Mars Hill Church (Mark Driscoll)

Founded by one of the worlds top Evangelical leaders, who became caught in a web of scandals

1996 - 2015

"I cannot worship the hippie, diaper, halo Christ because I cannot worship a guy I can beat up."-Mark Driscoll (founder)

Throughout the 2000s, Mark Driscoll was one of the leading Evangelical pastors in America. He was a hip young leader in the Emerging Church movement and preached with a fiery, tough love attitude as he delivered blunt conservative teachings.

However, in 2013, Driscoll began to face opposition from former members who accused him of abusive practices and an authoritarian attitude. As these concerns were being voiced, the church also found itself in the middle of financial scandals when it was revealed that Driscoll had plagiarized his books and had paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to artificially inflate sales numbers. Initially, the church responded by firing those who criticized Driscoll, but as pressure from Evangelicals grew, church leaders acknowledged abuse of power. They created an accountability plan that Driscoll must go through before returning to ministry, but Driscoll rejected the plan, resigned, and started a new church.

Today, Driscoll continues preaching at his new church, but members continue to leave over similar concerns that were raised at Mars Hill Church.

Religion: Christianity

Denomination: Evangelicalism

Founder: Mark Driscoll

Founded: 1996

Ended: 1 January 2015

Location: Based in Seattle, Washington, United States (had locations in 4 states)

Size: 6,500 members; 12,000 in weekly attendance

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Mark Driscoll preaching at while a pastor at Mars Hill Church

Mark Driscoll preaching at while a pastor at Mars Hill Church

John Piper, a prominent Christian leader, sharing his thoughts on the controversies surrounding Mark Driscoll