The Rev. Jimmy Evans of the local Trinity Fellowship Church will sit on the governing board of a controversial pastor’s new Arizona church plant.
“Early on in my relationship with Mark I felt the Lord was putting us together,” Evans said of former Mars Hill Church Pastor Mark Driscoll, who on Monday announced the launch of The Trinity Church in Phoenix. “When Mark asked me to be on his board, I prayed about it and felt the Lord was telling me to do it.”
In October 2014, Driscoll resigned from the Seattle-based Mars Hill megachurch he planted 18 years earlier after allegations of plagiarism, emotional abusiveness and misogyny made national headlines.
As Mars Hill was dissolving its network of churches across four states, church officials said they found Driscoll “had a domineering style with a quick temper and harsh speech, but (the church) noted he was never charged with immorality or heresy,” according to an Associated Press report.
Driscoll was one of the featured speakers during Zion 2016 last month at Trinity Fellowship Church in Amarillo.
Trinity Fellowship Church Lead Pastor Jimmy Witcher said Driscoll and Evans met at a Gateway Church conference shortly after Driscoll resigned from Mars Hill. The pair soon after formed a spiritual bond.
Evans said Driscoll’s past did not deter him from serving on the board of the new church.
“When I first met Mark, he was very broken and honest about his shortcomings in his previous church,” Evans said. “I ministered to him a lot about those issues, as did some of my friends. We all see a great heart and tremendous potential in him.”
Also serving on the new church’s board is Gateway Church Senior Pastor Robert Morris, and Randal Taylor, vice president of television at Dunham+Company.
Taylor, Evans, Morris and Larry Osborne, a senior pastor at North Coast Church in California and a one-time board of advisers member to Mars Hill, are listed in the role of “wise counsel” to The Trinity Church.
“As far as offering wise counsel, it is just a role of being there to help Mark process issues as they come up,” Evans said.
“Related to being on the governing board, we help Mark make the larger decisions related to the direction, finances, governance and legal issues of the church.”
Evans stressed his new responsibilities in Driscoll’s church will not interfere with his duties in Amarillo.
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