He has been beside me since he gave me his yes 5 years ago and has been both a rock and safe place for me to land in it all. My wise best friend with steadfastness beyond his years that only comes from a grounding in God and His word – although you sensed this season ending, thank you for not saying anything till the Holy Spirit revealed it to me personally. For the last few years of utter dependence on God – thank you for constantly calling me up higher & for your patience when I am stubborn & resist it.
I could say a million more things but I’m learning they usually don’t need to be said, so I’ll end with this : the last 10 years have been a love gift to the Lord, and in true Jesus style, He has given me more than anything I ever poured out or gave.”
While Taya expressed her gratitude for the meaningful journey she had with Hillsong Church, she did not disclose the personal reasons behind her resignation. The singer-songwriter released her debut self-titled album in March 2022, showcasing her individual artistry apart from her role in Hillsong UNITED.
Taya Gaukrodger’s departure from Hillsong Church comes amidst a period of significant change for the organization. Co-founder Brian Houston resigned in 2022 following allegations of misconduct involving two women. In a separate legal matter, Houston was recently acquitted on a charge of failing to report his father’s sexual abuse of a child.
Fans and supporters of Taya Gaukrodger are left with anticipation and curiosity about her future endeavors following this pivotal decision. The impact of her resignation on the landscape of Christian music remains to be seen, but her contributions to the genre and her spiritual journey continue to inspire many.
For the full message from Taya Gaukrodger regarding her resignation, please visit her social media channels.