A little while ago, former Mars Hill Church Leadership Pastor Dave Kraft released a statement on his Facebook page which accepted responsibility for his part in the firings of Paul Petry, Bent Meyer and Lief Moi. Saying that the elders were “unfairly terminated,” Kraft expressed remorse for being “in the group that saw to it that they left.”
Then today on his blog, Kyle Firstenberg also expressed remorse because he shunned the fired elders as he was instructed by Driscoll. Firstenberg also provided his perceptions of the bylaws changes dating back to about 2007 when more power was placed in the hands of the executive elders. Eventually, the Board of Advisors and Accountability was created with the purported purpose to provide outside accountability. Firstenberg described a video call where Driscoll discussed the changes. After some push back from elders, according to Firstenberg, Driscoll shut down discussion:
Mark’s response was simply, I don’t give a shit what you guys think. I brought this in front of you guys trying to be nice and make you feel like you are involved in this decision. I don’t even need to get your permission to do this; the last change to the Bylaws gives me permission to do what I want and we are doing this. It doesn’t matter what you say.With that, the change was made with little protest because if you want to keep your job you don’t cross Mark. My push back is simply, if Mark can make statements like that in front of the people who are his peers as elders/pastors and the people who he has put in place to hold him accountable to begin with, then what makes us think that he would submit himself to a group of people who are outside of the church?
I have heard other Mars Hill pastors describe this meeting with very nearly the same language. If Mars Hill Church would like to dispute this account, I would be happy to post their account.
This is a powerful vindication of the three elders and one which the Mars Hill BOAA has not publicly addressed. I have noted before that the controversy/firings of these men, and other events from about 2007 onward are reverberating today. Mars Hill BOAA has abundant evidence of the issues but has still not contacted these men, preferring instead to talk about some vague reconciliation hunger.