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Popular Mars Hill Pastor Abruptly Resigns Following Controversy Surrounding Church

( [email protected] ) May 05, 2014 07:04 PM EDT
Biblical Living Pastor Mike Wilkerson of Seattle-based Church Mars Hill recently announced his resignation and plans to move out of state. Mars Hill founder Mark Driscoll is currently under fire for spending thousands of dollars in an effort to get his new book on the New York Times bestseller list.
Well-respected Biblical Living Pastor Mike Wilkerson of Mars Hill Church recently announced his resignation from his position at the Church. (Photo: Mars Hill Church)

In the wake of controversy surrounding the Seattle-based Mars Hill Church, a well-respected pastor on staff has recently announced his resignation from his position at the church.

Biblical Living Pastor Mike Wilkerson, who is responsible for launching the popular counseling ministry Redemption Group, abruptly revealed his departure and plans to move out of state earlier this week.

"Mike has been a part of Mars Hill for many years, and we are grateful for his leadership, particularly in helping us build our biblical counseling and Redemption ministries across all 15 churches, wrote Pastor Scott Harris in a letter to the congregation. "We love Mike and wish him well as he will continue to run The Redemption Group Network which exists to help churches develop their own Redemption Groups ministries."

Popular pastor and author mark Driscoll, founder of Mars Hill, has recently been under scrutiny for spending thousands of dollars in an effort to get his book on the New York Times bestseller list. Driscoll released an apology saying he had been "deeply convicted by God" and acknowledging "that people who saw or experienced my sin during this season are hurt and in some cases have not yet come to a place of peace or resolution." Driscoll then asked other pastors to hold him accountable in the future.

That same day, he tweeted Romans 5:8, which states, "But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Dr. Warren Throckmorton, professor of psychology at Grove City College and Fellow for Psychology and Public Policy at the Center for Vision and Values, discussed the issue on his blog, Pathos, "What seems unusual about this announcement is that the announcement came only a week before he plans to move," Warren wrote. "Given his level of leadership at Mars Hill (a ministry director - just under the executive elders) and his popularity at the church, it seems abrupt to announce one week and be gone the next."

Wilkerson's ministry, Redemption Group, is an" intense small group that digs deep into difficult and seldom-discussed areas of life, such as abuse, addiction, and trials of various kinds," Religion Today reveals.

Mars Hill, which has several plants across the nation, has reportedly experienced high staff turnover in recent months.