Mark DeMoss, a man described by Christianity Today as “Evangelicalism’s PR Guru” and a former Liberty University trustee, is apparently spending time with two men sorely in need of PR help—disgraced pastors, James MacDonald and Mark Driscoll.
Earlier today, James MacDonald’s wife, Kathy MacDonald, posted a picture on Instagram of herself and her husband, Mark and Grace Driscoll, and Mark DeMoss and his wife. The post included the caption: “Dinner out with friends.”
After I posted the picture on Twitter, someone asked if the third man in the picture was radio host and author, Eric Metaxes. Becki Falwell, wife of former Liberty University president, Jerry Falwell, responded that the man in the photo is Mark DeMoss.
It’s Mark DeMoss in the picture not Eric Metaxas
— becki falwell (@beckifalwell) November 2, 2021
The Roys Report reached out to DeMoss for confirmation and an explanation for why he was with James MacDonald and Mark Driscoll, but DeMoss did not respond.
However, Carson Weitnauer, a former director at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM), which previously used DeMoss’ services, confirmed to The Roys Report that the third man in the photo is DeMoss.
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DeMoss, who’s helped Christian organizations mitigate some of the biggest scandals in evangelicalism and was named by Newsmax as one of the “100 Most Influential Evangelicals in America,” officially retired in 2019.
However, that same year, DeMoss and his wife, April DeMoss, started a new company, called DeMoss Partners Inc., and Mark DeMoss has continued to offer his public relations services. The business address listed with the state of Georgia for DeMoss Partners is an 11,442-square-foot home with an inground pool, estimated to be worth nearly $2.5 million.
In 2020, Cedarville University hired DeMoss when its president, Thomas White, was embroiled in a scandal involving White’s hiring of a known sexual predator as a professor and special advisor to the president.
Prior to retiring, DeMoss, in his own words, occupied “a front-row seat for so much of evangelical history” and was “privy to much of the underbelly of evangelicalism.”
This included helping RZIM respond to “sexting allegations” and allegations of credentials fraud in 2017. Though RZIM denied the allegations, exposés by The Roys Report, and an independent investigation commissioned by RZIM, later confirmed that Zacharias sexually abused numerous women. These included Lori Anne Thompson, whose allegations of abuse surfaced in 2017.
According to Weitnauer, DeMoss’s good reputation caused many to believe Zacharias was innocent.
“Mark was a highly respected and influential consultant at RZIM, and his credibility was leveraged to build trust in Ravi’s false story about Lori Anne Thompson,” Weitnauer said.
DeMoss also was employed by Willow Creek Community Church in 2018, when the church was denying allegations that Bill Hybels sexually abused numerous female church employees. In 2019, an independent council concluded that the women’s claims of “sexually inappropriate” conduct by Hybels were credible.
Mars Hill Church hired DeMoss in 2014, when allegations of Mark Driscoll’s bullying, plagiarism, and unethical promotion of his book were making headlines. Driscoll eventually was disqualified from ministry by Mars Hill’s elders. But instead of submitting to their restoration plan, Driscoll moved to Scottsdale, Arizona, and started The Trinity Church.
In July, the former Mars Hill elders published a letter, calling Driscoll “unfit for serving the church” as a pastor. In May, The Roys Report published reports by former Trinity Church members, accusing Driscoll of bullying, spiritual abuse, and cult-like activity, like surveilling members 24/7.
The Roys Report also published two podcasts with the former head of security at Trinity Church and a former security team member. Both told stories of pastoral entitlement, bullying, and paranoia by Driscoll.
Similarly, James MacDonald has been disqualified from ministry by his former elders at Harvest Bible Chapel for displaying arrogant, violent, greedy, and domineering behavior. A financial review commissioned by Harvest also found MacDonald had misused millions in church funds “for improper financial benefit.”
MacDonald also reportedly produced a crude and graphic video mocking DeMoss’s sister, Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author and founder of Revive Our Hearts. The video is described in a letter submitted to the elders at Harvest Bible Chapel by Dean Butters, former Harvest executive director of business operations.
The Roys Report reached out to MacDonald and Driscoll, asking about the nature of their relationship with DeMoss, but neither immediately responded.
UPDATE: After this piece published, James MacDonald responded in a text that Mark DeMoss “has been a personal friend of mine for 20+ years and was on the board of witw (Walk in the Word) for 10 years—I have never been a client of his and am still not.”
This article has been updated to include information about DeMoss’s new company and home.
17 thoughts on ““Evangelicalism’s PR Guru” Appears in Post with Mark Driscoll & James MacDonald”
Haven’t we seen and heard enough about JMac? Hasn’t he defamed the name of Jesus enough already? Why can’t he just go away and hide under a rock somewhere?
Because there is big money in being an evangelical icon, and he is without personal insight, humility or self-awareness. He’s looking for a way back inside.
“Birds of a feather” et al
They should start a church together and call it “Two Tyrants Fellowship”
JMD started something 5 weeks ago called the “Christian Brotherhood”
Honestly, who cares. So they had dinner together. Hardly news! If disassociation is the trajectory of the body of Christ. We are all in big trouble. This has turned into “Christian Cancel Culture”. I believe Paul under the guidance of the Holy Spirit said, “For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.” If there are concerns for these men’s souls. Pray! If you believe these men have hurt you… Bless those who persecute you. A soft answer turns away wrath.
My prayer is that the gospel would heal these relationships. What if Julie and James reconciled? That is my prayer. That’s the gospel!
Given that both James MacDonald and Mark Driscoll are still in the ministry, their meeting with a top-level PR agent who’s handled numerous evangelical scandals is a matter of public interest. As for reconciling… When I texted James MacDonald and politely asked for a comment, his first response was, “Who dis?” (Since we had corresponded by text before, I assumed he knew my number.) I then identified myself and MacDonald replied, “The gossipslut?” So, I don’t think he has a spirit of reconciliation. And until he owns and repents publicly for what he did to so many at Harvest, I see no point in any attempts at reconciliation with me.
I remove old texts from my phone, it seems believable he wouldn’t save your contact information. But what a horrible thing to call you!
I honestly can’t wrap my head around the things Macdonald says and does these days. It’s almost like he’s gone crazy.
You are correct Julie.
DeMoss is a damage-control fixer for pastors and ministries. I am sure he has his team of flunkies and investigators to get dirt on those who accuse the high and mighty. No different that what politicians do.
But then KC Dell _never_ admitted and said straight out that neither James MacDonald nor Mark Driscoll are disqualified to be pastors according to Scriptures. He reminds me of the joke about why sharks don’t attack lawyers – professionally courtesy.
In other words, DeMoss is a Fixer and if he’s involved you know The Fix Is In.
Unrelated to the topic and belated — is your name really Charles Martel? Not intending any offense, only asking because of the historical figure (grandfather to Charlemagne).
All JMac’s comments do is verify what Dean Butters and many others said about the man; He is a false teacher. Jesus said in Matt.7:15-20 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
The man cannot repent because he does not have the Holy Spirit residing in his heart
More like “How Can He Repent when He Can Do No Wrong”?
The name of the picture in heaven is a “Brood of Greedy Vipers.” The fact that you could care less about what these men have done for others does not bode well for you. Makes me wonder if you belong to the same group? Sociopaths and psychopaths do not go to heaven and there is nothing at all Christ like about them. Jesus spoke plainly of men like this. They are just the modern day Neo-Pharisees with their favorite scribe.
So the bottom line appears to be that when a Christian leader goes off the rails the church or organization that employs that leader shells out big bucks to DeMoss to try to clean up the mess. You have to wonder about the quality of organizations that hire DeMoss since the objective always seems to be to bury the facts of the bad behavior instead of correcting it. I’m not surprised to see him linked to these 2 Christian “leaders”.
Demoss is no different than Judy Smith (see link below) and the inspiration for the TV Show “Scandal”.
But this must be better since this is CHRISTIAN ™. /sarc
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