Mark Driscoll Claims Mars Hill Leaders Were Plotting to Accuse Him of Adultery

By Julie Roys
Mark Driscoll Plot Mars Hill
Mark Driscoll claims in a sermon on Oct. 23, 2022, that elders at Mars Hill Church plotted to accuse him of adultery if he didn't resign. (Source: Video screengrab)

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.”

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34 thoughts on “Mark Driscoll Claims Mars Hill Leaders Were Plotting to Accuse Him of Adultery”

    1. I think April identifies the main motive that compelled Driscoll to speak up. He simply can’t stop. He’s an untreated narcissist. He also seems to delight in sexualizing anything he can including now what motivated others to confront and ask him to resign. I was there and this claim is another lie in a long list of lies (see Trump for more like that). If he was a real man of God he could have stayed and confronted these elders who were threatening him but of course he isn’t anything close to being a leader so why would we except him to suddenly become one. He left because he knew he was busted and being the emotional coward he is – he high tailed it to AZ for which those of us in Seattle say Thank You Jesus and Sorry AZ

      1. Thank You, Jim. As far as I’m concerned, Mark should get a job that doesn’t involve pastoring, evangelizing or anything to do with ministry since he’s obviously refusing to behave the way Christians are told to.

  1. This man is unrepentant, dishonest, and a classic narcissist. Driscoll also sits on the executive board of directors for Keystone Church in Keller, TX. The senior pastor of Keystone, Brandon Thomas, now sits on the executive board of Driscoll’s new Trinity Church in Arizona. I know this because I used to be in leadership at Keystone. I left there as soon as I was made aware of Driscoll being intimately involved with the senior leadership at Keystone. A few things are certain: Driscoll has not changed, he is a liar, and he’s continuing to play anyone who will listen to him as fools, even as far away as Texas.

    1. The pastors of two different churches sitting on each other’s church boards immediately strikes me as problematic.

  2. I continue to watch this coverage and sense that no one is fully understanding the gravity of the psychosis and pathological behavior at play. These are the words of a megalomaniac. Anyone trained in psychology could see this within the first minute of his talk. Viewing individuals like Mark through our church leadership prism obfuscates the obvious. No healthy person or leader talks this way, under any circumstances! I fear we in the church are unequipped to diagnose and address dysfunctional leaders. Additionally, the modern church has no credible systems of accountability.

    1. David, excellent points. “My family was in danger” and “a trap was set” (both from the video segment) do suggest a paranoia disorder. Adding “God spoke to me” spins it to the spiritual; who can prove otherwise? This fellow needs intensive therapy from seasoned professionals qualified to diagnose the source of his delusions.

      1. @Cec Merz

        The whole “God spoke to me” section is why I never followed Driscoll. I was first introduced to Driscoll’s work through his book “Real Marriage”. In it, Driscoll shares similar “God spoke to me” moments. In these accounts he details how he used this “insider knowledge” to rake his wife over the coals about something she did in *high school* (yes, high school!) as well as another woman who came to him for pastoral counseling. It was quite frankly creepy and abusive. I returned the book to the library and never looked back. The levels of sinister narcissism are alarming.

    2. Most religious people are so tribalistic they’re only focus is someone who will feed their Jesus bubble – Mark is a master at feeding people’s Jesus bubble…

      I got burned by somebody like this in my twenties and in my 40s when I ran into Mars Hill in Seattle I could see it playing out all over again long before it actually imploded.

    3. The main thing is that they do not hold themselves accountable to God. No wonder they all claim that we have no experience of the Holy Spirit: to hold ourselves accountable to Him, we are confessing sin all the time, and cannot walk in pride, like the proud entrepreneurs and world changers they like to be. They HAVE “accountability partners”, that mutual admiration society mentioned before.

  3. It’s really funny how many of these “men” have massive conspiracies planned against them because of jealousy, and that it has nothing to do with their own behavior.
    JMD claimed 30-50 people, that did not know each other, somehow sought each other out and came together to conspire to remove him from HBC. The biggest tell in what he claimed, was he said his 10 “closest” friends turned on him because they got to know him too well.

    1. Not “jealousy”.
      PERSECUTION!!! for their Superior Godliness.
      And after a while they all sound the same. ALL of them.

  4. “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.””
    Many Christians make use of this form of report, intimating God’s hand in all things; even when involved events have a network of people taking part in mediating an event outcome.
    If Larry Osborne did so communicate with Driscoll, then that would be an interesting factor.
    I’m wary of viewing anyone through a prism of absolute annihilation or rejection of that person. There is always a degree of relevance in understanding the first-person position-taking and voicing of the other, in this case Driscoll, without recourse to dismissive reduction and dismissal. Perhaps that understanding being the fulcrum for compassion.

  5. He should run for President. Never accept responsibility, or be accountable. Always blame someone or something else!
    Driscoll certainly displays characteristics of both a narcissist and a megalomaniac! I fear those that can actually sit under him, listen to and follow him? Run, while you still can…

  6. Stephen Mitchell

    Christian leaders today rebrand rather than repent. Mark blocked me from twitter when I told him that. He is a classic narcissist. I appreciate your coverage Julie

    1. I agree with Julie’s coverage too, Stephen. I’d rather not be connected with Mark or Grace on the internet anyway (on Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Due to the bad things he’s doing such as bullying, swearing, drinking alcohol, etc., I would encourage people not to listen to anything that he or Grace preach on regardless of the topic.

  7. This isn’t news or even new.
    Publicly very early on, in his first public statement all the way back at the beginning he made this statement.
    Nowhere publicly that I am aware of was it from Osborne.
    In all the public statements that I have read over the years he was always clear that He felt God warned him.

    “One side speaks and seems correct, until the other side speaks.”

    Hard to believe Sutton when his statement does not align with the public record.

      1. Speaking of conscience, incase you didn’t read Mark’s stance on alcohol that was published a while before he left Mars Hill, he didn’t only mention that there was overindulgence in his family history but he said that at the age of 30 (the age he started drinking alcohol at), his convictions didn’t change but his conscience did. In that stance, Mark said that he never believed alcohol consumption was a sin, as even his wife Grace (whose family history doesn’t involve overindulgence) always had a glass of wine or a cocktail on occasion, but he abstained until he was 30 because for him it was an issue of conscience. My question in that matter is, how could anybody’s conscience change if their convictions don’t?

  8. This man is prideful, unrepentant and is clearly unfit for ministry. I’ve seen his lack of self-control, screaming and talking smack to his congregants. It’s hard to believe he does anything at all that is not promoting himself or preaching himself. He. Just. Can’t. Stop.

  9. “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.”

    This statement is the exact statement the 2 narcissistic pastors I know (who have been out of ministry for decades) continue to say. This is what they want to make sure they communicate. They dig in and try not to get budged off their hill.

    We all knew that Scottsdale would eventually arrive to this point. Driscoll still thinks he has something to save. Smart enough to know how to appear like he is holding fast during the worst of storms, but not wise enough to really understand that actions are stronger than words. Mark has undone himself, but so desperately wants someone else to blame. And that my friends is not a sign of a leader but rather a sign of a desperate man. When you walk with Jesus . . . especially as a leader, there is no sign of desperation. What you see in a godly leader is pillar like trust no matter what is happening. Not these calculated sound bites Driscoll hopes can find traction for his “longevity in ministry work”.

    I would love to see Mark throw his hands up and humble himself. God can use that. There is plenty of hope that Mark repents and comes to the end of himself in God’s restoring path. But Mark just seems to see one ideal path for himself.

  10. “urged his congregation not to listen to the media” That is so cult like! Controlling the narrative – not listening to dissenting voices.

  11. All these charlatans seem to sing out of the same hymnal…they’re plotting against me…they’re colluding against me…they’re all lying…I am being victimized etc etc.
    The Driscolls, Hybels, Falwells, Chandlers of this world (and so many other so called “Christian leaders”) are using the gospel of Jesus Christ for their own personal gain and power. This is obvious as their actions indicate they don’t believe a word of what they are preaching. They are using the gospel to enrich themselves. Disgusting. Their day of reckoning is coming.

  12. Ironically, if this were indeed true (and I remain highly skeptical of anything that proceeds from the mouth of Driscoll) it merely tells you how bad a leader he really was. For church leadership to resort to such desperate measures. A godly, Bible based, spirit-filled, humble-servant leader would not be such a target. Or did he just disciple a flock of apostates? You can’t have it both ways.

  13. As long as a senior pastors role includes being CEO and board chairman of his church nothing is going to change with guys like Driscoll. Does anyone really think that Driscoll would ever even consider becoming a pastor of a church where he did not have all this authority.

  14. I’m from and reside in Canada. I’m the son, grandson and nephew of Pentecostal pastors (PAOC ordained) and gave my life to Jesus on Good Friday of 1995. I agree that Mark is unfit to be a pastor since bullying, swearing and everything else mentioned that he does wrong are things that Christians shouldn’t be doing. As a Christian who was brought up in a dry home, I don’t like Mark’s stance on alcohol and believe that him starting to drink it at the age of 30 (which his wife Grace always has) was especially foolish to do since his father and an uncle of his were drunkards. Although 18 is the legal age to drink alcohol in the Canadian city I live in, I’m one of the Christian teetotalers who doesn’t approve of alcohol consumption in moderation neither to overindulgence.

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