A Timeline of Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill
Below is a brief timeline of Mars Hill history. This timeline is by no means comprehensive, but merely gives a brief overview of some of what has taken place in the former megachurch Mars Hill under Mark Driscoll. I consider three of the events below to be pivotal moments, and which taken together were the events that caused Christians outside of Mars Hill to sit up and start asking questions about Driscoll. I have highlighted the date of those events in red:
September 29-30, 2006 - Mark Driscoll, still a relatively unknown pastor, is introduced to the world by respected pastor John Piper at Piper's 2006 Desiring God conference at which Dr. Piper highlights Driscoll as one of his keynote speakers (as of November 2014, Dr. Piper insists he has no regrets in befriending Mark Driscoll, characterizes Driscoll as a good teacher despite "mistakes that Mark may have made" or instances in which "he might have walked out of step with the truth" - transcript of that interview here)
October 2007 - Mark Driscoll moves to change the by-laws of Mars Hill church; the change would consolidate power with Driscoll and a smaller group of elders handpicked by Driscoll. Two highly respected elders (Paul Petry and Bent Meyer) at Mars Hill resist this change, and are fired when they try to hold Driscoll accountable.
2006 - 2012 - Mark Driscoll, who earned a degree in Communications at Washington State University and is an effective speaker with an aggressive, edgy style, skyrockets in popularity. During this time:
▪ Under Driscoll's leadership, Mars Hill is one of the first churches to go "multi-site," in which a pastor's sermons are piped in via video screen.
▪ Driscoll writes several books and is a highly sought after speaker at Christian conferences
▪ Driscoll founds The Resurgence (a Christian resources organization), co-founds The Gospel Coalition (a Christian parachurch organization of prominent Christian leaders), and co-founds Acts 29 (a church planting organization)January 25, 2012 - Driscoll hosts an event entitled Elephant Room 2 (the first one having been the year prior) in which he features Oneness Pentecostal teacher TD Jakes, who holds to an unbiblical, non-Trinitarian view of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jakes is also a prosperity/Word of Faith teacher who is known for his lively ability to $hakedown the flock for ca$h. Pastor Chris Rosebrough, an outspoken critic of syncretism and ecumenical alliances, attempts to attend the ER2 event, having paid and registered for it online, but is charged with arrest at the door if he enters the building where the event was taking place. Several Christian writers begin asking questions about why Driscoll, an evangelical Christian, would affirm heretic TD Jakes as a Christian brother at this event (here, here, here, here, here, here, and here). This event proves to be a pivotal point, after which concerns about Driscoll begin to grow as more and more eyes are on him.
March 29, 2012 - Driscoll resigns from The Gospel Coalition (TGC)
|Mark Driscoll at Strange Fire|
November 21, 2013 - Christian talk show host Janet Mefferd interviews Driscoll, and asks him about plagiarism in his newly released book A Call To Resurgence. Mefferd, in preparation for her interview with Driscoll (who is making the rounds on talk shows promoting his new book), had read Driscoll's book prior to her interview with him, and had discovered several instances of plagiarism. Janet came under heavy fire for asking Driscoll these questions, and her show producer ended up resigning in the midst of it.
November 23, 2103 - Dr. Paul David Tripp, a well regarded biblical counselor, joins the Mars Hill Board of Advisors and Accountability (BoAA), a board set up ostensibly to bring accountability to the Mars Hill governance
March 6, 2014 - Pastor Chris Rosebrough of Fighting For the Faith radio reports that Mark Driscoll bought his way onto the New York Times Bestseller List "through anonymous third parties". Warren Throckmorton of Patheos publishes the contract that was in place for artificially inflating book sales for Driscoll's book Real Marriage.
August 1, 2014 - More allegations of plagiarism by Driscoll emerge. Warren Throckmorton of Patheos publishes a chart that documents plagiarism in seven books authored by Driscoll.
August 8, 2014 - As Driscoll comes increasingly under scrutiny, with some of his actions being called into question by former Acts 29 pastors, the board of Acts 29 removes Mark Driscoll, the man who co-founded the Acts 29 organization, from membership, (video here). Former Acts 29 co-founder Ron Wheeler goes public with concerns about Mark Driscoll (Wheeler's entire open letter to Driscoll here)
August 13, 2014 - NPR (National Public Radio), a secular media outlet, reports that Lifeway Christian Stores have halted sales of Driscoll's newest book (A Call To Resurgence) due to Driscoll's having been "accused of plagiarizing sections of the book and artificially inflating his book sales by bulk-buying copies."
August 24, 2014 - Mark Driscoll steps down for 6 week timeout while Mars Hill Board of Accountability (BoA) reviews charges against him
August 28, 2014 - Nine elders at Mars Hill call for a change in Mars Hill by-laws that had been illegally changed by Driscoll in 2007, call for Driscoll to submit to plan for discipline/restoration
October 6, 2014 - All nine elders calling for by-laws change/discipline are gone, having either resigned or been fired
March 2014 - Present - Former Mars Hill pastors, one after the other, begin publicly confessing their sins of bullying, spiritual abuse and/or standing by while such behaviors were taking place during their tenures at Mars Hill (Repentant Pastor website)
October 15, 2014 - Mark Driscoll resigns from Mars Hill church, defiantly claiming however that he is not "disqualified from future ministry"
October 19, 2014 - It is revealed that Mars Hill elders were going to discipline Mark Driscoll, who then resigned rather than be disciplined (listen beginning at the 37 min mark) (Patheos article by Warren Throckmorton here)
|Robert Morris welcomes|
Mark Driscoll at Gateway Conference
October 31, 2014 - It is announced that Mars Hill will officially dissolve
Mark Driscoll: A Timeline of His Downfall
Mark Driscoll Considering New Ministry, Still Has Not Repented, Sought Reconciliation Say Former Members and Elders of Mars Hill
What John Piper Said When He Finally Addressed the Issue of Mark Driscoll......What We Wish He Had Said Instead
Pastor Chris Rosebrough Deconstructs Robert Morris's "Blessed Life" Teaching, Part 1 and Part 2