Calling for More Transparency from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability

Rob Smith continues to raise questions for the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. In a column this morning, Smith asks: Why is ECFA certifying churches without requiring the same public disclosure as non-churches?While Smith believes the government should not insist on wider disclosure, he believes the ECFA should insist on a similar level of disclosure from the organizations who are accredited by the organization. Lack of transparency should be a red flag about the church and … [Read more...]

That Time When Mars Hill Church Considered Moving to California


Lately, I have gotten several inquiries from readers who have heard that Mars Hill Church leaders considered moving Mark Driscoll and church headquarters to California and that in preparation for such a move, the church secured a rental property in Orange County.Talking with several former leaders, it appears there is some truth to the story.According to those familiar with the arrangements, Mars Hill Church provided Driscoll with substantial extra salary in order to afford a rental home … [Read more...]

Petition Asks Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability to Suspend Mars Hill Church


A petition posted today "Mars Hill Church - Walk in the Light" at asks the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability to suspend the membership of Mars Hill Church. The petition specifically points to a memo on Mars Hill's Global Fund which planned to use "highly visible" mission projects as a draw to gain donations which were mostly used to support Mars Hill's expansion and current expense spending. Very little actually went to missions according to the church, although Mars … [Read more...]

Megachurch Methods: The Lead Pastors and Executive Elders Wellness Program (UPDATED)

In a bid to retain pastors, Mars Hill Church leaders implemented a wellness program in the summer of 2013. I first became aware of the program when John Catanzaro's -- Mark Driscoll's naturopath physician -- license to practice as a naturopath was suspended in January 2014. Then recently, I obtained more information about the program and the associated costs. The program is of interest because of the costs involved and the fact that the program involves Catanzaro whose license was suspended due … [Read more...]

James Rose No Longer Pastor at Mars Hill Ballard

In late August, a letter written by nine then-current Mars Hill Church pastors to their peers called on Mark Driscoll to step down as pastor and enter an elder directed restoration program. Currently, Mark Driscoll is nearing the end of his break and the nine pastors are now nine former pastors. Eight of the nine either resigned or were laid off early in September.This Sunday at Ballard campus it was announced that the ninth, James Rose, is no longer a volunteer elder over community groups. H … [Read more...]

Former Mars Hill Church Pastor Dave Kraft: Full Council of Elders Should Decide When Mark Driscoll Returns

On Friday, I asked a dozen former Mars Hill pastors and Mars Hill Church for comment on the current investigation of formal charges against Mark Driscoll. Sunday marked the end of Driscoll's sixth week of absence from the pulpit. I found that investigation of the formal charges is underway but that the allegations offered by nine pastors (then current, now former) in a separate letter have not been reviewed.One of those former pastors, Dave Kraft, was unable to comment on Friday but today … [Read more...]

Rob Smith: Where is the credibility of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability?

At Musings from Under the Bus this morning, Rob Smith asks, "Where is the credibility of ECFA?" Also, Smith wonders: One has to wonder what type of financial scandal has to become public before ECFA decides that it will no longer give its once esteemed stamp of approval to Mars Hill Church. I wonder the same thing and have written about the benefit of ECFA to donors. I don't see how there is much benefit when organizations can shield their activities from member and public scrutiny and still … [Read more...]

Mars Hill Church Locations Sign Off, Pastor Acknowledges Some Will Go to Other Churches


Mars Hill Church Downtown campus had a last supper of sorts today.  In his farewell, Matthias Haeusel gave instructions for current Mars Hill members to attend other locations but acknowledged that some would not merge with the Ballard location or any other campus. Former member Bryan Zug attended and supplied the following materials. Haeusel also exhorted the congregation to find a new church home, even if not a Mars Hill Church location. Listen:Haeusel told the group t … [Read more...]