On August 22, nine current Mars Hill pastors submitted an accusatory letter to church leadership demanding Mark Driscoll step down from his role as lead pastor.
The letter describes a “lack of transparency” and creating a “culture of fear.” It also accuses Mark Driscoll of misrepresenting the condition of the church and his leadership.
One of the pastors who signed the letter, Pastor Mark Dunford, was terminated on August 27, five days after the letter was submitted, sources tell KING 5. Dunford was an unpaid lay pastor at Mars Hill Portland.
Sources tell KING 5 the reason for his termination was “rebellion against the church.”
The other pastors who signed the letter were called into a meeting Thursday with Mars Hill leadership.
In recent months, Driscoll has been embroiled in controversy, including being kicked out of the Acts 29 Network he helped create.
Though former pastors and peers of Driscoll’s have previously spoken out against him, this is the first time current pastors are calling for Driscoll to quit his job.
According to the letter submitted by the pastors, Dr. Paul Tripp, a counselor who helped mediate previous reconciliation efforts, said, “This is without a doubt the most abusive, coercive ministry culture I’ve ever been involved with.”
The pastors say they see their actions as an act of love for Driscoll and for Mars Hill and not as an act of aggression or rejection.
KING 5 spoke with Mark Driscoll’s parents on Thursday night and they said their whole family is surrounding their son with love.
“The truth will come out,” Driscoll’s parents said. “Good things are to come.”
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SOURCE: KING 5 News
Alison Morrow and Alex Rozier