Mark Driscoll The Trinity Church
Mark Driscoll speaks at The Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Good Friday, April 2, 2021. (Source: Video screengrab)

Mark Driscoll Accused of Cult-Like Actions; 24/7 Surveillance, Mandated Loyalty

By Julie Roys

Mark Driscoll is once again being accused of bullying, intimidation, and spiritual abuse. Only this time, the disgraced former Mars Hill pastor apparently has no elders to rein him in—and his tactics reportedly have grown more extreme and cult-like.

Simply because their teenage son kissed Driscoll’s teenage daughter, Angelo and Katherine Manuele say their family was kicked out of Driscoll’s The Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The church then pressured other families to shun the Manueles, the couple says, and even filed charges with police against the Manueles for “threatening communication.”

The Manueles say they have threatened no one.

Trinity’s former head of security, Chad Freese, a cybersecurity expert and a former Marine, said Trinity hired a private investigator to surveille the Manuele family 24/7. He says teams, including pastors, tracked the Manueles as they went to local shops and businesses—even their own neighborhood.

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The Roys Report reached out to Mark Driscoll and The Trinity Church for comment, but no one responded.

According to Freese and other former staff and volunteers at the church, what happened to the Manueles is the tip of the iceberg.

They say the church has an army of security to protect not just the church, but the entire Driscoll family, who are treated like “royalty.”

Freese said there’s nowhere on Trinity’s campus where people are not being audio- and video-recorded. And to serve as a volunteer, one must sign a non-disclosure agreement pledging “to protect the confidentiality of all information” about the church’s “business operations, staff, volunteers and guests.”

Bolo Trinity Church Mark DriscollThe church also maintains a BOLO list (Be On The Lookout), Freese said, with names, pictures, and sometimes personal vehicles of people the church has banned from its property. The list contains one VIP—Randal Taylor, a man from out of state who allegedly provides “wise counsel” for Trinity.

Freese added that Driscoll has initiated a system of ranking staff and volunteers on a loyalty scale from 1 to 10.

“It’s disgusting, like a cult,” Freese commented. “The more trust you have on the spectrum, the higher the number, the more access you will get to the (Driscoll) family. . . . Everything is about the Driscolls.”

In an email to Driscoll, which was shared with The Roys Report, former security team member Ben Eneas confirmed this loyalty scale.

Eneas writes that he once was in Driscoll’s “inner circle.” Yet because he was caught associating with a disfavored former worship pastor, Eneas received “a downgrade on the sliding scale of trust.”

The email also talks about top leaders in the church calling a crisis meeting to try to determine the identity of a “mole” who’s sharing “top secret information.”

At the end of the letter, Eneas announces he’s resigning his volunteer position because of rampant slandering by Trinity pastors and the pastors’ practice of treating families differently based on their perceived loyalty.

“(A)fter prayerful deliberation until about 2 am I determined that I could no longer be associated with men of this character,” Eneas writes.

Angelo Manuele, who said he used to admire Driscoll for his dynamic preaching, now openly calls Driscoll a cult leader.

“He’s the David Koresh of the Scottsdale church,” Manuele said. “He might not be getting arms and doing a terrorist thing like David Koresh, but he’s still a cult leader.”

Mars Hill 2.0

Though the recent accusations against Driscoll may be unique in their severity, this is not the first time Driscoll has been accused of fostering a toxic and controlling church culture.

In 2012, Driscoll openly bragged that anyone who didn’t fall in line with his leadership at his former church in Seattle—Mars Hill—would be run over.

“There is a pile of dead bodies behind the Mars Hill bus,” Driscoll said, “and by God’s grace, it’ll be a mountain by the time we’re done.”

According to Freese, pastors at Trinity openly embrace this philosophy of ministry. He said Trinity even has a bus parked on its campus that Campus Pastor Brandon Anderson—a former pastor at Mars Hill, who followed Driscoll to Trinity—told Freese is just “a prop.”

“They’re openly mocking,” Freese said. “That’s the only reason they got that bus.”

Freese added that he’s also seen Driscoll berate his staff in meetings, saying they lack “balls” or are “p-ssies” and using the f-word frequently.

In 2014, this same brutal style of leadership led the elders at Mars Hill to conduct an internal investigation of Driscoll. That investigation found Driscoll guilty of a pattern of “arrogance” and abusive leadership.

Yet, rather than submit to the elders’ proposed two-year plan of restoration, Driscoll resigned.

Two years later—with the help of several megachurch pastors, including Robert Morris of Gateway Church—Driscoll rebooted in Scottsdale, Arizona, with The Trinity Church, which reportedly has a weekly attendance around 2,000. Driscoll also started speaking at events like Larry Osborne’s Sticky Teams conferences, writing books with Charisma House Publishers, and directing his own ministry, called Real Faith.

According to Angelo and Katherine Manuele’s son, Joey Manuele, a former paid intern at Trinity, Driscoll tells staff that he intentionally structured Trinity to avoid the “problems” he encountered at Mars Hill.

Apparently, this means eliminating any meaningful oversight.

An organizational chart provided by Joey Manuele shows that everyone at Trinity reports to Mark Driscoll and his wife, Grace—even “Wise Counsel—Randal.”

Randal Taylor, who’s a chief strategist at a leading Christian marketing firm, Dunham and Company, is one of only two directors other than Driscoll named on the church’s articles of incorporation.

The other director is Jimmy Evans, a former pastor at Gateway Church and founder of Marriage Today, where Driscoll is listed as a “Team Member.” Evans does not appear anywhere on Trinity’s organizational chart.

The chart mentions a board, but there’s no board listed on Trinity’s website. Similarly, former staff members say they don’t know of any board.

The Roys Report reached out to both Evans and Taylor, seeking comment and clarity about their role at Trinity, but neither responded.

The Trinity Church

Another leaked Trinity church document openly states, “Our church is a family business.”

Joey Manuele said the church doesn’t publish a budget or financial statements and no staff know Driscoll’s salary. He added that Driscoll instructs staff to tell people who inquire about church finances that it’s “none of their business.”

All these concerning facts are now coming to light due to a recent exodus of the church by several families who say they’ve experienced Driscoll’s abusive leadership first-hand. This includes the Manueles, as well as other families, like the Freeses, who say Trinity’s treatment of the Manueles opened their eyes to the true nature of the church.

Forbidden teen kissing leads to excommunication

The Manueles started attending The Trinity Church around the end of June. They say they were looking for a church that was open during COVID. And Trinity was one of very few churches in the Phoenix area that met in-person and didn’t require masks or social distancing.

Quickly, the Manueles’ sons—Joey and 15-year-old Vince—got involved in the worship ministry. They also became interns—Joey as a staff intern and Vince as a junior intern, a Trinity program for students aged 12 to 17.

Vince and Joey Manuele The Trinity Church
Vince Manuele (on keys) and Joey Manuele (on guitar, far right) play at The Trinity Church. (Photo courtesy of Manuele family)

Before long, Vince and Driscoll’s 17-year-old daughter developed feelings for each other.

When Mark Driscoll learned of his daughter and Vince’s relationship, Angelo says Driscoll called a meeting with him and Vince in Driscoll’s office. Vince said Driscoll communicated during the meeting that Vince and his daughter needed to remain in the “friendship” stage and that no kissing would be allowed.

Vince said after the meeting with Driscoll, John Welnik, Driscoll’s assistant, sent a text, saying: “I know that wasn’t easy but neither is trying to marry one of PMDs kids. Remember that from here on you have a microscope on you, not just from PMD but from everyone, and I mean everyone. Be a man and land the plane.”

John Welnik

Vince added that Landon Chase, a pastor at Trinity who’s married to another Driscoll daughter, repeatedly congratulated Vince for “landing a Driscoll,” and constantly gave him advice on how to “be a man” for Driscoll’s daughter.

Despite the warning and advice, Vince said he and Driscoll’s daughter did kiss—and somehow, Driscoll found out.

On the evening of Wednesday, March 24, Vince said he was pulled out of a band rehearsal by Pastor Anderson.

Vince said Anderson took him upstairs into his locked office and began angrily grilling Vince about his relationship with Driscoll’s 17-year-old daughter.

Vince said Anderson first asked if Vince had done anything “unbiblical” with Driscoll’s daughter.

Vince said he was surprised by the question and replied no.

Then Anderson reportedly asked Vince if he had “made out” with Driscoll’s daughter.

Vince said he felt awkward and intimidated because he had never talked to an adult about such private things, let alone a pastor he didn’t know well. Yet Vince said he answered yes.

Vince said Anderson then stood up, pointed at Vince, and ordered him to get his stuff and get out.

“My whole world just fell apart at that moment,” Vince said, adding that he recognized he probably would never talk to Driscoll’s daughter again. Vince said he also feared he might not be allowed to return to Trinity, given some of his prior experiences at the church.

Angelo said Vince then came out of the building crying and got in Angelo’s car, which was parked in the church lot. Angelo said while the two were sitting in the car, Anderson called and told Angelo and Vince that they needed to “sit out” a men’s meeting that night.

Angelo was offended and said he pushed back, but Anderson was adamant. Then, he said things got crazy.

Four to five security volunteers gathered in the parking lot near Angelo’s car. Rather than make a scene, Angelo said he drove away.

On the way home, a security volunteer texted Angelo asking what was going on. Angelo asked what he meant, and the next morning, the volunteer responded, “I was told that you are not allowed on the property for a men’s group tonight I was like what the hell.”

The Trinity Church

Angelo also was notified that he’d been placed on the BOLO list.

Vince, who said he was distraught, sent an email to Driscoll’s daughter the next morning, quoting Psalm 147:3 about God healing the brokenhearted.

Mark Driscoll responded on his daughter’s account, asking Vince to “delete all communication with (his daughter) and social media that pertains to her. Their (sic) will be no further communication. . . . Please do not . . . post anything online.”

Mark Driscoll Vince ManueleSoon, the Manueles began to hear from friends at church, telling the Manueles they could no longer associate with them. One friend texted Angelo that Trinity Pastor Eden Fine had told him: “I can’t tell you who to be friends with but if you want to stay in leadership you need to curtail communication.”

Angelo’s wife, Katherine Manuele, said she got a text from Jill Glennie, a longtime friend whose husband serves on Trinity’s security team. “Because of the choices and decisions you all have decided to make we can no longer remain friends,” Glennie wrote.Jill Glennie The Trinity Church

The Manueles said they also got a call from police, informing them that Trinity had reported the family for sending “threatening communication.”

The Manueles said they posted some comments on social media, complaining about Driscoll’s and Trinity’s behavior, but they never threatened anyone.

The Roys Report spoke this week with Scottsdale Public Information Officer Kevin Watts, who confirmed the report by Trinity and said there’s an open investigation concerning the matter.

According to Freese, the church began monitoring everything the Manueles posted online and provided text threads to prove it.

On April 1, Freese said Pastor Anderson texted him and several others about hiring a private investigative firm to surveille the Manueles. Freese said the church hired Celtic Cross Security Solutions for the job, which is owned by William Saunders, a member of Trinity’s security team.

The next day, Good Friday, Saunders and others from the church, including Brandon Anderson, John Welnik, and Landon Chase, began surveilling the Manueles 24/7, Freese said. Freese provided multiple screenshots of the surveillance chat group on Signal.

Trinity Church Mark Driscoll

The same day, police delivered a trespass warning to the members of the Manuele family from The Trinity Church.The Trinity Church Trespass

On April 7, Freese said Mark Driscoll pulled the entire staff into a “training session.” Driscoll then reportedly drew his “spectrum of trust” on a dry-erase board, rating people’s loyalty from 0 to 10 to determine their access to Driscoll’s family.

Freese said Anderson then said that Freese’s security team was at a “level nine.” But because Freese and his wife had appeared in a picture posted on social media with former worship pastor, Dustin Blatnik, who reportedly had been fired by Trinity, Freese and his wife were a “level 8.”

Freese said that was the “tipping point,” and he officially resigned the following week.

Freese said what bothered him even more than the loyalty scale, though, was the slandering of the Manueles by Driscoll and other pastors.

“Their slandering of them is out of control,” Freese said. “I’m telling you, across the entire church, everyone’s perception of the Manuele family now is that they’re a bunch of crazy conspiracy lunatics that went off the deep end because Pastor Mark asked them to take a break for the night. But that’s not what happened.”

The Manueles say that in the past several weeks, multiple former and current church families have reached out and told them about their own negative experiences with Driscoll and Trinity. Some are still employed at Trinity, the Manueles say, or have signed non-disclosure agreements and are afraid to speak publicly for fear of legal action or loss of pay or severance.

“They care more about their job and money than protecting people who are actually going through stuff,” Joey Manuele said. “They hide in the shadows because they think Mark is going to come after them and destroy them and take away their pay . . . That’s basically taking a bribe because he’s paying you to be quiet.”

The Manueles say they’re going to fight the charge of “threatening communication” the church has filed against them. Plus, Angelo Manuele said he’s filed a charge of “false imprisonment” with Scottsdale Police for Brandon Anderson locking Vince in Anderson’s office and interrogating him.

Scottsdale Police confirmed with The Roys Report that they are investigating the false imprisonment charge.

Manuele says he refuses to be quiet about what Trinity is doing because he knows people are getting hurt, and as a result, may walk away from God or Christian fellowship.

“We’re Christians,” Manuele said. “What we want to do is protect our brothers and sisters so they don’t veer from the Lord.”

Mark Driscoll’s 2012 statement: “There is a pile of dead bodies behind the Mars Hill bus”

The Trinity Training:

The Trinity Church Training

Trinity NDA for Volunteers:

Trinity NDA (1)_Redacted
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93 thoughts on “Mark Driscoll Accused of Cult-Like Actions; 24/7 Surveillance, Mandated Loyalty”

  1. kevin burditt

    Very Sad…. Reminds me of the effect of Jim Jones on people.Praying that folks drop the allegiance to a human and put all trust in the only true Trinity….not a church.

  2. 3 points:

    1. Not surprised at all.

    2. I’m very sorry for the Manueles.

    3. Mark has had a facelift.

    1. Jennifer Eason

      What makes a man like Mark Driscoll choose to be a preacher?? Five star general, CEO, head of state in an authoritarian society: there are so many possibilities for which he seems suited, theologically and philosophically speaking.

      1. Julie, I would like to see you do an investigative report on Robert Morris and Gateway. I’ve had deep reservations about Morris for years but it has been primarily about theology. However, a friend’s son was a pastor there and left due to The “culture” there.

        I’m also wondering how deep the association is between Morris and Driscoll.

  3. This man has no business being in ministry. Oh, I forgot….this is his business. He needs to repent and live a quiet, private life. Shame on anyone that would submit to his leadership or attend his ‘church’.

  4. Arthur Fhardy

    I hope the congregants make use of the exit doors one final time. I certainly can’t fathom anyone sticking around for this monster on a weekly or even more frequent basis.

    1. Elaine Mercer

      Sadly, I think people who are close in the inner circle will stay, until they are turned on. And others will stay for their own reasons. Very, very sad. And people who are new Christians will think all churches are similar.

    2. As a previous Mars Hill member (I left before it dissolved for spiritual abuse reasons), I can say that many will probably stay because of the fear instilled in Mark’s congregants that leaving his church is tantamount to intentionally sinning and relieving itchy ears. I thank God that my fiancee at the time was bolder than I to call the abuse what it was, which helped me to seek other godly counsel and see what was really happening.

  5. Ralph Jesperson

    This church is the closest protestant church to where I grew up. Driscoll’s been on my radar now for almost 7 full years, before he moved in and set up this cult disguised as a church. I doubt that more than a handful of all the people going there on a Sunday have ever checked out his history online. Anyone who has and yet still attends, I wonder about greatly.

    It does not surprise me that the church has been ignoring all of the standard protocols for the pandemic. As I keep saying, narcissists need the praise of men. The idea of an empty or mostly empty building is horrifying to them. These men are spiritual vampires needing to have lots of prospective victims around them close, and in person, to drain the life force out of. Jesus called them white-washed septic tanks full of filth. They care not about anything other than their own lusts, and those are never satisfied.

    Some of there supporters are just in it for the Mammon, the ones that keep working no matter what happens. These guys know how to ring out the cash from many a pocket. Others get sucked in by the promise of celebrity glamour. Unfortunately, they are not satisfied worshipping a savior that they cannot see, so they go looking for one more accessible. The fact that they are so much more flawed than a perfect savior is a small price to pay. And then there is the rude wake-up call when they find themselves on the wrong side of the snake, as John the Baptist referred to them. Yet, as it has been said, “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.” This happens because of the idolatry of people wanting a religious guru that they can touch. If they can get past the security, that is.

  6. Mary Phetteplace

    “ I’ve read enough of the New Testament to know that Paul occasionally puts someone in the wood chipper.” MD Trinity Church. Maybe it’s MD’s turn.

  7. Another False Prophet, False “Christian”, a megalomaniac who has convinced the “sheep” He’s gods anointed.
    Any person who still attends this demonic cult leaders church is so deceived they need deliverance.
    This “Shepherding Error” occurred rampantly during the 1980’s with the faith-word movement stand alone churches. They are 501C-3 businesses in bed with the state. A dictator with no accountability to Born again Elders screams deception here I am ! God is marching through the false church systems set up in His Name and exposing them for their dereliction. Judgement begins in house of The Lord. You are witnessing it real time here. Get out of that church, run and never look back.

  8. Wyman Phetteplace

    I am not an attendee of Trinity Church but am connected to the Manuele family. I was also aware of Driscoll’s past alleged abusive behavior at Mars Hill. I tried to attend a Men’s Meeting on the Trinity campus on Wednesday, May 5. My attendance was two fold: to hear for myself what was spoken at the church so I could make my own discernment on the teachings and to see if I would be welcomed since I had commented support to the Manuele’s on FB and shared a couple blog articles that were unflattering of Driscoll. I wondered how deep their surveillance of detractors went. Within minutes I had my answer. I was spotted and recognized by a security member who knew me from a previous church. I was quickly confronted in the church foyer by three staff and asked why I was there. I told them I was there to listen, nothing else. I wasn’t believed and told to leave. I asked if they were banning me from entering and they said yes, because “of the current situation” and my comments on FB. (So they were monitoring me). I was escorted out of the church to my car and watched until I drove away. There was also a police officer, dressed in black, wearing a vest stenciled with ‘POLICE’ and a prominent gun on his hip nearby the whole time this was happening. Churches often have, and need, security, but this experience was over the top.

    1. Deb Szemplinski

      Have local news outlets been contacted regarding this story? Chicago’s JMac (Harvest Bible/James Sherwood MacDonald) scandal was at its peak, major outlets i.e. Chicago Tribune, Daily Herald, even local news stations helped spread the word.

      Of course Julie Roys broke the story as she was personally targeted. JMac subsequently roused the ire of a well-known Chicago based DJ, throwing gasoline on that dumpster fire.

      It won’t take long before he’s stepped on toes he had no business even sharing the pavement. Arrogance and ignorance can be dangerous when playing Mafia.

  9. Larry C. Statten

    So many good people are hurt by church politics and gossip. Too many acts of bullying, silent treatment, shunning, unfriending and verbal abuse are carried out by church leadership.

    This is unbiblical. It is not what Jesus would do.

    Those church leaders carrying out such acts do not display ANY of the fruits of the Spirit.

    I wish the Manueles well.

    Note to the Trinity Church Security Team.

    There is no need to follow my comments on social media so you can block me from entering your church because I wouldn’t visit ever. Have a nice day.

  10. Mark Zimmerman

    Driscoll was one of the original signers of the recent “Prophetic Standards” statement (see Roys Report article on 4/30/21). According to the statement, “New Testament prophets, along with other New Testament ministry leaders, do not lord it over their people or demand submission and faith. Instead, in humility, they serve the flock (see 1 Pet. 5:1-4).”

    Let’s see if his band of fellow “prophets” and enablers will have anything prophetic to say about these latest revelations from Driscoll’s deranged, abusive family business. Their entrenched pattern, however, is to remain mute in calling out sin among ministry leaders, preferring instead to maintain the status quo in the good ole boy network for profits. As such, they persist in their abetting the likes of Deranged Driscoll with conference and speaking invitations, book deals and endorsements, signing their official statements by so-called leaders, etc..

    Instead of pursuing empty, fake “prophecies,” many more in the Church need to turn up their discernment meters for leopards who don’t change their spots, since “Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.” (Jer. 13:23)

    1. Darren Gruett

      Mark, those are great comments. I was looking back on that article you referenced, and the Prophetic Standards document says, “Those refusing such accountability [regarding their prophecies] should not be welcomed for ministry.” I wonder if such accountability extends beyond that.

  11. Darren Gruett

    On the organization chart it says, “We open our Bibles to learn. We open our lives to love.” It does not sound like much of either is going on there.

  12. Joseph Candler

    I am blown away that so many pastors were in support of Mark being reinstated so soon. I really believe those same pastors need to admit their fault and speak out against this man. Driscoll intentionally has no accountability (because it didn’t work out so well for him the last time he did) and cannot change until his peers take these accusations seriously and respond accordingly. My fear is that his ego is so massive and his thirst for power so strong that he would completely isolate his church and it would truly become a cult, or that in a few years he would just go somewhere else across the country to establish another church where he has even more control and paranoia. I pray this man repents and steps down before he does anymore damage to the Church. Some people just do not belong in ministry. Just because he is wonderful speaker does not make him fit for healthy leadership.

    1. Just take a close look at who helped him get back into the business. They are all just like him, although in ways not so severely obvious. The state of the overall church in this country is far worse than many want to see or admit to.

  13. It’s been said, The more things change, the more they stay the same. Unfortunately, little has changed with Driscoll, his methods or temperament since the Mars Hill fiasco. He is still a narcissistic sociopath “pretending” to shepherd a flock. He operates more like a mafia Don.

  14. So much slander here by people speaking about ministry as if they know. People have no clue of the issues pastors have to deal with day in and day out. Here, a teenage kiss that turned into a church crisis, because people don’t want accountability. Today teenagers want to be treated like adults so they can do whatever they want (though they’re children) and adults are acting like middle-schoolers. A dad has every right to intervene and especially the pastor and say, “stop!”

    You all already know how social media is good at spinning things to look one sided. I’ve been doing ministry for almost 20 years and what you’re seeing is the new slander. Act innocent. Post it online. Play the victim. This is the new North American Church problem. I didn’t get my way… “I was hurt at a church…”, all while blaming everyone else.

    No apologies from members who continually attack ministers and churches. None of these documents are bad. They’re posted as if they are some kind of secret documents smuggled in from Communist China. What a joke.

    Move on to the next church and cause problems there, then leave and blame them and never accept the fact that the issue maybe you.

    1. You might be right in a few instances but you are so far off the mark on others. The power that many of these family run businesses (churches) have is totally out of control. I wish what you said was true, but sadly it is not in most cases.

    2. Darren Gruett

      MARK ELKINS, a father does have a right to intervene in his child’s relationships, but a pastor does not have a right to unilaterally kick people out of the church. I think you are familiar with Matthew 18 and how church discipline and accountability is supposed to be conducted. What happened here is nothing like that.

      Furthermore, Driscoll’s daughter, who is older than this boy, was a willing participant in associating with and kissing him. Why was she not kicked out of the church also? For that matter, if a whole family is going to be kicked out for what a child does, then Mark Driscoll and his family should be kicked out for what their daughter did.

      None of what happened here is slander because it is the truth.

      I strongly encourage you to reevaluate what you are saying, because it is that kind of thinking that enables people like Mark Driscoll to abuse people over and over again without consequence. As someone involved in ministry, I would hope that you would be standing up condemning this kind of behavior.

    3. A dad has every right to intervene and especially the pastor and say, “stop!”

      Maybe so, but a dad — not even a pastor — has the right to hold someone else’s child against their will in a locked room while chastising them, and nor do they have the right file false police reports against the boy’s family in retribution.

      This goes far beyond social media gossip. We have first hand reports and a paper trail to back up the claims against Driscoll. Only an apologist would so blithely dismiss the mounting evidence of Driscoll’s bad, and potentially illegal behavior.

    4. Mr. Ralph Jesperson

      Jer. 23:1, “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD. Therefore this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the LORD. “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the LORD.

      So what kind of shepherd are you defending Mr. Elkins? The first kind mentioned or the latter? Ones who have appointed themselves or the ones who are appointed by God? Are you suggesting that fruit does not matter? Everyone gets some pushback on Facebook unless they say nothing at all that anyone else disagrees with. So pastors as a whole are to be a special, privileged class that is immune? Is not some pushback justified for everyone while others are not? Is not this idea of privilege a trait of Narcissism? If Jesus is not beyond this then why should any of his supposed servants be?

    5. Jack Reach, you said,

      “I’m 100 percent sure that there will be people here who will immediately analyze our words and see what they can use as a quote against us because like I said, they do not understand hence they will misunderstand.”
      ++++++++++++++++

      so then you are beyond being questioned?

    6. Jack Reach, you said,

      “I’m 100 percent sure that there will be people here who will immediately analyze our words and see what they can use as a quote against us because like I said, they do not understand hence they will misunderstand.”

      So, you are above being questioned, then?

    7. “Jack” if you skipped the many “one sided comments” posted in this chat how can you possibly know all those people want to judge Mark Driscoll based on his past? To believe this without carefully reading people’s comments shows unreasonable bias on your part.

      Actually Mr. Driscolls past is quite relevant for the main reason he never repented for what happened in Seattle. Leaders who refuse the very church discipline they themselves dish out are dangerous. Such a spirit of leadership is not one of humility but of pride. Pride is rebellion against God. Not a good place to be.

      You are correct that the full truth of what happened between Mark Driscoll and the young man who kissed Driscolls daughter is not yet told. Nor is it likely to BE told because anyone who knows something won’t be allowed to talk thanks to their NDA or fear of being kicked out of the church. Leading through fear and intimidation is the model of King Saul. We see how that ended. Again, not a good place to be.

      Finally, if we do not understand you (or Mark Elkins) rather than gloat about that by saying “they will misunderstand” perhaps you could gently instruct us in order that we might add to our learning.There are many here, myself included, who are open minded people of good will seeking to walk humbly with God and man.

    8. Hello Mark. I am curious you find no concern in the documents posted here. The Church is the Body of Jesus. To call it “a family business” borders on blasphemy. Doesn’t that bother you?

      You are right, there is a growing culture of blaming and victimization in American society including inside the church. The question is how do we as God’s leaders respond? Jesus said “Don’t be like the Gentlies who Lord it over people.” In what way do NDAs and armed security guards express Jesus Kingdom values to walk humbly, go the extra mile and allow ourselves to be wronged?

    9. Darren Gruett

      JR, I wonder why you are hiding behind a pen name. Are you not really willing to own what you said? Are you afraid of something? What you are doing is tantamount to remaining anonymous.

      You said, “Most people here do not truly want to know what’s going on from the side of Mark and the Trinity church because they are already pre-judging Mark based on his past mistakes”; but the article says that “The Roys Report reached out to Mark Driscoll and The Trinity Church for comment, but no one responded.”

      Be careful before you start comparing what is happening to Mark Driscoll to the crucifixion of Jesus. You are bordering on blasphemy.

    10. Billy “not scared to use my real name” Foote

      Jack Reacher, don’t be silly. Marky Mark was the reason a whole congregation imploded. It is well documented and backed up by many good, reasonable men and women. He then goes to Robert Morris’s church and tells the crowd how he was done wrong and everyone felt sorry for him. Then Robert scolded people who take issue with Marky. These dudes believe they are in the upper echelon of Christians and they view themselves in a far superior way to the average little church goer. Do you realize this? I’ve been on the inside of their kingdoms. Not all, but many of these big time pastors should be studied for the narcissistic, self-
      promoting, wanna be celebrities they are.

    11. Mr. Ralph Jesperson

      Are you reaching Jack? My response will be the same as the Allied commander when asked to surrender in the Battle of the Bulge replied “Nuts!” There is no excuse for making light of the sin of someone so idolized for no good reason I can find…

  15. The gullibility factor for many Christians (and people in general) saddens me.

    A number of these rogue, self-centered, narcissistic pastors just can’t or won’t change. They are flawed in a way that makes them Biblically unqualified for Christian leadership. Jim Baker, even after prison, went back to TV hucksterism. Peter Popov receiving “word of knowledge” transmissions from his wife via a microphone earpiece and exposed on a late night talk show, and bankrupted in the 80’s returned to TV in the 90’s with “miracle healing water.” One scam after another. Tilton’s Success-n-Life broadcast promising big returns for gifts finally collapsed in the 90’s when it was revealed by investigative reporting that prayer requests were trashed (10,000 lbs. worth). The trashed prayer requests actually were presented as a defense in court against disappointed followers who said his prayers over their gifts never resulted in fortunes for them, Tilton won that case when the courts finally ruled that the defendants couldn’t prove he actually prayed in vain over requests. By 2007, he was back on the air doing the same thing. Confessed “bi-sexual sexoholic” and drug-abusing Ted Haggard former NAE President was exposed in 2006, dropped out of a denominational-sponsored counseling recovery program in 2007 in Phoenix. By 2009 life scandal was published in an HBO movie. He was on Oprah in 2009. By 2010, he founded St. James Church where he pastors. No longer a Southern Baptist, he is a Free Methodist minister. Back in the saddle again. Does he have his life together? Who knows? I just don’t see any space in his bio that leads me to believe he’s had the time to deal with his demons. On and on we could go.

    The current crop of Evangelical bully pastors like Driscoll will continue on in independent churches or switch to more free-willing denominations bilking the gullible. Locally, we had a megachurch pastor, his staff, and most of the board forced to resign for bully leadership practices. He’s been de-frocked by his denomination. He went across the street and started an independent church. All indications are its doing well.

    Our free market approach to religion is certainly better than a state church or religion, or the State as a god. It means there are many innovative wonderful churches, but also that there are many hucksters and con-artists running free. Sheep beware!

  16. Not surprised. The fact that Robert Morris and Jimmy Evans endorsed this clown is not surprising either. In fact, I wouldn’t expect anything less from them. I could say so much more on this subject but I’ll save my words for songs about these Big-time preacher men. Corruption is now a prerequisite for most mega church pastors.

  17. Chuck Chillingworth

    Tom Jones:

    Your last 3 lines were so on point. And sheep beware is a truly necessary message. My only concern here is that the very nature of sheep is to trust, not to beware. Satan knows this only too well and uses charming, skillful and manipulative leaders to do his work. I Timothy 1 is the standard for this crucial area. “5 But the goal of our [e]instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, 7 wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions.” The crack cocaine of evangelicalism is men (and now women) who “make confident assertions”…to them we say the words of Jesus to the Pharisees, “39 [i]You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; 40 and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. 41 I do not receive glory from men; 42 but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. 43 I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. 44 How can you believe, when you receive [j]glory from one another and you do not seek the [k]glory that is from the one and only God?”
    Malcolm Forbes once said that “the test of a man’s character is how he treats those who can’t do anything for you and can’t do anything to you.” For many self-appointed evangelical “Christian leaders”, the answer to that test is sadly: “they are to be exploited.” I don’t know what Hymenaeus and Alexander did that qualified as shipwreck, but to be called out and made an eternal part of Scripture and handed over to Satan, tells me more than I ever wanted to know about many in our current crop of evangelical leaders. But being called out is absolutely necessary and Biblical.
    A word of caution: even these 2 shipwrecked souls were spoken of in redemptive terms as well as others in the new testament…Barnabus failed from Paul’s viewpoint and came back, even the young man in 1 Corinthians 5 was not to be rebuked so harshly that he wasn’t welcomed back in time after repenting. The amazing over-arching theme in Scripture is not that there are bad actors infiltrating the church but that God is so patient, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” I look back on 50 years of being a Christian with my own laundry list of short and long term battles with varying degrees of success and failure. But I have learned to surround myself with truth tellers and critics in addition to admirers and listen discerningly to them as well as other voices who claim to proclaim the Truth. On a more personal note, the most difficult impediment in my relationship with God has been dealing with betrayal and exploitation by so-called “Christian leaders”. I think this is true for many if not most of the true church. I can’t imagine what I would have turned out like if I hadn’t been married to my wife of 37 years, Janet who is the epitome of a sincere heart for God.
    On a final note, for those who have struggled with betrayal, I HIGHLY recommend the book, Blindsided and Betrayed, by Judy Corcoris who was married to one of the all-time narcissists of the evangelical world for 31 years before he was exposed and was unrepentant and now is the head pastor of another church. This is my review on Amazon from May 7 of this year:

    This book should be read by every husband in America. A totally genuine, authentic, transparent and fair-minded telling of her journey of betrayal: and so helpful in practical ways for those who have had to deal with this issue of betrayal. Judy is to be commended for the courage to tell her story. About 15 years ago I had dinner with her ex-husband’s attorney. He didn’t give me any specifics due to attorney-client priviledge but he did say what shocked him the most was how totally cold and uncaring he was towards his victims and family; having virtually no remorse. Judy demonstrates the authenticity of her Christian faith by her gracious attitude towards the man who caused her, her family, and the Church so much pain.

  18. Jimmy Shnebby

    I’m a minister in the Seattle area and not surprised by this at all. Coward Mark ran out of town with his tail between his legs instead of dealing with things like a man. He’s always been big with his words to compensate for the smallness of his stature and controlling with ministry to compensate for the deep insecurity he lives out of. The only people who are surprised by this report are people he tricked into believing that somehow he was wronged up here in Seattle.

  19. Dalton Bridger

    Huh. Check out the photo of the three men on the About Us page on the Trinity Church website. Does it seem peculiar in a certain way to anyone else?

  20. Charles Gordon

    Mark, I really trusted you after leaving Mars Hill that you had changed. I was hoping that you had become a gentler, kinder pastor but reading the above, even if only half of it is true, you haven’t Mark. I listened to your sermons, was actually going to buy your study guides on Romans and then I read this! Brother, I am done with you. Your behavior doesn’t match your teaching and what your website states. You have some gifts but their overshadowed by the negatives. Really search your heart Mark.
    I love you as a brother in Christ but the above scenario is really unchristian and dysfunctional on so many levels.

  21. Mark Zimmerman

    Driscoll and his high-ranking “spectrum of trust” thugs’ perverted, abusive response to the Manuele family has parallels with the Pharisees’ response to the woman caught in adultery, but with the sexes reversed: try to destroy one participant, and his family (even the Pharisees didn’t do that), while the older daughter and her family continue at the top of the totem pole of idolatry in the Driscoll, Inc. family business.

  22. Seems like a standard characteristic of a Cult of Personality that extreme, unthinking loyalty to the Leader is demanded. Anybody who fails to bow the knee and slips down on the “spectrum of trust” (which really measures how much people are willing to place the Leader above others and above truth and integrity) is ostracized, especially when the Cult Leader is a narcissistic sociopath.
    Liz Cheney can probably sympathize.

  23. Fred Monninots

    The red flags have been up on this wacky creep for years but people want a superstar or mystic in charge…and that’s what have been filling the pulpit for years. False prophets preaching a false Christ but the entertainment value seems to fill the bill.

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