The Acts 29 church planting network has removed its founder, Seattle pastor Mark Driscoll, and his church from membership, saying they hope the leadership of Mars Hill will “respond in a godly manner so that the name of Christ will not continue to be dishonored.”
In an online statement, the board of Acts 29 wrote, “It is our conviction that the nature of the accusations against Mark, most of which have been confirmed by him, make it untenable and unhelpful to keep Mark and Mars Hill in our network.”
In a longer letter published on William Throckmorton’s blog and addressed to simply “Mark,” the board explained that over the past three years the network and the board itself have been “recipients of countless shots and dozens of fires directly linked to you and what we consider ungodly and disqualifying behavior.” They also declared that “ample time has been given for repentance, change and restitution, with none forthcoming,” requiring this new action by the board. They ended the letter pleading for Driscoll to “please step down from ministry and seek help.” The Christian Post was unsuccessful in its attempts to confirm that this letter was genuine.
Religion News Service reported that Driscoll has come under fire for controversial and domineering behavior and, most recently, for comments he made on Mars Hill’s Midrash forum under the pseudonym “William Wallace II” criticizing of feminism, homosexuality and “sensitive emasculated” men. Earlier this year, said Christianity Today, Driscoll defended himself against accusations that he plagiarized parts of his 2013 book, A Call to Resurgence, as well as intense criticism for paying a marketing company $200,000 to push his 2012 book Real Marriage to the New York Times best-seller list. Driscoll has apologized multiple times for missteps in the past few years.
The Acts 29 Network has 500 member churches around the world with the mission to “advance the mission of Jesus through obediently planting church-planting churches.” Driscoll’s Mars Hill Church has 15 campuses in several states and averages 12,300 worshippers weekly.