Mars Hill Tacoma to Become Independent Pending Bank Approval; Will The Leaders Open the Books?

According to this Tacoma News Tribune article, the Mars Hill location in Tacoma plans to pursue independent status. If the bank doesn’t approve them for a take over of the loan on the building, the congregation will seek a new location.
Lead pastor Bubba Jennings is supposed to meet with officials of the credit union which financed the building on November 18 to learn if the congregation can keep the building they meet in now.
Jennings told the congregation to keep attending and giving because the bank will evaluate those metrics in order to decide whether or not to transfer the note.
More of the same top down approach seems to be the order of the day. Jennings announced that he will tell the congregation what the new name of the church will be.
Tacoma becoming independent does not surprise me, but there are red flags for potential members in this announcement.
First, Jennings doesn’t know how much money the loan will be. He is talking about placing the congregation on the hook for a large amount of money to maintain their building without knowing the terms. ┬áSecond, there is only one fund to give money to now at Mars Hill – The General Fund. I would not give anything unless I thought it would go to the local branch. Current Mars Hill leaders have a track record of using the donations in questionable ways which should make potential donors skeptical of the claims that giving is needed to help locations become independent. Without full disclosure, how would anyone know that the donations are not going to pay executive pastors’ (Driscoll, Turner, and Bruskas) severance pay? In the past, church leaders have told the congregation that donations would go to Ethiopian and India church planters, yet very little money ended up there. Also, the leaders used a “Jesus Festival” to bring in dollars but no such festival was ever held.
Bottom line, unless current church leaders come glean on the Driscoll’s investigation, the Global Fund, Jesus Festival, year end giving campaigns, and pastors’ compensation and severance packages, I don’t think the current leaders have earned trust. Failing to address these issues is deliberate. Too many public calls have gone out to open the books for the leaders to say they are unaware of the need for disclosure.