Former Mars Hill Church Executive Pastor Sutton Turner Comments on RICO Lawsuit


Mark Driscoll and Sutton Turner are the defendants in a RICO lawsuit filed by two former Mars Hill Church couples. Driscoll recently spoke out and called the charges “false and malicious” and “without any merit.”
This morning, co-defendant in the suit — former executive elder Sutton Turner — responded to the matter on his blog.  About the suit, Turner said:

As time has passed, I have watched the pursuit of legal actions by my brothers and sisters towards the Church and former leaders. I empathize with them and hurt with them. After recently being named in a legal proceeding, but having yet to be served, I have reached out to the plaintiffs directly. They were probably unaware I was willing to meet with them directly. I hope to meet with them, empathize with their hurt, pray with them, apologize to them, and clear up anything I can.
I have been contacted by many news organizations to make a comment on the lawsuit. In the past two weeks, I have prayed. I have reached out to the plaintiffs directly to communicate my willingness to meet. And I continue to hope that Christ will walk us through this difficult but necessary process in a spirit of reconciliation.

Turner’s reaction to the suit is different than Driscoll’s. Rather than criticize his accusers, Turner seems to sympathize with them.

Nearly a year ago, I wrote a series of blog posts to help me heal as well as to bring clarity to others for their healing. I wrote about my involvement in Result Source and my involvement in Global. The history and culture of Mars Hill is one of both a lack of trust and transparency. Lack of transparency breeds distrust and distrust causes less transparency. It is a perpetual cycle that can exist within any organization or relationship.

Turner says he has yet to be served the suit.

Mark Driscoll Responds Briefly to RICO Lawsuit; He's Talking to God but Apparently Not to His Former Members

Mark Driscoll has found his voice to respond briefly to Religion News Service about the RICO lawsuit.

“Unfortunately, false and malicious allegations continue to be made against me,” Driscoll said in an email to RNS Thursday (March 3). “I’m certain that the most recent examples are without any merit.”
“I remain focused and devoted to preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, loving others, and praying for my enemies,” Driscoll said.

I may never understand why this energy hasn’t been spent on reaching out to those who have very publicly asked Driscoll for reconciliation. I have reached out to more than three dozen former Mars Hill leaders and members and none of them have heard from Driscoll. Several of them have reached out to Driscoll with the message back that there will be no meeting.
In particular Bryan Zug and Jeff Bettger claim to have reached out and have received negative responses. Instead of talking to God about the “enemies,” why can’t the parties talk to each other?