Mark Driscoll, who resigned from Mars Hill Church in 2014 amid allegations of bullying and arrogance, is now claiming church leaders were plotting to accuse him of adultery if he didn’t resign.
Driscoll, who currently pastors The Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, made the explosive claim in a sermon last Sunday on Nehemiah.
Driscoll alleged that prior to resigning from Mars Hill, God told him “that a trap was set.” Then, during an 18-month hiatus following his resignation, Driscoll said he met multiple times at Panera with some “critics and enemies” who used to be friends, “some who were pastors, some who are still pastors.”
Driscoll said when he asked these former friends about a possible trap, they responded that “the nuclear option was that we were going to accuse you of adultery.”
Driscoll said the plan was to get him “out of the pulpit.” And those plotting against him believed that if “we accused you of adultery, and enough of us signed the open letter, that ultimately there would be such a media firestorm that you would have to exit the ministry . . . for probably a year while a full investigation was done,’” Driscoll recounted.
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Driscoll said those plotting against him believed they could take control of the church during his year-long hiatus.
Sutton Turner, a former executive elder at Mars Hill, called Driscoll’s latest claim “totally false” and part of Driscoll’s campaign since 2015 “to throw dirt on the former investigating elders of Mars Hill.”
Turner has published transcripts of the Mars Hill elders’ investigative meetings leading up to Driscoll’s resignation. Turner said these show that the elders were unanimous in wanting Driscoll to “repent and be restored.”
“Some did not want him to be restored to full-time ministry,” Turner said. “But all of them wanted him to repent and reconcile with people he sinned against (which he never did) and be restored as a Christian in the church.”
Turner told The Roys Report (TRR) that Driscoll called him the night he resigned and claimed that Larry Osborne, a former member of Mars Hill’s Board of Overseers, had told Driscoll that there was a trap set for him. In his message last Sunday, Driscoll claimed that God had told him about the “trap.”
Driscoll’s latest claim comes about a year after dozens of former Mars Hill Church elders published an open letter, calling on Driscoll to resign, citing “a pattern of sinful actions” making Driscoll “unfit” to serve as pastor.
It also comes after the extremely popular podcast, The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill, documented Driscoll’s rise and catastrophic fall.
The Roys Report (TRR) also has documented recent accounts of Driscoll’s bullying and 24/7 surveillance of ousted congregants at his new church in Arizona. The former head of security at The Trinity Church told TRR in a 2021 podcast that Driscoll demanded cult-like loyalty from his staff at Trinity, and made paranoid claims about his days at Mars Hill.
In his sermon last Sunday, Driscoll promised to tell the truth and urged his congregation not to listen to the media.
“I want you to love and honor and respect Christian leaders and pastors,” Driscoll said. “Don’t assume the worst; assume the best. . . . And don’t contribute to the gossip that just takes lies and gives them life.”