Mars Hill Church’s former elders have released a statement to Christianity Today pleading with their former lead pastor, Mark Driscoll, to resign from The Trinity Church in Arizona, which Driscoll planted in 2016. Driscoll previously co-founded Mars Hill Church in 1996 and pastored it in Seattle, Washington, until his resignation in 2014 following an investigation accusing Driscoll of bullying.
Driscoll Planted The Trinity Church
Driscoll founded The Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Ariz., and held the first service in February 2016. Driscoll currently serves as senior pastor alongside several members of his family. His wife Grace leads women’s ministry; his son-in-law Landon Chase holds the title “pastor of fun.” Landon’s wife and the Driscolls’ daughter Ashley is executive director of the online ministry “Real Faith,” and the Driscolls’ son Zac serves as Trinity’s director of interns.
Former Elders Say They See Driscoll’s Similar Sin Pattern
“We are saddened to learn that Mark Driscoll has continued in a pattern of sinful actions toward staff members and congregants as he pastors The Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona,” the former Mars Hill elders said in the statement. They said leadership behaviors that have been recently reported “appear similar” to what was experienced at Mars Hill Church.
The Trinity Church’s former head of security Chad Freese said Driscoll berated staff during meetings and has compared what he witnessed to a cult. “Everything is about the Driscolls” at the church, Freese said.
Mars Hill’s former elders said the news about Driscoll troubles them and states that he continues to be “unrepentant despite the fact these sins have been previously investigated, verified and brought to his attention by his fellow elders.”
The 39 people who attached their name to the statement said Driscoll is “unfit for serving the church” as a pastor. The former elders recognized they have no authority over Driscoll or at The Trinity Church, but are asking their former pastor to voluntarily resign as The Trinity Church’s senior pastor immediately. They also encouraged those close to him to persuade him to the same.
“Mark left deep pain in the lives of many,” Mars Hill Church’s former elders wrote, because he wasn’t willing “to seek restoration and reconciliation with those he has sinned against.”