Driscoll to Take Break from Mars Hill Pulpit

NEWS

Mark Driscoll, controversial founder of Mars Hill Church, told his flock Sunday he is stepping away from the pulpit for six weeks, and will consult a group of advisers about what to do next.

A leading critic of Mars Hill Church founder Mark Driscoll said he’s skeptical that Driscoll’s decision to step away from the pulpit for at least six weeks means Driscoll intends to right past wrongs.

“He’s very good at saying that he’s sorry. Let’s see what it really means,” said Rob Smith, of Everett, a former Mars Hill deacon who left the church in 2007, when he says Driscoll strengthened his grip over the organization and forced out those who objected.

Driscoll, who has risen to national prominence as an evangelical leader, and watched the church he started in 1996 expand to 15 campuses in five Western states, announced his temporary departure near the end of Sunday’s 8:30 a.m. service in Bellevue, days after word surfaced that 21 former Mars Hill pastors, who cited a pattern of bullying, called for his ouster.

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