Feb 22, 2016

Controversial Megachurch Pastor Mark Driscoll Finds A New Flock

The Daily Beast
February 21, 2016

He called women ‘penis homes’ and allegedly ruled his Seattle megachurch like a tyrant. Now, he’s resurfaced a thousand miles away.

There’s a new church coming to Phoenix, Arizona.

According to its website, the pastor, Mark Driscoll, is a “Jesus-following, mission-leading, church-serving, people-loving, Bible-preaching pastor...grateful to be a nobody trying to tell everybody about Somebody.”

While he may wish he were less recognizable these days, compound adjective-loving Mark Driscoll could hardly be called a nobody. Though there’s no mention of it on The Trinity Church’s shiny new website, Driscoll built and presided over Seattle’s controversial Mars Hill Church, and he is one of the most famous and disruptive figures in the history of the evangelical mega-church movement.

Driscoll and two other pastors started Mars Hill in 1996. Before long, Driscoll was drawing crowds with a unique brand of hipster conservatism. He was a 25-year-old charismatic preacher with a Sam Kinison yell and a collection of ironic “Jesus is my homeboy” T-shirts, who talked freely about sex but offered a socially and theologically conservative message that introduced Seattle’s young unchurched to a macho, vengeful God. (He once described Jesus as “a prize fighter with a tattoo down His leg, a sword in His hand and the commitment to make someone bleed.”) The first services outside of the Driscoll living room were held in a music venue—owned by church cofounder Lief Moi—in a space aptly named the Paradox.

“Do they call you pastor here...ordude?” a Nightline correspondent asked in 2008.

Mars Hill was slated to become the biggest church in the country. In its heydey, it was welcoming more than 12,000 visitors every week to one of its 15 satellite campuses in five states and reporting $30 million in yearly revenue.


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