Sutton Turner: Mars Hill Church's Former Attorneys Want Blog Posts Removed

Late yesterday, Sutton Turner published a must-read blog post.
When an article begins with “attorneys did not want me to post any more blogs and to remove” prior posts, it is a good indication that one should read the rest. Specifically, Turner wrote that the church’s former attorney discouraged more communication and wanted him to remove previous posts.

For the past several weeks, I have been planning to discuss the lessons I have learned from events and mistakes at Mars Hill Church on my website. Earlier this week, I wrote three separate blogs regarding the ResultSource decision in 2011 at Mars Hill. Today, I planned to focus on Mars Hill Global. However, last night I received a call to explain that Mars Hill’s former attorneys did not want me to post any more blogs and also to remove what has already been communicated this week.

Do the former attorney’s not understand how the web works? The information is already out.
I’m impressed that Turner has not removed the prior posts and I appreciate Turner’s motives for writing:

In our modern day, a church of its size, influence, and scope has never failed in such a public way nor experienced such unprecedented circumstances. Unless, we study the leadership, events, decisions, victories, and failures—the whole history of Mars Hill Church—it may very well be repeated.

There are several stunning lines in this post. Here’s one:

There was actually a division on the Board of Advisors and Accountability (BOAA) as some men wanted to put all the blame for both Global and ResultSource on me, but I am thankful for men who did not allow that.

Turner closes with more surprises:

As I’ve said, I do believe there are helpful lessons to be shared that might prevent what happened at Mars Hill from ever happening again. Consequently, I will not be able to fully comply with the request of Mars Hill’s former attorneys. However, I will rework the Global blog post content this weekend and remove many of the financial numbers that people are so eager to know.

What could possibly be the problem with releasing the numbers?  How are Mars Hill Church’s former attorneys (plural?) even players at this point?
Stay tuned and go read the entire post.

Sutton Turner and Mark Driscoll on the Impact of Mars Hill Global on World Missions

In a meeting at Mars Hill Shoreline which, according to my source, occurred sometime between April and June of 2012, Sutton Turner and Mark Driscoll responded to a question about what impact Mars Hill Church desired to have in “world missions.” Driscoll directed the question to Turner who described what the church was doing in Mars Hill Global. Listen:


We’ve got some really exciting opportunities that we’re launching and I don’t know if you watch the blogs but Mars Hill Global has really launched and is launching, planting churches in Ethiopia and India and actually had a meeting on Friday with a church planting group that we are going to resource in the Dominican Republic. So really on Asia, and Africa and then in Latin America and there’s two ways that we do things cause its all about making disciples and planting churches cause that’s what God’s called us to do.  So we need to stay on mission with that as we do international and as we go global.  So what that means is is two things, we plant churches, so we fund either, like in Ethiopia, there’s a Kale-Hewitt Bible College, so there’s ten guys that are there right now that we’re going to fund, it’s a two year process and then they’ll go out and we’ll actually help them and support them financially on planting.  And secondly, we’re doing there’s two regions in India that we’ll do some planting, and then there’s the Dominican Republic.

Turner then discusses the translation work for Driscoll’s Doctrine book and the Bible. They also discuss the funding coming from listeners who do not attend Mars Hill Church. He says that they hope the listeners outside Mars Hill will give to a variety of projects domestic and otherwise. He then adds that Mars Hill Military Mission was folded into Global. Eventually, the Military Mission was discontinued because of low return on investment.
Turner told the crowd that Mars Hill Global launched work in Ethiopia, India and the Dominican Republic. I can’t find any disclosure that the Global Fund would primarily be used to buy and refurbish churches in the United States. It certainly seems understandable that a listener might get the idea that Mars Hill Global was the church’s presence in world missions.
For a similar speech from Mark Driscoll, see this link.
For all posts on Mars Hill Global, see this link.

Sutton Turner Begins His Defense of Mars Hill Global

After describing his part in the ResultSource New York Times best seller deal, Sutton Turner has now turned his attention to Mars Hill Global and laying off staff. Here I deal with his first Mars Hill Global post.
Turner posted the following video:
In the transcript to follow, he highlighted the following:

So what does Mars Hill Global do?

Well Mars Hill Global is doing and participating in church planting here in Ethiopia and also in India, also we are doing church planting in the United States as well. We are doing all of that. Because at Mars Hill Church we believe (that) Jesus has called us to make disciples and plant churches. So I want to ask you to be a part, I want to ask you to be a part of the Extended Family of Mars Hill Global. Sign up today, become a member of the extended family, start participating with online with us, and let’s see what Jesus Christ is going to do do, not only in the United States but to the ends of the earth.”

The page where that video was posted has of course been removed from view, and at last look, Mars Hill has blocked searches of its website via the Internet Archive. I do however have the page saved where that video was featured.  You can review that here at the link.

The following video also preceded many of the sermons vodcasts on the Mars Hill website starting at least in 2013.


Howdy Mars Hill Church, pastor Sutton Turner here and I’m in Ethiopia, and I just want to thank Jesus for continuing to use Mars Hill Church to make disciples and plant churches. Mars Hill Global is the arm of Mars Hill Church that makes disciples and plant churches all over the world. We not only do church planting, but we help better equip church planters. Most recently, we shipped and now distributed a thousand Bibles into Amharic which is the language here in Ethiopia, and we launched a project to translate Pastor Mark Driscoll’s Doctrine book into Spanish. We have people from over 29 different countries that are giving on a monthly basis to Mars Hill Global.

So whether you’re a member of one of our Mars Hill Church locations in the United States or you’re one of 100,000 podcasters every single week, we encourage you to pray about giving above and beyond your tithe to Mars Hill Global. Thank you and let’s see more materials translated, more pastors sent out, more churches planted, and more people saved by Jesus Christ. (emphasis added)

In this clip, Turner places the emphasis on Mars Hill Global as the arm of the church that plants churches all over the world. The video is shot in Ethiopia and no mention is made of the U.S.

There were many other communications from Mars Hill Church which portrayed Global as a missions outreach of the church, most of which I have written about before. I do have other documents on the subject which I have not posted. We shall see if they become relevant.

Mark Driscoll in 2012: Lots Going On With Mars Hill Global

Once upon a time, Mars Hill Church leaders hosted by invitation only “vision breakfasts” for large donors. A former member taped one of the presentation made by Mark Driscoll about the various ministries of the church. This source sent a clip of Driscoll just as he began talking about Mars Hill Global. On May 10, 2012, Driscoll told the crowd:

We’re seeing a lot going on with Mars Hill Global. Lots of money coming in so we can translate the sermons into Spanish. We’ve gotten the Doctrine book translated into Spanish and we’re going to give it away free online. Pastor Dad, Porn Again Christian are resources translated into multiple languages and being given away as well; as well as helping fund international church planting. So lots going on on the international fronts as well.


Driscoll addressed the growth of the websites, and the congregations. Then he updated the crowd on his upcoming book on Ephesians and said, “My hope is to get a devotional commentary of Ephesians on the New York Times best seller list.” While I have no evidence that the church planned to go back to the Resultsource well, there may have been some consideration given to it. My optimistic suspicion is that the process to become a member of the ECFA (happened later in 2012) quashed any thoughts of using a Resultsource like scheme.
In his summary of Mars Hill Global, Driscoll does not mention church planting in the United States. To his top givers in 2012, he says Mars Hill Global funds international missions and that there was “lots going on on the international fronts.” Mentioning the translation projects fits with the Global Fund memo from 2011 in which the plan was to feature high profile mission projects but spend most of the money on domestic work. Driscoll said lots of money was coming in but he didn’t tell the donors that the money was going to buy and refurbish buildings in the states.
Mars Hill Church continues to be a legal entity in the process of dissolution. Dave Bruskas indicated to me recently that he thought someone was monitoring the [email protected] account for press inquiries. However, no replies have come to my emails. I am aware that the mission groups who depended on Mars Hill have not heard anything definite about assistance beyond June of this year.

Mars Hill Church Website Searchable Again; Global Fund Pages Restored

After months of being blocked by robots.txt code that prohibited searching the Internet Archives, Mars Hill Church’s website is now searchable again. About a year ago, the church blocked searches of archived pages. I was common for pages to disappear from the Mars Hill website shortly after I linked to that page. Now those pages should show up in searches of the archive.
For instance, pages about the Global Fund frequently disappeared from the website after being posted here. They were not searchable via the archive. Furthermore pages that would shed light on various claims were unavailable. Let me illustrate:
HelpChurch Planters MHGlobal
This banner comes from this deleted page about support for Ethiopia pastors (by the way, the New Covenant Foundation still has not received any firm commitment for a distribution from Mars Hill, for more see this post).
In contrast to what Justin Dean told me, this page demonstrates that the Global Fund was a fund in late 2012.
For those wanting to get a timeline of events and claims at Mars Hill, this resource is invaluable.