2001 – 2006

MARS HILL – Core Values, What We Believe
MARS HILL Membership Covenant
BYLAWS prior to 11-01-2007


Founded by Lief Moi, The Paradox Theatre, home of all-ages concerts and events in Seattle’s University District, permanently closed its doors.

OCTOBER 19, 2004 

MEMORANDUM from Mark Driscoll to the MH Elders, re: Further details on the proposal to reorganize the elders
(As far back as 2004, Mark Driscoll was already proposing doing away with the plurality of elders with equal authority. As justification for establishing a hierarchy with himself as the “gatekeeper” or the so-called “first among equals” in authority, he stated: “Within the godhead we see Jesus doing the Father’s will and speaking the Father’s words in clear deference to the Father though they are equal and united as one.”)


ELDERS’ Wives Meeting Teaching Notes re: The Testing of Our Faith – Jonna


ELDERS’ Wives Invitation to Prayer 09-06-2007 – Jonna

SEPTEMBER 26, 2007 

COVER LETTER to Pastor Jamie Munson re: recommended edits
to proposed BYLAWS
– Paul

Suggested Edits to proposed MH Bylaws – Paul

BENT MEYER’S LETTER to Pastor Jamie Munson re: proposed BYLAWS

SEPTEMBER 30, 2007

EMAIL from Jamie Munson re: after hours “mandatory meeting”

AUDIO LINK to full final Nehemiah sermon, “Fathers & Fighting,” preached by Mark Driscoll that night.
AUDIO LINK to shortened clip with highlights of the “Fathers & Fighting” sermon. Immediately after preaching the sermon, Mark Driscoll walked off the stage and entered the secret “mandatory” meeting where Bent Meyer and Paul were fired and threatened.

OCTOBER 1, 2007 

EMAIL to the Executive Elders after the firing – Paul
EMAIL to the MH Elders after firing – Paul
YOUR ACCUSERS – Insider email received from an Elder “friend”
EMAIL REPLY to Paul’s plea from the EXECUTIVE ELDERS/SCOTT THOMAS re: so-called request for trial & heading up “Elder Investigation Taskforce (EIT)”
(Scott Thomas was one of the executive elders in the room when Mark Driscoll fired & threatened Bent Meyer & Paul. In this email, Scott stated that he is the “Lead Mediator” and he is heading up the “Elder Investigation TaskForce” and, “This process is not a witch-hunt, but rather an exercise in the gospel…”)
OFFICIAL Termination letter from Jamie Munson
AUDIO LINK (MARK DRISCOLL bragging to Acts29 pastors and church planters that “there is a pile of dead bodies behind the Mars Hill bus” and that he fired two elders the night before – “the first time in the history of Mars Hill.”)

OCTOBER 2, 2007

IMPORTANT Message from the Lead Pastor
(Letter announcing firings of Paul & Bent posted to MH Members website)

OCTOBER 10, 2007

EMAIL from SCOTT THOMAS to Paul Petry: “your presence will not be necessary” at your TRIAL

OCTOBER 11, 2007

EMAIL from SCOTT THOMAS in response to a Member’s questions regarding the firings of Elders
(Scott Thomas assured the Member that, “A team of elders just concluded a conciliatory process with these two men.”)

OCTOBER 14, 2007

EMAIL letter to the Elders from DEACON ROB SMITH (Mars Hill deacon submits his letter on the day before Paul’s trial and pleads with elders for impartiality and a fair trial for Bent and Paul.)

STATEMENT for 10-15-2007 TRIAL – Paul

OCTOBER 16, 2007

STATEMENT from the Elders posted on MH Members’ website
(re: outcome of Paul’s “trial”)

OCTOBER 16, 2007

EMAIL from Zach Hubert restoring Paul to “full membership”

OCTOBER 25, 2007   

UPDATED Member Communication (Posted to MH Members website in an effort to quell the uproar)

MY CONFESSION and REQUEST for REDRESS of Grievances – Paul

OCTOBER 31, 2007 – November 2, 2007

REPLY email to Brad House
EMAIL EXCHANGE between Brad House and Paul

NOVEMBER 2, 2007

EMAIL Resigning MHC Membership – Paul
RESPONSE email from Mark to email resigning Membership
RESPONSE email from Jamie to email resigning Membership

NOVEMBER 4, 2007

MH MEMBERS’ Questions posted on MHC Website in response to “Ask the Elders Anything”  (Members were allowed to ask questions during a 72-hour window of time – then the website was permanently shut down.)

NOVEMBER 9, 2007 

ELDERS’ 142-Page Document in Response to Members’ Questions
(includes a four-page cover letter by Mark Driscoll)

NOVEMBER 18, 2007

The Seattle Times, Janet Tu, Firing of Pastors Roils Mars Hill Church

DECEMBER 5, 2007

MH Church website forum – Jamie Munson “Update on Paul Petry”
(Post to members re: Paul’s “discipline” = shunning)

DECEMBER 15, 2007

MARS HILL MEMBERS publish their letter of resignation from Mars Hill Church (MH couple starts a BLOG, publish their letter of resignation as members of Mars Hill Church, and publicly call Mark Driscoll and the Elders to repentance.)

DECEMBER 23, 2007

EXECUTIVE ELDER, Scott Thomas sent an email to former members who resigned and asked for reconciliation, redress of wrongs, and publicly called Mark Driscoll and the Elders to repentance. (Thomas demanded that they take down their blog before their concerns could be addressed and before any “reconciliation” could happen. They took down their blog. Nothing happened.)

JANUARY 11, 2008

BENT MEYER’S Letter to the MH Elders, Correcting Exaggerated Communication

JANUARY 26, 2008

APPEAL letter to Mark for retraction of Shunning & for Reconciliation
APPEAL letter to Jamie for retraction of Shunning & for Reconciliation

JANUARY 29, 2008 

Jamie’s first response to Paul’s appeal

JANUARY 30, 2008

Jamie’s second response to Paul’s appeal

FEBRUARY 4, 2008

LAST LETTER to Mark, Jamie, and the MH Elders – Paul

JANUARY 6, 2009

The New York Times, Molly Worthen, Who Would Jesus Smack Down?

MAY 15, 2009

JOHN PIPER Addresses Mark Driscoll/MacArthur Issue at Basics Conference, by Joel Taylor

MAY 6, 2010

Justin Taylor, An Interview with Mark Driscoll on “Doctrine”
(Mark Driscoll: “We canceled out the membership of everyone in our church…we were willing to lose a lot of people.”)

JULY 14, 2011

Christianity Today, Bobby Ross, Jr., Sex, Money…Pride? Why Pastors Are Stepping Down

JANUARY 1, 2012

CURRENT MHC Membership Covenant

JANUARY 23, 2012

Matthew Paul Turner, Mark Driscoll’s Church Discipline Contract: Looking For True Repentance at Mars Hill Church? Sign on the Dotted Line.

JANUARY 24, 2012

Matthew Paul Turner, Mark Driscoll’s ‘Gospel Shame’: The Truth About Discipline, Excommunication, and Cult-like Control at Mars Hill

JANUARY 26, 2012

Matthew Paul Turner, Spiritual Abuse Must Stop

JANUARY 29, 2012

BENT MEYER – Online Post – Fired Mars Hill Elder Breaks His Silence

FEBRUARY 2, 2012

Slate, Ruth Graham, A Shunning In Seattle

FEBRUARY 12, 2012

Theology for Women, Andy & Wendy Alsup, Our Review of Real Marriage by Mark and Grace Driscoll
(“I haven’t mentioned Mark Driscoll or Mars Hill on this blog in the 4 years since I stepped back from leading women’s ministry there…In light of this, silence on these issues no longer seems the righteous choice.”)

FEBRUARY 17, 2012

Christianity Today, Ted Olson, Mars Hill Says It Released Leaders Over Church Discipline Cases

MARCH 7, 2012

World Net Daily, David Kupelian, The Church of Sex

MARCH 28, 2012

MARK DRISCOLL Steps Down from Gospel Coalition Council
MARK DRISCOLL Steps Down as Acts29 President (but remains as Director on three-member board)
MARK DRISCOLL: What is Next for Me

JUNE 18, 2012

AUDIO clip (posted by a former MH member, re: Mark Driscoll talking to a group of Acts 29 pastors and church planters on 10/01/2007, the day after Bent and Paul were fired.)

SEPTEMBER 27, 2012

RADIO Program Audio clip (Program host urges Mark Driscoll to repent.)

DECEMBER 10, 2012

UPDATE on Lief Moi (Newspaper article on Lief Moi “Coming Full Circle”)

JANUARY 9, 2013

New MHC location in historic old downtown church building announced (SEATTLE – Pastor Tim Gaydos recently shepherded his congregation into its new downtown location…)

JANUARY 12, 2013

The Seattle Times – Mars Hill’s Grand Opening Downtown: “Thank God for TiVo” (Celebrating the grand opening of its new location in the historic First United Methodist Church building in downtown Seattle…Mars Hill posted on a Facebook page created for the event, “Thank God for TiVo and DVR.”)

JANUARY 14, 2013

Official PRESS RELEASE by Justin Dean, MHC Marketing & PR Director, announcing new MHC downtown location with Tim Gaydos as “lead pastor” (“This is an incredible opportunity to be a ministry hub for downtown Seattle as it will allow us to better serve the business men and women in our city, as well as the homeless and marginalized, as we’re closer to one of our ministry partners, Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission,” says Tim Gaydos, lead pastor of the Downtown Seattle church.)

JANUARY 15, 2013

KOMO-TV News Video (Controversy erupts with MHC grand opening of new downtown location)

MARCH 14, 2013

TIM GAYDOS QUITS (Newspaper article: Pastor Unexpectedly Quits Mars Hill Church)

MAY 10, 2013

STATEMENT OF FORMAL CHARGES AND ISSUES submitted by Pastor Dave Kraft “Per Article 12 of the Bylaws of Mars Hill Church, I hereby file formal charges against Pastor Mark Driscoll…”

DECEMBER 4, 2013

PASTOR JEFF BETTGER – GONE (Jeff Bettger’s name removed from list of pastors on Mars Hill website)
“Having a mega church background for the last 16 years I have witnessed first hand the tyranny of injustice done in the name of God. Layoffs during Christmas, weeks after new children are born and first homes purchased. The use of tithe money to purchase books at retail cost in order to build a man’s platform and make the New York Times best seller lists. All with the name of God stamped on it, and self-justified because the rest of the business world has those kinds of practices. I am grieved for the state of a church that does not acknowledge and expose the sin of its leaders with love and humility but instead claims it is doing what’s best for the body of Christ…I am the chief of sinners in this way. I have held my cards close to my heart in order for self-preservation. I have been complicit by not speaking out boldly and allowing things to stay hidden. I do not need to do that anymore…” — Jeff Bettger, www.locustnhoney.com

MARCH 4, 2014

WORLD Magazine, Warren Cole Smith, Megachurches order staff to keep their mouths shut
Gag order? Two megachurches facing scrutiny for questionable behavior – Seattle’s Mars Hill Church and Charlotte’s Elevation Church – have something besides controversy in common…”

Former Mars Hill elder mentioned in the article, Dave Kraft, author of the book, Leaders Who Last (forward by Mark Driscoll), served on the “Elder Investigative Team” (E.I.T.) – a panel composed of four Mars Hill Elders appointed for the task – which investigated the “charges” against Bent and Paul. Dave Kraft eventually formally resigned his membership with Mars Hill and refused to sign what he referred to as a “gag order”.

JUNE 4, 2014

WENDY ALSUP, Practical Theology For Women,
The Root of Bitterness at Mars Hill Church

“The bitter card has been used for years in Seattle against those with growing concerns about Mars Hill Church. I personally have feared speaking at times because of this common criticism and the shame of being possibly labeled a gossip or, worse yet, a contentious woman. A careful examination of Hebrews 12:15 has been helpful to me.”

JULY 16, 2014

STACIE SOLIE, Crosscut Seattle, Inside Mars Hill’s Massive Meltdown – How narcissism, misogyny and Mark Driscoll’s own troubled past led to the mega-church mass exodus his flock was too scared to talk about
“A recent outpouring of accounts by former church members of Mars Hill, Seattle’s own homegrown megachurch, are painting a picture, both fascinating and horrifying, of outrageous and psychologically damaging behavior that’s been happening inside the church for many years. There are emerging stories of sensational kangaroo courts and “sex demon” trials, like something out of the Salem witch hunts of the 1600s. Even more devastating to individual members are the ways in which they are shamed, taught to blame themselves and each other when they see problems, and to formally shun people who step out of favor with church leaders. Shunnings, both formal and informal, have caused the outcast to spend years in isolation, cut off from friends, sometimes suffering deep clinical depression, nightmares, disillusionment and shattered faith. New heartbreaking stories are emerging almost every week…”

AUGUST 6, 2014

BRENDAN KYLIE, The Stranger, Why the Mars Hill Faithful Have Started to Question Mark – What Happened Over the Last Decade with Seattle’s Most Popular Church and Its Firebrand Pastor Mark Driscoll?

AUGUST 22, 2014

MICHAEL PAULSON, The New York Times, A Brash Style That Filled Pews, Until Followers Had Their Fill – Mark Driscoll Is Being Urged to Leave Mars Hill Church
“SEATTLE — Mark Driscoll has long been an evangelical bad boy, a gifted orator and charismatic leader who built one of the nation’s most influential megachurches despite, or perhaps fueled by, a foul mouth, a sharp temper and frank talk about sex. The church he founded, Mars Hill, enjoyed rapid growth in the Pacific Northwest…But now Mr. Driscoll’s empire appears to be imploding. He has been accused of creating a culture of fear at the church, of plagiarizing, of inappropriately using church funds and of consolidating power to such a degree that it has become difficult for anyone to challenge or even question him…”

AUGUST 28, 2014

BENT MEYER, Letter of 08/08/2014 and combined set of internal documents going back to 2006
“The following documents represent correspondence between the elders of Mars Hill Church and me dating back to 2006. The reason for making them available to be viewed now is to provide source material for members to view the inner workings of Mars Hill Church governance. It is a view that is fundamentally hidden from members and attendees of the church.”

AUGUST 29, 2014

JANET MEFFERD, The Janet Mefferd Show, The Driscoll Case: Now In the Jury’s Hands
“Something unexpected happened to me today. This morning, I received copies of a letter penned by nine Mars Hill pastors, outlining the latest revelations about Pastor Mark Driscoll. It started as all Mars Hill documents seem to begin: Expressing deep and abiding Christian love for Mark Driscoll and his willing accomplices. Then, of course, came the charges. Lies. Deceit. Lack of accountability. They even revealed that Paul Tripp — a recently resigned member of the Board of Advisors and Accountability — told them Mars Hill is ‘the most abusive, coercive ministry culture I’ve ever been involved with.’”

OCTOBER 29, 2014

MARK WOODS, Christian Today, Mars Hill pastor Steve Tompkins confesses sinful behaviour, asks forgiveness
“I am deeply sorry that so many people have experienced profound hurt over the years at Mars Hill. It breaks my heart that many continue to live with deep emotional and spiritual wounds, even long after leaving the church…But there is another – and related – area of great sin and blindness that I need to address. In fact, I would say I consider this to be the darkest, most destructive and most hurtful aspect of Mars Hill’s ministry culture by far. I call it the ‘ad hominem’ narrative… Dissenting voices were silenced through personal attacks rather than engagement with their arguments. What I have seen on multiple occasions is that when a leader raises an issue with Mars Hill or Mars Hill leadership, they themselves soon become the issue rather than the issue they raised. What they said, for example, is invalidated by how they said it, or because they did not follow proper procedure or protocol. Then, almost inevitably it is not long before they are gone from their position, their job, or the church itself. Often, their integrity was then slandered and their character maligned.”

NOVEMBER 2, 2014

Seven Years Later: 18 Mars Hill Elders Issue Letter of Confession to Bent Meyer, Paul Petry, and the Church
“Dear Paul and Bent, we want to publicly confess our sin against you regarding events that took place at Mars Hill Church back in 2007. We were wrong. We harmed you. You have lived with the pain of that for many years. As some of us have come to each of you privately, you have extended grace and forgiveness, and for that we thank you. Because our sin against you happened in a public way and with public consequences, we want to make our confession public as well with this letter…”

APRIL 15, 2015

MARK WOODS, Christian Today, Mark Driscoll shouldn’t appear at Hillsong conference, say campaigners
“A campaign aiming to persuade Hillsong to rescind its decision to have the disgraced former pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle at its Europe conference has been launched with an online petition. Mark Driscoll resigned from the church he founded last year, following a string of revelations…”

AUGUST 10, 2015

MARK LIPTON, Mean Men, Strength in Numbers: Lessons from the Downfall of Mark Driscoll
“[W]hat brought him down was his arrogance and abusiveness, as well as those current and former followers who shouldered the risk of condemnation from others and stood together…The pattern of abusive behavior employed by mean men to get and retain power means that there will inevitably be a long line of victims in their wake. Alone, each victim may feel powerless, but together — as we saw with Driscoll…they can be a powerful force.”

NOVEMBER 12, 2015

JD Hall, Pulpit & Pen, Driscoll Resurfaces…to Speak at “Church Leadership” Conference
“Three notoriously bad pastors are joining forces to teach on leadership. Perry Noble, who called church members who want to go deep in the Word of God, “jackasses” and Stephen Furtick, who says that telling his church members what his salary is would be biblically wrong, will be joined by more-or-less fired (run off, forced out?) and disgraced former pastor, Mark Driscoll. The topic of the conference will be church leadership. Also, this is not The Onion. This is not satire. Pulpit & Pen doesn’t have the creative juices to make up fiction this unbelievable.” A notable appearance at the conference will be “Financial Peace” money guru, radio personality and best-selling author, Dave Ramsey.


Embracing Shared Ministry: Power and Status in the Early Church and Why It Matters Today by Joseph H. Hellerman, Ph.D.
Joyful Exiles: Life in Christ on the Dangerous Edge of Things by James Houston
Chrysalis:The Hidden Journey in the Transformation of Faith by Alan Jamieson
The Leadership Paradox: A Challenge to Servant Leadership in a Power Hungry World by Denny Gunderson
Leading with Love  by Alexander Strauch
Biblical Eldership, by Alexander Strauch
Agape Leadership: Lessons in Spiritual Leadership from the Life of R.C. Chapman by Robert L. Peterson & Alexander Strauch
“Authoritarianism in the Church” by Steve Martin    
Recovering from Church Abuse by Len Hjalmarson 
Broken Hearts-Shattered Trust, by Dr. John K. Setser
Barb Orlowski, D.Min., Church Exiters, Ministering Restoration
Spiritual Abuse Recovery by Barb Orlowski, D.Min.
Pure Provender – Spiritual Abuse Recovery Resources
What Makes Narcissists Tick? Understanding Narcissistic Personality Disorder, by Kathleen Krajco
Question Mark? Why the Church Welcomes Bullies and How to Stop It, by Dr. Jim Henderson
What is Spiritual Abuse? by Dr.Larry Crabb

Counselors in Seattle area who deal with issues of spiritual abuse:

Dr. Nancy Murphy, LMHC
Northwest Family Life
Sarah Groen-Colyn, Psychologist, Ph.D
Paradigm Counseling of Puget Sound